Great Rock Albums of 1979: Bob Dylan- Slow Train Coming

220px-Bob_Dylan_-_Slow_Train_Coming

In the late part of the 70’s, we had Bob Dylan go electric with his “Hard Rain” and “Street Legal” albums. In late 1979, he went gospel with “Slow Train Coming.” This album was born out of his conversion to Christianity in early 1979. All of the tracks have some form of religious or moral message in them. The fact is listening to the album, the music is still pretty good. I know that many people can’t stomach “Jesus lyrics” and let that put them off listening to what could be a good album. Before this album, Christian Rock was more on the fringe and Dylan, with “Slow Train Coming,” made it more accessible to the masses.

The most notable song on the album is “Gotta Serve Somebody,” which got a lot of airplay on radio and I saw it on many a juke box in bars and restaurants at the time. I also like the tracks, “Precious Angel” and “Gonna Change My Way of Thinking.” As I mentioned earlier, this album celebrates his conversion to Christianity but is nonetheless, a pretty good album.

Track Listing:

1. Gotta Serve Somebody

2. Precious Angel

3. I Believe in You

4. Slow Train

5. Gonna Change My Way of Thinking

6. Do Right to Me Baby (Do Unto Others)

7. When You Wake Up

8. Man Gave Names to All the Animals

9. When He Returns

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan- guitar, vocals

Barry Beckett- keyboards, percussion

Mickey Buckins- percussion

Carolyn Dennis- background vocals

Tim Drummond- bass

Regina Havis- background vocals

Mark Knopfler- lead guitar

Muscle Shoals Sound Studio- horns

Helena Springs- backing vocals

Pick Withers- drums

I am going to go out on a limb here and say that bands like Stryper partly owe their success to Bob Dylan and this album especially. ¬†Listening to “Slow Train Coming” proved that you could listen to gospel rock and not have an urge to read the bible while still enjoying the music. Bob Dylan brought Christian rock into the mainstream and I think many Christian acts secretly know this.

Next post: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers- Damn the Torpedoes

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

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