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Bob Dylan – Shot Of Love (1981)

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Bob Dylan – Shot Of Love (1981)

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01. Shot Of Love – 4:17
02. Heart Of Mine – 4:28
03. Property Of Jesus – 4:32
04. Lenny Bruce – 4:30
05. Watered-Down Love – 4:09
06. The Groom's Still Waiting At The Altar - 4:02
07. Dead Man, Dead Man – 3:58							play
08. In The Summertime – 3:34							play
09. Trouble – 4:31
10. Every Grain Of Sand – 6:09

Personnel:
- Bob Dylan – guitar, harmonica, percussion, piano, keyboards, vocals
- Jim Keltner – drums
- Carolyn Dennis – vocals, background vocals
- Steve Douglas – saxophone
- Tim Drummond – bass
- Donald Duck Dunn – bass
- Clydie King – vocals, background vocals
- Danny Kootch Kortchmar – guitar, electric guitar
- Regina McCrory – vocals, background vocals
- Carl Pickhardt – piano
- Madelyn Quebec – vocals, background vocals
- Steve Ripley – guitar
- William D. Smitty Smith – organ
- Ringo Starr – drums, tom-tom
- Fred Tackett – guitar
- Benmont Tench – keyboards
- Ronnie Wood – guitar
- Monalisa Young – vocals

 

The common complaint about 1981's Shot of Love--truly one of Dylan's most affecting and sincere records--is that it rocks but fails to hold a flame to his 60's glory. After 40 years of music and 43 albums, one would hope that such comparisons grow tired, and each effort is assessed according to its individual merits, to its own voice, rather than viewed as a shadow under the overbearing umbrella of the 1960's. Has Pearl Jam recorded a song as catchy as Jeremy or Alive in the past nine years? Arguably not. Does that mean that they are no longer worth listening to, that their standing as a valid contribution to rock music hopelessly ceases? Certainly not.

As on 1978's Street Legal, Shot of Love includes some of the most compelling but forgotten songs of Dylan's career. Whereas Street Legal brought forth gritty rockers such as New Pony, Senor and We Better Talk This Over, Shot of Love delivers the stunning, booming rockers, "Trouble," "Property of Jesus" and "The Groom's Still Waiting At the Altar." They're not exactly Positively Fourth Street, but that does not automatically render them unlistenable. That rock critics continuously point novice Dylan fans in the same worn out direction is criminal, because there are songs here that are habitually ignored and deserve much better. What becomes necessary after a four-decade career of scattered brilliance is a wide-ranging, hard-hitting and concise compilation, one that may never see the light of day as long as Dylan and Columbia Records have anything to say about it, as is evident in the paltry, allegedly "Essential" double-disc set recently put out by Columbia.

Emmylou Harris's Grammy-winning "Wrecking Ball" includes a cover of Shot of Love's "Every Grain Of Sand" for one reason: it is one of the most gorgeous, well-written ballads of his career, up there with Not Dark Yet, Blind Willie McTell, Idiot Wind and Visions Of Johanna, among others. "Lenny Bruce" is a blander but ultimately compelling and powerful elegy. Perhaps out-of-the-blue experiments like the reggae-fused "Dead Man, Dead Man" challenged critics and fans to transform their confusion into patience, but it remains one of the few successful "experiments" of Dylan's career. Compare "Live at Budokan" or "Empire Burlesque" for examples of failed attempts at updating or refreshing Dylan's sound.

"Watered-Down Love" is a radio-ready single in its own right, the guitar licks are wonderful, Dylan sounds as ambitious and inspired as ever, and the band mimics that intensity in its playing. A Remastering job on Shot of Love may help bring its neglected genius to those who ignored it the first time around. It would, at the least, make for an album of explosive sound, as songs like Trouble, Groom's Waiting At The Altar and the title track already pack a memorable punch. If Dylan or Columbia felt as though they still had something to prove, perhaps they would get around to these projects, or come up with some ideas of their own. However, Bob Dylan has nothing left to prove. And that may be where the reality of the situation ends for he and his label, leaving those who were perceptive enough to discover this album's power all the more grateful. In the end, perhaps that will continue to stand as reward enough, and perhaps it should. --- Gianmarco Manzione, amazon.com

Shot of Love – 21 studyjny album nagrany przez Boba Dylana w maju 1981 r. i wydany w tym samym roku w sierpniu. Trzeci i ostatni chrześcijański album artysty. Dylan nalegał na nagranie albumu na żywo. Odczuwa się więc, że utwory nie są drobiazgowo wycyzelowane, ale część z nich została wykonana optymalnie. Gorzej powiodło się takim piosenkom jak "In the Summertime", "Dead Man, Dead Man" i "Watered-Down Love", które są dosyć chłodne; częściową zapewne przyczyną tego była nie najlepsza aranżacja, co najbardziej jest słyszalne w "In the Summertime".

Wzorem poprzednich sesji, Dylan zdecydował się jeszcze na dogrywkę w ostatniej chwili i powtórnie nagrał "Heart of Mine" już z innymi muzykami, gdyż wypuścił swój zespół do domu. Praca nad tym albumem była wyjątkowo żmudna. Dylan dokonał co najmniej 212 nagrań aż 54 utworów oraz 34 piosenek niezidentyfikowanych.

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Last Updated (Sunday, 10 July 2016 19:53)

 

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