(New York Times) Even in 1979, Bob Dylan could cause a commotion. That was the year he released “Slow Train Coming,” the album that announced his embrace of Christianity, soon to be followed by “Saved” in 1980 and “Shot of Love” in 1981: his born-again trilogy. For those three years, the iconoclast, freethinker and reluctant voice of a generation proclaimed faith in salvation by Jesus Christ (despite his Jewish upbringing), with lyrics that drew a line in the sand. In “Precious Angel” on “Slow Train Coming,” he declared, “Ya either got faith or ya got unbelief, and there ain’t no neutral ground.”
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That phase of Mr. Dylan’s music gets a revelatory second look with the boxed set “Trouble No More — The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981,” to be released Friday. Eight CDs and a DVD collect performances, rehearsals and studio outtakes. The DVD intersperses live footage from 1980 — Mr. Dylan, often camera-shy, clearly wanted this era documented — with fiery sermons written by Luc Sante and delivered by the actor Michael Shannon.
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