May 3: Bob Dylan 4th Slow Train Coming Recording Session, 1979

Bob Dylan slow train


Today I’m accused of being a follower of religion. But I’ve always been a follower! My thoughts, my personal needs have always been expressed through my songs; you can feel them there even in ‘Mr Tambourine Man’. When I write a song, when I make a record, I don’t think about whether it’ll sell millions of copies. I only think about making it, the musical end-product, the sound, and the rhythmic effect of the words. It’s purely a technical piece of work because the most important thing is to come out with something that’s perfect artistically. Even Charlie Chaplin used to say that and I respect him for that judgment.
~Bob Dylan (to Sandra Jones – June 1981)

And it’s this dishonesty, this unhelpful concealment of the soul when we most needed to know what was going [on] inside the man, which hurts the hardest… …. His handling of matters spiritual is bad enough, but when he applies himself to more worldly topics he’s frighteningly inflammatory and positively dangerous..
~Chris Bohn (review – Slow Train Coming, Melody Maker – 26 Aug. 1979)

On the 4th recording session we got 2 new master versions… one of them “Slow Train” is i fact the best song from the album. The other is also among the best: “I Believe in You“.

bob dylan slow train back

For sessions background info check out:

I would never call it that. I’ve never said I’m born again. That’s just a media term. I don’t think I’ve ever been an agnostic. I’ve always thought there’s a superior power, that this is not the real world and that there’s a world to come. That no soul has died, every soul is alive, either in holiness or in flames. And there’s probably a lot of middle ground.
~Bob Dylan (to Kurt Loder – March 1984)

Muscle Shoals Sound Studio
Sheffield, Alabama
3 May 1979
Produced by Jerry Wexler & Barry Beckett

  1. Ain’t No Man Righteous, No Not One
  2. I Believe In You
    They ask me how I feel
    And if my love is real
    And how I know I’ll make it through
    They look at me and frown
    They live to drive me from this town
    They don’t want me around
    ‘Cause I believe in you.

  3. I Believe In You
  4. Slow Train
    If I could keep only one performance from the “Slow Train Coming” album, it would have to be the title cut, Slow Train..
    ~Paul Williams (BD Performing Artist 1974-86)

bob dylan slow train sessions muscle shoals


  • Bob Dylan (guitar & vocal)
  • Mark Knopfler (guitar)
  • Tim Drummond (bass)
  • Barry Beckett (keyboards, Organ on 4)
  • Pick Withers (drums)

Additional on On “Slow Train”:

  • Harrison Calloway Jr. (trumpet)
  • Ronnie Eades (bariton saxophone)
  • Harvey Thompson (tenor saxophone)
  • Charlie Rose (trombone)
  • Lloyd Barry (trumpet)
  • Carolyn Dennis, Helena Springs, Regina Havis (background vocals).


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