Bob Dylan – Bob Dylan – Our Shootout Winner from 2013 in Mono

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

TWO AMAZING SIDES RATING AT OR NEAR A+++ for this the MONO pressing! It’s beyond difficult to find copies of this album with good sound, but we managed to get a hold of a hot one here. This is a true solo album — guitar, vocals and harmonica — and it’s a lot of fun to hear a young (20!) Dylan playing the way he might have played in the coffee shops and folk clubs of Greenwich Village. 

The sound is richer and fuller than the average pressing; it’s also unusually lively and present. Above all the sound is natural and musical, the qualities that matter the most on a record like this.

And that’s not all! It’s also dynamic, lively, and tonally correct from top to bottom. The clarity is superb and even the harmonica sounds good. There’s tons of ambience — you can really hear the sound of the room around Dylan’s vocals.

This Mono pressing was the overall winner of our shootout. Although the Stereo copies bring some great qualities of their own to the table, on a stripped-down recording like this the usual stereo advantages (wider soundfield, more separation) are somewhat minimized.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

You’re No Good 
Talkin’ New York
In My Time of Dyin’ 
Man of Constant Sorrow 
Fixin’ to Die 
Pretty Peggy-O 
Highway 51

Side Two

Gospel Plow
Baby, Let Me Follow You Down 
House of the Risin’ Sun 
Freight Train Blues 
Song to Woody 
See That My Grave Is Kept Clean

AMG Review

Bob Dylan’s first album is a lot like the debut albums by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones — a sterling effort, outclassing most, if not all, of what came before it in the genre, but similarly eclipsed by the artist’s own subsequent efforts.