Sunday, April 5, 2015

Testament - Unreleased Live Recordings, 1979 - 1981

 Testament: Live Recordings, 1979 - 1981

Gotta Serve Somebody - Live - Houston - November 12, 1981
I Believe In You - Live - Santa Monica - November 18, 1979
When You Gonna Wake Up - Live - Santa Monica - November 18, 1979
When He Returns - Live - Toronto - April 20, 1980
Man Gave Names To All The Animals - Live - Santa Monica - November 18, 1979
Precious Angel - Live - Santa Monica - November 18, 1979
Dead Man, Dead Man - Live - London - June 28, 1981
Saved - Live - Avignon - July 25, 1981
Covenant Woman - Live - Seattle - January 15, 1980
Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking - Live - Santa Monica - November 18, 1979
Do Right To Me Baby - Live - Santa Monica - November 18, 1979
Solid Rock - Live - London - June 28, 1981
What Can I Do For You - Live - Portland - January 16, 1980
Blessed Is The Name - Live - San Francisco - November 16, 1979
Pressing On - Live - Seattle - January 15, 1980
City Of Gold - Live - Birmingham - July 5, 1981

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.

Surprise - Happy Easter! I have been feeling particularly inspired during the last few days of Lent, and wanted to share an Easter gift with you fine people. It was put together much quicker than my usual compilations, but I don't think it suffers unduly for this difference.

These tracks comprise a fairly broad overview of Bob Dylan’s exploration of gospel music between 1979 and 1981. After his conversion to Christianity in 1978, Dylan jumped fully into creating faith-oriented music, and his devotion is present in every one of these songs, from the whimsical (“Man Gave Names To All The Animals”) to the intense (“When You Gonna Wake Up”) to the uplifting (“Pressing On”).

Hopefully I'm not getting too personal, but as a Catholic, I’ve often found a lot of inspiration in Dylan’s spiritual music. Be aware that, if you dislike the themes of Slow Train Coming and Saved, this compilation is not going to convert you into enjoying this era. If you enjoyed those, though, you will find these live performances to be very moving. The man is as dedicated to his craft here as he was in 1966, 1975, or 2014.

Many of the recordings are from the recently surfaced Mike Millard tapes. He was a live recording genius, and his recordings of the shows on November 18, 1979 and January 15, 1980, have become some of the finest records we have of Dylan’s “gospel” period. Other tapes include the ever-excellent 1981 shows, an improved version of the “Contract With The Lord” bootleg from ‘79, and the esteemed “Born Again Music” Toronto 1980 set. Some of the recordings are fairly surprising - a full band “City of Gold” from 1981 is the most notable. All songs here are positively magnetic.

Though this ground has been covered in the Thousand Highways Collection with Serve Somebody, 1979-1980 and Still The Same Man, Volumes 1 & 2, 1980-1981, Easter inspired me to craft a new mix. I’m very pleased with the results, and I hope that you will be too.



  1. Awesome Deal what a nice surprise.Happy Easter and thank you

  2. great surprise ! Thank you !

  3. This is wonderful, thank you! Happy Easter!

  4. This is fantastically beautiful. Thanks for compiling and sharing. Why no Slow Train?

    1. "Slow Train" is an excellent song, but I already had versions from 1979, 1980, 1981 on other compilations. You can find them using the Song Index on the right side of the page. Enjoy!

  5. Got it. Thanks for the reply. Which of those four versions from the previous comps do you feel is the "best"?

    1. Definitely get the 1980 and 1981 versions. The 1980 version has some fun banter before, a humorous false start, and is a great rocking performance. The 1981 is truncated, as the venue loses power before the end of the song (eerily, the same thing would occur during the same song in Europe during the 1987 tour); even though it is shortened, it may be the most fire-and-brimstone that Dylan ever sounded. It even sounds different than any other rendition before or since, with an insistent train-like rhythm.

  6. Hi,

    I love what you've been doing with all those great recordings and very greatful for all your hard work.
    I particularly really like the artworks that you have made for all your compilations, maybe one of these days you could make a quick tutorial to learn how to do our own artwork ?
    I am asking you that because I'd like to make my own cover for the bootleg "Live At Jones Beach Theater" (just take a look at the "official" artwork for this and you will understand why) but I don't know how to do.

    Once again, thank you very much :)

    1. Thanks for the art compliment. Unfortunately, I don't have specific steps to do so, but I can recommend the program Photoscape. I've been using that for the length of time I've been working on this website, and it's pretty great.

  7. Hi,
    from where I could download the whole concert 1980-11-15 from which put two songs on your compilation "1980 - Still The Same Man,Vol.1"?

  8. Thank you CWS for this Easter gift!