Album: Bob Dylan, The Original Mono Recordings (Columbia)

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The Independent Culture

This mono set of the first eight Dylan albums offers a prescient reminder of what can be lost in the pursuit of cutting-edge technology.

Back in the 1960s, artists were concerned solely with the mono mixes: stereo was an afterthought left to studio engineers, and often resulted in the clumsy unbalancing of musical elements. To hear these songs again in their original condition is to be re-acquainted with old friends: no longer must the drums be over there, the cymbals over here, and the guitar too loud for the voice – instead, there's a natural honesty about the balance. The results can be shocking, as with the spear-like intensity of the mono "Like a Rolling Stone", while on the early acoustic material, we don't have to pretend that the guitar is 20-feet wide.

DOWNLOAD THIS Like a Rolling Stone; Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands; Visions of Johanna; Subterranean Homesick Blues; Mr Tambourine Man