Columbia to release Bob Dylan’s early demo recordings


Columbia Records is wrapping up a trove of early Bob Dylan recordings that will surface in time for the holidays, among them 47
early demo recordings by the fabled singer-songwriter that previously
had never been officially released.

The other major component of the two-pronged release slated for Oct. 19 is “Bob Dylan — The Original Mono Recordings,” consisting of the monaural mixes of
his first eight studio albums, from “Bob Dylan” through 1967’s “John Wesley Harding.”

Recordings known as “The Witmark Demos,” recorded
from 1962-64 for Dylan’s first two music publishers, will make up
Volume 9 in the ongoing “Bootleg Series” of archival releases. They
feature Dylan alone playing guitar and harmonica, and some piano, on
such watershed songs as “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “The Times They Are
A-Changin’,” “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” and “Mr. Tambourine
Man” as well as 15 numbers that never subsequently surfaced on his
studio albums, including “Ballad for a Friend,” “Long Ago, Far Away”
and “The Ballad of Emmett Till.”

The mono box set, akin to “The Beatles in Mono
released last year, is being issued because those early albums were
originally intended by Dylan to be released in that format, which was
the dominant medium at a time when stereo recording was still young.

Critic and author Greil Marcus writes the essay accompanying the box set, which also includes “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan,” “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” “Another Side of Bob Dylan,” “Bringing It All Back Home,” “Highway 61 Revisited” and “Blonde on Blonde.”


(c) 2010, Los Angeles Times.

Visit the Los Angeles Times on the Internet at

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.