Monday, September 9, 2013

Serve Somebody: Unreleased Live Recordings, 1979-1980

Serve Somebody: Unreleased Live Recordings, 1979 - 1980

Gotta Serve Somebody - February 24, 1980
Precious Angel - November 16, 1979
 When You Gonna Wake Up? - November 14, 1979
When He Returns - November 16, 1979
Slow Train - November 7, 1979
Covenant Woman - November 19, 1979
Ain't Gonna Go To Hell For Anybody - April 20, 1980
Solid Rock - November 16, 1979
No Man Righteous (No, Not One) - November 16, 1979
Cover Down, Pray Through - April 20, 1980
What Can I Do For You? - November 18, 1979
Blessed Is The Name - November 18, 1979
Are You Ready? - April 20, 1980
I Will Love Him - April 19, 1980

Note: Download links removed due to the release of Bob Dylan's Bootleg Series 13: Trouble No More. A revised set of unreleased gospel era content will be published in the future.

It's time for a new release in this series, one that may not be as popular as others but is nonetheless one of my favorites. Bob Dylan's gospel era is undoubtedly divisive, so if you already dislike his religious music, don't expect this to change your mind. If you have heard Slow Train Coming and Saved, and liked them, then you will love this CD.

During the '79 and '80 tours Bob Dylan exclusively performed material from those two releases, along with songs that have gone unreleased entirely. All of these performances were filled with a passion befitting the subject matter, his recent conversion to Christianity.

I've captured the performances in the highest sound quality possible, and integrated a number of Dylan's "sermons" between the songs. This release should act as a bridge between the studio releases and the incredible, if unvaried, live show from these years. As expected, many songs were left out to fit the running length of a single CD. Generally, the songs that were most improved on-stage have been included, like a guitar-heavy "Slow Train," a confessional "Covenant Woman," and an intense "When You Gonna Wake Up." This performance of "Gotta Serve Somebody" at the 1980 Grammy Awards is fairly rare, which is a shame, as it is among the finest renditions of that song put to tape. In addition, five of the tracks are songs written and performed during this period but never released on any studio album, among these the absolutely uplifting "I Will Serve Him" and the full-on gospel rave, "Blessed Is The Name."

Creating this been a labor of love, listening to each concert from '79 and many from '80, and I am proud of the final product. I find the music very inspiring, and I'm sure it has a wider appeal. Sit down and lend an ear to these extremely talented and passionate performers putting on their show.

If you find these songs pleasant or otherwise worthwhile, I encourage you to check out the studio releases from these years, Slow Train Coming and Saved. Most of the songs included on this album appear originally on those studio records. Note that these links are to, but these recordings are available at Amazon, iTunes, and possibly your local music store (if it still exists).
Next week we will continue our documentation of Dylan's gospel era with a dive back into studio sessions, combing the available outtakes of Shot of Love, along with some relevant live tracks. Until then, keep yourself healthy and listen to some good tunes!

*Volume 1 initially had a corrupted file, but it has been fixed. If you notice any other issues, please feel free to notify me. Thanks!


  1. Hello!
    I've Been Greatly Enjoying Your New Site.You've done A Fantastic Job!
    One Slight Problem:I Have Tried About A Dozen times To Download Your "Serve Somebody" Collection,But Each Time I Do,Volume One Won't Download The First Song ("Gotta Serve Somebody - February 24, 1980").Each Time It Just Comes Up "File Corrupt".
    When You Get A Chance,Could You Please Check It,Because I'm Loving The Rest Of The Disc.
    In The Meantime:Continued Success To You!
    All The Best,
    Colonel Dan

    1. Colonel,

      I'm afraid there was a corrupt file, probably a problem that crept in when the file was loaded into a winRaR archive. In any case, I have re-uploaded it, and the link should work now. Please let me know if it remains problematic.


  2. Thank you CWS for ao promptly reloading an uncorrupted copy of Volume 1.

    My question ... for this edition, where might I find your usual front/back jpegs and your informative text file?

    Thanks again for being so generous and sharing these treasures with us!

    1. Oh no, are those missing from Volume 1 now? Haha, I'm really struggling this week! Well, I'll get it re-upped one more time. The notes are a little more informative on this one than usual, since there has been some creative splicing with the between-song monologues, and I thought folks may want to know where those came from.

    2. Notes and art have been added under their own link. Enjoy!

  3. Hi CWS, the notes and art link now seems to be dead.

    1. Thanks for the tip - I'll get on this ASAP.

    2. Art & notes still dead...

    3. Thank you for the reminder - I lost track of this.

    4. I have now fixed this. Please let me know if any other problems occur.

  4. Many thanks for this, works fine now. Thanks also for the site in general. I only stumbled across it a day or so ago but can see how much work has gone into it. Despite having a fairly hefty BD collection, I'm enjoying the compilations which are very useful for dipping in & out of a particular period :o)

  5. Again, many thanks for your excellent work. I already had the 11/18/1979 Santa Monica show recorded by "Mike the Mic" and the 4/20/1980 Toronto Massey Hall show. I'm a HUGE fan of the Gospel shows. I just downloaded this collection and started listening to it. This is a fantastic selection of performances. I'm glad you included some sermons and raps in between songs. What really blew me away, though, that I had never heard before, was the 11/7/1979 performance of Slow Train. My goodness. I think that is quite possibly the strongest, most astounding performance of Slow Train I have EVER heard. I think I will listen to that one about 800 million times at top volume with my ear buds in! :-D