Why Bob Dylan Recorded Songs That Will Be Sold to One Owner

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Bob Dylan collaborator T Bone Burnett has explained why the duo recorded a series of songs for release on a “one-off” basis.

The first of these, a new version of “Blowin’ in the Wind,” will be auctioned on July 7 and is expected to sell for between $700,000 and $1,200,000. It is recorded on a format marketed under the Ionic Originals brand, based on a hybrid medium that is supposed to use the best elements of CD and vinyl to generate a more faithful reproduction of the performance.

“There are two things that I think are important to know for people who are worried about the exclusivity of what we do,” Burnett said. Variety in a new interview. “An Ionic Original is not a ‘copy’. It is an original recording. We do not manufacture the rarity. It is in fact rare. This is a unique, handmade, original recording . We’ve all been conditioned to accept the terms and react to things in the mass production setting. That’s not it.”

He said the duo started discussing the notion of “one-of-one” a few years ago, in response to how “recorded music has been trivialized to zero over the last 20 to 30 years. “. He continued, “Because we work in the age of mechanical reproduction, musicians have had to come to terms with how their music is valued by government, corporations, technologists, record labels, streamers.

“[W]We have taken matters into our own hands, we control the means of production and we control the copyrights. We can explore: What is the value of a song? What is the real value of Bob Dylan singing “Blowin’ in the Wind” 60 years after he wrote it, in this environment?”

The goal, he added, was “to enter a musical space in the fine art market. Because music is to the United States what wine is to France – it’s the most precious and important part of our culture. And for the last 25-30 years, part of the public has been telling us that we should release our music for free. It’s a chance for us as artists to work independently.

“It’s something that Bob and I have done as best we could our whole lives, but now is a chance to do it not just for Bob, but for many other artists who are going to do it with us. , who have already signed. Hopefully, that’s how I’ll spend the rest of my professional life, making these beautiful, unique pieces of art.

Burnett declined to reveal how many tracks Dylan had recorded for the Ionic Originals line, but noted that they had agreed that “it would be easier to sell one for a million dollars than a million for 1 $”. Regarding the motivation for choosing “Blowin’ in the Wind” as his first release, he said, “It’s a historic song, to preview this new technology. ‘send to Bob. And there’s no greater song than this.”

Burnett went on to analyze the enduring appeal of “Blowin’ in the Wind”. “No one has a clue what that means, but everyone knows it has something to do with civil rights,” he noted. “But what does it mean the answer is blowing in the wind? Does it mean it is blowing towards you? Does it mean it is being blown away from you? It does not dictate meaning. And that’s the nice thing that Bob has always done. He’s always come up with the right questions. That’s much more valuable than someone giving you answers, especially the kind of people who give us answers these days.

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Unsurprisingly, Bob Dylan’s recording career has had many ups and downs. It’s inevitable when you stay over 50 and release three dozen albums during that time.

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