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Infidels - Bob Dylan


  Bob Dylan - London 1965
Bob Dylan - London 1965  







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Infidels - Bob Dylan


The year 2007 has me revisiting some Bob Dylan releases. I haven't heard his album Infidels since sometime in the mid-1980's, a few years after its release. I thought it was pretty good then, and would rank it a few notches better than that now. 

Looking back at the track list, several of the songs I am familiar with from hearing live recordings and seeing some live performances. Though, any live versions is only a supplement, not a replacement for the versions here. So with a good number of Dylan classics and strong renditions there is much to enjoy on Infidels.

Dylan's band is very good on this recording with the most noticeable aspect being the guitar playing of Mark Knopfler giving the album a touch of Dire Straits. Mick Taylor, most known for being a member of the Rolling Stones during the period between Brian Jones and Ron Wood, is also on the album. Taylor's role is as big as Knopfler's, but his signature is not defining like Knopfler's. Rather, he just adds good solo's and fills throughout, but if the album credits didn't list Taylor you'd think, hey, this guitar player has some nice musical statements, who is it? Conversely, with Knopfler, if you know his playing, in numerous places, you'd say, that is Mark Knopfler; his tone is apparent from the albums opening track. It is easy to hear which guitarist plays which part in the mix. It is a good album to play in headphones.

The second song, "Sweetheart Like You" has a strong guitar solo to end the song, very blues oriented, with Taylor defining the mood, and also he and Knopfler trade some passages back and forth. The riff at 3:55 mark reminiscent of classic 1970's Allman Brothers Band sound and the closure chord sequence very (The) Band like. 

The track "Union Sundown" is one of the many highlights. A nice upbeat mood, strong delivery by Dylan, perhaps the best guitar on the album. While the riff has Knopfler's signature, the slide guitar by Taylor steals the show. That is followed by "I and I," a slower track that allows for Knopfler to play off the keyboards as well as Taylor.

Infidels is a very, very good album and is more than worthwhile. I wouldn't rank this as top tier material. Dylan's album vary so much in terms of style and personnel so how high in the second tier releases it should go would really be dependant upon the type of music you enjoy. Since I like the band personnel mix I'd probably place it higher than most fans. If you are a Dire Straits fans and like Dylan, you'll enjoy hearing Knopfler's solos and fills through out the album. 

by Barry Small  

Infidels - Bob Dylan
Track List

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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 On Me Tonight
Infidels - Bob Dylan

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Bob Dylan - guitar, vocals, harmonica, keyboards
Mick Taylor - guitar 
Mark Knopfler - guitar 
Sly Dunbar - drums 
Robbie Shakespeare - bass 
Alan Clark - keyboards 

Infidels - Bob Dylan

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Label - Sony 
1983 (2003 SACD re-issue)

Infidels - Bob Dylan


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