Bob Dylan dusted off his beloved yet rarely performed track “Every Grain of Sand” during a stop in Cleveland on Nov. 5.
Originally written in 1980, the tune was penned following Dylan’s conversion to Christianity two years prior. This “born-again” period coincided with an interest in gospel music, which saw Dylan delving into the genre before later returning to his more traditional rock sound. “Every Grain of Sand” included many allusions to faith, religion and Jesus, with references to confession, temptation, morality and the biblical figure Cain.
The track was featured on Dylan’s 1981 LP Shot of Love, the third in his trilogy of Christian albums. Upon release, “Every Grain of Sand” was praised by fans and critics alike as one of the musician’s finest works.
According to Setlist.fm, Dylan mixed the song sparingly into his live performances throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s. The track received renewed attention in the early 2000s, with the rocker regularly featuring “Every Grain of Sand” in his concerts. However, prior to the recent performance, Dylan had not played the song live since a 2013 show in Rome, Italy.
Listen to Dylan’s live rendition of “Every Grain of Sand” below.
Following a nearly two-year hiatus, the iconic singer-songwriter returned to the road on Nov. 2. The Rough and Rowdy Ways tour — named after the 2020 album of the same name — will see Dylan performing across America throughout the fall, including stops in New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. Dates currently stretch through Dec. 2, however the trek is being billed as a “worldwide tour,” indicating that further performances are likely on the horizon.
Bob Dylan Albums Ranked
Not so surprisingly, Bob Dylan’s recording career has lots of ups and downs. That’s bound to happen when you stick around for more than 50 years and release three dozen albums during that time.