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.