“A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall” – Bryan Ferry

Bryan Ferry’s classic cover of Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s a Gonna Fall,” the lead off track from his first solo album “These Foolish Things” from 1973. Since “Things” was nothing but covers (including songs by Lesley Gore, Stevie Wonder, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and the Paris Sisters), Ferry treated this “sacred” Dylan track like any other pop song. What made his cover so acclaimed (and controversial) was that he took Dylan’s earnest acoustic ballad and added metallic guitars, heavy drums, strings, sound effects to create a Phil Spector-like “wall of sound” so that you would actually feel that a hard rain was coming down. Many Dylan fans were appalled … but many others were also knocked out by the weird, overblown arrangement.

On a personal note, if you want to know what I looked like circa 1990 (sans the necklace … and not on purpose I should note), I looked a lot like Ferry in this early video.

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