Release Date: 18 October 2010
Format: Boxed Set Vinyl Med
|Bob Dylan The Witmark Demos 1962-1964 The Bootleg Series Volume 9
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. Along with the early versions of well-known classics like “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” “Masters of War,” and “Mr. Tambourine Man,” the set will also collect 15 Dylan originals that never made it past the demo stage
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.”
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.
A press release from Columbia Records says the demos feature Dylan “accompanied only by his acoustic guitar, harmonica and occasionally piano.” While surreptitious copies of many of these recordings have long circulated throughout the fan community, it’s still pretty cool that they’re being released in a legitimate format with liner notes after all these years.