Gotta Serve Somebody

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This article is about the Bob Dylan song. For the tribute album, see Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan.
"Gotta Serve Somebody"
Single by Bob Dylan
from the album Slow Train Coming
B-side "Trouble in Mind"
Released August 20, 1979
Recorded May 1979
Muscle Shoals Sound Studios
Genre Rock, gospel
Length 5:25
Label Columbia Records
Writer(s) Bob Dylan
Producer(s) Jerry Wexler
Barry Beckett
Bob Dylan singles chronology
"Changing of the Guards"
"Gotta Serve Somebody"
"Precious Angel"

"Gotta Serve Somebody" is a song by Bob Dylan from his 1979 studio album Slow Train Coming. It won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Male in 1979.[1] The song was recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. It stands as Dylan's last hit single, peaking at #24 on the Billboard Magazine Hot 100 singles chart.[2] The b-side, "Trouble in Mind" was a Dylan original that did not appear on the album.

In response to "Gotta Serve Somebody", John Lennon wrote and recorded the song "Serve Yourself," which was a parody that mocked the injection of religion into Dylan's songwriting.[2][3] In his diary, Lennon said of Dylan's song, "The backing was mediocre by Jerry Wexler, the singing was really pathetic, and the words were just embarrassing."[4]

A 2013 reader's poll conducted by Rolling Stone Magazine ranked "Gotta Serve Somebody" as the second worst Bob Dylan song.[2]

The song was featured in the movie The Ultimate Gift.


  1. ^ "1979 - The 22nd Annual Grammy Awards -". Retrieved 2014-06-30. 
  2. ^ a b c "Readers' Poll: The 10 Worst Bob Dylan Songs". Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  3. ^ Turner, Steve. The Gospel According to the Beatles, Westminster John Knox Press (August 1, 2006), ISBN 978-0-664-22983-2
  4. ^ Lennon's Lost Diary Tape (5th September 1979), The Complete Lost Lennon Tapes, Vol. 17