Bob Dylan: Gotta Serve Somebody: Gospel Songs 2005 NR

Amazon Instant Video

(26) IMDb 7.4/10

In 2003 an all-star cast of gospel singers took Bob Dylan's gospel compositions and created a GRAMMY-nominated album. Now Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan features roof-raising performances by these spirited artists while documenting the making of the album of the same name, interweaving bracing reinterpretations with interviews of these celebrated gospel artists. It also presents commentary by musicians including Jim Keltner, Spooner Oldham, Fred Tackett, and Regina McCrary, who recorded and performed with Bob Dylan during his gospel period. Legendary record producer Jerry Wexler and respected music journalists Paul Williams and Alan Light also offer insights on this fascinating body of work

Starring:
Rance Allen, Helen Baylor
Runtime:
1 hour 22 minutes

Bob Dylan: Gotta Serve Somebody: Gospel Songs

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Product Details

Genres Music
Director Michael B. Borofsky
Starring Rance Allen, Helen Baylor
Supporting actors Shirley Caesar, Bob Dylan, Isaac 'Dickie' Freeman, Percy Gray, Gary Hines, Jim Keltner, Alan Light, Joe Ligon, Arlethia Lindsey, Regina McCrary, Aaron Neville, Spooner Oldham, Dottie Peoples, Louvinia Pointer, Fred Tackett, Jerry Wexler, Paul Williams, Mona Lisa Young
Studio Egami
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Rental rights 7-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

C'mon Sony, CBS, do the right thing.
Roland Moswick
I recently discovered that this DVD was featured at the 2006 Park City (Utah) Film & Music Festival--and won the Gold Medal for Excellence for Best Music Documentary.
A reader and righter
This is beautiful and timeless music which strikes at the cores of psyche and soul like a triumphant hammer.
Coyote

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A reader and righter on September 10, 2006
Format: DVD
A crowd making their way to their destinations in a New York City subway: a blind man with his walking cane; another man doing a soft shoe dance; a woman putting some spare money in a hat; people spilling out of escalators, the humdrum of daily city life...Yet amid this concrete world of souls we see and hear Arlethia Lindsey singing a beautiful version of Bob Dylan's "Every Grain of Sand." Fittingly, this is how the DVD "Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan" begins and ends--along with official footage of Dylan himself at the piano in 1980, belting out a heartfelt "When He Returns." And the 80 minutes wedged in between these opening and closing scenes is well worth the $17.99. Jeff Gaskill, its executive producer, who, as a 17-year-old in May 1980, watched in stunned wonderment as Dylan delivered up his all-gospel show in Worcester, Massachusetts, should be saluted in a big way for creating and bringing forth this project.

I recently discovered that this DVD was featured at the 2006 Park City (Utah) Film & Music Festival--and won the Gold Medal for Excellence for Best Music Documentary. When it comes to Dylan's so-called gospel years, this is the ultimate DVD to watch and own. It is a stunning combination of musical performances in the studio by traditional and contemporary gospel artists who are covering Dylan's songs from "Slow Train Coming" (1979) and "Saved" (1980); this project is the companion piece to the Grammy-nominated CD, "Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan" (2003). Contrary to what one reviewer has suggested, this IS a documentary and brings with it professional graphics, directing, and editing--not to mention a powerful narrative.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By D. Plentus on February 16, 2006
Format: DVD
If you didn't like Bob Dylan's "gospel era" songs, you probably will not appreciate this DVD, but for those of us who do this video is a worthwhile purchase. Most of the songs from the 2003 "Gotta Serve Somebody" album are featured, with commentary by the artists and film of the recording sessions. Also commentary by Jerry Wexler, Dylan biographer Paul Williams, and other musicians & writers. It's amazing to see the emotion the performers invested in their recordings.
Not included from the CD are When You Gonna Wake Up by Lee Williams & Spiritual QCs and the Bob Dylan/Mavis Staples duet of Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking.
Solid Rock by Sounds of Blackness is featured but not presented as a complete track.
The other tracks from the CD are featured in the documentary, with the full uninterupted tracks available as bonus tracks.
Two songs not on the CD are included, possibly due to lesser audio quality. Every Grain Of Sand by Arlethia Lindsay was recorded while busking in a NY subway station, and In the Garden by the Great Day Chorale was recorded in a church, not a studio.
For Dylan fans, the DVD contains footage of Bob performing When He Returns from Toronto 1980, the first official release of any gospel era video. Unfortunately, it is not presented continuously, most of it is there but's it's intercut with commentary and not available as an uninterupted bonus track. Still nice to see though. The other Bob content is a 1983 animated film set to his original version of Gotta Serve Somebody.
A good DVD for what is included. Only 4 stars due to the missing Bob & Mavis duet and non-continuous Dylan video.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dan R., Griffin on November 30, 2006
Format: DVD
As a long-time Dylan fan, I was lucky enough (or should I say blessed), to witness one of the dates on his gospel tour of 1980. I had already read the reviews of the shows, of the near riots over the new material and Dylan's apparent converstion to Christianity. I had also heard his recently released "Slow Train Coming" LP. I was taken by the music and the power of Dylan's conviction during the performance. The audience in Birmingham, Alabama seemed much more open to the changes, and lack of Mr. Tambourine Man, and cheered the Dylan Gospel Tour on to great heights. The arrival of a CD and DVD, a quarter of a century later, celebrating the gospel period with some of today's greatest gospel singers and musicians gives justification, once again, to Mr. Dylan's forsight and artistry. The songs and performances, especially Helen Baylor, make this an appealing collection for any fan of Dylan or a music historian. The backstory tales from the musicians performing on the original tracks and tour, and on the current production, add to the enjoyment of hearing the songs done in this fashion. While the originals appeared to be a stumbling block in Dylan's career, they turned out to be a stepping stone in a lifetime of great music.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Finale of Seem on April 4, 2006
Format: DVD
For the Dylan faithful who never overcame their dismay of the gospel years, this DVD brings it all back home and puts that contentious time into perspective. The film adds solid context to the acclaimed CD by interviewing participants and, more importantly, those who lived through that time with Dylan. If you want to know what happened and how, this is the real deal. For the fan, this DVD features footage of Dylan performing "When He Returns" in 1980; that's the value of such an authorized project. Plus, if you appreciate the power of good music, you MUST see Rance Allen's performance. Love that period or not, this package tells the powerful story of Dylan at his iconoclastic best.
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