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''Hard Rain'' is a live album by American musician Bob Dylan, captured during the second leg of the Rolling Thunder Revue.
The album was partly recorded on May 23, 1976, during a concert at Hughes Stadium in Fort Collins, Colorado; the penultimate show of the tour, the concert was also filmed and later broadcast by NBC as a one-hour television special in September. (''Hard Rains release coincided with this broadcast). Four tracks from the album ("I Threw It All Away," "Stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again," "Oh, Sister," and "Lay, Lady, Lay") were recorded on May 16, 1976. Neither the album nor the television special was well-received. Oddly, the album is named after one of his most famous songs, "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" — but that song happens to be missing from the album (although the song itself is the opening song on the actual special). The fact that it poured rain for most of the concert may be the reason for the title.
"Although the band has been playing together longer, the charm has gone out of their exchanges," writes NPR's Tim Riley. "''Hard Rain''...seemed to come at a time when the Rolling Thunder Revue, so joyful and electrifying in its first performances, had just plain run out of steam," wrote Janet Maslin, then a music critic for ''Rolling Stone Magazine''. In his mixed review for ''Hard Rain'', Robert Christgau criticized the Rolling Thunder Revue as "folkies whose idea of rock and roll is rock and roll clichés."
Despite heavy promotion that placed it on the cover of ''TV Guide'', NBC's television broadcast of the May 23rd concert drew disappointing ratings. The album peaked at #17 in the US and #3 UK. ''Hard Rain'' eventually earned gold certification.
In August 2010, a source close to Dylan told ''Rolling Stone'' that ''Hard Rain'' would be issued on DVD in the near future. - Wikipedia