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

Bob Dylan Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
Price: 7.89 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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BOB DYLAN Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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 ... Read more in Amazon's Bob Dylan Store

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Frequently Bought Together

The Bootleg Series: Vol. 9: The Witmark Demos: 1962-1964 + The Bootleg Series, Vol. 8, Tell Tale Signs [Rare And Unreleased] 1989-2006 + No Direction Home: The Soundtrack: The Bootleg Series Vol. 7
Price For All Three: 28.57

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Product details

  • Audio CD (18 Oct 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Columbia / Legacy
  • ASIN: B0040GJ312
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,948 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Man On The Street (Fragment)
2. Hard Times In New York Town
3. Poor Boy Blues
4. Ballad For A Friend
5. Rambling, Gambling Willie
6. Talking Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues
7. Standing On The Highway
8. Man On The Street
9. Blowin' In The Wind
10. Long Ago, Far Away
See all 25 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
2. Walkin' Down The Line
3. I Shall Be Free
4. Bob Dylan's Blues
5. Bob Dylan's Dream
6. Boots Of Spanish Leather
7. Walls of Red Wing
8. Girl From The North Country
9. Seven Curses
10. Hero Blues
See all 23 tracks on this disc

Product Description

CD Description

The Witmark Demos see their first commercial release nearly five decades after they were first recorded. 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. 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 had never been officially released to the public. 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

Product Description

(2010/SONY) 57 tracks 1962-64 (15 unreleased) Digipac w.slipcase and 58 page booklet.Medium 1
  1. Man On The Street (fragment)
  2. Hard times In New York Town
  3. Poor Boy Blues
  4. Ballad For A Friend
  5. Rambling, Gambling Willie
  6. Talking Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues
  7. Standing On the Highway
  8. Man On The Highway
  9. Man On The Street
  10. Blowin' In The Wind
  11. Long Ago, Far Away
  12. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
  13. Tomorrow Is A Long Time
  14. The Death Of Emmett Till
  15. Let Me Die In My Footsteps
  16. Ballad Of Hollis Brown
  17. Quit Your Love Down Ways
  18. Baby, I'm In The Mood For You
  19. Bound To Lose, Bound To Win
  20. All Over You
  21. I'd Hate To Be You On That Dreadful Day
  22. Long Time Gone
  23. Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues
  24. Masters Of War
  25. Oxford Town
  26. Farewell
Medium 2
  1. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
  2. Walkin' Down the Line
  3. I Shall Be Free
  4. Bob Dylan's Blues
  5. Bob Dylan's Dream
  6. Boots Of Spanish Leather
  7. Girl From the North Country
  8. Seven Curses
  9. Hero Blues
  10. Whatcha Gonna Do?
  11. Gypsy Lou
  12. Ain't Gonna Grieve
  13. John Brown
  14. Only A Hobo
  15. When The Ship Comes In
  16. The Times They Are A-Changin'
  17. Paths Of The Victory
  18. Guess I'm Doing Fine
  19. Baby, Let Me Follow You Down
  20. Mama, You Been On My Mind
  21. Mr. Tambourine Man
  22. I'll Keep It With Mine

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witmark Demos - Early Signs of Genius 18 Oct 2010
Format:Audio CD
The latest in the Bob Dylan Bootleg series, Volume 9, is somewhat a revelation about the young Dylan developing his talent and these 47 demo tracks recorded for `Leeds' and `Witmark' show not only how prolific he was but also how his talent evolved into being one of the most important artists of the 20th Century. These demos were recorded as much for other artists to hear these songs (e.g. Peter Paul and Mary, Judy Collins, etc.), as they were to demonstrate the raw talent of an upcoming unknown artist. I am sure that many people would have heard these songs previously on the various bootleg recordings, but these sound completely different after they have been cleaned up and digitised, and are really a revelation.

On the first disc we can hear some of the early attempts at songs that would be well known throughout his career, such as `Blowin' In The Wind' and `A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall' , but you can also hear him steal from other artists, creating new lyrics for songs of the folk and blues musicians who had a big influence on him. As we move on to disc 2, there is a marked change in Dylan's song writing and playing, and though just a year or so later it's clear that he is developing into the person who would be known and loved across the globe, and influence artists for several generations. Some of the better known demo songs from this period were `Don't Think Twice, It's All Right', `Girl From The North Country' , `When The Ship Comes In', `The Times They Are A-Changin' , `Baby Let Me Follow You Down', `Mama, You Been On My Mind', and `Mr Tambourine Man'.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deja vu, with a twist 19 Oct 2010
Format:Audio CD
Like many other Dylan fans this album is a collection of songs some of which I have had on bootleg recordings for many years. I must admuit despite the obvious quality of the songs presented on this album I approached it with some caution. Although it would provide me with an opportunity to renew my acquaintance with some of the greatest songs ever written concerns remained about the potential quality of the recordings.

However, I was pleased to find that my anxieties were allayed. This official release presents its forty-seven historic tracks with both a generally good consistency of audio quality and some vigour in both Dylan's singing and guitar playing. For the first time I was able to hear many of these tracks without having to listen to a series of interuptions, mangled voices and guitar playing and distortions, which I have grown used to over the past thirty-odd years.

As well as displaying many old favourites in a paricularly appealing light Bootleg Series Vol. 9 also provides some new gems. I am particularly attracted to 'Ballad for a Friend' and 'Guess I'm Doing Fine'. Evidence of both Dylan's genius as a songwriter, with his ever developing ability to capture and present complex ideas and feeelings is evident throughout. His use of humour to put over some of his points is also crystal clear for all to hear. [Some of the lines in both 'John Birch Blues' and 'Bear Mountain Massacre', although long time facourites of mine made me laugh out loud once again.]

Personally, this colection is steeped with nostalgia and, arguably, is no bad thing. Listening to the more familiar tracks in their infant state proving to be both informative and enjoyable.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow 23 Nov 2010
By baron
Format:Audio CD
I already have the Bootleg 1-3 series, and there are many of the same songs on the Witmark Demos...but also a fair few i'd never heard, so this was definitely worth getting.

What can you say about Dylan in these early years? Absolutely incredible that a 20-year-old could write 'contemporary songs' as he liked to call them (as opposed to 'protest' or 'folk' songs) such as Hollis Brown, Death of Emmett Till, Masters of War, etc, and perform like a world-weary blues man.

Also great are the humourous songs that provide some light relief after the gravitas of the above. Talkin bear mountain picnic blues and Talkin John Birch paranoid blues are both comic gems! Even the outtakes are great, giving a glimpse of the young, enthusiastic, eager-to-please Dylan, with a a million songs on his mind ('I've written down all the verses for ya!', 'Do you want this?' - halfway through Let me die in my footsteps - 'It's just that it's kinda long...well it's not that long, it's just kind of a drag, ya know? I've sung it so many times!').

If you're a Dylan fan, buy it, you won't be disappointed. If you're not, buy it, this is a great doorway into Dylan's music!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His bobness 3 Mar 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Dylan proves once again his outtakes our a 1,000 times better than most bands final cuts ,may he stay forever young
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Those missing songs 2 Nov 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
If you're old enough to remember the big pink book - 'Writings and Drawings by Bob Dylan' (published 1973), it was a book of the lyrics to all his songs. The songs on each album were followed by other mysterious songs with titles like 'I'd Hate to be you on that Dreadful Day'. Well here many of them are, along with demo versions of a lot of the songs that did appear on his first few albums.
So essential stuff for collectors, but most of us already own better versions of many of the songs. And the others aren't that great. It's good to listen to once or twice but only the most ardent Dylan fan will want to hear all 47 tracks repeatedly.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Quality.
As with all the bootleg series releases,it's a good quality package,and the sleeve notes are spot on.I love Dylan stuff,I love Dylan. Read more
Published 14 months ago by N. Treloar
3.0 out of 5 stars Early work
More accessible than I expected. An incredible forty seven songs is excellent value. Some songs have never seen the the light of day again and probrably quite rightly. Read more
Published 20 months ago by peter knight
5.0 out of 5 stars Whitmark Demos
Excellent service. Item arrived promptly and in very good packaging. Lovely CD, very listenable and takes you back to those days in a trice.
Published on 3 Jan 2012 by J. Burn
5.0 out of 5 stars Hardcore Dylan
This Dylan is not for the faint-hearted nor for the philanderer nor for the person who has only just realised that s/he had better find out what Bobby boy is all about before it's... Read more
Published on 24 Sep 2011 by R. M. R. Mapletoft
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent.
In my opinion anything that Bob Dylan produces is excellent. I have been a fan of his music and talent since the 1960s. This was no exception, I love it!
Published on 6 Sep 2011 by Mr. P. G. Bronks
5.0 out of 5 stars Bob Dylan Writmark demos
,,Wonderful glimpse through a great window in time, like millions i wanted more of Dylan than the paltry one CBS album so sought out every bootleg possible and found a lot of these... Read more
Published on 19 Mar 2011 by Mel Walters
4.0 out of 5 stars Bootleg Vol 9
Maybe not the best of the bootleg series but it is interesting and a good listen. Bob is bob and the song develop.
Published on 3 Dec 2010 by David C
4.0 out of 5 stars Dylan
One of the best CD,s for the fans of early Dylan. Not only does it have different versions of the old faithfuls but it also has some rarely available stuff. Highly recomended.
Published on 19 Nov 2010 by tricky
3.0 out of 5 stars for fans only
This one is for Dylan obsessives only. I have heard almost all the songs before. Some of them are not very good - I bet that few of these songs were recorded by other artists after... Read more
Published on 15 Nov 2010 by Rowland
5.0 out of 5 stars Withering,weary and wise
As Colin Escott says in his excellent historic summary,the demos give us an even better idea of Bob Dylan's maturation as a songwriter than the albums. Read more
Published on 15 Nov 2010 by technoguy
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