‘Ain’t gonna go to Hell for anybody’
Dylan’s Christian years
Keywords:biography, Bob Dylan, Christian period, Saved, Shot of Love, Slow Train Coming, conversion
This piece evaluates Dylan’s Christian period, between 1979 and 1981. It considers the biographical context of the Christian material, and its relations to Dylan’s other work. While describing the circumstances of Dylan’s conversion, and the studio recordings and their critical reception, the piece seeks above all to give special prominence to the consistent intensity and shifting nuances of the live performances of the period. This focus allows us to see how this often denigrated or dismissed phase of Dylan’s career in fact can be said to rival any other in the ways it draws on Dylan’s creative powers of self-renewal.
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