Slow Train Coming
Grade — B-
After a very longwinded and physically draining tour, Bob Dylan had an experience that would alter his career’s course for the next three years. While in a hotel room on tour he said he felt a presence, a physical presence, from the hand of Christ himself resting on his shoulder and as the musician put it: “Jesus did appear to me as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.” Dylan became a born again Christian, resulting in him discontinuing playing his old, “secular” songs, in place of all his new music, which was made for Christ and for those who dare not believe.
Dylan recruited Mark Knopfler from Dire Straits to help with the album, unknowingly agreeing to the fundamentalist pieces, and about to add one of the most distinct sounds to any Dylan album. The guitar from Mark provides the sound that Scarlett Rivera added in Desire or the accordion did in Together Through Life, resulting in a well-crafted, though singular messaged, record that is well deserved to be called a “good” album.
The entire first side of the record is some of Dylan’s most heartfelt and interesting songs, led mostly by the top 30 hit, “Gotta Serve Somebody”. The song was popular enough for John Lennon to make a rebuttal song “Serve Yourself”, and was Dylan’s first hit in three years.
“Precious Angel” and “Gonna Change My Way of Thinkin’” are two solid tracks of Dylan’s faith, but by far the best song is the title track, “Slow Train”. The message is like the rest, but the song is really a delight to listen to if you can look past the black and white message.
People didn’t flock to Dylan, though he was selected as the grammy winner for best male vocals for the album in 1979, and it would be a couple years until his next good Christian album. The album is a bit lacking in variety, however for what is there, its a good listen.
As this is a “B” album, two songs are given.
Gotta Serve Somebody – http://grooveshark.com/#!/s/Gotta+Serve+Somebody/4G9HyE?src=5
Slow Train – http://grooveshark.com/#!/s/Slow+Train/4cUdxX?src=5