Bob Dylan – “Shot of Love” (1981)

September 12, 2010 at 9:14 am (Bob Dylan, Music, Reviews & Articles)

The late Paul Nelson’s Oct. 15, 1981 Rolling Stone review of this mostly-forgotten (except for “Every Grain of Sand”), much-maligned final album in the “born again” trilogy. To say Nelson hates this album is an understatement. You can picture him making a copy of “Every Grain of Sand” (the one song he likes), and then smashing the album to bits moments later…


When I first heard it, Shot of Love sounded like Bob Dylan’s most interesting record in a long time. Interesting, not good. Though many of the songs seemed wretchedly written, the artist’s churning mixture of ultimate love (God’s) and ultimate hate (Dylan’s), positiveness and paranoia, missilery and martyrdom, struck me as perhaps deliberate–as if he were laying out all the contradictions in a line, creating a fractured but understandable self-portrait for us to put together. To know him is to love him, as they say, and it’s pretty difficult to do either these days. With “Every Grain of Sand,” Dylan actually opened the door a little, ushered the listener in with some uncharacteristically warm and inviting harmonica playing, and offered a remarkably unwarlike account of why he became a Read the rest of this entry »

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