The Witmark Demos: 1962-1964 Image

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Universal acclaim- based on 15 Ratings

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  • Summary: The ninth volume from Bob Dylan's Bootleg Series contains the 47 songs he recorded in 1962-64.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 13
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 13
  3. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Jan 3, 2011
    At its core, this constitutes a hearty glimpse of young Bob Dylan changing the music business, and the world, one note at a time.
  2. He sounds like what he was beneath the myth he was already constructing for himself: a man with a gift for words and music, sitting in a small room and hoping someone outside would listen.
  3. Dec 20, 2010
    At its core, these demos are the sound of Dylan becoming Bob Dylan, and it's an evolution that's spellbinding.
  4. Even the very concept of a songwriter laying down a plethora of new songs in his publisher's office for others to perform feels out-of-time - quaintly and genuinely so.
  5. It's an informal set, full of coughs and corrections and chatty asides; the sense of intimacy this fosters between the eager young singer and the modern listener might be this collection's greatest appeal.
  6. There are minor variations, like key changes and picking patterns, but nothing as radical as the ways he would transform the songs in later years.
  7. Dec 20, 2010
    The casual nature of the sessions-Dylan coughs during "Blowin' in the Wind" and stops "Talking Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues" to correct a lyric, for instance-only enriches the experience.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Jan 25, 2011
    A magnificent release for any serious Bob Dylan fan as the demo-recordings are greatly restored into songs with great discovery. You'll recognize most of the tunes, but it's the atmosphere and importance of them that comes through in another way that makes this seventh instalment of Bob Dylan's Bootleg Series essential. Expand
  2. Nov 2, 2010
    We rediscover classics and discover the young master at his best. Listen this album it's like to attend to the born of an icon. The sound give us the feeling of being here during the records. It's just magical. Expand
  3. Nov 3, 2010
    Most of the fun here is listening to the unreleased material, which is, as you would expect, fantastic. And who can tire of hearing more versions of 'Don't think Twice', 'Masters of War', a piano backed 'Mr Tambourine Man'. And damn, do you get a lot of songs!

    But the one thing really bringing this purchase home was the extra live disk you got if you ordered it from Amazon (Brandeis 1963). It's short and the audio isn't consistently good (it's not consistently good in the regular 2-disk set either) but the show is equal parts playful and serious, lots of energy in the performances, and it's always a good thing to have another document of early Dylan live. If only he injected this much fun into his performances nowadays.

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