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149 rare Bob Dylan demos found in boxes marked 'Old Records'

149 Rare Bob Dylan Demos Found In Boxes Marked 'Old Records'

A visit to an historic Manhattan apartment uncovered "Heaven's Door" and 149 rare Bob Dylan recordings hiding behind it.

The discovery was made in an apartment building that once housed Dylan's recording studio. The boxes of acetate vinyl, marked "Old Records," contained early cuts and recording sessions from Dylan's "Nashville Skyline," "Self Portrait" and "New Morning" LPs. The acetate recordings were a quick way for Dylan to send and share his ideas with his producer in Nashville, Bob Johnston. The records haven't been played in more than four decades. (Via YouTube / Bob Dylan, Flickr / Sheraz Sadiq, Google)

Jeff Gold is the man who identified the Dylan demos. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, he explained how he flew out from Los Angeles to New York after getting a call from a man who found two boxes of records in his late sister's Greenwich Village apartment.

Gold cautiously admitted he paid "multiple times" more than he expected for the box after realizing who recorded the tracks. Among the pile are records with Dylan's own notes scribbled on the sleeve and unheard covers of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" and "Folsom Prison Blues." (Via U.S. National Archives, 101essentialrecords.com)

Gold told New York Daily News: "The sound quality is unbelievably great. These are first generation recordings, cut directly from the master tape."

So when will Dylan lovers out there get to hear the records?

​According to his website Recordmecca, Gold has spent the past three months converting the acetate recordings to a digital collection and sent copies to Dylan's manager, Jeff Rosen. No word on whether there are any plans to release the music, but Gold notes the mixes might not exist anywhere else.

Coincidentally, the last set of music released by Dylan's office was a similar collection of demos and unreleased tracks called "The Bootleg Series." ​

For any truly loyal Dylan fans: Gold is selling some of the records online, with the rarest going for $7,000. However, he plans to add most of the recordings to his own collection.

Join the discussion

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joey July 04 2014 at 3:31 AM

Why would anyone want Bob Dylan records. Has anyone ever listened to his voice and the way he sang pronouncing his words? The guy stinks.

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8 replies
BANDIT BILL July 04 2014 at 8:10 AM

Get ready for a dozen new box sets!!!

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1 reply
vendelavee BANDIT BILL July 04 2014 at 9:28 AM

Nope! Though this guy owns the recordings, the record company owns the release rights to the recordings. If he tries to release them the record company will sue to block it.

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larry July 04 2014 at 5:31 PM

My Dog can sing better than Bob Dylan. I can't believe these are worth anything.

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vietnamveteran1 July 04 2014 at 4:05 PM

Don't understand why he paid multiple times what the records are worth as they were found in his sisters apartment

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Gary H Mayer July 04 2014 at 2:54 PM

Bob Dylan's voice is bad enough on his greatest hits. can one imagine how he sounds on demos.

My wife made me take my Dylan Greatest Hits cassette (which I compiled from varous library CD's - I wouldn't pay for a Dylan CD) into my basement 'man's den' when I wanted to hear it, which was seldom.

The sound quality might be good but I'm sure they're talking about the music, not the 'voice.'

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Fred July 04 2014 at 12:18 PM

He never did sing but he cut some good talking records.

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1 reply
Gary H Mayer Fred July 04 2014 at 3:16 PM

So could Bill Anderson....and, we could understand what he was talking about.

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1 reply
hellyon3too Gary H Mayer July 04 2014 at 4:24 PM

Yes, but Dylan's songs said something that was worth being said. It's just that they were much easier to listen to if someone else sang them.

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sarpsis July 04 2014 at 10:46 AM

Oh one more thing...an example if you will. Go check youtube for " Thunder on the Mountain". You GO BOB!

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sarpsis July 04 2014 at 10:44 AM

Bob is a icon. no if's and's or buts about it, and he's still writing great lyrics today. Maybe his voice isn't the best, it's an aquired taste, but listen to the words! A great story teller has much merit in the music industry. I think Bob should decide if his recordings get released.

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ordobtrebla July 04 2014 at 10:41 AM

Your an idiot Joey...
He's like Willie Nelson...
Can't sing but a master at writing songs...By the way...You sound like a guy who likes RAP music...

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3 replies
endmillll July 04 2014 at 9:36 AM

I never like the guy.

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2 replies
fentex5 endmillll July 04 2014 at 11:30 AM

That's a shame because he always spoke well of you.

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Gary H Mayer endmillll July 04 2014 at 3:15 PM

I read Dylan's most recent bio, by an author who traveled with him for years, and Dylan comes across as an a-hole.

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