Late 2017, the latest Bob Dylan bootleg series was released. This covered the “Christian” Dylan years of 1979-81. Is as usual with the Bootleg series, there is a large (in this case 13 CDs) release and a 2-CD “Best of.” I was always interested in this phase of Dylan but woefully uninformed, except for a couple of songs, specifically Gotta Serve Somebody. So I picked up the two CD set and was immediately blown away.
Most of the tracks are live renditions from this period, a time when Dylan’s band was excellent. Also the crowd’s were a little on edge as they wanted to hear the hits and let’s face it, Dylan always responds when the crowd’s on edge. Although not included on the 2-CD set, Dylan was actually testifying to the crowd during these shows. (some of these sermons are included on the 13 CD set or can be found on You Tube.) One particular incendiary song is Blessed is the Name, which I am pretty sure is a Psalm I’ve sung at Catholic Mass.
Anyway, if at all interested in this era of Dylan, I would strongly recommend picking up the 2 CD set. It’s a fascinating look at a fascinating phase of a fascinating artist.
Go forth and drop they lists.