- Bob Dylan: "Johnny Cash's voice was so big, it made the world grow small... When I first heard 'I Walk the Line' so many years earlier, it sounded like a voice calling out 'What are you doing there, boy?' I was trying to keep my eyes wide opened, too." Read more musical excerpts from Chronicles, Vol. 1 on our Music You Should Hear page.
Hard Rain Live
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"Memphis Blues Again" and "You're A Big Girl Now" also sound great, though I wish Bob would leave "Maggie's Farm" off the song list every once in a while. It's a classic, but one, maybe the only one, that Dylan did to death over the years in concert.
The explosion here is "Idiot Wind." The studio track dripped blood. This live rant just splatters it all over the place. The beauty of the song is that Dylan's voice and phrasing are just so perfectly annoying that they take this hymn of hate way over the top, right where it should be. When Bob gnarls "I kiss goodbye the howling beast on the borderline which separated you from me," it makes "It Ain't Me, Babe" sound like "You Light Up My Life."
"Hard Rain" is Dylan at his near - best, at least as far as live recordings go. It's a must - have.
Me, I love it. It's too short by far, but Dylan and the Rolling Thunder band rock like never before or since. In my opinion, the intense "Hard Rain" is just as great as the fabled "Live 1966" (the so-called Royal Albert Hall concert from the Free Trade Hall in Manchester).
Bob Dylan and his band play some of the hardest, rawest and most ragged rock n' roll music of his entire career - just listen to him tearing through a spiced-up "Maggie's Farm" or doing a melodic folk-rock interpretation of "One Too Many Mornings".
But the highlight of "Hard Rain" has to be the closing ten-minute rendition of the venomous "Idiot Wind". Dylan sneers and shouts his way through a magnificent version of one of his most memorable songs - that one cut alone is worth the price of admission. Powerful stuff!
If I had to choose one Dylan album, this could well be it. With BD, you don't get the "like the album track plus hoots and claps" approach, and with "Hard Rain", even more than other live albums, you get songs that are completely wrenched out of their original setting. For me, it is THE Dylan live album.
More than anything else, this is a hard rock reworking of songs that, for the most part, were originally almost ballads (I nearly said gentle, but that might be pushing it too far): on Hard Rain, they are driven with a ferocious intensity - the album title is particularly apt.
Three tracks give some relief from the pressure (Oh Sister, One Too Many Mornings, and You're A Big Girl Now), and even these are considerably starker than their studio originals.
The versions of Lay Lady Lay and I Threw It All Away - both originally from "Nashville Skyline" - and (especially) Shelter From The Storm are revelations. Are they really the same songs as the "originals", they are just so different? Just listen to the "Blood On The Tracks" and "Hard Rain" versions of Shelter one after the other.
These six songs are to me the best ones on the album. In addition, there are rumbustious versions of Maggie's Farm and Stuck Inside Of Mobile, and the album closes with a venomous version of Idiot Wind, of all tracks on the CD the one most like the studio original (at least the one issued on "Blood On The Tracks").
If you are a Dylan fan who hasn't got Hard Rain, I would recommend getting it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
About the most mixed review I can give Dylan.
Pros: Dylan's voice is upfront, powerful and emotional. He nails it. Read more
Great album! One of the all time best live performances from Dylan.Published 14 months ago by Patrick