noyoucmon's current selection is:
Solid Rock (Live in Toronto 1980)
by Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan underwent a Christian conversion in 1979 that transformed his songwriting and live performances. On his 1979-80 tour he eschewed all past material, performing only songs from his Slow Train Coming album and songs that would make up his next album, Saved (from which my selection here comes). The April 20, 1980, show at Toronto's Massey Hall was filmed, the footage remaining unused until 2017.

Columbia Records issued late that year Trouble No More, an extensive boxed set covering Dylan's live shows of this period as well as outtakes from his gospel albums, including 1981's Shot of Love, an album with some religious themes but leaning back toward the secular where his musical releases have since remained. Included in the box and receiving a limited theatrical release, Jennifer Lebeau's film also named Trouble No More is a stylized concert movie, Dylan's performances at Massey Hall interwoven with actor Michael Shannon, playing a mid-century preacher, delivering sermons written by author Luc Sante with the blessing of Dylan's management. I saw it on the big screen last night; your tolerance of this will be determined by your appreciation level for Shannon, as the juxtapositions are often jarring. The sermons are amusing at times and the versatile Shannon is a natural in the role, but the important part of the film is the galvanizing performance given by Dylan, his five-woman chorus, and an incredible band featuring Spooner Oldham, Jim Keltner, and other session heavyweights.

I have no spiritual interest in Dylan's gospel material, and in hindsight it is an odd path for such a monolithic figure to trace for multiple albums. (Little Richard also did it, but the two musicians are apples and oranges.) Regardless, I love the music from this period and am thrilled to be able to leave my CD-R bootlegs behind for Columbia's deluxe, meticulous presentation of Dylan's live work during his gospel years.
1980 - Columbia
Posted: 16th March 2018
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All noyoucmon's selections:
02 - 10 Mar 2018
23 Feb - 02 Mar 2018