The Original Mono Recordings

The Original Mono Recordings
A black-and-white photograph of Dylan seated with his arms on his lap
Compilation album by Bob Dylan
Released October 19, 2010 (2010-10-19)
Recorded November 20, 1961 – November 29, 1967, Columbia Recording Studios, New York City and Nashville
Genre Folk rock, folk, blues
Length 383:45
Label Columbia/Legacy Recordings
Producer Steve Berkowitz, John H. Hammond, Bob Johnston, and Tom Wilson
Bob Dylan chronology
The Bootleg Series Vol. 9 – The Witmark Demos: 1962–1964
The Original Mono Recordings
In Concert – Brandeis University 1963
Professional ratings
Review scores
The Independent[2]
Classic Rock[3]

The Original Mono Recordings is a box set compilation album of recordings by Bob Dylan, released in October 2010 on Legacy Recordings, catalogue 88697761042. It consists of Dylan's first eight studio albums in mono on nine compact discs, the album Blonde on Blonde being issued on two discs in its original vinyl format. It does not include the singles collection Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits released during the same time span. The set includes a 56-page booklet with photographs, discographical information, and an essay by Greil Marcus. It peaked at #152 on the Billboard 200.


Mono was the playback medium for most record players, car radios, and transistor radios during the 1960s. Stereo playback systems had been available since the late 1950s, but the equipment and the albums mixed to play on them were expensive, and the music industry continued to manufacture mono albums and singles through the decade. Monophonic as a format would not be discontinued in both the United States and the United Kingdom until approximately 1969. As stated in the liner notes by Marcus,

This box collects Bob Dylan's first eight 12-inch most people heard them, as they were expected to be heard, and as most often they were meant to be heard: in mono.[4]

Moreover, the mixing of the album in mono was the chief priority of Dylan and his producers. Stereo was almost an afterthought. Producer Steve Berkowitz, who supervised the reissue of the The Original Mono Recordings was told by Bob Johnston about the mixing of Blonde on Blonde: "We mixed that mono probably for three or four days, then I said, 'Oh shit, man, we gotta do stereo.' So me and a coupla guys put our hands on the board, we mixed that son of a bitch in about four hours!... So my point is, it took a long time to do the mono, and then it was, 'Oh, yeah, we gotta do stereo'."[5]

A similar box set compiling LP mono records by The Beatles had been released in 2009 to respectable sales results, awarded a platinum record by the RIAA.[6] This may have been impetus for Sony to issue this set.

Most of the albums were mastered from the original, first-generation master tapes. Only two albums were not: The Times They Are A-Changin' and Highway 61 Revisited. The original master tape for the former could not be found so a new master was mixed from the original three-track tape, using the original vinyl pressing as a guide. Highway 61 Revisited was mastered from a second-generation overseas copy of the mono mix.[7]

The genuine mono mix for John Wesley Harding was presumably released only in the U.S., whereas the original mono LP issued in the UK was apparently a fold-down of the stereo master. For The Original Mono Recordings box set, the producers used the genuine mono mix issued in the U.S.[7]

Initial purchase of the box allowed for free download of the non-album single "Positively Fourth Street" in mono, as well as the entire set in MP3. "Positively Fourth Street" was also included on the simultaneously released single-disc collection, The Best of the Original Mono Recordings.

The original recordings were produced by John Hammond, Tom Wilson, and Bob Johnston.

Album listing

Bob Dylan (originally released March 19, 1962)
1."You're No Good"  Jesse Fuller1:40
2."Talkin' New York"  Bob Dylan3:20
3."In My Time of Dyin'"  trad. arr. Dylan2:40
4."Man of Constant Sorrow"  trad. arr. Dylan3:10
5."Fixin' to Die"  Bukka White2:22
6."Pretty Peggy-O"  trad. arr. Dylan3:23
7."Highway 51"  Curtis Jones2:52
8."Gospel Plow"  trad. arr. Dylan1:47
9."Baby, Let Me Follow You Down"  trad. arr. Eric von Schmidt2:37
10."House of the Risin' Sun"  trad. arr. Dave Van Ronk5:20
11."Freight Train Blues"  trad., Roy Acuff2:18
12."Song to Woody"  Bob Dylan2:42
13."See That My Grave Is Kept Clean"  Blind Lemon Jefferson2:43
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (originally released May 27, 1963)

All songs written by Bob Dylan, except where noted:[8]

1."Blowin' in the Wind"  2:48
2."Girl from the North Country"  3:22
3."Masters of War"  4:34
4."Down the Highway"  3:27
5."Bob Dylan's Blues"  2:23
6."A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall"  6:55
7."Don't Think Twice, It's All Right"  3:40
8."Bob Dylan's Dream"  5:03
9."Oxford Town"  1:50
10."Talkin' World War III Blues"  6:28
11."Corrina, Corrina" (Traditional)2:44
12."Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance" (Dylan, Henry Thomas)2:01
13."I Shall Be Free"  4:49
The Times They Are a-Changin' (originally released January 13, 1964)

All songs written by Bob Dylan.

1."The Times They Are a-Changin'"  3:15
2."Ballad of Hollis Brown"  5:06
3."With God on Our Side"  7:08
4."One Too Many Mornings"  2:41
5."North Country Blues"  4:35
6."Only a Pawn in Their Game"  3:33
7."Boots of Spanish Leather"  4:40
8."When the Ship Comes In"  3:18
9."The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll"  5:48
10."Restless Farewell"  5:32
Another Side of Bob Dylan (originally released August 8, 1964)

All songs written by Bob Dylan.

1."All I Really Want to Do"  4:04
2."Black Crow Blues"  3:14
3."Spanish Harlem Incident"  2:24
4."Chimes of Freedom"  7:10
5."I Shall Be Free No. 10"  4:47
6."To Ramona"  3:52
7."Motorpsycho Nitemare"  4:33
8."My Back Pages"  4:22
9."I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)"  4:22
10."Ballad in Plain D"  8:16
11."It Ain't Me Babe"  3:33
Bringing It All Back Home (originally released March 22, 1965)

All tracks written by Bob Dylan.

Side one
1."Subterranean Homesick Blues"  2:21
2."She Belongs to Me"  2:47
3."Maggie's Farm"  3:54
4."Love Minus Zero/No Limit"  2:51
5."Outlaw Blues"  3:05
6."On the Road Again"  2:35
7."Bob Dylan's 115th Dream"  6:30
8."Mr. Tambourine Man"  5:30
9."Gates of Eden"  5:40
10."It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)"  7:29
11."It's All Over Now, Baby Blue"  4:12
Highway 61 Revisited (originally released August 30, 1965)

All tracks written by Bob Dylan.

1."Like a Rolling Stone"  6:09
2."Tombstone Blues"  5:58
3."It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry"  4:09
4."From a Buick 6"  3:19
5."Ballad of a Thin Man"  5:58
6."Queen Jane Approximately"  5:31
7."Highway 61 Revisited"  3:30
8."Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues"  5:31
9."Desolation Row"  11:21
Blonde on Blonde (originally released May 16, 1966)

All songs written by Bob Dylan.

Disc 1
1."Rainy Day Women #12 & 35"  4:36
2."Pledging My Time"  3:50
3."Visions of Johanna"  7:33
4."One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)"  4:54
5."I Want You"  3:07
6."Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again"  7:05
7."Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat"  3:58
8."Just Like a Woman"  4:52
Disc 2
1."Most Likely You Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine"  3:30
2."Temporary Like Achilles"  5:02
3."Absolutely Sweet Marie"  4:57
4."4th Time Around"  4:35
5."Obviously 5 Believers"  3:35
6."Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands"  11:23
John Wesley Harding (originally released December 27, 1967)

All songs written by Bob Dylan.

1."John Wesley Harding"  2:58
2."As I Went Out One Morning"  2:49
3."I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine"  3:53
4."All Along the Watchtower"  2:31
5."The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest"  5:35
6."Drifter's Escape"  2:52
7."Dear Landlord"  3:16
8."I Am a Lonesome Hobo"  3:21
9."I Pity the Poor Immigrant"  4:12
10."The Wicked Messenger"  2:02
11."Down Along the Cove"  2:23
12."I'll Be Your Baby Tonight"  2:34

Collective personnel

Additional musicians
Technical personnel

Chart positions

Chart (2013) Peak
Belgian Heatseekers (Ultratop Flanders)[9] 4
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[10] 100
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[11] 58
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[12] 42
US Billboard 200[13] 152
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[13] 47


  1. Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Bob Dylan The Original Mono Recordings review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2013-09-08.
  2. The Independent review
  3. Martin, Gavin (January 2011). "Bob Dylan – Original Mono Recordings". Classic Rock. 153. London, UK: Future plc. p. 115.
  4. Marcus, Greil. The Original Mono Recordings. Legacy Records, liner notes, p. 7.
  5. Ford, Roger (October 2010). "Interview with Steve Berkowitz and Mark Wilder, Bob Dylan The Original Mono Recordings Box Set" (PDF). Electric Dylan. Retrieved August 5, 2011.
  6. The Beatles in Mono Gold Record listing by the RIAA
  7. 1 2 Bob Dylan – The Original Mono Recordings by Roger Ford
  8. Hentoff 1963
  9. Bob Dylan - The Original Mono Recordings (in Dutch). Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  10. " – Bob Dylan – The Original Mono Recordings" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  11. "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Phononet GmbH. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  12. " – Bob Dylan – The Original Mono Recordings". Hung Medien. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  13. 1 2 The Original Mono Recordings - Bob Dylan Awards. Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
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