Bob Dylan recordings, previously unheard, surface at Manhattan studio

By Daniel S Levine,

Just days after Bob Dylan’s handwritten lyrics to “Like A Rolling Stone” went for millions at auction, another rarity has surfaced. A collection of previously unheard recordings Dylan made during one of the most interesting periods of his long career were found in a basement in Manhattan.

A set of 149 unknown acetates were discovered at a studio Dylan used on W. Houston St. Record collector Jeff Gold shared the discovery on Record Mecca, writing that the recordings date to the late 1960s and early 1970s, when Dylan was working on Nashville Skyline, Self Portrait and New Morning.

Gold said that he heard about them from a friend, whose late sister owned the building where Dylan recorded the tracks. The studio was in the basement and his friend found a box labeled “Old Records.” Each disc has the Columbia Records label, Dylan’s name and the song title.

The acetates were actually made by producer Bob Johnston in Nashville, where Dylan recorded the tracks on the albums that we all know. Johnston would send the recordings up to Dylan in New York so he could know what Johnston was doing with the recordings while he still lived in New York, Gold explained. Some of the sleeves even include Johnston’s handwritten notes.

“This is unprecedented,” Gold told the NY Daily News. “The sound quality is unbelievably great. These are first generation recordings, cut directly from the master tape.”

Gold wrote that he and his associates did send transfers of the music to Dylan’s office. Had this discovery been made a few years ago though, the recordings may have wound up on The Bootleg Series Vol. 10: Another Self Portrait, which covers the time period that they were made during.

While Gold is keeping some of the acetates, he will sell a few through Record Mecca. The Nashville Skyline discs will set you back $7,000.

image courtesy of INFphoto.com

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