Dylan’s Witmark Demo is compelling & hard-hitting

bob dylan witmark_demosThe Whitmark Demo’s – Bob Dylan’s forgotten best.

By Emily M.

 

The Whitmark Demo’s

Bob Dylan

2010

The Whitman demo’s is an album made up entirely of Bob Dylan’s recordings. Bob Dylan’s raw and relatable sound is something that no listen can ignore. The 47 tracks on this album made from recorded demo’s reveal Folk legend’s earlier work which spawn into some of his work concerning social and political unrest, civil rights, and anti-war movements. But before his music had a truly international purpose, he was recording solely for the music. As demonstrated in his equally powerful demo’s on the Whitmark Demo’s album.

Bob Dylan is a singer-songwriter, who for the majority of his career played alone. He sings, plays guitar and harmonica (which is a reoccurring instrument in most of his songs). The genre of his music is majorly folk; however he strays into categories of both blues as well as rock and roll.

The Whitmark Demo’s is an album released on October 19, 2010. The album is made up entirely of demo’s from his two first publishing companies, Leeds Music and M. Witmark & Sons. The demo’s on the album are Dylan’s work between 1962 and 1964. The album is part of the “bootleg” recording series published by Columbia Records. This is not your typically album because it not completed work of the artists. Also there are 47 tracks, two discs in the album.

Any and all of Bob Dylan’s work is distinguished amongst other artists. His vocals are so raw and his voice so unique, accompanied by poetically powerful lyrics that listeners cannot help but be completely engaged in what they are hearing. This record in particular stands out in his work because it lacks some polish, as the tracks are all demo’s. However I think it’s that unfinished quality to it that makes the rawness even more apparent. The album has a number of Dylan’s greatest hits on there, Blowin’ in the Wind, The Times They Are a Changin’, Mr. Tambourine Man etc. There are also a number of his less commonly known work which makes this album perfect for true fans of Dylan, not just those who know his best hits. Like he does in most of his songs there is a heavy presence of harmonica, which is present in most of his work and sets him apart from a lot of the rock and roll music emerging at the time of the albums recording. Also within the 47 tracks Dylan is accompanied by the acoustic guitar and some piano. The actual music of the album is kept simple; between the harmonica and the acoustic guitar the music is covered. I love this about Dylan’s work because it really emphasizes the power behind his lyrics.

This album is one of my absolute favorites by Dylan. I think it some of his most memorable work to fans really interested in the making of the music and the past that lead him into the folk movement. This is some fairly early work produced on these albums, and some of the songs didn’t become huge sensations, this doesn’t mean that they are not equally as moving but perhaps that they are under appreciated.

            The Whitman Demo’s is an absolutely compelling album of Dylan’s work in 1962-1964. The collection reminds Dylan fans of his early work, stepping stones to some of his most hard hitting, thought provoking work to come through the 60’s and onto the 70’s. I would recommend this album to anyone looking to rediscover or sit back and appreciate early Bob Dylan. This album is an excellent reminder of how Dylan shaped the folk movement in music.

Emily M is a  grade 12 student who fell in love at the ripe age of 10 with the music of the greatest rock and roll artists of the generation before her.

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