Writer: Bob Dylan
Recorded: March 10, 1966 at Music Row Studios, Nashville
Released: April 1966
|Players:||Bob Dylan–vocals, guitar, harmonica
Hargus “Pig” Robinson–piano
|Album:||Blonde On Blonde (Columbia, 1966)|
The first single and leadoff track from Bob Dylan‘s Blonde On Blonde album, “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” was made popular by its refrain, “Everybody must get stoned,” a controversial statement during the mid-’60s that defined the song as a counterculture anthem.
The song reached Number Two on the Billboard Hot 100, but was kept out of the top spot by the Mamas & the Papas‘ “Monday Monday.” It also sold a million copies as a single.
It was also one of Dylan’s biggest British hits, peaking at Number Seven on the U.K. chart.
The song is not merely about smoking marijuana, however. In its verses, Dylan refers to the biblical punishment of stoning, likening it to criticism he’d received about his work and to mainstream attacks on the counterculture youth movement.
Nevertheless, Dylan’s fondness for pot has been well chronicled, and he famously turned the Beatles on to the drug when he visited them in their New York City hotel during their first visit to the U.S. in 1964.
“Rainy Day Women” was recorded during his final session in Nashville for the Blonde On Blonde album, which was released in May 1966.
Rock-and-roll’s first double album, Blonde On Blonde was Dylan’s third consecutive Top 10 album, peaking at Number Nine on the Billboard 200 chart and going gold.