Bob Dylan’s first recording of Blowing in the wind since 1962, produced by T Bone Burnett, is being auctioned at Christie’s in London on a new vinyl/CD hybrid called Ionic Originals.
Would you pay £1 million for a new Bob Dylan recording in a format that very little is known about? Ionic Originals (not to be confused with the FitBit Ionic or the Hot Tools Pro Signature Salon Ionic AC hair dryer) are apparently lacquer painted on an aluminum disc, which sounds similar to a LaserDisc that can be played using a DVD player. .
So analog music on a 12-inch CD? Not so fast; Burnett said that each Ionic Original contains “a spiral etched into it by the music… which can be heard by placing a pen on the spiral and spinning it” that sounds like vinyl all day long, so we can’t be sure.
The thing is, I still find it desirable – because love it or hate it (I’m in the old camp, obviously) it’s a first in the history of music: a unique piece of music in physical form that you can be the only person ever to own. .
And that’s not all! This is the first recording to utilize multiple Grammy Award-winning Burnett’s patented technology. Burnett notes that the technology used to create an Ionic Original disc “advances the art of recorded audio and marks the first advance in analog sound reproduction in over 70 years, achieving dramatic improvements in the listening experience and durability.”
So, July 7th is the big day: on Bob Dylan’s impressive 60th anniversary as a recording artist, this historic lot presents a unique opportunity for international collectors, music fans, historians, aficionados and audiophiles to own something truly special.
Want to hear it before making your best and final offer? Me too – we can be friends. Exclusive face-to-face listening experiences Blowing in the wind Ionic Original will take place before the auction: by appointment in Los Angeles (June 8th) and New York (June 15th) and as part of the pre-sale public exhibition in London (July 2nd-7th).
Opinion: The real, physical and tangible music format is still deeply important
I almost didn’t write this article, because the current cost-of-living crisis might make a mockery of such events; some of us are choosing whether to warm up or eat and here I am waxing around £1million lyrics in formats some of us may not have the kit to actually play?
But that would have been grossly remiss on my part – and not just because if you go to the listening sessions, you can hear it on a top-notch McIntosh audio system comprised of an MT5 Precision turntable (aka one of the best turntables out there, and see does play like a record!) an MP1100 phono preamp (see also the MA6300 built-in amplifier) and an MHA200 headphone amplifier, which is sure to plug into some of the best headphones available, all without having to buy said sound. system.
No, the reason this needs to be shouted out is that it’s one of the most important songs written in the last century, and now, 60 years after Dylan wrote it and recorded the record, he’s giving us a new recording of the track; one that is deeply relevant to our times and resonates deeply with me – and I’m sure I’m not alone here.
It’s also a reminder of what can be achieved from humble beginnings: Dylan first performed it on the tiny stage at Gerde’s Folk City in Greenwich Village in April 1962, but today it is woven tightly into the fabric of American culture – and in soon, it will be auctioned for a huge fee.
I’m not alone in thinking that analog and tangible music needs to be preserved and improved. Why else would vinyl have seen such an incredible resurgence in recent years? The fact that Burnett is doing this is commendable – albeit cost-prohibitively. But you don’t remember how expensive turntables are used to be? Now we can buy a deck of cards for the price of a good meal, or Ikea.
For now, just close your eyes and imagine Dylan’s soft, soulful, inimitable tones. How many roads must a man travel before you call him a man? Yes, and how many times must cannonballs fly before they are banned for good? The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind. The answer is blowing in the wind. (You can call your bank manager about the possibility of a loan later).