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  • Gotta Serve Somebody: Gospel Songs Bob Dylan
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Gotta Serve Somebody: Gospel Songs Bob Dylan


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BOB DYLAN Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Bob Dylan's influence on popular music is incalculable. As a songwriter, he pioneered several different schools of pop songwriting, from confessional singer/songwriter to winding, hallucinatory, stream-of-consciousness narratives. As a vocalist, he broke down the notion that a singer must have a conventionally good voice in order to ... Read more in Amazon's Bob Dylan Store

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Gotta Serve Somebody: Gospel Songs Bob Dylan + Saved + Slow Train Coming
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 1, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
  • ASIN: B0012GMYPK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,069 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Gotta Serve Somebody
2. When You Gonna Wake Up?
3. I Believe in You
4. Are You Ready?
5. Solid Rock
6. Saving Grace
7. What Can I Do for You?
8. Pressing On
9. Saved
10. When He Returns
11. Gonna Change My Way of Thinking

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

If you like gospel then you have to add this to your library.
Jay Bagwell
And to have all of these great gospel artist's adding their spirit to them make's this effort "The BEST of 2003" so far I've heard.
RocketScottyG.
Great gospel performers interpret Bob Dylan's imagined Gospel Tent period.
John L. Borden

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Scott on January 13, 2004
Format: Audio CD
As reviewers have rightfully observed, Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan is not merely another Dylan "tribute." Its 55 minutes and 11 songs are on a different plane entirely. And the curious fact of the Minnesota native himself participating should not go unnoticed.
It took some kind of courage to pay homage to this particular period of Bob Dylan's career, a period that still can evoke a scoff or dismissive chuckle from even the most diehard fan. Because this project had humble beginnings and likely had its fair share of painful moments, it must have given executive producer Jeff Gaskill tremendous joy when it was birthed...and an outside world could finally see it and feel it and think it and breathe it.
Although Shirley Caesar kicks off the CD with a pre-song rap which includes these words--"I wanna share Bob Dylan's song with you"--it may well be the case that she's done to "Gotta Serve Somebody" what Jimi Hendrix did to "All Along the Watchtower." Like Hendrix, she wasted no time in making it her own (she recorded the song in 1980); Dylan even said, way back in 1985, that he liked her version better than his. Caesar, in this take, makes heartfelt and emotional declarations that seem anything but weak, alludes to the Hebrew scriptures at the beginning of the song (Joshua) and at the end (Chronicles) while her backup singers--with their occasional "Serve my Jesus!"--serve as an antidote to phony baloney revisionist history, i.e., Dylan really wasn't/isn't singing about Jesus, or if he was/is, that somehow he cannot claim his Jewish heritage.
When Dylan recently sang "I Believe in You" in concert, one observer noted how it still retains the original passion and power of its '79-'80 airings.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By James A. Dean on July 21, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you buy this cd and ONLY listen to the Chicago Mass Choir absolutely tear into "Pressing On", you will have gotten more than your money's worth. Absolutely stunning version. I had previously bought another "Gospel Tribute To Bob Dylan" cd, and was not moved at all. I cannot say the same about this one. Highly recommended.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By D. Plentus on April 3, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Your opinion of "Gotta Serve Somebody" will probably hinge on your opinion of Bob Dylan's foray into gospel music with his albums "Slow Train Coming" and "Saved," from which these songs are taken. For me, it was one of the most exciting periods of his post-60s career, full of the same fire and conviction that fueled his change from folkie to rocker 10+ years earlier. So I had high expectations for this album, wanting to hear what the songs would be like performed by true gospel singers. It was worth the wait! Without getting into any philosophical discussion of the songs, they were great gospel inspired rock & roll, and now they are proven to be great pure gospel as well. The added bonus of Bob rewriting and performing "Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking" with Mavis Staples makes this CD a must have.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Brian W. Fairbanks VINE VOICE on November 6, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Bob Dylan's voice and songs are so uniquely his own that it's a rare artist who can cover the man without inviting unflattering comparisons. But on "Gotta Serve Somebody," that's not a problem. The bright lights of gospel music assembled to interpret the songs Dylan wrote for 1979's "Slow Train Coming" and 1980's "Saved" make themselves right at home. This is THEIR turf more than Dylan's, and the performances only prove what many of us knew all along: that Dylan's controversial "born-again" period was among his most fertile. The best songs from Dylan's collaboration with the Lord not only stand comfortably beside the best work in his canon, but also hold their own in the entire gospel genre.
The topper, for me, is "Pressing On," and the Chicago Mass Choir give it the epic performance it deserves, one at least equal to Dylan's own version on "Saved." The Sound of Blackness do right by the same album's "Solid Rock," and Aaron Neville lends his admirable pipes to a lovely rendition of "Saving Grace." One of Dylan's overly preachy and arrogant Christian tracts, "When You Gonna Wake Up" from "Slow Train Coming," gets a dramatic overhaul from Lee Williams and the Spiritual QCs that is one of the album's highlights.
Of course, Dylan also wrote some clinkers during this period. The title track of "Saved" never gave off sparks and it doesn't do it here despite a valiant effort from the Mighty Clouds of Joy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 9, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Essential-Powerful-Fresh-Soulful-Raw - - - Not a trite tribute but an excellent gospel CD (Even for those who think they don't like gospel).
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 9, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is one of the best albums I have heard in a long while. It brings out a dimension of Bob Dylan's "religious" songs that I had been only vaguely aware of.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By G. Wallace on April 18, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Kudos to Jeff Gaskill, who spent some years hatching this tribute to Dylan's born again music after being impressed by Dylan's concert presentation of the songs. I remember one of those incendiary shows and I'm happy to know others were as blown away as I was. He convinced a terrific list of gospel singers to record the tribute and even convinced the principal to add some icing to the cake. Happily, a majority of the touring band also has a hand in this tribute. Nice to hear Regina McCrary, who was such a big contributor to Dylan's gospel records and tours. Probably Shirley Caesar and Aaron Neville get my vote for best performances after the first couple listens, but the whole project and package are worthwhile.
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