Early Bob Dylan demos released in new "Bootleg" set
Columbia Records will release "The Bootleg Series Volume 9 -- The Witmark Demos" on Oct. 19, along with new mono mixes of Dylan's first eight albums in the boxed set, "Bob Dylan - The Original Mono Recordings."
Columbia launched its Dylan "Bootleg Series" in 1991, and the most recent set was issued in 2008, "Tell Tale Signs." The Witmark demos include early versions of such songs as "Blowin' In The Wind, "The Times They Are A Changin'" and "Masters Of War" and have been bootleg favorites for years.
Dylan, accompanied only by his acoustic guitar, harmonica and occasionally piano, recorded them for his first music publisher, Leeds Music, in January 1962, and for his second publisher, M. Witmark & Sons, between 1962 and 1964. All this before he turned 24.
The publishers would then pitch the songs to other artists, which is how they came to be recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary and Stevie Wonder ("Blowin' In The Wind"), Judy Collins ("Tomorrow Is A Long Time") and the Byrds ("Mr. Tambourine Man").
The mono boxed set spans Dylan's 1962 self-titled debut through 1967's "John Wesley Harding," and includes his 1966 double opus "Blonde on Blonde." Many of these albums were reissued in SACD stereo in 2003.
Dylan and the Beatles, among others, often preferred to record in mono, leaving the task of stereo mixing to studio engineers.