The Witmark Demos and The Original Mono Recordings Now Available!
BOB DYLAN’S THE WITMARK DEMOS NOW AVAILABLE ALONG WITH FIRST RE-RELEASE OF THE ORIGINAL MONO RECORDINGS
Forty-Seven Original Demos Recorded For Dylan’s Early Music Publishers Highlight First New Volume In Famed Bootleg Series Since 2008
Artist’s First Eight Groundbreaking Albums Available In Limited Edition Box Set of Newly Mastered Mono Versions
Available For First Time On Compact Disc and 180-Gram Vinyl
Columbia Records has released Bob Dylan’s The Bootleg Series Volume 9—The Witmark Demos, in conjunction with Columbia/Legacy’s release of the artist’s first eight long-playing albums in a box set titled Bob Dylan—The Original Mono Recordings. Both sets have been long sought by collectors and fans worldwide, with The Witmark Demos seeing their first commercial release nearly five decades after they were first recorded, and The Original Mono Recordings returning to the marketplace for the first time ever on Compact Disc, as well as on fully analogue 180-gram vinyl.
A few sources outside the U.S.:
UK: Amazon, HMV.com, Play.com, and all good indie shops.
AUSTRALIA: JB Hi-Fi
DENMARK: Stereo Studio
FRANCE: Starter, Les Disquaires Independants
GERMANY: Amazon, JPC
INDIA: Rhythm House, Landmark
NETHERLANDS: BOL.com, Plato, Kroese
SOUTH AFRICA: Look & Listen
The Witmark Demos features 47 Bob Dylan songs recorded by the artist—accompanied only by his acoustic guitar, harmonica and occasionally piano—for his first music publisher, Leeds Music, in January 1962, and for his second publisher, M. Witmark & Sons, between 1962 and 1964. Listening to these recordings, one can trace Dylan’s dramatic growth as a songwriter from early traditionally-styled songs like “Man On The Street” and “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Willie” through the social commentary of “Blowin’ In The Wind, “The Times They Are A Changin’” and “Masters Of War”, and the groundbreaking lyrical genius of “Mr. Tambourine Man.” All of these songs, and all the others on The Witmark Demos, were written—and their subsequent demos recorded—before Bob Dylan turned 24 years old.
Among the many gems found on The Witmark Demos are 15 Bob Dylan songs that were recorded by the artist only for these sessions, and which have never been officially released to the public until now. These include the plaintive“Ballad For A Friend,” the civil rights era-inspired “Long Ago, Far Away” and “The Death Of Emmett Till,” and the poignant “Guess I’m Doing Fine.”
While many of these early songs on The Witmark Demos found their way onto Bob Dylan’s own albums, much of the world’s first exposure to them was through their recordings by others, including Peter, Paul and Mary and Stevie Wonder (“Blowin’ In The Wind”), Judy Collins (“Tomorrow Is A Long Time”) and The Byrds (“Mr Tambourine Man”). It’s a testament to the lasting cultural impact of these songs that they have been covered by more than a thousand artists in the nearly fifty years since these demos were created.
The Witmark Demos also features a deluxe booklet featuring in-depth liner notes by noted music historian Colin Escott, as well as rare photographs of Bob Dylan captured during the same period as these early recordings.
The Original Mono Recordings is comprised of Bob Dylan’s first eight long-playing albums, painstakingly reproduced from their first generation monaural mixes as the artist intended them to be heard: One channel of powerful sound, both direct and immediate. While stereo recordings had been available as early as the mid-1950s, mono was still the predominant—and often preferred—mode of recording and mixing by the top artists of the 1960s. As a result, artists like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan devoted their attention to the mono mixes, leaving the stereo mixing process to studio engineers.
The Original Mono Recordings are accompanied by a deluxe booklet, featuring vintage photographs of Bob Dylan and an expansive essay from renowned author and critic—and longtime Dylan aficionado—Greil Marcus. Each disc in the set comes in its own individual jacket which faithfully replicates the original album artwork, complete with labels and stickers that were found on the original 1960s releases.
These eight albums—spanning the artist’s self-titled debut in March 1962, through John Wesley Harding released on December 27, 1967—are universally regarded as some of the most important works in the history of recorded music. Together with The Witmark Demos, they provide the public with a wide-ranging view of Bob Dylan’s work during the 1960s, and chronicle his amazing evolution from fledgling songwriter to one of the world’s most inventive and singular recording artists.
The complete track listing of The Bootleg Series Volume 9—The Witmark Demos is as follows:
1. Man On The Street (Fragment)
2. Hard Times In New York Town
3. Poor Boy Blues
4. Ballad For A Friend
5. Rambling, Gambling Willie
6. Talking Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues
7. Standing On The Highway
8. Man On The Street
9. Blowin’ In The Wind
10. Long Ago, Far Away
11. A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
12. Tomorrow Is A Long Time
13. The Death of Emmett Till
14. Let Me Die In My Footsteps
15. Ballad Of Hollis Brown
16. Quit Your Low Down Ways
17. Baby, I’m In The Mood For You
18. Bound To Lose, Bound To Win
19. All Over You
20. I’d Hate To Be You On That Dreadful Day
21. Long Time Gone
22. Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues
23. Masters Of War
24. Oxford Town
1. Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
2. Walkin’ Down The Line
3. I Shall Be Free
4. Bob Dylan’s Blues
5. Bob Dylan’s Dream
6. Boots Of Spanish Leather
7. Walls of Red Wing
8. Girl From The North Country
9. Seven Curses
10. Hero Blues
11. Whatcha Gonna Do?
12. Gypsy Lou
13. Ain’t Gonna Grieve
14. John Brown
15. Only A Hobo
16. When The Ship Comes In
17. The Times They Are A-Changin’
18. Paths Of Victory
19. Guess I’m Doing Fine
20. Baby Let Me Follow You Down
21. Mama, You Been On My Mind
22. Mr. Tambourine Man
23. I’ll Keep It With Mine
The eight albums in The Complete Mono Recordings are as follows:
The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan—1963
The Times They Are A-Changin’—1964
Another Side Of Bob Dylan—1964
Bringing It All Back Home—1965
Highway 61 Revisited—1965
Blonde on Blonde—1966
John Wesley Harding—1967