Day 25: A Song That Makes You Laugh

Roxy Music leader Bryan Ferry forged a pretty nifty solo career flush with cover versions that ranged from merely unconventional to downright blasphemous, and “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” undoubtedly falls into the latter category. If you only know Bob Dylan’s serious-as-a-heart-attack protest folk original, then you’re in for a treat. Ferry’s unapologetically camp rendering of the song could have come from the Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack, but it’s far from an abomination. Even though the video adds on extra layers of frivolity (dig the white piano and androgynous backup singers), Ferry strikes a clever balance between ironic distance (by way of his affected, over-the-top vocal) and total sincerity in his impassioned performance. His version makes me laugh in how it mercilessly deflates the original’s pretensions while being weirdly, movingly entertaining in its own right.

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