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


AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Like any fledgling songwriter, Bob Dylan signed with a publishing company at the outset of his career. Publishers are standard practice for songwriters — it’s where the money comes in, as songs are published, performed, and covered — but in the early ‘60s there was an expectation that publishers would help place songs in the hands of appropriate singers, a practice Dylan effectively ended by popularizing writers singing their own songs, but in 1962, this self-sufficiency was a rarity.

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Even his 1962 debut contained only three Dylan originals, which in his case reflected his traditional folk roots, but Dylan needed a publisher for those three songs so John Hammond, who signed the singer/songwriter to Columbia, pointed him toward Leeds Music. Dylan cut a demo session for Leeds between the recording and release of Bob Dylan and when that album wound up stiffing, Leeds let him buy out his contract in the summer of 1962, which then led to him signing with M. Witmark & Sons publishing company. Between 1962 and 1964, a period that roughly spanned “Blowin’ in the Wind” to “Mr. Tambourine Man,” Dylan cut several demo sessions for Witmark, usually with the intent of the publisher pitching songs to other singers. Many of his early classics were first essayed here — “A Hard-Rain’s Gonna Fall,” “Masters of War,” “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright,” “Boots of Spanish Leather,” “Girl from the North Country,” “The Times They Are A-Changin’” — and he also cut songs he never revisited. Some wound up with other artists — “Seven Curses,” “Tomorrow Is a Long Time,” “Mama, You Been on My Mind” — some were lost to time, leaking out on bootlegs until they officially surfaced on 2010’s The Bootleg Series, Vol. 9: The Witmark Demos: 1962-1964.


Man On The Street (Fragment)
Hard Times In New York Town
Poor Boy Blues
Ballad For A Friend
Rambling, Gambling Willie
Talking Bear Mountain Picnic
Massacre Blues
Standing On The Highway
Man On The Street
Blowin’ In The Wind
Long Ago, Far Away
A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
Tomorrow Is A Long Time
The Death of Emmett Till

Let Me Die In My Footsteps
Ballad Of Hollis Brown
Quit Your Low Down Ways
Baby, I’m In The Mood For You
Bound To Lose, Bound To Win
All Over You
I’d Hate To Be You On That Dreadful Day

Long Time Gone
Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues
Masters Of War
Oxford Town
Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
Walkin’ Down The Line
I Shall Be Free
Bob Dylan’s Blues
Bob Dylan’s Dream
Boots Of Spanish Leather
Girl From The North Country
Seven Curses
Hero Blues
Whatcha Gonna Do?
Gypsy Lou
Ain’t Gonna Grieve
John Brown
Only A Hobo
When The Ship Comes In
The Times They Are A-Changin’
Paths Of Victory
Guess I’m Doing Fine
Baby, Let Me Follow You Down
Mama, You Been On My Mind
Mr, Tambourine man
I’ll Keep It With Mine


Additional information

Weight 2.500 kg
Dimensions 42.0 × 42.0 × 5.0 cm