Tag Archives: Hard Rain

September 13: Bob Dylan released “Hard Rain” in 1976





bobdylan-hardrain-cover

When we open our ears – and it may take a dozen listenings before we stop hearing this album in terms of what we expect these songs to sound like, or, for the fans, in terms of the performances we think should have been included – the rewards and surprises of Hard Rain are nearly inexhaustible.
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan: Performing Artist, Vol 2: The Middle Years 1974-1986)

Hindsight shows that this album introduces the ragged, postmodern Bob Dylan, right from the grungy instrumental ground-pawing ahead of the start of the first number. Moreover the running order now seems surprisingly well thought out. It represents, too, the late phase of the historic Rolling Thunder Revue tour and captures the distinctive, bare-wired sound of Dylan’s existential gypsy band. Stand-out track is ‘Idiot Wind’, which, as Dylan grows ever more engaged, bursts open and pours out its brilliant venom.
~Michael Gray (The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia)

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”:

Continue reading September 13: Bob Dylan released “Hard Rain” in 1976

Bob Dylan: 5 Great Live Versions of “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”





Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, where have you been, my darling young one?
I’ve stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains
I’ve walked and I’ve crawled on six crooked highways
I’ve stepped in the middle of seven sad forests
I’ve been out in front of a dozen dead oceans
I’ve been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard
And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard
And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall

‘Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’… I wrote the words of it on a piece of paper. But there was just no tune that really fit to it, so I just sort of play chords without a tune. If all this comes under the heading of a definition, then I don’t care really to define what I do. Other people seem to have a hard time doing that.
~Bob Dylan (to Max Jones, May 64)

Performances:

  • 116 acoustic w band – top year 2001 (24 times)
  • 97 acoustic – top year 1986 (32 times)
  • 37 as an instrumental, all in 1978
  • 215 times w/band – top year 2011 (31 times)

First live performance: The Home Of Eve and Mac MacKenzie
New York City, New York – September 1962

Last live performance: Firefly Festival, Dover – June 17, 2017

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Bob Dylan @ Ljubljana, Slovenia – April 28, 1999 (Audio)





Fantastic soundboard recording of a great show. .. The acoustic versions of Tambourine Man,  Hard Rain and, particularly, It’s All Over Now Baby Blue (where he places all the emphasis on “All” when singing the title-line) are stunning.
bobsboots.com(9½ stars)

Hala Tivoli
Ljubljana, Slovenia
28 April 1999

  • Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
  • Bucky Baxter (pedal steel guitar & electric slide guitar)
  • Larry Campbell (guitar)
  • Tony Garnier (bass)
  • David Kemper (drums & percussion)

Continue reading Bob Dylan @ Ljubljana, Slovenia – April 28, 1999 (Audio)

Bob Dylan “Spanish is The Loving Tongue” – Three Great and One Awesome Version





Spanish is the lovin’ tongue
Soft as springtime, light as spray
There was a girl I learned it from
Living down Sonora way
Now I don’t look much like a lover
Yet I say her love words over
Late at night when I’m all alone
“Mi amor, mi corazon”

“Spanish is the Loving Tongue” is a song based on the poem “A Border Affair” written by Charles Badger Clark in 1907. Clark was a cowboy poet who lived throughout the American West, and was named the Poet Laureate of South Dakota in 1937. The poem was set to music in 1925 by Billy Simon. Over the years, the song was recorded by many top recording artists, including Bob Dylan, Ian and Sylvia, Tom Paxton, Judy Collins, Marianne Faithfull, Emmylou Harris, Michael Martin Murphey, and The Chad Mitchell Trio (under the name “Adios, mi Corazon”).

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May 23: Bob Dylan: Fort Collins, Colorado 1976 (videos)





bob dylan 1976

The last three songs on the album (“You’re a Big Girl Now,” “I Threw It All Away,” and “Idiot Wind“) are as powerful and exciting as anything Dylan has done (comparable, for instance, to the May 1966 versions of “Ballad of a Thin Man” and “Like a Rolling Stone”). As phenomenal as every aspect of each of these performances is, the unique orchestration of guitars, keyboards, violin, drums and voice on “Big Girl” must be singled out for particular praise. Stoner’s bass-playing while Dylan sings “Down the highway, down the tracks, down the road to ecstacy” on “Idiot Wind” will have a special place in my heart as long as I live.
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan: Performing Artist, Vol 2: The Middle Years 1974-1986)

Fantastic concert from the penultimate show of Rolling Thunder Revue 2. Five songs from this show were chosen to be included on Bob Dylan’s brilliant live album “Hard Rain”: Maggie’s Farm, One Too Many Mornings, Shelter from the Storm, You’re a Big Girl Now & Idiot Wind.

Hughes Stadium
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado
23 May 1976

Continue reading May 23: Bob Dylan: Fort Collins, Colorado 1976 (videos)