Dylan Sang, Jesus Cometh

Film: Bob Dylan's Jesus Years

By Troy Anderson | September 16, 2008

In 1978, Bob Dylan embarked on a spiritual journey that resulted in three gospel albums. This documentary explores these “Jesus Years” through frank interviews and concert footage, revealing the albums’ place in Dylan’s oeuvre. The outrage expressed by fans and critics at the time is offset with reflections from Dylan’s producer and religious advisers and a journey to the studio and church that launched the phenomenon.

I’ve only been slightly familiar with Dylan’s work from this era. “Gotta Serve Somebody” was his biggest hit, but even that song was a radical departure from his previous hit with “The Hurricane”.

What could possess a popular artist to make such a radical shift? That question was only partially answered by this documentary and it went about in the most roundabout way. The documentary seemed more fascinated with various points of view about the circumstances. Not having Dylan there to actually discuss his personal journey put a damper on the events. But, the documentary still worked without him.

The DVD is a fun release that shows off Bob Dylan in all of his glory. This is the kind of release sporting amazing live performances and quirky events that makes us music fanatics go nuts. I love classic performers who stray off the conventional path. The A/V Quality is amazing for the various sources and ages from which the clips originated. That’s why I recommend it for a blind buy.