Slow Train Coming
I don’t go to church or to a synagogue. I don’t kneel beside my bed at night. I don’t think I will. I have yet to face the terror I read about in all the great literature. But, since politics, economics and war have failed to make us feel any better — as individuals or as a nation — and we look back at long years of disrepair, then maybe the time for religion has come again, and rather too suddenly — “like a thief in the night.”
—Jann Wenner (Slow Train Coming Review, September 20, 1979)
Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/slow-train-coming-19790920#ixzz2iNl8zgWm
Muscle Shoals Slow Train Coming Recording Sessions April-May 1979
The only remaining members of Dylan’s band—The Rolling Thunder Revue—heading into the recording sessions in Sheffield, Alabama in May of 1979 were his backup singers—Carolyn Dennis, Helena Springs, and Regina Havis. Producer Jerry Wexler added the Muscle Shoals Horns and arranager Barry Beckett to the recording session’s personnel. While Dylan added Mark Knopfler to the band’s roster.
Legend has it that—while playing a residency at LA’s the Roxy—Bob Dylan, possibly by divine intervention, came across Dire Straits and its guitarist Knopfler.
Being an acolyte of Dylan’s, Knopfler was able to check his ego at the door and commit himself to the project.
The last piece of the roster consisted of all-star bass session musician Tim Drummond. Drummond, who left the music industry for a brief while in the late 1960’s, was one of they key elements in the sound of Neil Young’s Harvest album that was released in 1971.
The sessions, in the style of Dylan, lasted only a week and the album was out by August 1979. And everything in the mastering of the album went as planned—not a second of sound wasted.
The sessions produced one of the best Dylan studio vocals of all-time: “When He Returns”.
The success of the track is the result of the striped down piano playing of Barry Beckett. Beckett serves as a lantern holding guide for Bob Dylan—leading him into a new peaceful space and time.
WHEN HE RETURNS: