TS: Dylan's "Hard Rain" vs. "Bootleg Series: Rolling Thunder"

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This is behind the times, but I finally got the "Live 1975" thing that came out earlier in the year. "Hard Rain" is one of my favorite Dylan albums, since the songs are so hard and tense and sharp, and just smokin'. (And it's such a great live album - you can really feel the energy and tension between the stage and the crowd.) I was disappointed to find that the official Rolling Thunder "bootleg" sounds so... well, comparatively florid and limp, and corny in spots.

It's still good, of course. But I guess the question is more - why does "Hard Rain" sound the way it does? I assume this new set is more representative of the Rolling Thunder sound than "Hard Rain." Was "Hard Rain" recorded during the "second leg" of Rolling Thunder or something?

Sam J. (samjeff), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 22:12 (sixteen years ago) link

The only thing I like on Hard Rain is "Shelter from the Storm," one of Dylan's best vocals.

Jazzbo (jmcgaw), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 22:52 (sixteen years ago) link

And, see, it also has that awesome guitar line. Hard Rain's full of stuff like that! (Plus that dude bellowing, "Lay Lady Layyyy! Play Lay Lady Lay!")

Sam J. (samjeff), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 23:05 (sixteen years ago) link

The album Hard Rain was from the 76 tour, where everything got a bit nastier and edgier out there vs 75 when it was more...delicate i guess is the word...

I wish they'd go in and remaster HR, it's in need of it for sure! Release the film too while they're at it...yeah, like that's gonna happen!

Phil Dokes (sunny), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 23:17 (sixteen years ago) link

two years pass...
I've never heard Hard Rain, but I just picked up Rolling Thunder and man does it kick! What a band.

Abbadavid Berman (Hurting), Saturday, 7 January 2006 19:59 (fourteen years ago) link

I'm not as crazy about the one man one guitar numbers, but the full band stuff is super energetic.

Abbadavid Berman (Hurting), Saturday, 7 January 2006 20:03 (fourteen years ago) link

I remember watching the TV special that accompanied Hard Rain in my college dorm freshman year. At that point my reaction was "wtf is Mick Ronson doing cavorting w/these guys" though I did go out and but the album (later selling it and basically giving up on Dylan for the next twenty years). In the meantime I've heard Live 1975a couple times and enjoyed it in a "sloppy-but-endearing" kinda way.

m coleman (lovebug starski), Saturday, 7 January 2006 20:13 (fourteen years ago) link

it is kind of wild how different the bootleg series rolling thunder set is from hard rain, even though only a few months separate them and it's basically the same band. The fall 75 shows are so warm and upbeat--probably the friendliest Dylan on record. The 76 stuff is positively vicious, on the other hand. The "Idiot Wind" on Hard Rain is terrifying. Bob was clearly in a different state of mind. And yeah, the Hard Rain "Shelter From The Storm" is amazing--sounds a lot like the Clash!

Tyler Wilcox (tylerw), Sunday, 8 January 2006 00:16 (fourteen years ago) link

i don't remember live 75 holding together that well (haven't listened in a while though). but i've played hard rain lots and every time i do, goddamn. what tyler said, i like the viciousness.

miss michel legrand (Jody Beth Rosen), Sunday, 8 January 2006 00:19 (fourteen years ago) link

The only thing I like on Hard Rain is "Shelter from the Storm," one of Dylan's best vocals.

Yes. I've actually had arguments with my friends about this, they say Maggie's Farm is best on Hard Rain, I hold out for Shelter From The Storm.

Rereading the last paragraph, it's no wonder none of us get laid.

kornrulez6969 (TCBeing), Sunday, 8 January 2006 01:25 (fourteen years ago) link

i namechecked that version of "maggie's farm" on the "favorite dylan vocals" thread.

miss michel legrand (Jody Beth Rosen), Sunday, 8 January 2006 01:28 (fourteen years ago) link

three years pass...

Listening to Hard Rain for the first time and I'm really digging it- Shelter from the Storm roars as said upthread. I also really like the version You're a Big Girl Now, so beautiful and heart-wrenching. And the song Oh Sister finally clicked for me, I could never really get into the studio version.

Only dud is Lay Lady Lay, the backing vocals just sound awkward and ugly.

ColinO, Tuesday, 21 April 2009 01:53 (ten years ago) link

I'm looking forward to hearing the Bootleg Series of this tour.

ColinO, Tuesday, 21 April 2009 01:54 (ten years ago) link

search around for the "hold the fort for what it's worth" bootleg -- it's prob the best bootleg from this tour ... not as great as Hard Rain, but close.

tylerw, Tuesday, 21 April 2009 02:16 (ten years ago) link

ten months pass...

Wow, the Rolling Thunder Bootleg Series has been kicking my ass in recent months!

Dylan sounds completely fresh and seems to be in a great spirits throughout. I think it ranks with some of the best singing of his career. Also, he arrangements really make the songs sound totally new and different than the studio versions we're so use to. It Ain't Me, Babe and Love Minus Zero, in particular, are especially compelling.

And the songs he sings with Baez come off much better than the songs with her from the '64 Bootleg.

ColinO, Wednesday, 10 March 2010 05:23 (ten years ago) link

seven months pass...

fucking a why did i wait until this morning to own the Rolling Thunder tour????

goddamn this GOES IN


"a hard rain's gonna fall" as smokin' boogie rock!


peel their caps back bob!

yeah i love that set. i was just listening to one of the first rolling thunder shows on that wolfgang's vault site -- they've got a few shows with the whole revue set -- mick ronson, jack elliott, bob neuwirth, roger mcguinn, joan baez etc. kinda gives a better picture of what the whole tour was about.

tylerw, Tuesday, 9 November 2010 17:16 (nine years ago) link

annoying that dylan hasn't let someone sift through all the film footage and put together a doc or something. there's obviously a lot of it in renaldo and clara, but that's not exactly a straightforward tour film.

tylerw, Tuesday, 9 November 2010 17:17 (nine years ago) link


tylerw, Tuesday, 9 November 2010 17:18 (nine years ago) link

one year passes...

the version of "it ain't me babe" on this is so great, the chorus is so much fun in this arrangement

the 500 gats of bartholomew thuggins (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 11 January 2012 22:07 (eight years ago) link

one year passes...

they should really put this whole new orleans 1976 show out, coplete with the insane kinky friedman set - http://doomandgloomfromthetomb.tumblr.com/post/52232280300/the-battle-of-new-orleans-thanks-to-stuart-for

tylerw, Wednesday, 5 June 2013 21:49 (six years ago) link

six months pass...

kind of cool news that there is apparently a rolling thunder documentary in the works w/ scorsese involvement. so much cool footage around, I imagine, since they filmed pretty much everything.

tylerw, Thursday, 5 December 2013 16:53 (six years ago) link

tyler what did you think of that 'valley below' bootleg comp?

yes, i have seen the documentary (Jon Lewis), Thursday, 5 December 2013 17:46 (six years ago) link

god, i'm still catching up with all of those comps... I think I've already heard most of it. the re-written "if you see her" that kicks it off is insane.

tylerw, Thursday, 5 December 2013 17:51 (six years ago) link

one year passes...

Started streaming the Rolling Thunder Bootleg this week and yeah, everybody otm.

Alone Again XOR (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 3 October 2015 22:57 (four years ago) link

three years pass...

annoying that dylan hasn't let someone sift through all the film footage and put together a doc or something.
nine years later, i'm no longer annoyed! this should be gooooood.

tylerw, Thursday, 10 January 2019 19:37 (one year ago) link

i mean


tylerw, Thursday, 10 January 2019 19:46 (one year ago) link

"If you want me to... yes!"

doug watson, Thursday, 10 January 2019 20:41 (one year ago) link

Spectacular news. Can't wait.

Rhine Jive Click Bait (Hadrian VIII), Thursday, 10 January 2019 21:50 (one year ago) link

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