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‘Gotta Serve Somebody: Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan'
(Bob Dylan, Arlethia Lindsey, Sounds Of Blackness, Shirley Caesar, Dottie Peoples, et al / DVD / NR / 2018 / MVD Visual)

Overview: ‘Gotta Serve Somebody - The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan’ is all about redemption. That's apparent enough in the music, where the struggle between sin and salvation is inherent in the tunes that are interpreted here by a host of superb gospel artists. But in a larger sense, the very existence of this DVD (and the Grammy-nominated CD that preceded it in 2003) can be viewed as redemption for Dylan himself, who weathered another controversy and emerged, if not triumphant, then certainly vindicated.

Verdict: When he plugged in an electric guitar in 1965, he was labeled Judas by the folkie faithful; ironically, when he turned to Jesus some 15 years later, proclaiming himself born again and releasing “Slow Train Coming” and “Saved“, the outcry was even louder!

But once again Dylan has the last laugh, as now, a quarter of a century after the fact, it's clear that the material on those recordings was his strongest not only since 1975's Blood on the Tracks, but perhaps since his '60s heyday.

The quality of the songs lies in what Jerry Wexler, co-producer of the two Dylan albums, describes as the immaculate funk of the music, and especially in the heartfelt simplicity (especially by Dylan standards) and emotional directness of the lyrics; clearly, that's what attracted great gospel singers like Shirley Caesar (singing “Gotta Serve Somebody“, the most recognized song on the two Dylan albums), Dottie Peoples (a powerful version of the beautiful “I Believe in You“), the Mighty Clouds of Joy (a rockin', sanctified “Saved“), the Fairfield Four (the stirring, a cappella “Are You Ready“), and the angel-voiced Aaron Neville (“Saving Grace“) to this project.

Fifty years on and I continue to be astonished by Bob Dylans range and influence as we also get Dylan himself, performing “When He Returns” at a 1980 concert, along with an animated rendering of his original “Gotta Serve Somebody.”

In addition to the inspiring performances in the studio, there are a number of interviews with the performers, as well as interviews with those who recorded and/or performed with Dylan back in 1979-1980: drummer Jim Keltner, guitarist Fred Tackett, keyboardist Spooner Oldham, producer Jerry Wexler, and singers Regina McCrary, Terry and Mona Lisa Young, amongst others.

Much of the footage was either shot in recording studios, churches, along with a bit of commentary from musicians and others who worked with Dylan over the years. Don't expect a lot of Dylan concert footage, because there is only a bit of scratchy late 70's film footage in the beginning of the video.

However, the real and absolute beauty of this video is in the gospel versions of Dylan's songs that you see performed and being recorded by some amazing gospel artists whose passion for their faith and musical talent really reaches out and grabs you.

Watch it, take in some beautiful gospel music performed by tremendously talented people of faith, and hopefully you'll similar experience spirit-filled moments joy that I did while watching. Hallelujah, y'all. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:,

Animated Video to -Bob Dylan's original GRAMMY® -winning, “Gotta Serve Somebody.”

(Bob Dylan, Arlethia Lindsey, Sounds Of Blackness, Shirley Caesar, Dottie Peoples, et al / DVD / NR / 2018 / MVD Visual)

Overview: ‘Gotta Serve Somebody - The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan’ is all about redemption. That's apparent enough in the music, where the struggle between sin and salvation is inherent in the tunes that are interpreted here by a host of superb gospel artists. But in a larger sense, the very existence of this DVD (and the Grammy-nominated CD that preceded it in 2003) can be viewed as redemption for Dylan himself, who weathered another controversy and emerged, if not triumphant, then certainly vindicated.

Verdict: When he plugged in an electric guitar in 1965, he was labeled Judas by the folkie faithful; ironically, when he turned to Jesus some 15 years later, proclaiming himself born again and releasing “Slow Train Coming” and “Saved“, the outcry was even louder!

But once again Dylan has the last laugh, as now, a quarter of a century after the fact, it's clear that the material on those recordings was his strongest not only since 1975's Blood on the Tracks, but perhaps since his '60s heyday.

The quality of the songs lies in what Jerry Wexler, co-producer of the two Dylan albums, describes as the immaculate funk of the music, and especially in the heartfelt simplicity (especially by Dylan standards) and emotional directness of the lyrics; clearly, that's what attracted great gospel singers like Shirley Caesar (singing “Gotta Serve Somebody“, the most recognized song on the two Dylan albums), Dottie Peoples (a powerful version of the beautiful “I Believe in You“), the Mighty Clouds of Joy (a rockin', sanctified “Saved“), the Fairfield Four (the stirring, a cappella “Are You Ready“), and the angel-voiced Aaron Neville (“Saving Grace“) to this project.

Fifty years on and I continue to be astonished by Bob Dylans range and influence as we also get Dylan himself, performing “When He Returns” at a 1980 concert, along with an animated rendering of his original “Gotta Serve Somebody.”

In addition to the inspiring performances in the studio, there are a number of interviews with the performers, as well as interviews with those who recorded and/or performed with Dylan back in 1979-1980: drummer Jim Keltner, guitarist Fred Tackett, keyboardist Spooner Oldham, producer Jerry Wexler, and singers Regina McCrary, Terry and Mona Lisa Young, amongst others.

Much of the footage was either shot in recording studios, churches, along with a bit of commentary from musicians and others who worked with Dylan over the years. Don't expect a lot of Dylan concert footage, because there is only a bit of scratchy late 70's film footage in the beginning of the video.

However, the real and absolute beauty of this video is in the gospel versions of Dylan's songs that you see performed and being recorded by some amazing gospel artists whose passion for their faith and musical talent really reaches out and grabs you.

Watch it, take in some beautiful gospel music performed by tremendously talented people of faith, and hopefully you'll similar experience spirit-filled moments joy that I did while watching. Hallelujah, y'all. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:,

Animated Video to -Bob Dylan's original GRAMMY® -winning, “Gotta Serve Somebody.”

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