Bob Dylan

A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall

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A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall makes a huge mess of two of the essential Bob Dylan bootlegs in an odd and ill-fated attempt to merge them into one seamless listen. The bulk of material originates from a May 5, 1966, acoustic set at Dublin's Adelphi Theatre. While this much-bootlegged music hails from Dylan's controversial U.K. tour with the Hawks, tapes of the electric half of the show have never surfaced, long forcing pirates the flesh out their releases with bonus material. In this case, Drive opted to splice in seven songs from Dylan's May 1, 1963, spot on Chicago journalist Studs Terkel's WFMT radio showcase Wax Museum, even adding audience noise between songs in an attempt to foster the idea of a seamless whole. Historical inaccuracy aside, the biggest problem is the enormous schism that separates the Dylan of 1963 with the Dylan of 1966 -- the former is a politically charged, wry balladeer, the latter a poet exploring the recesses of the human soul like no pop musician before him, and their respective music doesn't jell at all. Listeners seeking the Adelphi material in its proper running order are recommended to seek out Scorpio's While the Establishment Burns, with the remainder of A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall best obtained via Yellow Dog's Studs Terkel's Wax Museum release.