The Original Mono Recordings
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This box collects Bob Dylan’s first eight 12-inch LPs, his albums from Bob Dylan in 1962 to John Wesley Harding in 1968, as most people heard them, as they were expected to be heard, and as most often they were meant to be heard: in mono. --- Greil Marcus, taken from the liner notes of Bob Dylan: The Original Mono Recordings
Bob Dylan’s first 8 studio albums in mono for the first time ever on CD:
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan
The Time They Are A-Changin'
Another Side Of Bob Dylan
Bringing It All Back Home
Highway 61 Revisited
Blonde On Blonde
John Wesley Harding
-Each CD housed in heavy, wrapped LP-replica jackets with reproductions of original inner sleeves and inserts
-Rigid slipcase to hold the 8 jackets and book
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Sound quality: Wonderful! The remastering of the discs never disappoints; Dylan's recordings were generally well produced and mastered in the first place. The early "solo" recordings can only be properly heard in mono. Dylan's rock albums have much more force in mono than in stereo. Pay attention to "Desolation Row" and hear the depth, the warmth, and the clarity of guitars, bass, and Dylan's voice. You can hear the wood of the guitar in the resonance of the lead runs! And the force of the music is perhaps unique to mono--stereo separation allows too much space, and encourages the sounds of the instruments to spread out and relax. Not that that's a bad quality by any means, just one the absence of which demands the music to shape itself otherwise, and on these discs that shape is the sound of a freight train. The beauty and subtlety of the songs on "John Wesley Harding" absolutely need monophonic reproduction to have the quality of "plot unity" so essential to great literature and--in this instance--great music. There is a handful of albums i cannot listen to in stereo since discovering the mono versions: "John Wesley Harding" is one of them. ("Shape of Jazz", "Revolver", "Sgt. Pepper", "Beggar's Banquet" are some others, to give an example of the esteem i think "John Wesley Harding" deserves!)
The sleeves: So many people are commenting on the various permutations of sleeves; here's what's in my box set: "Bob Dylan" has repro Columbia ad sleeve, "Freewheelin'" has repro generic Columbia sleeve, "The Times" has white sleeve and insert with "poetry", "Hwy 61" has white sleeve and insert with sketch of Dylan, all other discs have white sleeves and no inserts. The quality of the reproduction of the jackets is absolutely superlative!
Yup, this box set is worth every penny. Dylan must be pleased to know that HIS box set beats the hell out of Lennon's! Now what we need is a Rolling Stones mono box set.
The booklet very usefully lists the musicians for every track.
If you love these albums, you'll love these pressings and booklet. I'm happy I splurged.
Note, a single CD set has been created from this package; it does not include the most impressively different tracks and it includes a track not found on the albums: Positively Fourth Street.
I am throwing away my old stereo CDs. I'll never play them again.