So, I’m continuing on in my development in how to convey a theme and feeling for an album through Photoshop - I am a complete amateur but I’m making sure I learn to do it all by myself, just like my writing are my own thoughts and opinions. It’s something creative I do for myself and those interested, I have no further ambitions or pretensions really, but right now I am LOVING this, even though my pictures are definitely not the best, the most interesting or the sexiest - but they’re not meant to be. I just want to be me and experiment with all facets of who I am. Sort of like Bob Dylan in 1979 when he all of a sudden made ”Slow Train Coming”, released on exactly this day 40 years ago.
A complete turn away from anything he’d ever done before, this was the first overtly Christian album in his discography. It alienated a large portion of his audience, but this is who he was at the time, this is what he believed in, what he needed. I think one problem with religious overtones in popular music is that it can easily be interpreted as preachy - ”this is the way to go, follow me people” - and yes, that’s part of the problem here as well ALTHOUGH Bob’s singing is so passionate that even as a completely non-religious person, I dig what he’s saying here. ”Gotta Serve Somebody” is about a vengeful God that will eventually see all your wrong doings. No matter who you are, you can’t get away with your lying or cheating, sooner or later it all evens out. This snide and funky little number is my top choice from this album and actually one of my favourite 70s Dylan tracks. This song is also nicely coupled with Bob’s sweet and passionate vocals in ”I Believe In You”, a song that works on more than an evangelical level.
And yes, even though I’m not personally that invested in this period or direction in Bob’s life, the passion and focus makes up a great part of it. Actually, this album is a lot better today than I remember it from years ago.