RANKING ALL 39 BOB DYLAN STUDIO ALBUMS: #11: SLOW TRAIN COMING [1997]

A black line drawing on brown of men building a railroad with a train riding on it toward the viewer

Ranking All 39 Bob Dylan Studio Albums: #11- Slow Train Coming [1979] Bob Dylan’s 19th studio album. Released August 20, 1979. 5 stars.

The countdown so far 39- Dylan -1973 38- Down In The Groove -1988 37-Knocked Out Loaded- 1986 36-Christmas In The Heart- 2009 35-Under A Red Sky- 1990 34-Saved- 1980 33-Fallen Angels 2016 32- Good As I Been To You- 1992 31- World Gone Wrong 1993 30- Triplicate 2017. 29- Shadows In The Night. 2015 28- Self Portrait 1970- 27- Bob Dylan- Bob Dylan 1962, 26- Empire Burlesque 1985, 25- Street Legal 1978, 24- Nashville Skyline 1969 23- Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid 1973- 22- Shot Of Love 1981 21. New Morning- 1970 20. Rough And Rowdy Ways -2020, #19- Tempest 2012 18. Together Through Life 2009 #17- Another Side Of Bob Dylan 1964 #16 -Infidels 1983 #15- Planet Waves 1974, #14- The Basement Tapes 1975 #13- “Modern Times 2006 #12 Oh Mercy 1989, #11 Slow Train Coming.

Over the past sixty years Bob Dylan has been no stranger to controversy. He has made a number of left turns in his career which have upset fans but I don’t know if any phase of his career shocked and upset the flock more than his turn to Christianity at the end of the 1970’s with a trilogy of albums which started with Slow Train Coming in the fall of 1979.

Bob Dylan has never been on to spend too much time in production and overproduce. This is one of his best sounding albums- with the team of Barry Beckett and Jerry Wexler producing and a great cast of musicians- including members of Dire Straits. Recorded at Muscle Shoals Studio in Alabama. I liked this album from the get go- and it is the best of the trilogy of Bob’s Christian albums- by far. A lot of people were turned off by how hard-core Dylan sounds on these songs. “Gotta Serve Somebody” was a hit single- his last reaching #24 on the Billboard Hot 100- even better- “Precious Angel”, “Slow Train’, “When He Returns” and “I Believe In You.” The album itself went to #3 on the Billboard Top 200.

I saw Dylan in the spring of 1980- these were the days before the internet of course but everyone knew he would be playing songs from this album- and the upcoming Saved album- yet I can recall a number of folks booing and throwing up there hands and walking out early in the concert. They missed a great show.

6 responses to “RANKING ALL 39 BOB DYLAN STUDIO ALBUMS: #11: SLOW TRAIN COMING [1997]

  1. Bob has been an outspoken advocate for so many in his songs, why not Jesus!? Just like the ones who booed when he went electric, the booers are the ones who missed out. I haven’t heard this album, but I’m keeping a list of your countdown and will be picking up at least a few of them.

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