Ian (ringbark) wrote,
Ian
ringbark

  • Music:

Gotta serve somebody

This morning I received an email from the good people at CBS/Sony who wanted to tell me about the new album "Gotta Serve Somebody", which is a new compilation of Bob Dylan's gospel songs sung my today's gospel singers. There are sound samples at http://www.gottaservesomebody.com which also poses the question to me of: how many albums get a web site all to themselves? There's a real audio version of the whole of I believe in you at http://bobdylan.com/audio/covers/believeinyou_gottaserve.ram
The whole press release is behind the cut...
Subject:
FW: Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan Released Today!
Date:
Wed, 2 Apr 2003 12:15:15 +1200

> -----Original Message-----
> From: bobdylan.com [SMTP:bobdylan-html@rtn121.columbiarecordsemail.com]
> Sent: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 11:46 AM
> To: Ian.Halliday@[deleted domain].CO.NZ
spamming bastard found this email and told me about his illegal money laundering scheme
> Subject: Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan Released
> Today!
>
> <http://www.columbiarecords.com/>
>
> VARIOUS ARTISTS - "GOTTA SERVE SOMEBODY: THE GOSPEL SONGS OF BOB DYLAN"
> ARRIVES IN STORES APRIL 1 ON COLUMBIA RECORDS
>
> FEATURES NEW VERSIONS OF SONGS FROM DYLAN'S TWO GOSPEL ALBUMS --"SLOW
> TRAIN COMING" AND "SAVED" -- PERFORMED BY TODAY'S TOP GOSPEL ARTISTS
>
> INCLUDES A BRAND-NEW DUET BY BOB DYLAN AND MAVIS STAPLES ON WHOLLY
> REWRITTEN VERSION OF "GONNA CHANGE MY WAY OF THINKING"
>
> SHIRLEY CAESAR, AARON NEVILLE, FAIRFIELD FOUR, MIGHTY CLOUDS OF JOY, LEE
> WILLIAMS AND THE SPIRITUAL QCs, AMONG THOSE CONTRIBUTING TO THE 11
> NEWLY-RECORDED TRACKS
>
> THIS COLLECTION MARKS THE REUNION OF DYLAN'S GOSPEL TOURING BAND
> PERFORMING "SOLID ROCK" WITH SOUNDS OF BLACKNESS
>
> Click the link below to purchase GOTTA SERVE SOMEBODY:
> Order online now!
> <http://www.sonymusicstore.com/store/catalog/merchandisedetails.jsp?select> ionId=89015&sms=402564-89015-alt>
>
> Click to listen to Dottie People's recording of "I Believe In You"
> Listen in RealAudio
> <http://bobdylan.com/audio/covers/believeinyou_gottaserve.ram>
>
> Visit the Gotta Serve Somebody web site:
> www.gottaservesomebody.com <http://www.gottaservesomebody.com/>
>
> "I like the fact that Bob Dylan couldn't care less about what people say
> or think about his music, because you write what's in your heart." --
> Shirley Caesar, the queen of gospel
>
> "I think it's interesting, twenty years now from that time, from that
> gospel period, there's now a record with people singing those songs. So,
> twenty years had to go by for people to become aware of the fact that Bob
> Dylan is one of our great gospel writers?" -- drummer Jim Keltner
>
> Nearly a quarter-century after Bob Dylan's Gotta Serve Somebody cracked
> the Top 30 and garnered him his first Grammy Award, a new album by that
> name, GOTTA SERVE SOMEBODY: THE GOSPEL SONGS OF BOB DYLAN, presents eleven
> newly-recorded renditions of songs from Slow Train Coming and Saved
> performed by today's leading gospel artists, including Aaron Neville
> ("Saving Grace"), Mighty Clouds of Joy ("Saved"), Lee Williams and the
> Spiritual QCs ("When You Gonna Wake Up"), the Fairfield Four ("Are You
> Ready"), and Shirley Caesar, the queen of gospel herself, performing the
> title track. The compilation allows these songs to be heard finally in a
> wholly new and fresh context, perhaps the very context in which they were
> always destined to be heard -- as pure, unadulterated gospel music. The
> title arrives in stores April 1 on Columbia/Integrity, a division of Sony
> Music.
>
> GOTTA SERVE SOMEBODY also includes a new duet by Bob Dylan and Mavis
> Staples of the Staples Singers on his smoking-hot, rewritten version of
> "Gonna Change My Way of Thinking," recorded with his 2002 touring band.
>
> "The music is great -- it's uplifting too," says Joe Ligon of the Grammy
> Award-winning ensemble Mighty Clouds of Joy, contemporary gospel's
> preeminent group, known for its trademark quartet style. Says Ligon, the
> group's co-founder and leader since 1955, "The music
> sounds like back home in one of those sanctified churches where I come
> from, where everybody would get up, and they would be beating a
> tambourine, and playing the drums, and all of that's going on, and the old
> ladies, and the young people clapping, and people falling out and feeling
> God's spirit."
>
> That spirit is heard in the joyous sound of a revival meeting in the
> Mighty Clouds of Joy's version of "Saved" and in the inspirational,
> soulful testifying by Detroit singer Rance Allen on "When He Returns."
>
> "The writer of 'When He Returns' has to have had a real experience with
> the Lord, because those kind of lyrics do not come up out of just singing
> and writing," said Allen, a featured lead vocalist along with Men of
> Standard on Something About the Name Jesus" from Kirk Franklin's 1998
> blockbuster album The Nu Nation Project. "It's powerful stuff, powerful
> stuff."
>
> It wasn't hard to convince these artists to take part in this project.
> Many of them were already familiar with Bob Dylan's material. Shirley
> Caesar, whose crowded trophy closet includes 10 Grammys and 17 Dove
> awards, sang "Gotta Serve Somebody" at the request of Bob Dylan when
> President Clinton presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the
> Kennedy Center in 1997.
>
> Mavis Staples, of course, has been a friend of Bob Dylan's for over 40
> years (as can be heard near the beginning of "Change My Way of Thinking,"
> when Dylan stops the band in order to give Staples a hearty greeting when
> she wanders into the recording session
> mid-song). Bob Dylan songs were staples of the Staple Singers' repertoire
> of "message music" since the early 1960s, and the group -- the first
> African-American performers to record a Bob Dylan song -- helped make
> anthems out of Dylan songs like "Blowin' in the Wind," "A Hard Rain's
> a-Gonna Fall" and "Masters of War."
>
> Nor was Aaron Neville a stranger to the work of Bob Dylan; his version of
> "I Shall Be Released" graced his 2000 gospel album, "Devotion." He has
> also recorded a version of "Don't Fall Apart on Me Tonight," and with the
> Neville Brothers he recorded "The Ballad of Hollis Brown and "With God on
> Our Side."
>
> Formed in 1921, The Fairfield Four -- who were recently featured in both
> the film and soundtrack to "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" and in the "Down
> from the Mountain" documentary and concert tour -- stamp "Are You Ready"
> with their four-part harmony vocals in the vintage, "jubilee" style the
> quartet helped to create.
>
> The genesis of GOTTA SERVE SOMEBODY: THE GOSPEL SONGS OF BOB DYLAN goes
> back to 1980, when as a college freshman, executive producer
> Jeffrey Gaskill attended his first Bob Dylan show. During this period,
> Dylan had put aside his political anthems and searing personal ballads in
> favor of set lists drawn almost entirely of songs from Slow Train Coming
> and Saved."
>
> "I recognized he was taking a stand and doing something highly unusual for
> someone in his position, and I was amazed by that," remembers Gaskill. "I
> felt the obligation to entrust these songs to the finest gospel singers to
> be found."
>
> The album -- produced by Joel Moss, best known for his Grammy
> Award-winning work with gospel singer Cissy Houston -- also reunites Bob
> Dylan's touring band from his "born-again" period, including bassist Tim
> Drummond, guitarist Fred Tackett, pianist Terry Young, and drummer Jim
> Keltner, on a jubilant version of "Solid Rock" performed with
> Grammy-winning group, Sounds of Blackness, the choir from Dylan's home
> state of Minnesota. Also featured is a lead vocal by Regina McCrary, one
> of the backup singers from Dylan's gospel albums and concert tours,
> performing "Pressing On" with the Grammy-nominated Chicago Mass Choir.
>
> The album features contributions by organist Spooner Oldham (Percy Sledge,
> Neil Young) -- also a member of the original gospel touring band -- who
> lends his Hammond B-3 organ to Aaron Neville's version of "Saving Grace,"
> and keyboardist Billy Preston (the Beatles, the Rolling Stones), who plays
> on two tracks, including a rendition of "What Can I Do For You?" by Grammy
> nominee and Dove Award-winner Helen Baylor. The album also includes a
> version of "I Believe in You" by Atlanta-based, Dove and Stellar
> award-winning vocalist Dottie Peoples.
>
> "On this recording, we can separate what Dylan is saying in his gospel
> songs from the drama of his saying it," writes author Tom Piazza in the
> album's liner notes. In addition, says Piazza, "we see, again, how rooted
> Dylan is in the grain of American music, the Saturday night/Sunday morning
> tug-of-war that has lent tension and fire to the fact of the Gospel in the
> singing of Ralph Stanley, Little Richard, Charley Patton, Muddy Waters,
> and Hank Williams, among so many others."
>
> For Regina McCrary, who sang with Bob Dylan throughout the original gospel
> period in 1979-1981, GOTTA SERVE SOMEBODY brings things full circle. A
> lead vocalist with the Bobby Jones Gospel Choir and the daughter of the
> late Reverend Sam McCrary -- "the Singing Preacher" of the Fairfield Four
> -- McCrary says, "I don't think that a song that is written about God --
> about his 'Saving Grace' or about 'Serve Somebody' or 'Pressing On' or
> 'Saved' or 'I Believe in You' or 'Are You Ready' -- will ever die, no
> matter who wrote them. But because Bob Dylan wrote them and we're going in
> and we're doing them over now, I think that all it does is just remind
> people that this man is God-gifted."
>
> GOTTA SERVE SOMEBODY: THE GOSPEL SONGS OF BOB DYLAN (CK/CT 89015)
>
> 1. Shirley Caesar, "Gotta Serve Somebody"
> 2. Lee Williams and the Spiritual QCs, "When You Gonna Wake Up"
> 3. Dottie Peoples, "I Believe in You"
> 4. Fairfield Four, "Are You Ready"
> 5. Sounds of Blackness, "Solid Rock"
> 6. Aaron Neville, "Saving Grace"
> 7. Helen Baylor, "What Can I Do For You?"
> 8. Chicago Mass Choir, "Pressing On"
> 9. Mighty Clouds of Joy, "Saved"
> 10. Rance Allen, "When He Returns"
> 11. Bob Dylan and Mavis Staples, "Gonna Change My Way of Thinking.
>
> ...the concept works nicely... This is a whole new way to hear Dylan.
> ---- NY Post
>
> ...not only entertaining but also fascinating. ...another corner of
> American music has, appropriately, claimed Dylan as its own.
> --Associated Press
>
> This collection admirably honors and educates fans about Dylan's enduring
> contribution to the gospel music world, and is a must--have for any
> serious collector.
> -- Barnes and Noble
>
> These songs from Bob Dylan's fundamentalist--Christian period are truly
> born again, thanks to bracing reinterpretations by gospel icons.
> -- Rolling Stone
>
> "All I can say is a big fat wow!" -- E Online
>
> ...breaks new ground for tribute albums.
> -- New Haven Advocate
>
> ...Dylan wrote some fine songs during that period ----made even more so
> more so with these interpretations by some of America's prime
> gospel performers...
> -- Honolulu Star
>
> ...that's right: Bob Dylan is a great gospel songwriter... -- Stylus
> Magazine
>
> * * * * *
>
> bobdylan.com <http://www.bobdylan.com/>
>
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