In a Rolling Stone reader’s poll of Bob Dylan’s worst songs, today’s SOTD placed fourth. Coming in third, inexplicably, was ‘Rainy Day Women #12 & 35,’ the great rollicking kick-off track of Blonde On Blonde. So obviously this is a subjective exercise.
I don’t know every Bob Dylan song, and the ones I don’t know come from what is considered his worst period, so it’s possible he has recorded songs I’d find less pointless than this one. But it would be a tough contest.
I could have gone with any of the remaining eight tracks on Slow Train Coming to finish off this weekend.
‘Slow Train’ and ‘Gonna Change My Way of Thinking’ are two fine examples of how Dylan does the blues better than most (the latter boasts a guitar lick straight out of the Clapton songbook).
‘I Believe in You’ is a beautiful gospel ballad with a melody that sounds so familiar to me that I’m sure it was either stolen or has been stolen, though I’m not sure which.
‘When You Gonna Wake Up?’ is the funkiest white-boy Christian rock song you’ll ever hear.
In 1978 and early 1979, following the negative critical reaction to his recent work and the personal turmoil stemming from his divorce, Dylan was at the end of his rope and looking for answers.
When a fan threw a silver cross onstage during one difficult show, Dylan pocketed it.
He found himself holding onto it during the next show and its deeper meaning began to sink in. So began the conversion that shook up his fan base even more than the moment he went electric: Bob Dylan, evangelist and Christian rock musician.