Infidels is an album released in 1983 by Bob Dylan. He hadn't quite gotten over his Christian Rock phase, so there's quite a bit of religious imagery ... though as far back as 1967, John Wesley Harding was full of religious parables, I guess. Anyway, it's not as overtly Christian as Saved or Shot Of Love or Slow Train Coming, but it's still ... 'inspired', we'll say. The track list, with corresponding lyrics as I or others find time, is as follows:

1. Jokerman
2. Sweetheart Like You
3. Neighborhood Bully
4. License To Kill
5. Man Of Peace
6. Union Sundown
7. I And I
8. Don't Fall Apart On Me Tonight

"Infidels" was produced by Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler. The band consisted of:

Mark Knopfler--Guitar
Mick Taylor--Guitar
Alan Clark--Keyboards
Robbie Shakespeare--Bass
Sly Dunbar--Drums

The songs that were left off of "Infidels", in most cases, are better than the ones that made the cut. "Blind Willie McTell", "Someone's Got A Hold Of My Heart" and "Foot of Pride" were not released until 1991, on "The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3". "Blind Willie McTell" was recorded with Dylan on piano and vocals, and Mark Knopfler playing an acoustic lead. "Foot of Pride" was recorded with the full band, but the definitive version is probably Lou Reed's, from the 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration. "Someone's Got A Hold Of My Heart" was rewritten and released as "Tight Connection To My Heart", on Dylan's next record, "Empire Burlesque". Another song that did not make the cut was "Death Is Not The End", later recorded by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

Supposedly, the version of the album mixed by Knopfler and Dylan contained "Blind Willie McTell" and "Foot of Pride", but Knopfler had tour commitments with Dire Straits and couldn't stick around for the final mix. Clinton Heylin states in his book "Behind the Shades":

"If the recording of the "Infidels" material had been a collaboration between Dylan and Knopfler, Dylan's decision to rework the album allowed no input from his collaborator. Not surprisingly, Knopfler later disowned the album as released."

Two singles were released, and videos were shot for both of them. "Sweetheart Like You" broke the Top 60, and the followup, "Jokerman", sank without a trace, though, in his defense, Dylan has never been overly concerned with the singles market. He is quite possibly the most influential recording artist to have never had a #1 hit.


Source: Clinton Heylin, Behind the Shades. Summit Books, New York, 1991.

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