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Arts and Entertainment

Rare Bob Dylan Record For Sale At Amoeba For $12,000

Bob Dylan with his wife, Sara Lownds in London, 2nd September 1969. Their estrangement is said to be the inspiration for 'Blood On The Tracks' (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
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Bob Dylan fanatics in L.A. better start saving: Amoeba Music has one of his rarest and most coveted records for sale.The Hollywood record mega-store recently acquired a rare version of Dylan's classic Blood On The Tracks as one of the highlights from a massive haul. Although Tracks is universally regarded as one of Dylan's best records—#4 according to Gothamist—several Dylanophiles feel the earlier "New York" version of the record to be superior.

Recorded originally in September of 1974, the somber, angry, and bitter songs of Tracks are generally thought to be inspired by the tumultuous breakdown of his marriage with his then-wife Sara (though Dylan denies this). "When I'm listening to Blood On The Tracks, that's about my parents," Dylan's son and Wallflowers frontman Jakob Dylan once said. Dylan played the original version for his brother, who told him the album was too dreary to be a commercial success, and led him to re-record five of the ten tracks in Minneapolis in December. Less than a month later, the album was released on January 20, 1975.

Because the Minneapolis sessions were done at the last minute, a handful of test pressings of the album entirely of the New York material was made (see Searching For A Gem for more details on this). Although never officially released—aside from one track—they have been heavily bootlegged through the years and are relatively easy to find now on the Internet. Aquarium Drunkard has a writeup along with the songs. Unlike the released version of album opener "Tangled Up In Blue," the 'New York' version is far more melancholy and less frenetic. The unreleased "Idiot Wind" is the most startling one to hear, with its accompanying moody organ lost in the official release and its viciousness now pointed inward.

It may not take long, though, for these records to see the official light of day. Through his thorough Bootleg Series, Dylan rarities and live recordings through the decades have been released through his longtime label Columbia Records, so it seems only inevitable that the holy grail of his discography would be in the pipeline. Only the 'New York' version of "You're A Big Girl Now" has so far appeared, in his 1985 box set Biograph. Alternate takes from those same sessions also appear in 1991's The Bootleg Series, Vol. 1-3.

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If you have the cash to spare—or have a few Dylan rarities to trade in to make up the difference—Amoeba is selling the record for $12,000. According to the store, it is one of five copies known to exist.

Here it is! (Courtesy of Amoeba Music)

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