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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 23 March 2014
Bought this on a recommendation and really like it. Different to anything I have listened to before. Love the guitar by Mark Knopfler and the raspy Dylan vocals.
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on 26 October 2004
This album shows BD's Christian credentials.
It features Mark Knofler from Dire Straits. Consequently it has that kinda sound. Gotta Serve Somebody and the title truck are exceptional. It shows a different side to Bob Dylan. It is certainly the best "Christian" album.
Should be any part of any serious BD collection.
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on 8 March 2004
Don't be worried too much about owning a Dylan 'Christian' album!
This album is far superior than Saved and Shot of Love.
Check out the fantastic When He Returns and Precious Angel - worth the price for those songs alone.
It sounds even better on SACD, but even if you get the standard version you will not be disappointed.
An essential part in any Dylan collection, as it marked yet another milestone in his career where he was not afraid to try a different path.
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on 3 July 2007
More of a collectors album than mainstream. No less baffling now than when it was released in my opinion. Let me explain: Dylan undertook a world tour in 1978, his appearances in the UK had gone down a storm, six nights at Earls Court and after a European stint he returned to headline a one day festival at Blackbushe. In '78 punk had past it's heyday and with music suitably shaken by events but then to see Dylan's charismatic performances was a real shot in the arm. Then this happened, you know, the Slow Train thing. We struggled to understand and still do, what happened Bob?

Liberal Jewish icon embraces fundamental right wing Christianity, that's what it looked like. For those who would defend his Christianity are missing the point - which is the politics, put aside any tribal connection the word Christianity. So this is the upshot then, there's a slow train a coming. There's three tracks here that stand out as being of any substance. The opening Gotta Serve Somebody, we'll put aside the rather clumsy Christian rhetoric because it's a nice catchy tune that's well performed. Track 2, Precious Angel, just don't know what this about. `We're covered in blood, girl, both our forefathers were slaves'. What's he saying? Dylan rarely talks about his Jewish heritage but here it is in the middle of his Christian outpourings.

And if there's much to consider in that song and there's far more than the above line, wait until you get to the title track. Slow Train. This is a mass of compressed meaning, cultural and political references. You could write a book about this one song alone, perhaps someone has, Mike! Mike Marqusee are you there? 1979 was the dawning of the Thatcher/Reagan neo-con era, the shifting politics of the time was just beginning to bite and Dylan delivers a strangely twisted report of events.

All that foreign oil controlling American soil,
Look around you, it's just bound to make you embarrassed.
Sheiks walkin' around like kings, wearing fancy jewels and nose rings,
Deciding America's future from Amsterdam and to Paris

Now that really bothers me Bob, what are you saying? Beyond the obvious, what do you mean?

But then by contrast to the apparent ethos of the album he says:

But the enemy I see wears a cloak of decency,
All non-believers and men stealers talkin' in the name of religion

And then there's that woman down in Alabama in an earlier verse. Like I said, a book.

Not mainstream then but if you love Bob you'll get around to it and draw your own conclusions. Who knows perhaps you'll write that book, someone should.
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on 6 September 2004
Always (with the exception of the to-my-ears cringeworthy "God Gave Names to all the Animals")been an excellent album - beefy Muscle Shoals production, Mark Knopfler very much in evidence, and excellent songs (of which "Precious Angel" and the title track are very good examples). It's been a hardy perennial in my collection, getting regular play over - good grief! - 24 years.
Some (though by no means all) critics gave this album a bad reception on initial release, as there's no doubt that the lyrics are uncompromisingly Christian/Evangelical. this is a pity as Dylan's singing and writing carry obvious conviction - he meant what he sang (he always does) and it's a shame when people downgrade something simply because it doesn't tie in with their own world-view.
It's a very good album - verging on the great, and only misses out on 5 stars because of that "Animals" song - but then, I'm showing MY prejudice against childrens' songs there!!
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on 29 April 2015
This offering deserved more praise than it got. It was released when Dylan first converted to Christianity. This is reflected in the lyrics. However, this does not reduce the quality of the tracks featured.
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on 27 September 2015
Its ok.
not my favourite
i followed Bob, since i was 12 yrs old,
now i am begning to mellow and fall several rows back
not sure where its taking me
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on 2 November 2015
The Christian Dylan - You Gotta Serve Somebody is excellent and worth the album. Can be enjoyed by anyway, by the way, not just Christian folk.
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VINE VOICEon 18 April 2006
And so the Christian phase begins in earnest. Bob Dylan's Christianity is responsible for arguably the worst music in his career; throughout the eighties he churned out terrible, terrible Christian albums. However, Slow Train Coming, the first of this era, is a fine work that is often overlooked.

While Dylan seems to spend a lot of the time singing through his nose, the groovy, sparse, slightly 80s-before-the-80s-happened production allows the songs to really shine through, with very little instrumentation going on. Opener 'Gotta Serve Somebody' is the definitive song of this album, really, condemning you to either hell or heaven with no middle ground. Ironically, musically, it sounds like a pornography theme.

The best song is 'Change My Way Of Thinking,' a wonderfully overwrought blues song that's led by brass and accompanied by chorusing backing singers. The most gospel-y moment Dylan had for quite some time, it's entertaining, charming and lyrically great as well.

This album gets a bad a bit of rap due to when it was released and what phase of Dylan's career, but don't overlook it. It was the last good album Dylan released for another ten years, so give it a go!
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on 18 January 2013
Not one of his greatest, but very good with some classics. I love the Knopfler and Withers contributions, and Dylans as engaging as ever.
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