The Bootleg Series, Vol. 13: Trouble No More 1979-1981 (4-LP Set)

Bob Dylan

Legacy, 2017

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Bob Dylan's Volume 13 of his Bootleg Series has been released in a number of formats, including a four LP set.

Trouble No More: The Bootleg Series Volume 13/1979-1981 covers one of the more controversial periods of Bob Dylan's career. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Slow Train Coming (1979), Saved (1980), and Shot Of Love (1981) found Dylan exploring his developing religious beliefs. The reaction to these gospel flavored releases was mixed, but they have settled into an accepted stop in the journey of his career.

His new four LP set has gathered 30 unreleased live tracks from his 1979-1981 tours. They include three previously unreleased songs. Tracks such as "Slow Train," "Gotta Serve Somebody," "Precious Angel," "Solid Rock," and "Saved" have more power and conviction when performed live, which make the studio versions pale in comparison.

The three songs making their debut – "Ain't Gonna Go To Hell For Anybody," "Ain't No Man Righteous, No Not One," and "Blessed Is The Name" – explore the fundamentalist side of Dylan’s theology. These songs are quite a departure from his protest songs of the 1960s.

The sound is crystal clear, especially for live performances that have been in the vaults for almost four decades. The tracks are not presented in any chronological order, but given the cohesive nature of the material, this is not a big issue. One can't help but wonder what other material was presented in the concerts other than the religious tracks.

Bob Dylan seems to have an endless supply of material in the vaults, and if the quality of the live material is similar to this release, there are some good times ahead for his fan base.

Trouble No More: The Bootleg Series 1979/1981 is one of the better releases in Dylan's Bootleg Series. It brings to life a very specific phase of his career that is often overlooked. The vinyl component is a nostalgic bonus.

Rating: A-

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