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Slow Train Coming

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Editors’ Notes

Slow Train Coming marks one of the most beguiling turns in Bob Dylan’s career, as he embraced born-again Christianity after experiencing divine intervention at a tour stop in Tucson, Arizona. While Dylan’s strict, non-ironic religious conversion alienated much of his longtime fanbase Slow Train Coming shows that his newfound convictions weren’t so much a reinvention of his identity as a new prism through which Dylan continues to examine his lifelong themes. “I Believe In You” describes overwhelming romantic love even if it was written as a devotional hymn. By the same token, “Slow Train” describes the looming terror of the modern world with as much detail and frustration as “A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall.” Producer Jerry Wexler brings a bluesy, moody feel to the album, aided by Mark Knopfler’s guitar and Barry Beckett’s keyboards. Despite the album’s overtly Christian leanings, Slow Train Coming succeeds on a balance of accessibility (the Jackson Browne soundalike “Precious Angel”) and vulnerability (“When He Returns,” which features some of the most emotionally naked singing of Dylan’s career).


Born: May 24, 1941 in Duluth, MN

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Bob Dylan's influence on popular music is incalculable. As a songwriter, he pioneered several different schools of pop songwriting, from confessional singer/songwriter to winding, hallucinatory, stream-of-consciousness narratives. As a vocalist, he broke down the notion that a singer must have a conventionally good voice in order to perform, thereby redefining the vocalist's role in popular music. As a musician, he sparked several genres of pop music, including electrified folk-rock and country-rock....
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