Bob Dylan Album Master Tapes to Be Auctioned Off

The tapes are a set of masters from Dylan's first album

A set of early Bob Dylan tapes will be auctioned off in December 2023. It is three slipcased reels from the collection of sculptor Steven Handschu who was given the tapes in the 1960s, and are a set of masters from Dylan’s first album, recorded at Columbia Studios in New York by John Hammond over two days in November 1961.

The tapes, marked “Bob Dylan, Job # 64937, 11-20-61 1D/2D/3D” are interesting to Dylan scholars as they contain not only the 13 songs that make up Dylan’s debut album but also studio conversations and – apparently – additional takes and songs. The tapes have been digitally transferred at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio studio in Chicago.

Engineer Scott Steinman says: “The engineers established their recording levels during Dylan’s first run ‘You’re No Good.’ These are professionally formatted, first-generation tapes; from a pure audio quality perspective, they are the best.”

Mr. Handschu (who is blind), was, as the auction site says, given the tapes by his roommate in New York in 1966, a caretaker who was permitted to take tapes destined to be thrown away. A portion of the proceeds from the sale will benefit charities for the blind.

The listing, with audio clips, can be viewed at

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