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This is a 7-minute anti nuclear war anthem. It was one of 3 social protest songs Dylan recorded on the album. The others were "Blowin' In The Wind
" and "Masters of War." Dylan said that the rain was not literal fallout rain, but "some sort of end that's just gotta happen."
This was based on an old folk ballad variously titled "Lord Randall" or "Lord Ronald," in which a mother repeatedly questions her son (beginning with "Where have you been?"), leading him to reveal he has been poisoned. The song ends when he falls dead to the ground. (thanks, Dan - Riverside, IL)
Ten years after Dylan recorded his version, Roxy Music frontman Bryan Ferry recorded a dark, claustrophobic cover as first ever solo single. In the UK it climbed to #10 in the charts.
In the liner notes to The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, Dylan said: "Hard Rain is a desperate kind of song. Every line in it, is actually the start of a whole song. But when I wrote it, I thought I wouldn't have enough time alive to write all those songs so I put all I could into this one." (thanks, Derek - Sarnia, Canada)
Bob Dylan once introduced this song by saying hard rain meant something big was about to happen. (thanks, Kyle - New York, NY)
Newman makes it look easy these days, but in this 1974 interview, he reveals the paranoia and pressures that made him yearn for his old 9-5 job.
dUg Pinnick of King's X
dUg dIgs into his King's X metal classics and his many side projects, including the one with Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam.
The Real Nick Drake
The head of Drake's estate shares his insights on the late folk singer's life and music.
Mike Watt - "History Lesson, Pt. 2"
Mike Watt of the Minutemen tells the story of the song that became an Indie Rock touchstone. It's also the story of what Mike calls "The Movement."