Bob Dylan-Shot Of Love (1981)

Artist: Bob Dylan

Title: Shot Of Love

Label: Columbia

Format: LP

Cat #:TC 37496

Year of Release: 1981

Country and Year of Edition Issue: US 1981 Pittman Pressing

Listed Condition: VG+/VG nice inner, some spine damage, Groomless

Sell Date: 4/3/21

Sell Price: $5.99

Discogs Last Sold: 2/27/21 NM/NM $18.00

Low: $1.99

Median: $9.46

Average: $11.14

High: $39.98

Current low price: $3.00

Current Number on Sale at Discogs: 34

Have/Want: 1402/252

Where Sold: Richmond, CA

Time it took to sell: 5 years

Where and When Bought: Worcester, MA Al Bums used sometime between Infidels and Empire Burlesque

Gwiz-gau Letter Grade: A-

Sad To See It Go:  No

Everybody knew what Shot Of Love was about.  John Lennon's murder was still fresh in 1981, and the Dylan Gospel years were in full swing.  It didn't take much to connect the dots that some lunatic might have it in for Bob for reasons known only to Him.

Fortunately Bob is going to make it to 80 next month, and is still cranking out instruction.  The false media railed at the continued Christianity and missed out on the winking comedy.  "Property of Jesus" is a sermon of sorts.  The lesson is an expose of the high handed persecution of others that seem "different."  "You've got a heart of stone!" Bob castigates to the heathen, a possible Stones fan, right after having an actual Stone (Ron Wood) on the track before it.

"Heart of Mine" seemed a toss off in it's day even with Woody AND Ringo AND Donald "Duck" Dunn on the track.  A friend of mine bought the CD sometime in the 90's and we listened to it in his car.  The interjection of the line "if you can't do the time, don't do the crime, heart of mine" stood out to me.  A cliche brought to life.  I think we quoted that for a few days in jest.

Real comedian "Lenny Bruce" takes on a tragic tribute. Clydie King sat out the direct harmony here.  I had a rabbit hole obsession with their duet on "Abraham, Martin and John" which Bob was playing live the week before Lennon was killed.  "Serve Yourself" John thought wryly.  "Roll On John" said Bob a few decades later.  Clydie saves herself for "Every Grain of Sand" which was deemed everyman's saving grace by everyman.

A few of the tracks on this album had no impact on me over decades.  Of course, that made me want to focus on them more as I relistened to the album.  "Watered-Down Love," "Trouble" and even the Mungo Jerry-free "In The Summertime" which I know was played live in 2002 quite a bit.  Oddly enough, I witnessed "Trouble" live in Boston on a 3 night stand at the Opera House in 1989 (one of only 7 times he's played it) and still don't have any deep recollection of the song.  The studio one is rocking enough, I guess that's why Bob initially left "The Groom's Still Waiting At The Altar” for a B-side.   "Watered Down Love" might be the best of the three if only for the sentiment.

I listened to this back to back with Infidels, as they were purchased by the same buyer.  I went into it thinking Infidels was the far superior album, but track for track I think I may be bumping Shot of Love slightly ahead, certainly in terms of the records sound.  Infidels commentary I'll save for another day.

If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.

Heart Of Mine.


  1. “false media” was a tongue-in-cheek Chuck D reference tossed off, but the gist is most reviews I read around that time savaged Saved, said Shot of Love was halfway there but “Every Grain of Sand” is a singular masterpiece and Infidels was God’s gift to music making...I enjoy all 3 but not for those reasons and sometimes opinions evolve.-Dave


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