9 Songs, 46 Minutes

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).

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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).

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Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
107 Ratings
107 Ratings
NeverForgetMyName ,

Outstanding.

Obviously, he's always going to get trash for this and it's similar albums. And all I can say in response to that is, what a shame.

A lot of people will go around with their little rants and conspiracy theories about how Dylan being a Christian was just a "phase" or some excuse he used to get out of the spotlight, and it simply isn't true. These songs truly mean something and show that he did have a change of heart about many things. After all his years of writing songs that were against people and at times promoted a sense of hopelessness, these were the complete contrary and they speak for themselves on how sincere he was about it. He wouldn't have done this if he hadn't felt in his heart that he should. He wouldn't have written these songs if he didn't mean what the lyrics held. To think that it has something to do with him just wanting people to shun him is absolutely ridiculous and a really poor way to sum up him being a Christian. These are the most genuine Christian songs I've ever heard, and he set a good example of Christianity through them. Like everyone else, I'm not sure where he's at with it these days, but along with the album 'Saved', these are most encouraging and relevant Christian albums I've ever heard. Don't turn it away just because of what a bunch of music critics and people who are cynical about anything regarding religion say it isn't good. Be the judge of it for yourself.

"I Believe In You" - Bob Dylan

They ask me how I feel and if my love is real
And how I know I'll make it through
And they, they look at me and frown
They'd like to drive me from this town
They don't want me around cause I believe in You.

They show me to the door
They say don't come back no more
'Cause I don't be like they'd like me to
And I walk out on my own, a thousand miles from home
But I don't feel alone 'cause I believe in You.

I believe in You even through the tears and the laughter
I believe in You even though we're apart
I believe in You even on the morning after
Oh, when the dawn is nearing
Oh, when the night is disappearing
Oh, this feeling is still here in my heart

Don't let me drift too far
Keep me where You are where I will always be renewed
And that which You've given me today is worth more than I could pay
And no matter what they say, I believe in You.

I believe in You when winter turns to summer
I believe in You when white turns to black
I believe in You even though I be outnumbered
Oh, though the earth may shake me
Oh, though my friends forsake me
Oh, even that couldn't make me go back

Don't let me change my heart
Keep me set apart
From all the plans they do pursue
And I, I don't mind the pain, I don't mind the driving rain
I know I will sustain cause I believe in You.

Blackelsluck ,

Dylan Captures The Heart Of Faith And Conviction...

People will review this album with their own biases and prejudices. I have my own, but the truth is that this was nominated for a Grammy, and I believe it won.

I saw Bob Dylan on the tour for "Slow Train Coming" at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Bob had just come from San Francisco and commented that the audience was more receptive and forgiving in Los Angeles (to his "Gospel-Only" performance). I hear that he got very badly booed in SF, but didn't that happen before at the Newport Folk Festival in the 1960's?

Bob performed all of the songs from "Slow Train Coming" as well as the tracks that would be released the following year as the "Saved" album.

Songs # 1, 4, & 7 are my favorites because they are warning songs about our culture gone astray. If "When You Gonna Wake Up" had been from another earlier album, I think it would have been judged differently as a song of wisdom, not just a preacher's rant. It actually is both.

PeaceMaker4Him ,

Musical Marker of "faithfulness in your youth"

This album brings tears to my eyes, pleasure to my ears, hope in my heart. I don't know where Bob Dylan stands now, but this music meant alot to me in my youth. May he be reminded of the joy we have when are at peace with God, and restored to a place of faith.

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