The 3 best all time (from any artist) officially released concert albums are obviously “Hard Rain”, “Bob Dylan Live 1966, The “Royal Albert Hall” Concert” & “Bob Dylan Live 1975, The Rolling Thunder Revue”. They are all brilliant. Today “Hard Rain” is the best of the lot.
The album received an awful lot bad criticism upon its release, and surprisingly still does. To my ears it has always sounded amazing. Listening to other bootlegs from Rolling thunder 2 & watching the Hard Rain movie (and outtakes), one could easily wish that more songs had been included, and he’d put out a double album. But it is what it is, and it’s incredible. It is also (as noted by Paul Williams) inexhaustible, it still sounds fresh & wonderful today.
Here is (a stunning) “Shelter From The Storm”:
|Released||September 13, 1976|
|Recorded||May 16 and 23, 1976|
|Producer||Don DeVito and Bob Dylan|
Hard Rain is a live album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on September 13, 1976 by Columbia Records. The album was recorded during the second leg of the Rolling Thunder Revue.
The album was partly recorded on May 23, 1976, during a concert at Hughes Stadium in Fort Collins, Colorado; the penultimate show of the tour, the concert was also filmed and later broadcast by NBC as a one-hour television special in September. (Hard Rain’s release coincided with this broadcast). Four tracks from the album (“I Threw It All Away,” “Stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again,” “Oh, Sister,” and “Lay, Lady, Lay”) were recorded on May 16, 1976 inFort Worth, Texas. Neither the album nor the television special was well received.
“Although the band has been playing together longer, the charm has gone out of their exchanges,” writes music critic Tim Riley. “Hard Rain…seemed to come at a time when the Rolling Thunder Revue, so joyful and electrifying in its first performances, had just plain run out of steam,” wrote Janet Maslin, then a music critic for Rolling Stone. In his mixed review for Hard Rain, Robert Christgau criticized the Rolling Thunder Revue as “folkies whose idea of rock and roll is rock and roll clichés.”
Despite heavy promotion that placed it on the cover of TV Guide, NBC’s television broadcast of the May 23rd concert drew disappointing ratings. The album peaked at #17 in the US and #3 in the UK. Hard Rain eventually earned gold certification.
- Side one
- “Maggie’s Farm” – 5:23
- “One Too Many Mornings” – 3:47
- “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again” – 6:01
- “Oh, Sister” (Dylan, Jacques Levy) – 5:08
- “Lay Lady Lay” – 4:47
- Side two
- “Shelter from the Storm” – 5:29
- “You’re a Big Girl Now” – 7:01
- “I Threw It All Away” – 3:18
- “Idiot Wind” – 10:21
- Bob Dylan – vocals, guitar, production
- Additional musicians
- Gary Burke – drums
- T-Bone Burnett – guitar, piano
- David Mansfield – guitar
- Scarlet Rivera – strings
- Mick Ronson – guitar
- Steven Soles – guitar, background vocals
- Rob Stoner – Bass, background vocals
- Howard Wyeth – drums, piano
- Technical personnel
- Don DeVito – production
- Don Meehan – recording and mixing engineering
- Ken Regan – cover photo
- Paula Scher – cover design
- Lou Waxman – chief of tape research
- William Henry Prince – Bob Dylan 1976 no hiding place