Somehow, someway, Bob Dylan and Columbia Records can keep returning to the well of unreleased material – and draw jaw droppingly brilliant recordings that are mostly unheard to the general population of non Dylan diehard archaeologists! Here lies the fabled Witmark Demos – early recordings of treasured Dylan classics and rarities alike recorded raw and unencumbered, just Dylan's voice, guitar and occasional harmonica or piano – recorded in 1962 for Leeds Music (a few) and M. Witmark & Sons (most of 'em) in the early-to-mid 60s. Dylan was one of the first wave of 60s folk songwriters brought into the Tin Pan Alley machinations, a pretty amazing moment considering that this gruff, nasal voiced figure was soon to revolutionize popular music and there's no way Witmark could have known it. Hey, maybe this kid will make us a few bucks in the urban folk racket, eh? Wow. Of course many of these songs would be recorded by a who's who of 60s & 70s singers of all stripes, but it's always great to here Dylan's own early, raw sketches. Some of the performances come somewhat close to the way Dylan would cut them for his own landmark albums with just a bit more polish, others are close(ish) to how they sounded in earlier Dylan "bootlegs" (officially and not so official), and most of it has never been officially released commercially. Columbia continues the terrific Official Bootleg Series with a thick booklet of rare photos and notes by Colin Escott. Includes versions of "Hard Times In New York Town", "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall", "Ballad Of Hollis Brown, "Long Time Gone", "Farewell", "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright", "Girl From North Country", "Only A Hobo", "Guess I'm Doing Fine", "Mr Tamborine Man", "I'll Keep It With Mine" and many more. 47 tracks on 2 CDs.
(Out of print, includes original book & slipcase.)