Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bob Dylan • The Best of the Original Mono Recordings

Times are tough, times are hard, here's your f'ing Christmas card. There's no Christmas music on it, of course, but Bob Dylan's The Best of the Original Mono Recordings is definitely a gift, even if you gotta buy it for yourself. I almost didn't buy it, but decided "what the heck?" I can't afford the box set, which is comprised of Bob's first eight LPs from 1962 to 1968, so I thought I'd at least spring for this. (Nobody asks me what I want for Christmas these days, so I gotta take care of myself.)

I don't know the Dylan discography well enough to tell you how different these mixes are from the standard stereo ones, but I can tell you that, like The Beatles or The Stones in monaural, these tracks all feel much more forceful and in your face in mono than 2-channel. I also can't tell you whether the takes used for the mono pressings are the same ones as on the stereo releases (they don't mention it in the liner notes, by Greil Marcus). But "Subterranean Homesick Blues," "Like a Rolling Stone," "Tombstone Blues," and a dozen others all sound superior here. I wish they would have made this a 2CD set, 'cause now I might have to figure out a way to get the box set. Dang.
4/5 (Columbia/Legacy)

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