Bob Dylan – Surrender Your Crown (Thinman-111/112)


Surrender Your Crown (Thinman-111/112)

Uptown Theater, Kansas City, MO – January 29th, 1980

Disc 1 (41:05):  Gotta Serve Somebody, I Believe In You, When You Gonna Wake Up, When He Returns, Man Gave Names To All The Animals, Precious Angel, Slow Train

Disc 2 (59:28):  Covenant Woman, Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking, Do Right To Me Baby, Solid Rock, Saving Grace, Saved, What Can I Do For You, In The Garden, Blessed Be The Name, Pressing On

Bob Dylan’s second gospel tour lasted for twenty-four shows over four weeks beginning on January 11th in Portland, Oregon.  He played three dates in Kansas City and Surrender Your Crown documents the third and final of the set.  It is a clear but distant recording and like many audience tapes from this era omit the non-Dylan gospel numbers that were played at the beginning.  There is also a cut after “Covenant Woman” eliminating Regina Havis’ “Put Your Hand In The Hand Of The Man From Galilee.”

Coming between the impact of the first gospel tour in late 1979 and the recording of Saved, this tour has lapsed into relative obscurity in terms of silver pressed releases.  Only the January 22nd Denver soundboard fragment and the February 5th Knoxville show has seen much circulation.  It is a shame because these shows are just as effective as on the first tour.  The set list remained the same except for the final two shows where “Are You Ready?” was premiered in the encores.

Early in the set a unique arrangement of “I Believe In You” is played where the guitar strumming dominates the melody line in lieu of the organ, which is buried deeper into the mix than usual.

The show really begins to click however during the middle section when they play a glorious version of “Precious Angel.”  The backing singers sound like the voice of humanity singing “shine a light…shine a light on me” refrain.  “Do Right To Me Baby” has a gorgeous, simmering guitar duet in the middle of the piece.  Dylan’s vocals dominate the beginning of “Saved” before the entire band kicks in with the foursquare rhythm.  “What Can I Do For You?” ends with a long, mournful harp solo.   

Dylan introduces the band before a wild version of “Blessed By The Name” saying:  “On the keyboards tonight, give him a warm hand, Spooner Oldham. On the other set of keyboards Terry Young. Lead guitar tonight is Fred Tackett. On the drums, Jim Keltner. Playing electric bass tonight Mr. Tim Drummond. All right, over there way on the right is a girl who’s been with me now for about two years, Carolyn Dennis. Standing next to her is Regina Peeples. All right, she’s singing on the bottom. Young lady next to her sings on the top, Mona Lisa Young. Standing next to her is a young girl who told you the story about Jesus earlier. You remember her, Regina McCreary.”  Overall Surrender Your Crown(taken from a lyric in “When He Returns”) is a very commendable release by Thinman worth having since it provides a nice glimpse into the middle of the second gospel tour. 

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