Artists Salute Dylan's Inspirational Albums
Columbia will on March 25 release an 11-track tribute to two of Bob Dylan's inspirational albums. "Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan" will pay homage to 1979's "Slow Train Coming" anColumbia will on March 25 release an 11-track tribute to two of Bob Dylan's inspirational albums. "Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan" will pay homage to 1979's "Slow Train Coming" and 1980's "Saved," albums the Jewish-born Dylan recorded after he abruptly became a born-again Christian. The collection features a new duet with Dylan and singer Mavis Staples, as well as new recordings by Aaron Neville, Shirley Caesar, Helen Baylor, and the Fairfield Four.
Dylan re-recorded "Gotta Change My Way of Thinking" for the album, and is backed by his 2002 touring band on the performance. Staples wanders into the recording mid-session, and Dylan stops the band mid-take to acknowledge her. Staples and her group, the Staples Singers, have regularly performed Dylan songs over the years, including "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Masters of War."
A number of Dylan's former contributors perform on the tribute set. Sounds Of Blackness' rendition of "Solid Rock" features Dylan's core band from the gospel period, and former Dylan backup singer Regina McCrary makes an appearance on the Chicago Mass Choir's "Pressing On." Elsewhere, onetime Dylan organist Spooner Oldham guests on Neville's "Saving Grace." The set was produced by Joel Moss (Tony Bennett, Herbie Hancock).
Following less than favorable reviews for his third inspirational set, 1981's "Shot of Love," Dylan took an extended break from the studio. He returned in late 1983 to the more familiar style of his previous recordings with the album "Infidels," which reached No. 20 on The Billboard 200.
Here is the track list for "Gotta Serve Somebody:"
"Gotta Serve Somebody," Shirley Caesar
"When You Gonna Wake Up," Lee Williams and the Spiritual QCs
"I Believe in You," Dottie Peoples
"Are You Ready," Fairfield Four
"Solid Rock," Sounds Of Blackness
"Saving Grace," Aaron Neville
"What Can I Do for You?," Helen Baylor
"Pressing On," Chicago Mass Choir
"Saved," Mighty Clouds Of Joy
"When He Returns," Rance Allen
"Gonna Change My Way of Thinking," Bob Dylan and Mavis Staples