10 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The last in Bob Dylan’s trilogy of Christian albums, Shot of Love finds the songwriter outgrowing his religious awakening and returning to songs that refer to romantic longing and uncertainty as much as holy faith. In “Property of Jesus” Dylan doesn’t just dismiss his detractors, he mocks them with one of the most spiteful, sarcastic refrains of his career: “He’s the property of Jesus / Resent him to the bone / You’ve got something better / You’ve got a heart of stone.” Meanwhile, “Heart of Mine,” “Watered-Down Love,” and “The Groom’s Still Waiting At the Altar” are fascinating songs that burn with sexual frustration and self-pity, not spiritual devotion. Under Chuck Plotkin’s production Dylan found the ragged county of “In the Summertime,” which shuffles with the grace of great Neil Young. “Lenny Bruce” is a tribute song full of venom and admiration, while “Trouble” shares something with gnarly Tom Waits’ blues. Shot of Love resolves itself with “Every Grain of Sand,” the song that shows Dylan transcending all religious membership and accepting his place in the world with the poise and wisdom of a weathered monk.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The last in Bob Dylan’s trilogy of Christian albums, Shot of Love finds the songwriter outgrowing his religious awakening and returning to songs that refer to romantic longing and uncertainty as much as holy faith. In “Property of Jesus” Dylan doesn’t just dismiss his detractors, he mocks them with one of the most spiteful, sarcastic refrains of his career: “He’s the property of Jesus / Resent him to the bone / You’ve got something better / You’ve got a heart of stone.” Meanwhile, “Heart of Mine,” “Watered-Down Love,” and “The Groom’s Still Waiting At the Altar” are fascinating songs that burn with sexual frustration and self-pity, not spiritual devotion. Under Chuck Plotkin’s production Dylan found the ragged county of “In the Summertime,” which shuffles with the grace of great Neil Young. “Lenny Bruce” is a tribute song full of venom and admiration, while “Trouble” shares something with gnarly Tom Waits’ blues. Shot of Love resolves itself with “Every Grain of Sand,” the song that shows Dylan transcending all religious membership and accepting his place in the world with the poise and wisdom of a weathered monk.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
27 Ratings
27 Ratings
Blackelsluck ,

Transitioning Back From Preacher To...

This album arrived with very strange expectations (and some equally strange reviews). Was Bob Dylan going to continue the "Gospel Only" format of the "Slow Train Coming" and "Saved" albums; or was he going to return to mainstream music and social commentary in his lyrics?

Popular reviews found this album to be too "Gospel" to be widely promoted; though his first single "Heart Of Mine" was released and heralded for the uniting of Dylan with former Beatle, Ringo Starr, playing drums. The religious media criticized this album because of the title track and the song about "Lenny Bruce".

While the religious media criticized him and the popular media hoped for his abandoning the heavier gospel messages; Bob's eventual response was that Jesus preached for three years and that he had done that (1979-1981). You can still find Biblical imagery and messages in his later material, as well as it being a part of his earlier material.

The original album did not include "The Groom's Still Waiting At The Altar". It was the B-side of the "Heart Of Mine" single. While my favorite cuts are #1, 2, 6, & 9; I would recommend purchasing the whole album.

Larry Kipp ,

How insulting

How insulting is the itunes review of this album. I am not a great fan of the album "Saved" but Dylans other two gospel albums are great works of rock, poetry, worship, and evangelism in no particular order. The itunes reviewer shows his inability to apreciate art past his anti christian snobbery and in doing so belittles all people of faith including the very human and still very christian Mr. Dylan. thanks for the great work Bob

Dr. Elwin Ransom ,

Underrated Work

The opening "review" is inaccurate and a bit crass. Dylan wasn't "outgrowing" his faith, but he was maturing the Gospel form by making it his own. "Property of Jesus" is essentially a swipe at the callous superiority of sophisticated unbelievers. Dylan criticizes the dismissiveness of disbelief, and defends the seniments of those who love the Gospel. Dylan toured with a Gospel ensemble and played for hours at a time, usually finishing those concerts with a small remnant of charismatic Christians. Those who were unoffended by "Lay, Lady, Lay" were terribly put off by "Saved by the blood of the lamb." In any case, the hypocrisy was not Dylan's. Shot of Love is a sincere, underrated work.

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