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The Mono Vinyl Box Set [VINYL] [Box set]

Bob Dylan Vinyl
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
Price: 236.15 & FREE Delivery in the UK. 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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The Mono Vinyl Box Set [VINYL] + Blood On The Tracks
Price For Both: 241.11

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Product details

  • Vinyl (8 Nov 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 9
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B003ZYJS5Q
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,362 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Product Description

BBC Review

Who on earth would be interested in a set collecting the mono mixes of Bob Dylan’s first eight albums?

Well, as the success of The Beatles’ similar venture The Beatles in Mono demonstrates, quite a lot of people. And with good reason. Dylan – like the Fab Four and all of their contemporaries – didn't start treating stereo mixes as anything other than a sop to an elite part of the record buying market until the end of the 1960s. Mono mixes were supervised and approved by the artist, stereo mixes done as an afterthought by third parties. The albums Bob Dylan (1962) through John Wesley Harding (1967), then, are being presented here in the way the artist intended you to hear them. As Dylan’s mono albums were deleted unusually quickly, this is the first opportunity to experience such ‘director’s cuts’ for four decades.

It’s the early, acoustic albums that benefit most: stereo versions brutally divided up the elements of voice, guitar and harmonica on the debut, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, The Times They Are a-Changin’ and Another Side of Bob Dylan. As for the electric material, Blonde on Blonde’s epic Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands sounds significantly sweeter and more focused in mono, while Bringing It All Back Home sounds bolder and punchier throughout, with the excellence of the bass-playing on It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue particularly brought into focus. However, surprisingly it is not all one-way traffic, as illustrated by Like a Rolling Stone, which here sounds dismayingly sterile compared to the powerful stereo mix that has become far more familiar down the years. Meanwhile, the mono mixes on Stone’s parent album Highway 61 Revisited are sometimes shorter by half a minute – not a good thing when we’re talking about one of history’s all-time classics. John Wesley Harding sounds sharper and harder, but it’s noticeable how much less eerie is the monaural The Wicked Messenger.

The set is beautifully packaged, a handsome slipcase housing a lavish booklet and CDs in card facsimiles of the original album sleeves, with detail accurate enough to incorporate the original rough texture of the Times jacket and the trashy, advert-adorned inner bag of the debut. This will all presumably be some compensation for those purist audiophiles shocked to discover that mixing and matching between stereo and mono releases will be necessary to obtain the best listening experience.

(A single-disc ‘best of’ of these mono recordings is available – its tracklisting is to the left.)

--Sean Egan

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
79 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly produced set of essential mono releases 21 Oct 2010
By Mr. T. Anderson TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
There are a couple of reasons why you might want the mono issues of these seminal records. In the early sixties Mono was what everyone had; and mono mix was the one the artist and everyone else cared about. So in a real sense these are the recordings as the artist originally intended them, and as the world first heard them. Second, early stereo mixes were not that good. Once you get over the fact that it is mono, you'll find that Blonde on Blonde, for example, has a weight and a magic in the mono mix that it lacks in stereo.

I am not going to say much about the music. Not everyone gets Dylan; but if you do, you will find these CDs communicate on many levels and return to them again and again. There is not a weak album anywhere here.

It it great news then to find these eight CDs now made available in a tasteful package. Now, some will say the old LPs sound better and they could be right in a few cases - though if you are like me, you will have searched for years for a mono Blonde on Blonde in good shape at any kind of affordable price. You will also find considerable variations between mono pressings, especially with Blonde on Blonde where different mixes were used in different markets.

I think only the most dedicated Dylan fan should care about such things - for the rest of us, what you get is high quality transfers of the mono masters. They sound very good indeed.

You also get a voucher for downloading MP3s of the whole lot, which saves time if you were planning to rip them to iTunes or another digital library.

Sony/Columbia has done a great job with the packaging. The package is compact, but still most respectful.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible 25 Oct 2010
Format:Audio CD
I couldn't quite believe how superior the sound is in Mono. I have the SACD remixes which sound hugely inferior to these majestic versions.

The Mono sound is warm, rich and vibrant. Its really quite moving and a more intimate experience.

Thank goodness they've been released.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dylan - Up Close and Personal 21 Oct 2010
Format:Audio CD
A time ago I bought the Sundazed recordings of these 8 albums on LP (which are cut from the same masters as these cds) and wondered if they could possibly sound so good on CD. Well, apart from the certain warmth that vinyl inspires in me I have to say that this release is every bit as good.

From the raw primitive blues of Dylan on the eponymous first album through to the sonic power of Bringing it All Back Home to Blonde on Blonde and the freshness of John Wesley Harding this set really reveals Dylan in all his 'raging glory'. No longer do we have the weird experience of Dylan's voice filling the left speaker while his harp and guitar fill the right speaker but the solid presence of Dylan with guitar, harp and band filling the room with the fully integrated power of his music.

Some people have wondered aloud whether Dylan's complete catalogue couldn't be released this way and I can understand why if they have never heard Dylan as he is here in Mono. The only track in which the stereo release is on a par with, some critics have said 'better' is on 'Rainy Day Women 12 & 35' which utilises stereo by creating a broader soundstage for the track. However, crank up the volume on the mono version and Dylan and his band fill the room - up close and personal.

I've noticed that this review is being used for the vinyl set, which is prohibitively priced - especially compared to Sundazed. It always angers me that Sony always optimises the profit they make out of vinyl junkies but - rant over.

This is the most rewarding re-issue of Dylan's early albums ever and makes the SACD experiment redundant.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars pure quality 25 Oct 2010
By freewheeling frankie TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
I'm not going to say too much about the music - most of these albums are among the most celebrated, discussed and critically dissected in the history of rock - and with good reason: only one or two aren't worthy of 5-stars. But most purchasers of this box will be more familiar with all of them than I was with some of the earlier ones, so the important questions here are to do with quality - of the mono mixes themselves for those who, like me, hadn't heard them before; of the mastering; and lastly, of the packaging.

It's been a given in all discussions of this box that the mono mixes were how most people heard these albums when they first came out - your average Dylan fan didn't have a stereo, certainly in 1962, many still at Christmas 1967 when John Wesley Harding was released. Like most rock records up to 1966, the main effort was put into the mono versions and the stereo ones were an afterthought, with a much smaller expected sale. And these are not psychedelic records - apart from some of the lyrics in 65-66. They are acoustic folk, and then more or less folk and/or blues-informed rock. And they sound just dandy in mono - which is not to say that the stereo mixes were the horrors that, for instance, many of the Rolling Stones' contemporary records were - I've never understood why Aftermath wasn't reissued in mono like its predecessors. Dylan's 65-66 electric band recordings in stereo were good mixes for the time - I've never heard anyone complain about them, as mixes. For the solo acoustic stuff, separating the guitar, harmonica and vocal - all being played in real time by one person - is just odd. Maybe if you had one speaker ABOVE the other, and had the vocal and harmonica in that one and the guitar in the bottom one, two channels might have made sense ...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Bob Dylan Mono Boxed Set
At last someone has had the sense to produce this incredible body of work in the way it was recorded, and, more importantly, approved by the artist. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Mr. Kennethcooke
5.0 out of 5 stars historical sound
i wonder why CBS /SONY first made that technical sacrifice towards SACD editing following now with the mono editions
in the meantime mobile fidelity started another and... Read more
Published 11 months ago by benjamin
2.0 out of 5 stars Back to Stereo.
Sorry, but the sound on most of these simply does not match the stereo remasters of c.2003.

It is a myth that the stereo albums simply had Dylan on one channel and the... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Harry Boxx
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely
I absolutely love this set of Bob Dylans Mono recordings. Highly recommended! I love the packaging and all the little bits and bobs that you get with the box.
Published on 27 Jan 2012 by g_g_g
5.0 out of 5 stars Throw out your Stereo editions
The Mono versions of all these albums now sound as if Dylan and his band (or on his own) are now directly in front of you.I went back to the s.a.c.d. Read more
Published on 12 Oct 2011 by Michael Boyle
5.0 out of 5 stars Mono Dylan makes a difference
I had all on these albums on cd. False stereo of course. But this package is wonderfully packed, with the original artwork, in cd format, and an extensive book, with photos and... Read more
Published on 25 Mar 2011 by Rodrigo Madeira
5.0 out of 5 stars Great addition
The Dylan Mono box set is suprisingly different from the previous stereo versions. The sound is rich and layered. The design of both box and covers is fabulous. Read more
Published on 23 Jan 2011 by Infoman
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning
I've had these Dylan albums in stereo for over thirty years, first on vinyl and then on CD, and I'm staggered at the quality of the mono releases. They are fantastic. Read more
Published on 18 Jan 2011 by A reviewer
5.0 out of 5 stars Gold comes in mono, too
The Original Mono Recordings are a wonderful presentation of seminal albums, several of which I also happily own on vinyl! You can't have too much of a good thing, I say.
Published on 20 Dec 2010 by John R. Caruth
5.0 out of 5 stars The most amazing songwriter in popular music gets the treatment his...
On opening this wonderful boxset, it was a pleasant surprise that everything about it reminds me of the orginal vinyls complete with inner sleeves etc
In fact Its like a... Read more
Published on 2 Dec 2010 by Zissimos Philippou
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Discussion Replies Latest Post
vinyl or cd? 2 18 Mar 2012
Highway 61 1 27 Jun 2011
9 disc or 8 disc? 1 17 Nov 2010
Dylan Mono Box plus Live at Brandeis (a question) 2 27 Oct 2010
Bonus disc 0 23 Sep 2010
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