431. Saved – Bob Dylan

SAVED (1980)

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan received quite a bit of criticism for this album. Though its predecessor, Slow Train Coming, also contained very obvious Christian content, Saved took it to a different level as something more akin to a straight Gospel album than his fans and critics could handle. They didn’t seem to mind his dabbling into Jesus on Slow Train, but the very straight forward, conservative and evangelical content here was too much for the music elites.

And that is real shame. On “Saved” Dylan delivers a Gospel tour de force of blues and rock that’s part church, part revival meeting and part confessional. There are rollicking and rocking foot stompers (Saved, Solid Rock, Are You Ready) and stunning ballads (Covenant Woman, What Can I Do For You).

But it is in the more direct Gospel themes that Dylan shines on this album. Pressing On starts slow and continues to build into an inspirational anthem with complete black Gospel backing vocals. In the Garden, a song Dylan still regularly performs, could have been found in a Black Gospel hymnal. It simply just gets bigger and stronger as it goes along. And it’s also one these two songs that Dylan’s voice works best.

Three Dylan projects make this list and despite not being the strongest of the three it continues to be one of the my personal favorites for the sheer joy it produces.

  1. Dave H
    October 20, 2010 at 3:05 am

    Any serious collector needs to have Slow Train Coming, Saved and Shot Of Love.

  2. Shawn McLaughlin
    November 7, 2010 at 3:07 am

    Even “secular” critics are re-assessing their original critiques of these three records, finding more and more merit with the passage of time.

  3. tim
    December 22, 2010 at 2:33 am

    The BGV’s on this album are amazing. Bob has some girls behind him that can really wail. The more I listen to this the more amazed I am by the music. I’d say, musically, it’s the best of the trio.

  4. tim
    December 23, 2010 at 2:08 am

    Also should be ranked much higher, top 50 as a minimum.

  5. Greenchili
    March 8, 2011 at 10:01 am

    When I first heard this I was pretty surprised at the “Gospel” style direction this album took. No wonder it pissed of his fans. But I was really impressed with what he was going for on this.

  6. Greg Whitehead
    February 1, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Saved was without a doubt the BEST NO COMPROMISE “HAD NO DOUBT WHERE HE STOOD” LP that he ever did. It’s a pity he didn’t continue to believe what he sang.

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