Going For A Song: ‘Every Grain of Sand’

Bob Dylan – Every Grain of Sand

I watched Trouble No More over the Easter bank holiday. I’m no authority to say so for sure, but the documentary seems to be part of a recent ongoing reassessment of Dylan’s Christian “phase”. And I use scare quotes there because after watching the film I’m inclined to agree with the conclusion of this writer:

In retrospect […] it’s hard to see the singer’s turn to faith as anything other than an authentic change of heart

In the footage of the gig, which is of the tour around the time of his conversion, Dylan’s anything but insincere.

The documentary is a good one. There are sermons interspersed between the live footage, and these are delivered by the actor Michael Shannon and written (I think I noticed his name in the credits) by the writer Luc Santé.

The song ‘Every Grain of Sand’ is one of the stand out songs of that late 70s and early 80s period, even though it ended up on Shot of Love and not on one of the two albums – Slow Train Coming and Saved – directly linked to Dylan’s conversion.*

This version of ‘Every Grain of Sand’ is the one included on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3 (Rare and Unreleased) 1961-1991 compilation and it is, to my mind, the superior version to the album version.

 

* Saved and Shot of Love began the competition for worst Dylan album cover. A competition that continued unfettered throughout the 1980s.

 

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