Bob Dylan: The Bootleg Series Vol. 9 – The Witmark Demos

Wow. Bob Dylan’s Bootleg Series keeps on delivering.

I got The Witmark Demos earlier this week and have listened to it a few times. It is phenomenal.

These 47 songs are staggering in their raw power. They’re demos, recorded by Dylan and friends to show the record companies what he wanted to do. They’re so potent, so full of words and wit, it seems impossible that a man not yet 24 years old could have written them all.

A lot of these songs can be found in a more polished form on the first CD in the Bootleg Series Vol. 1-3. That set still reigns supreme for me because it covers so much of Dylan’s career.

But Vol. 9 is shocking because of its focus, because it’s the sound of a genius first trying to tell the world what he had to say.