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John Wesley Harding (MONO EDITION LP)

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John Wesley Harding was the last of Dylan's Columbia albums to feature its own rare, unique mono mix. Deliberately mixed and prepared for MONO release in Nashville, the mono master is NOT merely a reduction of the stereo - it lives it's own life!

In just three short years, Bob Dylan had gone from being a complete unknown to rock's poet laureate, with his every utterance and move mined for meaning, both hidden and overt. The cycle of album-tour-album was taking its toll, even as he released his triumphant "rock trilogy" of Another Side of Bob Dylan, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde. Just as it seemed there was no way out, fate intervened on July 29, 1966, when Dylan crashed his Triumph Tiger 100 motorcycle in Woodstock, New York. While the full extent of his injuries was never revealed, it did provide him with a respite from the tortuous pace of his career. He remained secluded in Woodstock to recuperate and did not attempt another tour for eight years.

Once he was well enough to work, he completed editing on the documentary film of his 1966 tour, Eat the Document, which was submitted to ABC-TV and was rejected as being "incomprehensible" to the average viewer. Meanwhile, he was busy woodshedding with the Band at "Big Pink" and writing a collection of quieter, more introspective songs. Returning to Nashville on October 17, 1967, he began work on John Wesley Harding. The album was a return to Dylan's acoustic roots with themes drawn from the Bible, the Great Depression and the west of the 1800s. In place of a large ensemble, the sessions featured Charlie McCoy on bass, Pete Drake on pedal steel, Kenny Buttrey on drums and Dylan on guitar, piano and harmonica. The stripped-down combo served the songs well and perfectly matched Dylan's desire to avoid "hype" in the "season of hype." The album was completed in three sessions totaling 12 hours in the studio.

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