As Dylan continues performing live shows on his so-called Never Ending Tour, November 3 sees the release of the latest volume of his Bootleg series. It’s a series which began with 1991’s Volumes 1 - 3 which featured outtakes, alternate versions and unreleased singles covering the first three decades of Dylan’s career, from 1961 to 1989. The gold disc record has gone on to become essential listening for any Dylan fan, as have the subsequent volumes.
The newest edition, officially titled Bob Dylan — Trouble No More — The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981 covers the musicians so-called Christian period. It was named as such because Dylan was into Christianity at the time and took inspiration from theology and religious symbology for his lyrics.
Notable tracks from this period include “Slow Train”, “Gotta Serve Somebody” and “Every Grain of Sand”. But, just like Dylan going electric angered the folk purists back in the 1960s, Dylan’s embrace of the power of faith didn’t sit well with some fans in the late 70s/early 80s. However, perhaps it’s time to readdress that.