This is my sec­ond of three “most impor­tant Dylan albums to me.” Some of this album was includ­ed in the live con­cert Hard Rain tele­vised by NBC on September 14, 1976. I saw that broad­cast, and I have been search­ing for a long time for the film. I recent­ly found it on YouTube. The album was released the day before the broad­cast, and I pur­chased it short­ly after.

The album is full of heart-wrench­ing bal­lads tak­en from his ear­li­er works and, as usu­al, slight­ly altered ver­sions of the orig­i­nal lyrics. Dylan is a great impro­vis­er with “a head full of ideas dri­ving him insane.”

From Far Out mag­a­zine: “The NBC spe­cial was a huge event for the American pub­lic and the net­work, even land­ing Dylan a cov­et­ed spot on the front of the TV Guide. It put Dylan, the for­mer protest song­writer, front and cen­tre for American music and iconog­ra­phy. This would, in many ways, be the per­for­mance to cement him as a mega-star, the cul­mi­na­tion of the leg­endary Rolling Thunder Revue, with the debut TV per­for­mance of his long-await­ed album Hard Rain.”

I have always loved this album, and I hope you will love it too. It has been a trip to see the NBC spe­cial again and remem­ber exact­ly where and when I saw it.

Album Information

All songs by Bob Dylan, except where noted.

“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
“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
Gary Burke — drums
T‑Bone Burnett — gui­tar, piano
David Mansfield — gui­tar
Scarlet Rivera — strings
Mick Ronson — gui­tar on “Maggie’s Farm“
Steven Soles — gui­tar, back­ground vocals
Rob Stoner — bass, back­ground vocals
Joan Baez — gui­tar, back­ground vocals [5]
Howard Wyeth — drums, piano
Don DeVito — pro­duc­tion
Don Meehan — record­ing and mix­ing engi­neer­ing
Ken Regan — cov­er pho­to
Paula Scher — cov­er design
Lou Waxman — chief of tape research

Released   September 13, 1976 (A day pri­or to NBC show)
Recorded   Fort Worth TX May 16, 1976 and Fort Collins CO May 23, 1976
Length        51:06
Label          Columbia
Producer    Don DeVito and Bob Dylan

  • Jeff Brandt

    Jeff has been a music fan since the age of 7 when the album Meet the Beatles hit the streets. He grew up in Hoptown and went to col­lege at UK a cou­ple of times. He retired in 2016 and is cur­rent­ly amass­ing his music col­lec­tion. Jeff says he loves being retired but is tired of quarantining.