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Shot Of Love

4.4 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Reflective lyrics with flashes of brilliance from the master poet! Lenny Bruce; The Groom's Still Waiting at the Altar; Trouble; Every Grain of Sand, and more.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 5, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: February 5, 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: SBME SPECIAL MKTS.
  • Run Time: 44 minutes
  • ASIN: B0012GN490
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,453 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bill R. Moore on August 18, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Shot of Love and the album that preceded it, Saved, have received, through the years, critical drubbings along the lines of what Dylan's recent movie Masked and Anonymous has garnered. His gospel period, in general, has almost always been looked upon in a generally negative light, and is only now starting to get the credit it deserves with the release of Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan, a collection which features contemporary gospel stars singing some of the man's best songs from the period.
Where does Shot of Love fit into all this? It is an underrated album. However it is not a great album, or a classic. It is much, much more secular than the first two gospel albums; indeed, only one song -- Property of Jesus - is unabashedly Christian. Several of the songs -- Heart of Mine, Lenny Bruce, and possibly several others -- are not Christian at all. There is almost none of the fire and brimstone here that Slow Trained Coming was loaded with; neither is it unabashedly gospel, as Saved was. Dylan wraps the virtues of Christianity up in more everyday forms, and does not bash us over the head dogmatically here; it's barely self-righteous, and it doesn't preach to the choir. Music-wise, none of the songs are in actual gospel style; several are even poppy. Others rock quite hard -- harder than anything since the mid-60's, in fact. Piano is the lead instrument on several songs, often played by Dylan himself. The backup singers do a good job here, and aren't overly intrusive or robotic-sounding, as they sometimes had been in the past. The legendary Jim Keltner is excellent on drums, as always. As for Dylan's singing, let it be known that the album contains some of Dylan's best vocal performances ever. His voice is as sweet as honey on In The Summertime -- a beautiful performance.
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Format: Audio CD
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.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
1981's "Shot of Love" is the last, hardest-rocking, and most accessible of Bob Dylan's trio of "Born-again" albums that began in 1979, and many fans call this the best of his Christian-oriented albums, all of which were (and still are) widely criticized. All the scorn and empty accusations of judgemental dogma that Dylan took may have fuelled all of the roughness and energy that packs the album, making it one of the most realistic, down-to-Earth Christian albums ever made.
It's ironic that "Shot of Love" may be the easiest for non-Christian fans to enjoy, because it still has God written all over it, starting with the quote of Matthew 11:25 in the liner notes. This album is full of a sense that a God-less society is falling apart, but Dylan pulls off the task of turning the end of times/Armageddon stew into vigorous, enjoyable rockers (case in point, 'Trouble'). In the blistering title track, Dylan speaks of those who mocked his God, and desires an escape from all the condemnation he took, and from the morbid side of the world in general. 'Property of Jesus' is self-explanatory, and 'Watered Down Love' seems to speak out against organized religion blocking man's relationship with God. Amidst the rocking world-gone-wrong of 'The Groom's Still Waiting At the Altar,' Dylan assures the listener that "God has mercy on them who are slandered and humiliated," a great anthem for any weary Christian, and the feeling that the world is falling apart is evident throughout this album; 'Dead Man, Dead Man' shares the same message of an earlier song 'When You Gonna Wake Up' and describes "politics of sin" and those who "curse God with every move.
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