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New version of Blowin’ In The Wind sells for nearly $1.8 million at auction

Newly recorded version of ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’ sells for nearly $1.8 million at auction (Photo Credit – Facebook)

A unique, recently recorded rendition of Bob Dylan singing ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ auctioned at Christie’s here for £1,482,000, or US$1,769,508 million.

Live bidding peaked at £1.2million, but an official statement sent by Christie’s quotes a higher price including commissions. The price was well above the estimate the auction house had published for the recording, which was in the range of 600,000 to 1 million pounds (or $716,000 to $1,194,000).

Although two people could be seen on the live stream going back and forth as high bidders, consulting with buyers over the phone, the winner of the auction was not immediately revealed.

The Blowin’ in the Wind record was the only remotely freshly minted item in Christie’s “Classic Week” sale.

The other items up for auction before Dylan’s new record was the highlight of the sale were more like an Egyptian limestone statue from around 2400BC, which went for £5million, and a Stradivari violin which had a starting offer of 6 million. pound sterling.

The new version of Dylan’s 1962 folk classic was produced by T Bone Burnett with a small group of musicians, with Dylan recording in Los Angeles and the rest of the band in Nashville. It was recorded directly onto a newly invented type of acetate recording, which Burnett, who had worked to develop analog technology for years, calls an Ionic Original. Although it’s a new format, with seemingly higher fidelity and a coating that would make it nearly impervious to normal wear, the 10-inch disc can be played on a normal record player.

People who have heard the recording so far have been limited mainly to potential bidders at listening sessions at Christie’s in London, New York and Los Angeles, and at a few select readings that Burnett has organized for members of the media and others.

Burnett recently spoke at length with Variety in a story titled “Why did T Bone Burnett record a song with Bob Dylan that only one person can own?” To Disrupt the Art Market” about the making of the new recording and the intention to put it up for auction – and tackled the question of whether the average Dylan fan will ever be able to hear it, or if they really could have only one auditor-owner.

Burnett pointed something out: “I think it’s important to know for people who are worried about the exclusivity of what we do. An Ionic Original is not a copy. It’s an original recording. We do not manufacture rarity. It’s actually rare. This is a unique, handmade and original recording. We have all been conditioned to accept terms and react to things within the framework of mass production. It’s not that.

“It really started because recorded music has been commoditized to zero over the last 20 to 30 years. Because we’re working in an age of mechanical reproduction, musicians have had to come to terms with the definition of the value of their music by the government, the corporations, the technologists, the record companies, the streamers. Well, in this case, we took matters into our own hands, and we control the means of production and we control the copyrights. We We’ll be able to explore: What’s the value of a song? What’s the true value of Bob Dylan singing Blowin’ in the Wind 60 years after he wrote it, in this environment? And we’re going to find out.

“But the intention was always to create a new personalized program. Basically what I’m trying to do is get into 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.

As to whether the rest of the world except the auction winner will be able to hear it, Burnett said that would largely be in the hands of the buyer, but any public broadcast would likely occur. if it were eventually played in a museum space, and any digital reproduction would be unlikely, if not expressly prohibited.

Any commercial distribution is expected to be the result of a three-way deal between Dylan’s record company, Sony Music, his publishing company, Universal Music Publishing Group, and whoever purchased the record, which has yet to be released. revealed. But Burnett’s assertion was that the disc was not really designed for this broadcast audience, and he made it clear that he would consider any kind of digital distribution anathema to their analog hi-fi intentions.

Burnett said he and Dylan had recorded several other versions of his classic songs which could also be auctioned, although he wanted to pass the Blowin’ in the Wind sale at Christie’s before determining next steps.

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