Not Buying into the Subculture
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Release Date
August 20, 1979

From the January 4, 1980, issue of Christianity Today:

Yes, it's true. Singer and songwriter Bob Dylan is professing Jesus Christ as Lord. He is doing it quietly through his new album, Slow Train Coming. Like most of what he does publicly, he is keeping the message foremost, disdaining the subculture's cult of conquered heroes and forsaking the notoriety of the born-again "club." He remains true to the prophetic posture that has earned him the respect and attention of his peers in the popular music arena.

Many of the songs he has written were made popular through the musical talents of others (for example, Stookey notes the significance of Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind," but it was Stookey's own group, Peter, Paul, and Mary, that propelled that ballad into the ratings).

It is the sage-like message of Dylan's lyrics, the thoughtful, conscious, driven critiques of shallow dehumanizing vogues and bandwagon motifs to which victims and victimizers alike have responded. Dylan's uncompromised sensitivity and courage leave him free to name the self-debasing methods with which Americans have dulled their collective consciences in pursuit of prosperity, power, and the materialistic version of the "American dream."

But before Slow Train Coming, no roots anchored his apocalyptic appraisals of the answers. Dylan could clearly see the light and the human nakedness illuminated by that light, but he was either unable or unwilling to acknowledge its source. While he sang of the rampant frivolity and foolishness of human endeavors, his songs still sought for meaning.

In Slow Train Coming that quest has been satisfied. Rolling Stone magazine, not wanting to disown Dylan, labeled the album ...

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Not Buying into the Subculture
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