Artist: Bob Dylan
Musicians: Bob Dylan-Guitar, harmonica,keyboards,vocals, Sly Dunbar-drums, percussion, Robbie Shakespeare-bass, Mick Taylor-guitar, Mark Knopfler-guitar, Alan Clark-keyboards
Producer: Bob Dylan & Mark Knopfler
Recording Engineer: Neil Dorfsman and Josh Abbey
Mixed & remixed by Ian Taylor
Digital Engineer: Frank Dickinson
Mastering Engineer: Ian Taylor & Mark Knopfler
Infidels is the twenty-second studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on October 27, 1983 by Columbia Records.
Produced by Mark Knopfler and Dylan himself, Infidels is seen as his return to secular music, following a conversion to Christianity, three evangelical, gospel records and a subsequent return to a less religious lifestyle. Though he has never abandoned religious imagery, Infidels gained much attention for its focus on more personal themes of love and loss, in addition to commentary on the environment and geopolitics.
Infidels was produced by Mark Knopfler, best known as the frontman of the band Dire Straits. This album was recorded digitally. Dylan initially wanted to produce the album himself, but feeling that technology had passed him by, he approached a number of contemporary artists who were more at home in a modern recording studio. David Bowie, Frank Zappa, and Elvis Costello were all approached before Dylan hired Knopfler.
Once Knopfler was aboard, the two quickly assembled a team of accomplished musicians. Knopfler’s own guitar playing was paired with that of Mick Taylor, a former lead guitarist of the Rolling Stones.
I like what Mark Knopfler says about the sessions: “Bob’s musical ability is limited, in terms of being able to play a guitar or a piano,” said Knopfler. “It’s rudimentary, but it doesn’t affect his variety, his sense of melody, his singing. It’s all there. In fact, some of the things he plays on piano while he’s singing are lovely, even though they’re rudimentary. That all demonstrates the fact that you don’t have to be a great technician. It’s the same old story: If something is played with soul, that’s what’s important.”
In listening to this LP, it sounds like it was recorded at a very low-level. One has to either use headphones or turn the volume way up (at least as far as the CD is concerned). This LP was recorded digitally for CD, yet to me, the CD sounds somewhat sterile and thin even on my rather good CD player, so I don’t understand why it should sound like that if it was recorded and mastered for CD.
I’m assuming the vinyl version may either be the same or better, but I’m not so sure given the way the album was recorded.
Beginning with Infidels, Dylan ceased to preach a specific religion, revealing little about his personal religious beliefs in his lyrics. In 1997, after recovering from a serious heart condition, Dylan said in an interview for Newsweek, “Here’s the thing with me and the religious thing. This is the flat-out truth: I find the religiosity and philosophy in the music. I don’t find it anywhere else … I don’t adhere to rabbis, preachers, evangelists, all of that. I’ve learned more from the songs than I’ve learned from any of this kind of entity.”
Though Infidels is often cited as a return to secular work (following a trio of albums heavily influenced by born-again Christianity), many of the songs recorded during the Infidels sessions retain Dylan’s penchant for Biblical references and religious imagery.
See page 2 for the second part–>