Bob Dylan Pressing On: Cover versions audio and video
When I heard Alicia Keys’s cover of Bob Dylan’s Pressing On I felt compelled to search out some of the other great versions of this overlooked gem. Saved was the second album of Dylan’s “Christian trilogy”, following his conversion. It expanded on themes explored on its predecessor Slow Train Coming, with gospel arrangements and lyrics extolling the importance of a strong personal faith.
Let us start with a couple of Dylan’s own takes on the song, the album version and a great live interpretation from a classic concert in Toronto in 1980:
Bob Dylan – Pressing On, from the album, Saved:
The fantastic Toronto 1980 version of Pressing On:
Saved is the twentieth studio album by Bob Dylan, released on June 23, 1980. Among the songs are the hymn-like song, Pressing On.
“Two stand-out tracks, nonetheless: the turbulent ‘Pressing On’ (Dylan creating convincing hot gospel) and the intelligently submissive, courageous address (including a lovely, aptly devotional harmonica) that is ‘What Can I Do For You?”” ~Michael Gray (The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia)
The album was recorded at Muscle Shoals and was produced by Barry Beckett and Jerry Wexler. In 2013 Alicia Keys chose Pressing On as her song for the documentary about “The Muscle Shoals sound”.
Muscle Shoals is a 2013 documentary film about FAME Studios and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.