Bob Dylan – 4 Dylan-Owned Alternate ‘Self Portrait’ LP Acetates, Used During Album’s Production

Four 12” one-sided acetates of an alternate sequence of Bob Dylan’s 197o album Self Portrait, previously owned by Dylan, and used by him during the making of the LP.  The sequence on each of these discs differs from the final album, with the first song on the released album, “All the Tired Horses” appearing here as the last song on Side Four.

These discs 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 Self Portrait.  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++, 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.   Each is housed in its original generic paper acetate sleeve.

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.

(Sequences below use the titles written on each label, which in a number of cases differ from the final titles on the finished album)

Side One: Alberta #1/I Forgot More/Days of 49/In The Early Morning Rain/It Hurts Me Too/Little Sadie#2

Side Two: Let It Be Me/Little Sadie #1/Living The Blues/Woogie Boogie/Belle Isle/Rolling Stone

Side Three: Take Me As I Am/Copper Kettle/Gotta Travel On/Blue Moon/The Boxer/Mighty Quinn

Side Four: Take A Message to Mary/Minstrel Boy/She Belongs To Me/Wigwam/Alberta #2/All The Tired Horses


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