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The Bootleg Series, Vol. 9: The Witmark Demos: 1962-1964

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Yet another outstanding volume of Bob Dylan’s continuing Bootleg Series, where rare and previously unreleased recordings are restored to their finest quality. This collection features solo performances made for publishing purposes. They’re loose and affecting. Dylan comes into his own, starting with the Woody Guthrie folk roots of “Hard Times In New York Town,” “Talking Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues” through his breakthrough songs, “Blowin’ In the Wind,” “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” and on to the gentle and forceful imagistic tunes that would turn his career into that of a genuine rock ‘n’ roll star. “Boots of Spanish Leather” has never sounded more vital. “Only a Hobo” is a beautiful traditional-sounding elegy. “Mr. Tambourine Man” is indestructible. Its lyrics lock into place and Dylan shoots for the stars and reaches them. “I’ll Keep It With Mine” would be given to the model/singer Nico. Fifteen of the tracks have never been officially released. It’s absolutely scary how good Dylan was at such a young age.


Born: 24 May 1941 in Duluth, MN

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Bob Dylan's influence on popular music is incalculable. As a songwriter, he pioneered several different schools of pop songwriting, from confessional singer/songwriter to winding, hallucinatory, stream-of-consciousness narratives. As a vocalist, he broke down the notion that a singer must have a conventionally good voice in order to perform, thereby redefining the vocalist's role in popular music. As a musician, he sparked several genres of pop music, including electrified folk-rock and country-rock....
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