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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little known gem
In 1981 Bob Dylan released 'Shot of Love' which provides some rare insights to the state of Bob's thinking at the time, coupled with some excellent, raw sounding rock style tracks. The album has a ragged edge to it, with Bob sounding exasperated sometimes and defiant as well. There are some stand out tracks, such as the reggae tinged 'Deadman' which has some classic...
Published on 22 Jun. 2001

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Shot Of Love: Bob Dylan - Watered down Dylan
This 1981 album, the twenty-first from legend Bob Dylan, is the third in a trilogy of albums that try to communicate his newfound Christian faith. It is also the third in a very long run of duff albums that would last until the late nineties.

For a man who wrote his best material when impassioned, usually with adversity, it is strange that his absolute devotion...
Published on 30 Aug. 2012 by Victor


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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little known gem, 22 Jun. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Shot Of Love (Audio CD)
In 1981 Bob Dylan released 'Shot of Love' which provides some rare insights to the state of Bob's thinking at the time, coupled with some excellent, raw sounding rock style tracks. The album has a ragged edge to it, with Bob sounding exasperated sometimes and defiant as well. There are some stand out tracks, such as the reggae tinged 'Deadman' which has some classic lyrics. Then there are stormin' numbers like 'Groom waiting at the altar' and 'Property of Jesus' which are as good as anything Dylan has produced in the latter half of his career. The final track, 'Every grain of sand' is one of Dylan's most beautiful songs-a calm end to a stormy album.The gospel feel to this song is matched by lyrics of beauty and poignancy. This is not a polished, refined album, but it has guts and power which reflect a genius who once again provides music and equally lyrics of a spell binding quality.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Shot Of Love: Bob Dylan - Watered down Dylan, 30 Aug. 2012
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Shot Of Love (Audio CD)
This 1981 album, the twenty-first from legend Bob Dylan, is the third in a trilogy of albums that try to communicate his newfound Christian faith. It is also the third in a very long run of duff albums that would last until the late nineties.

For a man who wrote his best material when impassioned, usually with adversity, it is strange that his absolute devotion to religion and the stick he took for it produced such anodyne music. And that has always been my problem with this album and its two immediate predecessors, the music is very bland. There is no sense of love or anger in it. At it's best sacred music - be it classical or gospel - lifts the heart and soul even in an atheist like me. There is nothing in this record of that, and a programme of largely forgettable tunes result. Dylan has started to move away from the religious themes and there is the odd straight love song to be found here, and the arrangements are more rock than gospel, but for all the slight style changes there is not much of substance underneath to get my attention.

As with most poor Dylan albums, there is a song or two that redeems it. Here the closer, `Every Grain Of Sand' fills the role. Using his trademark metaphysical imagery Dylan uses the song to explore the notion of faith, and what it means to him. It is a great, impassioned, beautifully written piece that is almost worth getting the rest of the album for. Nothing else on the album really makes any impression or can be remembered after several listenings.

All in all two stars. Mostly forgettable, but with one great and classic Dylan track.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three and a half for Bob, 7 Dec. 2013
This review is from: Shot Of Love (Audio CD)
Always had a soft spot for this album.Always thought it was the strongest of the christian trilogy,(not just because the lyrics are not so overtly christian)and 2ND TO OH MERCY as his BEST ALBUM OF THE 80S.It was nice to hear at the time Bob sounding so powerful on songs like TROUBLE/PROPERTY OF JESUS/SHOT OF LOVE whilst showing he could still come up with strong melodies (HEART OF MINE/LENNY BRUCE/ EVERY GRAIN OF SAND/IN THE SUMMERTIME).It only gets Three and a half rating from me due to the rough edged production suiting some songs better than others(IT BENEFITS shot of love/property of jesus/summertime/trouble)Whilst LENNY BRUCE could have benefited from a production job similar to TO EVERY GRADE OF SAND**Indeed LENNY BRUCE/DEADMAN DEADMAN/GROOM STILL WAITING../HEART OF MINE/ WATERED DOWN LOVE(probably the weakest song here)all sound better in live performance during this period! .Consequently the songs mentioned are done a diservice by the production. Due to these problems I feel that this album cannot be rated above albums such as PLANET WAVES/STREET LEGAL(remix)but still worth having. One always thinks of songs recorded at the time but not included, I always thought LETS KEEP IT BETWEEN US for example should have been included, but thats typical of bob in the 80s leaving the best songs of his albums!!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moving & Melodic, 27 Sept. 2005
By 
John Heaton (Budapest, Hungary) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shot Of Love (Audio CD)
A test of a good album is whether you come back to it in later years and rejoice...or grimace. Here I can say that, on relistening to this 1981 album recently, that rejoicing outweighed grimacing by about 8 to 2 if not 9 to 1. Even the lesser tracks seemed appealing after 24 years. Dead Man for example I always rather disliked but here I can hear things I never heard before....like Jim Keltner's thumping drumming and pretty interesting keyboards from Someone Or Other....but mostly it is Dylan's conviction in the lyrics he is singing which carries the most appeal. There were moments afterwards for sure, but here on this album we have Dylan mixing heartfelt religious lyrics, as on this song with moments of humour and self deprecation as on the piano-based Lenny Bruce and Ringo-flavoured Heart Of Mine respectively for example.
Even the title track kicks ass. Because it is Dylan saying we don't need drugs to get through Life. How often have you heard him say that on record? It is an abundant truth but we are all weak of course and so we don't like hearing it. But it's true. Love Is the answer as Lennon said in 1973 on Mind Games, but here in a different context, it rings true equally. We all need a Shot Of Love if we're honest. Property of Jesus is a little defensive, but again the sentiment is sound. Why regail at others who have found happiness, in whatever form, when it might be better to examine oneself? Maybe 'you've got a heart of stone' sounds harsh, this is precisely what the Anti-Christian Dylan brigade must have appeared to him as at the time. Faith or religion is an intensely personal thing which should be respected as such. Period.
And then we have the Hightlights here....which cross all boundaries but those of the most bigoted atheist. Every Grain Of Sand is a masterpiece of personal vulnerability if there ever was one. In The Summertime is gorgeous. Trouble is less digestable but moving all the same. Watered Down Love is sincere and pretty groovy if you ask me.
I just like the whole style of this album. It is heartfelt...without being condescending. As parts of Slow Train Coming (1979) might have been (not true for most of Saved (1980) mind you). OK so the cover was pretty awful. But no worse than Self Portrait (1970). Which also contains several hidden gems if you care to listen!
So take a leap of faith of a Non Religious kind (well, not necessarily anyway) and give this album a chance. The inclusion of the B Side Groom Still Waiting At The Altar is a welcome addition and should tip the balance for any waverers out there. Here we hear Dylan still producing the goods and caring about what he is singing about. Not too much mystery here, just heartfelt and pretty moving lyrics, with several good tunes to boot, about the only thing missing from the Saved album in my opinion. And one Bona Fide classic in anyone's book, in Every Grain Of Sand. Worth the admission price for this track alone. Even Satan must have thought Oh S*** when he heard this one.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Bob Dylan's Blues, 16 Feb. 2015
By 
Rough Diamond (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Shot Of Love (Audio CD)
Shot of Love is, unjustly in my view, one of the most unloved and overlooked items in Dylan's compendious back catalogue. Issued in the wake of the FM radio-friendly Slow Train Coming and the more uncompromisingly gospelly Saved, it was dismissed at the time as a third Dylan gospel album in as many years, and not really worthy of all that much attention. Wrong, and wrong again. Even though there's a song called Property of Jesus on the tracklist, this is a far less 'Christian' record than its two immediate forebears. Instead, it looks forward to the patchy, thrown-together albums that characterise much of Dylan's 1980s output. But amidst the fluff and the flops and the filler, there are several tracks of real merit here that make Shot of Love well worth owning.

More than anything, the album is worth seeking out for its quartet of really top-notch blues performances. These are, in ascending order of general awesomeness, Dead Man Dead Man, Trouble, the title track, and the absolutely knockout Groom's Still Waiting at the Altar (which, in typical Dylan style, was excluded from the album when it first came out in 1981). These four alone make the album a must-have for the serious Dylan collector, and between then they stake a claim for Shot of Love being Dylan's strongest blues album aside from Blonde on Blonde. All four are dirty, snarling, hard-hitting, incendiary blues songs of the very highest calibre, and 'Groom' in particular is blessed with mind-spinning lyrics and a totally committed, blazingly passionate vocal from Dylan.

..all of which makes the insipidness of the album's other tracks all the more disappointing. Heart of Mine, Watered Down Love and In the Summertime are all pretty limp and lightweight and disposable, Property of Jesus is a perfunctory gospel-by-numbers bore, and Lenny Bruce is to my ears one of the most risible tracks Dylan has ever recorded. The bonus prize is of course Every Grain of Sand, a real 'one-off' in Dylan's oeuvre and a song that every fan will want to own. Even better, if you can track it down, is the demo version that was issued on Biograph - complete with barking dog! The Shot of Love take has a serene, stately dignity that closes the album on a real high.

As with many of Dylan's 80s releases, Shot of Love could have been a whole lot better with more judicious track selection, and some prime cuts (e.g. Angelina, Let's Keep It Between Us, and of course 'Groom' initially) were all left to gather dust on the cutting room floor. A 'Tell Tale Signs' Bootleg Series for 1981-83 is well overdue, and when Columbia finally get around to compiling this it'll show what a great Dylan album Shot of Love could have been. For now, though, there's more than a few glimmers of Dylan's best work on the hotch-potch of an album that was finally released.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tablets with Dylan lyrics written in microscopic writing, 9 May 2014
By 
N. Rogall "nlr50" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Shot of Love (Audio CD)
This is perhaps the most bizarre item of the entire Dylan industry. These loratadine tablets have lyrics written in microscopic letters on the outside of the tablets. Inside the tablets is a small digital microphone which is absorbed in the blood stream and allows one to hear selected Dylan songs without external connections. So far there have been no side-effects and FDA has approved them in the USA. In Britain however there have been some questions asked in parliament but the stranglehold of Big Pharma means our government are considering adapt them for use in the classroom.
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5.0 out of 5 stars one of Bob's best albums. From his early 80s Christian period, 12 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: Shot Of Love (Audio CD)
For me, one of Bob's best albums. From his early 80s Christian period, the albums from which time were all under-rated at the time but now have merited re-release. It's a tight band recorded with a slightly rough, under-produced sound which exactly fits the passionate heartfelt lyrics. Never the world's greatest singer, Dylan does well here...and he even plays a harp solo of more than 2 notes on Every Grain of Sand! (It's superb, actually and again exactly fits the piece). One or two turkeys - (Trouble, anyone?) - but I'm a Christian who's a rocker and for me it's an album of great (mostly) gospel songs which are never sanctimonious or self-satisfied. Course, it took a Jew to get it right!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Underappreciated Dylan, 12 May 2015
By 
Amazon Customer (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Shot Of Love (Audio CD)
1981's 'Shot of Love' is considered to be the last in Bob Dylan's trilogy of Christian albums, which were recorded as a result of his newfound faith as a born-again Christian towards the end of the 1970s. This is one album that seems to divide the fans, it was certified 'silver' in the UK, but spawned no major hit singles, and has now fallen into relative obscurity. Although it's far from my favourite, and I agree that this isn't a Dylan classic, I still enjoy it. It has a real rough and edgy rock sound, and is less gospel compared to the previous two.

There are several gems of genuine merit here, including the bluesy title track, the haunting 'Every Grain of Sand', 'Property of Jesus', with a swinging chorus, the sweet and straightforward 'Lenny Bruce', a song about the late, controversial American comedian. With this track, Dylan begs for understanding, insisting that he committed no crimes at all and didn't deserve to be put on trail.

Like I said before, 'Shot of Love' isn't my favourite Bob Dylan album, but I do still like it, and consider it worthwhile for every avid fan to be able to hear such a unique insight into Bob's thoughts and beliefs at the time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars DIG A LITTLE DEEPER AND FIND A GEM., 18 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Shot Of Love (MP3 Download)
I might be in the minority it seems ,but for me this is a gem. I dont understand why people say its less spiritual than Slow train and Saved as it s full of Biblical imagery. Even the song about Lenny Bruce is a plea for understanding and not judgementalism. Be Nice to this repackaged with the previous two cd and outtakes from the time, a trilogy for the soul.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning.., 25 Feb. 2014
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T. D. DICK "warthog373" (Moffat, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shot Of Love (Audio CD)
Im no fan of his religious vagaries but you cant fault the man for passion and dedication, to whichever subject he's engrossed by when he's making music.

The title track is full on swaggering rock...never mind the message, feel the beat..superb. A high standard of playing throughout..

5 stars, no problem.
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