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Wammers Album Club Tues 7th Oct , Bob Dylan - Infidels

Dylan's Infidels: What d'ye reckon?  

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Recorded at the Power Station in New York and released in 1983, this is an all-time favourite of mine. It was the first decent album that Dylan produced after his evangelical phase and, though it does contain some religious imagery or references, is far more secular.

The album was produced in part by Mark Knopfler, who also contributed some great guitar work. Dylan and Knopfler managed to draw in a group of other great musicians: Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare (aka Sly and Robbie), Mick Taylor (of Rolling Stones fame) and Alan Clark (who played keyboards for Dire Straits).

The album has proven to be a bit controversial, perhaps more for what it omitted, than what it contained. In short, the story is that Dylan and Knopfler had 9 songs earmarked for the album, when Knopfler had to leave on tour with Dire Straits. In his absence, Dylan decided to drop two of the songs, ‘Foot of Pride’ and ‘Blind Willie McTell’, and to include instead a new song: ‘Union Sundown’. The omission of these two songs, or at least ‘Blind Willie McTell’, is believed by some to have prevented the album from being one of the truly great Dylan albums – ‘Blind Willie McTell’ is rated by some as one of the greatest songs that Dylan has ever made!

I think that the album is one of the greats as it is, but agree it would have been even greater if the other tracks had been included. The album does bear some marks of the 80s (for better or for worse), but there is also some properly timeless material on there.

No doubt, the album will polarize opinion, but for those who like what they hear, you might like to check out some of the omitted material (link below)

Spotify Link for the Album:

https://play.spotify.com/album/66zadu7BtUnpbkT4iAkaHy

Spotify link for ‘Blind Willie McTell’:

https://play.spotify.com/track/1pJdqFpw52UQpItDRMoca3

Spotify link for ‘Foot of Pride’:

https://play.spotify.com/track/5Ug4E2x8rrDFpab1Coa4q6

Curious video of ‘Jokerman’: persevere and Dylan will appear!

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somewhere on a shelf this already resides.

I'll warm up the Okki Nokki then:)

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Guest

Interesting, I like a bit of Dylan and I'm not that familiar with this one.

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Interesting, I like a bit of Dylan and I'm not that familiar with this one.

Same here.

Just gave this a listen and I like it. Just listening to Blind Willie McTell now and can't understand why he removed/didn't include it.<script type="text/javascript" src="safari-extension://com.ebay.safari.myebaymanager-QYHMMGCMJR/2117025d/background/helpers/prefilterHelper.js"></script><script type="text/javascript" src="safari-extension://com.ebay.safari.myebaymanager-QYHMMGCMJR/2117025d/background/helpers/prefilterHelper.js"></script>

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He's 40ish/rampant/fistful kids/Lennon murder scares him/his film maker does suicide after Dylan drops him/Jewish dad dead/looks to Jesus and finds mission/loses some fans/makes first music video/ Jokerman and I and I stay on this album (thankfully).

Judaism returns/old songs return to the tour (thankfully).

knopfler with Taylor (from Stones)/Sly and Shakespeare make a good sound decently listenable Dylan's voice is a bit remote ( which is probably a good thing) He does his usual very wordy and allegorical meaningful mildly missionary stuff - true fans swoon- others feel puzzled as to why he is THE legend.

I had experience of his prescence in Sheffield. It was shockingly poor. But I was in his space with a massively formative influence on my teenage- rubbish singer/ strummer/crazy dresser/hopeless life role model/off planet poet/ incomprehensible man/I luv him!

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He's 40ish/rampant/fistful kids/Lennon murder scares him/his film maker does suicide after Dylan drops him/Jewish dad dead/looks to Jesus and finds mission/loses some fans/makes first music video/ Jokerman and I and I stay on this album (thankfully).

Judaism returns/old songs return to the tour (thankfully).

knopfler with Taylor (from Stones)/Sly and Shakespeare make a good sound decently listenable Dylan's voice is a bit remote ( which is probably a good thing) He does his usual very wordy and allegorical meaningful mildly missionary stuff - true fans swoon- others feel puzzled as to why he is THE legend.

I had experience of his prescence in Sheffield. It was shockingly poor. But I was in his space with a massively formative influence on my teenage- rubbish singer/ strummer/crazy dresser/hopeless life role model/off planet poet/ incomprehensible man/I luv him!

Not quite as good as Finnegans Wake but not bad.

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He's 40ish/rampant/fistful kids/Lennon murder scares him/his film maker does suicide after Dylan drops him/Jewish dad dead/looks to Jesus and finds mission/loses some fans/makes first music video/ Jokerman and I and I stay on this album (thankfully).

Judaism returns/old songs return to the tour (thankfully).

knopfler with Taylor (from Stones)/Sly and Shakespeare make a good sound decently listenable Dylan's voice is a bit remote ( which is probably a good thing) He does his usual very wordy and allegorical meaningful mildly missionary stuff - true fans swoon- others feel puzzled as to why he is THE legend.

I had experience of his prescence in Sheffield. It was shockingly poor. But I was in his space with a massively formative influence on my teenage- rubbish singer/ strummer/crazy dresser/hopeless life role model/off planet poet/ incomprehensible man/I luv him!

Brilliant, utterly brilliant :^

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Yep, I agree, Dave's post is very insightful. I fall into the puzzled category because I've never really got the Dylan legend thing. :dunno: Not a true fan then.

This album is a good example. His voice always sounds very nasal and veers from squeaky to shouty. His backing band on this album are quite vanilla - good musicians but nothing particularly outstanding.

I've tried it twice all the way through, but as yet, it's not holding my attention.

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Take Dylan away from this and you have below average MOR. Complete with some cod reggae on the opener. Add Dylan and you get the same with awful vocals.

'Jokerman' harks back to earlier glories with its chorus, but the rest of the track is pretty pants.

Can hear the influence of Knopfler and it's mostly not a positive one.

To be fair, 'Union Sundown' is a decent track and 'I and I' is by far the best of the slick, Straits-y numbers. Like both of these.

So a couple of bright spots in an otherwise poor album.

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Guest MJ.

One of the most over-rated 'Legends' in my eyes, right up there with Tom Waits.

Never been into Dylan but never heard this, so happy to give it a spin.

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I have quite a lot of Dylan and the best of his stuff is amazing IMV. Pretty much all his early albums up to and including Nashville Skyline are worth having/trying. The mid seventies ones Desire and Blood On the Tracks, are also good. The latter being a personal favourite...

After that, I dunno, he loses focus... No one should have a go at him for this because his early records are a stand alone body of work and will reward a bit of commitment getting into them richly. He is almost on his own for producing such a long streak of quality... You can hear his influence on masses of records since. Inc Dire Straits...

This album is not one I have bothered with and although it is kind of rated I feel it only has limited appeal. I think it's one for fans and not really one to try if you want to get into him.

I may be somewhat predisposed to disliking this as I am definitely not a fan of Mark Knopfler (sorry!). Mick Taylor's contributions aren't offering much excitement and I don't think Sly and Robbie are all that good at rock.

I don't like the production style, it sounds nastily eighties and to my mind his vocal is crazily loud on all of this. By this time his voice is a hideous thing! :D . There are a couple of moments early on however, that raise the pulse slightly. Not a total disaster, but...

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Really interesting comments so far. I thought that this recommendation would really split opinion. Dylan is a bit marmite and I agree that bad Dylan is painfully bad (though, of course, I love this album personally).

This album was my intro to Dylan. I remember thinking initially that his vocals were very odd, but I got hooked by the sound and lyrics - soon found I loved the vocals too, imperfect/rough/inconsistent though they are.

Having listened to it so much over the years and become so attached to it, I find it hard to be totally objective about the album and so jumped at the chance to hear what others think (and not just those who consider good music to be whatever emanates from the reeking bowels of TV talent shows etc).

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Moderator

I'm not a Dylan "head" so its alright for me to like this, isn't it ?

Yeh ? Good, coz I think this is brill, Dylan rocks :^

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I blow hot and cold as far as Dylan is concerned. Some of his material just leaves me cold, yet Hurricane is rivetting. I tend to throw Dylan on when my wife and I have had a boozy day and we get a bit nostalgic late in the evening (if not some truly dreadful 70s Aussie rock :whistle:).

I usually put on a Compilation so as to get a variety of periods. Can I endure a whole album of a particular era ? You'll just have to wait and see.

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