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Hard Rain: A Dylan Commentary

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  44 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Hard Rain ranges over thirty years of Bob Dylan's recordings, films, and concerts to deliver astute insights intoand sometimes heretical judgements ofhis prodigious corpus of work. This updated edition includes a new epilogue that examines Dylan's thirtieth anniversary celebration in 1992; his albums Good As I Been to You, World Gone Wrong, and Time Out of Mind; his 1997 ...more
Paperback, 376 pages
Published June 2nd 1999 by Da Capo Press (first published 1992)
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Aug 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
Is there a book about Bob Dylan that doesn't overuse the word 'mercurial'? Tim Riley is especially fond of it, though having read many a Dylan book I can say he isn't an exception.

I wasn't overly impressed by Riley's writing style, but I liked the format, a chronological analysis of Dylan's recording career on an album by album basis (including essential singles and rarities), and I mostly agreed with his opinions. He rightfully views '65-'66 as Dylan's pinnacle, while acknowledging the sharp
Dan Geddes
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Tim Riley's Hard Rain: A Dylan Commentary is one of the sharpest books you'll ever read on Dylan's songs. Riley stresses the importance of humor of Dylan's work, as well as its often self-referential nature; even when he seems to be addressing lovers or enemies or anyone else, Dylan is probably also addressing himself. Riley loves Dylan's best work (largely from 1962-68 plus Blood on the Tracks (1975), but he doesn't try to apologize for the loads of inferior products Dylan has hashed out over ...more
Mar 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
For Dylan fans only, but a real deep dive for those who want to go there. Riley analyzes the music, the bands, the songs, the singing and of course the lyrics for Dylan's work -- including some live performances and bootlegs -- from the beginning up to the first volume of The Bootleg Series. He looks at attitudes towards women, the media, the fans, and concludes a lot of those breakup/relationshippy songs have at least two meanings, and one of them is always Dylan's attitude towards his fans. ...more
Roderick Mcgillis
May 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Not much to say about this review of Dylan's work.
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This fantastic book is by Tim Riley, not Gwendoline Riley. I know Tim Riley. Tim Riley is a friend of mine. And Gwendoline, you are no Tim Riley.
Sep 13, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bob-dylan
I'm not a musician and I love Dylan. This guy analyzes Dylan's albums up to the 1990s, I kinda get lost in his sweeping coverage and upset at his harshly critical insights!
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NPR CRITIC, AUTHOR, PIANIST, and SPEAKER TIM RILEY reviews pop and classical music for NPR's HERE AND NOW, and has written for the HUFFINGTON POST, THE WASHINGTON POST, SLATE.COM and SALON.COM. He was trained as a classical pianist at Oberlin and Eastman, and remains among the few critics who writes about both "high" and "low" culture and their overlapping concerns.

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