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Infidels Original recording remastered

4.4 out of 5 stars 139 customer reviews

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  • Bob Dylan: "The sound of Hank Williams's voice went through me like an electric rod and I managed to get a hold of a few of his 78s... I played them endlessly... When I hear Hank sing, all movement ceases. The slightest whisper seems sacrilege." Read more musical excerpts from Chronicles, Vol. 1 on our Music You Should Hear page.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 1, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00026WU4G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,528 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
It's baffling that any critic can call 1983's "Infidels" a return to "secular recording" for Bob Dylan. After three straight Christian albums, the record was certainly more broad in its horizons, at least when compared to its predecessor, the rollicking "Shot of Love" or the second Born-Again album "Saved," but its attitude is still as straightforward and uncompromising as Dylan's first Christian release, "Slow Train Coming."

He may look ticked on the album cover, but in truth, Bob Dylan sounds musically and lyrically comfortable all throughout the wittingly titled "Infidels", and artistically he is still as free as he sounded on his Born-Again albums. But his lyricism here is much more deliciously complex than on the three predecessors; a glance at 'Don't Fall Apart On Me Tonight' may suggest that its a cliched song about sex, but it's not, it's much deeper and much more creative than that. 'Jokerman' boasts a slight reggae influence and Dylan's alluring attempt to try and reveal false prophets, as he does elsewhere when he clearly states that sometimes Satan disguises himself as a 'Man of Peace.' The driving 'Neighborhood Bully' reminds one of the rocking "Shot of Love," but with a much more complex political message, unlike the straightforward social statements of 'License To Kill' and 'Union Sundown.' And like 'Don't Fall Apart On Me Tonight,' the second track 'Sweetheart Like You' may have a cliched title, but the content within is bursting with originality and mystery, much like 'I and I.'

Ironically titled, this album is a must-have in Dylan's cannon and arguably the last great album he made for years, as critics claim he went into an up-and-down spin throughout the rest of the 80s. The different spiritual elements that make up "Infidels" (Christianity and Judaism among them) would put many other artists in a creative pretzel-twist, but here Bob Dylan handles them all with integrity and delivers one of his most effective albums.
8 Comments 83 of 87 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
I am a Dylan fanatic, as I have said many times. I'm not bragging by any stretch, but I own literally just about every piece of music the man has put out. Bootlegs, complete live concerts, rare soundtrack songs, outtakes, acetates, you name it. If it's Dylan, odds are I have it. So this review is coming from a true Dylanologist here.

The album that made me a Dylan fan was 'Infidels.' While this was not the first Dylan album I bought (that honor goes to 1970's 'Self Portrait,' which I bought more than a few years ago), it was certainly the most important Dylan record I ever bought. Instantly, the songs resonated with me. It was almost a revelation. Having heard all of Dylan's records, the one I come back to most is probably 'Infidels.'

The year is 1983. Dylan is coming off of his Christian period, which turned off many critics and rock fans alike. 'Slow Train Coming,' 'Saved' and 'Shot of Love,' his two Christian albums released in 1979, 1980 and 1981, respectively, were not warmly received (although 'Slow Train Coming' sold well and did garner a hit single in 'Gotta Serve Somebody,' as well as some critical praise). It was obvious: by this time, Dylan needed a great record, and he needed one pronto.

So he assembled what was perhaps his finest band. Hiring reggae legends Sly Dunbar & Robbie Shakespeare to play drums and bass respectively, Mick Taylor (of The Rolling Stones) in a dual guitar role with Mark Knopfler (of Dire Straits, who had also worked with Dylan in 1979 on 'Slow Train Coming') plus fellow Dire Straits keyboardist Alan Clark, Dylan had assembled what could only be called a "dream band."

And while the musicians seem like a random assortment, they amazingly blend incredibly well together as a unit.
Read more ›
12 Comments 49 of 50 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
Infidels took me a few listens to fully appreciate, but now I really love it and listen to it often. Of course, it doesn't compare to the heights of Blood on the Tracks or Desire, nor is it as stunning as the subsequent Oh Mercy, but it is a fine album that makes a very enjoyable listen. Right from the opening song, the excellent Jokerman, you realize that this is going to be a bit different from Dylan's usual sound. However, Dylan has reinvented his sound so many times that he really can't be said to have a distinctive sound. With its Caribbean rhythm, Jokerman is a distinctive song in Dylan's oeuvre. I particularly like that little bass thing right before the chorus kicks in. Another thing I like about this album is the "rambling" songwriting style. On songs such as Jokerman, Dylan just seems to ramble on and on about these completely unrelated scenarios and you often have no clue what he's talking about. That's not a criticism though, I find it very interesting. You never know what he's going to talk about next. There is a bit of political content here, yes, but I really don't think of Infidels as a political album. I think it's more cynical than political. I think Dylan is basically saying that the world sucks, and he wishes to wash his hands of it. Whether or not this is from a religious perspective is debatable. There are certainly religious references here, but they're not blatant like on Slow Train Coming and Saved. To be honest, I'm not quite sure what most of these songs are about. A couple are pretty obvious, such as Union Sundown and License to Kill, but I don't have a clue as to what Jokerman or I and I are about. It's okay though, Dylan doesn't often spell out the meaning of his songs.Read more ›
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