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A Gospel celebration of the words and music of Bob Dylan,
This review is from: Dylan's Gospel (Audio CD)
Conceived, produced and recorded by legendary producer Lou Adler in Los Angeles and originally released on the Adler owned Ode label in 1969, this is a very welcome reissue. Recorded over four days, the raw energy, spontaneity and enthusiasm from the recording sessions is perfectly captured and presented on this disc.
The Brothers & Sisters consisted of 20 female and eight male vocalists and they were not an established group in any shape or form - they were brought together by Adler solely to record this album. All of the lead vocals are undertaken by female singers who, amongst others, feature Merry Clayton who sang on The Rolling Stones 'Gimme Shelter', Edna Wright and Carolyn Willis who went on to sing in Honey Cone and Gloria Jones of 'Tainted Love' fame.
Musically and lyrically the Dylan songs Adler chose to record lend themselves really well to a gospel makeover and, unexpectedly, this is at times a very uplifting and joyous listening experience. Beautifully arranged, both the lead and backing vocals are immaculate throughout and some top session musicians provide the music. There are many highlights but 'All Along the Watchtower', which starts as a sensual soul number and builds up to something very powerful when the backing vocalists join in, is truly outstanding. Nothing here is better than the Dylan originals, they're just different interpretations with a more spiritual vibe.
Remastered from the original stereo tapes and with a playing time of 36.50, the sound quality is perfect. The CD is housed in a digipak (near) replica of the original vinyl release and includes a booklet with newly-commissioned liner notes and some archive photographs. Whether you're a Dylan aficionado or a fan of soul and gospel music, there's much to enjoy here and this is another first class reissue from Light in the Attic Records.