Customer Reviews: Dylan's Gospel
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on April 16, 2014
This is a 2014 Light in the Attic reissue of a 1969 Ode records release. The project originally produced by the legendary Lou Adler, contains 10 tracks of Bob Dylan composed classics performed by The Brothers and Sisters.

The playing time totals 37 minutes, which by today's standards would be considered more of an EP then an LP.

The material was recorded at SRS in Hollywood, considered one of the top tier West Coast recording studios. The session was arranged and conducted by Gene Page, who also played a prominent role on piano. Mr. Page's professional reputation is well earned, having worked on more then 200 gold and platinum albums.

Armin Steiner, the Sound Engineer, worked on over 100 gold and platinum albums. In recent decades, Mr. Steiner expanded his musical career acting as the scoring engineer for countless major film soundtracks.

The session musicians were simply the best gospel/soul artists available, of special note, was the organist, Evelyn Freeman (Ernie Freeman's sister). She was an extremely talented gospel artist. Her 1958 Bell-Canto records release of" Didn't It Rain" is legendary within the music industry. The 1964 United Artist re-release of this tune went on to become a major hit throughout Western Europe, particularly in London and Paris.

Five decades later, it remains a cult favorite in dance clubs throughout Eastern Europe.

The vocalists, eight male and twenty females, were the top gospel/soul/ R&B singers on the planet. Examples include, Billy Storm who had already established his credentials with the R&B super group "The Valients". Jesse Kirkland continued to release successful solo albums with major labels as Columbia, ABC and A&M records. Chester Pipkin co-w rote the soul hit"Love is in the Air". He also co-founded the group"Africa" with Billy Storm. The group recorded and released the legendary album,"Music from Lil Brown".

Carolyn Willis, Shelly Clarke and Edna Wright (Darlene Love's sister) went on to create the wildly successful R&B group "Honey Cone". Clydie King, Merry Clayton and many other of the" Sisters" build their reputations ,through the decades, as in demand backup singers for major artists both in the studio and on tour.

These Bob Dylan compositions contained on this CD readily lends itself to a gospel/soul interpretation. The arrangements are brilliant and the vocals are both fiery and passionate.

Some examples include Merry Clayton's "The Mighty Quinn" and Edna Wright's soulful rendition of" Lay Lady Lay".

Gloria Jones sexy and soulful voice brings"I'll be your Baby Tonight" to a level even the composer may not have conceived. The musicians, featured vocalists and mighty chorus all conspire to elevate Dylan's work to a new musical plateau.

Gratitude should be extended to Matt Sullivan for his re-release production efforts and to Jessica Hunley for her extensive and thorough liner notes.
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on April 9, 2014
Excellent re-release of Lou Adler's 1969 gem featuring some of his L.A. session backup singers and musicians. Most of the material is perfectly suited for this sacred sounding treatment. Watchtower being one of the better efforts and Lay Lady Lay being, imo, one of the lesser. Overall a worthy listen/purchase. I would love to see this concept revised for a part 2.
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VINE VOICEon June 22, 2014
Purists probably wouldn't care for this new rendition of some of the old favorites from Dylan's repertoire, but I found this Gospel take to be both interesting and enjoyable. They will never replace my love of the original versions, but the style lends new meaning to some pieces. As any good music, Dylan's tunes and lyrics, are able to stand up to diverse treatments. In many ways this is then a tribute to the man and his music as well as an exploration of musical genre.
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on May 31, 2014
The following is a cut and paste of my March 10, 2001 of the earlier CD release. This 2001 Review has the heading "Thank God It's Out on CD!" (and the pun was very much intended). I was not, and I am still not, a believer, but, like Dylan, I have spent many years exploring different possible pathways to faith, hope, forgiveness (including of oneself), etc. My earlier review follows.

"When I first heard this on vinyl back in the late 70's, I believe, it blew me away. A fundraiser for a church choir, I wondered if I had found the "missing link" that had both encouraged Dylan to add gospel singers to his bands in the late 70's and, perhaps, even had been involved in Dylan's exloration of Christianity. Who knows? All I know is that these are glorious versions of Dylan secular classics, by an African-American church choir, that make you feel God's presence.

Check it out Dylan fans!"

I'll just add a bit of FYI for those who may appreciate the info. Dylan first used gospel back-up singers on his 1978 album "Street Legal." Dylan's public announcement of his conversion to a born-again type of Christianity following his exhausting U.S. and world tour with his Street Legal band and back-up singers. Some of the best early-in-the-tour performances, with beautifully melodic singing by Dylan, are captured on the double-album "Live at Budokan." Later performances in the tour were mostly monotone due to his being very hoarse. Dylan's trio of Christian albums ("Slow Train Coming" (1979); "Saved"; and "Shot of Love" followed as well as a couple of fantastic smaller-theater Christian-songs-only tours. Dylan returned to his struggle for meaning, identity, and purpose with the album "Jokerman." All of these albums are in my list of best Dylan albums!
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on April 30, 2014
Great album. Everyone will like it. Great voices, music and production. The gatefold album is beautiful too. Buy this album.
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on June 8, 2014
What a wonderful take on Dylan songs...they captured them wonderfully. Reminds me of the sixties...flashback.
Some technical problems...but they did not detract from our enjoyment.
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on July 5, 2014
Love this CD. I listen to it every morning while I'm walking. It's a great way to start the day. Very uplifting because of the gospel arrangement.
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on June 12, 2014
It was a gift for my mother. She loves it. Her boyfriend loved it too so much that he bought his own copy. A true treasure
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on June 5, 2014
I don't see how you can go wrong here. I just wish this cd were longer, and I had found it sooner.
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on July 27, 2014
earlier negative review needs correction. Amazon rep agreed to replacement. Record is excellent sound. Now awaiting replacement.
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