MADRID (Billboard) - Bob Dylan has recorded a new version of his 1963 classic “ A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” exclusively for the water-themed Expo Zaragoza 2008 world fair.
The international exposition, scheduled to take place in the northern Spanish city of Zaragoza between June 14 and September 14, 2008, will focus on the theme of “Water and Sustainable Development.”
Dylan has chosen multiplatinum EMI-signed band Amaral, from Zaragoza, to record a version of the song in Spanish.
The two versions will form part of a promotional campaign for Expo Zaragoza 2008. More than 100 countries have confirmed their attendance at the Expo, which organizers expect will gather some 5 million visitors over three months.
It is unclear if either Dylan or Amaral will perform in Zaragoza during the exposition.
Expo Zaragoza president Roque Gistau said he was “delighted” that Dylan has offered his voice and face to the event. He described Dylan’s contribution, which includes the singer’s spoken comments in English on the importance of clean water across the world, as “a gift of one of the songs that best reflects (Dylan’s) vindicative spirit.”
Dylan representative Johnna Jackson was at the Madrid presentation with Gistau and Amaral representative Manuel Notario, who said Amaral was already working on the recording. Amaral performed as support band on a Dylan tour of Spain a few years ago.
Jackson said, “Bob Dylan chose the song personally and did a unique and original version for this project. He feels very proud to be able to take part.” Dylan was this year awarded the Prince of Asturias award for the Arts, Spain’s equivalent to the Nobel prize, although he was unable to attend the October 26 award ceremony in the Asturian capital of Oviedo, northern Spain.