The timeless voice: Celebrating 60 years of Bob Dylan’s mesmerising mastery

Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ in the Wind gets new life as technology not only preserves but enhances his music

Bob Dylan PIC: Indian express file photo
Bob Dylan: Indian express file photo

Six decades back, Bob Dylan and other folk singers found fame in Greenwich Village and the Meatpacking District, located along the Hudson River in New York. He debuted on the diminutive stage of Gerde’s Folk City in Greenwich Village in April 1962, where his evergreen number Blowin’ in the Wind was an instant classic, and is today woven firmly into the fabric of American culture.

As this year marks the 60th anniversary of Bob Dylan as a recording artist, Christie’s will auction Dylan’s first new studio recording of Blowin’ in the Wind since 1962, from a special session with multi-Grammy winning producer T Bone Burnett, on the groundbreaking ionic original disc, which is a hybrid format made from materials used in both vinyl and CDs. The first recording to utilise his patented technology from Burnett’s company, NeoFidelity, this unique lot will be offered in a sale on July 7 as a highlight within Classic Week London (estimate: £600,000-1,000,000).

A first in music history, this opportunity to acquire a new recording of Bob Dylan’s seminal song is a landmark moment. Burnett says the technology used to create the ionic original disc “advances the art of recorded sound and marks the first breakthrough in analog sound reproduction in more than 70 years, achieving dramatic improvements in listening experience and durability.”

The auction of this historic lot is a unique opportunity for international collectors, music fans, historians, aficionados and audiophiles. Music lovers have already witnessed an exclusive in-person listening experience of the Blowin’ In The Wind ionic original which took place in advance of the auction in Los Angeles (June 8) and New York (June 15) and is also part of the public pre-sale exhibition in London (July 2-7).

Unlike Dylan’s 1963 release which achieved platinum status, only a single copy of this new recording of Blowin’ in the Wind will be offered on the new audio medium. The cultural impact of the song cannot be overstated. Covered by hundreds of artistes since the words and music first appeared in print in May 1962, the song not only brought Bob Dylan to the world stage, it gave a new voice to the burgeoning social movements of the 1960s.

Beyond his own, Dylan portrays the voice of his generation. He sold tens of millions of albums, wrote more than 500 songs recorded by more than 2,000 artistes, and performed all over the world. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016.

Peter Klarnet, Christie’s senior specialist, Americana, books and manuscripts, says: “Christie’s is excited to be offering this unique recording of Dylan.” Multiple Grammy and Oscar winner Joseph Henry ‘T Bone’ Burnett is a producer, musician and songwriter, and the founder of NeoFidelity, who said in a statement: “Sixty years after Bob first wrote and recorded the song, he is giving us a new recording of his song; one that is both deeply relevant for our times and resonant with decades of the artiste’s life and experience.”

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