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Bob Dylan – 2 Dylan-Owned Alternate “New Morning” LP Acetates, With Producer Bob Johnson’s Handwritten Notes

Two 12” acetates of an alternate sequence of Bob Dylan’s 1970 album New Morning, previously owned by Dylan, and used by him during the making of the LP.

These one-sided acetates were cut directly from the master tapes, and feature an alternate sequence to the released version, and handwritten notes on the sleeves by Dylan’s producer, Bob Johnston (1932-2015). They are part of a collection of Dylan-owned acetates discovered in 2014 in a five story brownstone at 124 West Houston Street in Greenwich Village.

From approximately 1969 through 1972, Dylan rented the building’s ground  floor to use as a studio (at the time, he lived two blocks away at 94 McDougal St.)  When the owner of the building died in January 2014, her executor found the acetates in two boxes labeled “Old Records,” in a a loft closet above the bedroom. The discovery of these acetates by Recordmecca’s Jeff Gold received extensive media coverage in publications including The New York Times, Wall St. Journal, Rolling Stone, and Billboard (for the complete story and more photos, see the Recordmecca blog.)

The West Houston St. Studios acetates originally belonged to Bob Dylan, and were used by him during the production of his albums, including New Morning.  At the time Dylan was based in New York, while his producer, Bob Johnston worked out of Columbia Records’ Nashville office.  Taking direction from Dylan, Johnston would cut acetates of various mixes and sequences, and send them to Dylan for his comments or approval.  Dylan discarded or abandoned them when he moved out of the building in the early 1970’s. For more than 40 years, they were carefully stored by the building’s owner, and only discovered by chance by before the building was put up for sale in 2014.

Cut directly from the master tapes, the acetates have fantastic fidelity.  Grading VG++ to EX, they sound bright and bold, with only the occasional surface noise, light pop or tick.  They have probably been played no more than a few times, by Dylan himself.   Each label has Dylan’s name and the song titles in an unknown hand, while the sleeves have Johnston’s handwritten song titles, timings, and notes about the proposed length of each side.  The sleeve for disc one  has some tears and a missing piece to the front, not affecting the writing, while the disc two sleeve is fully intact, with a small tear to the top right edge.

Included is a copy of a letter of authenticity from the estate’s executor detailing how he discovered the acetates, and a letter of authenticity and written lifetime guarantee from Recordmecca’s Jeff Gold, an internationally recognized Dylan authority who appraised The Bob Dylan Archive for Dylan’s management.

A remarkable Dylan artifact formerly owned by Dylan himself.

Side One: If Not For You/Day of the Locusts/Time Passes Slowly/Went to See the Gypsy/Winterlude/If Dogs Run Free

Side Two: New Morning/Sign on the Window/One More Weekend/The Man in Me/Three Angels/Father of Night

(79/80)

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