As we head into 2019, let’s consider an early, brilliant album by Bob Dylan. No, not Bringing It All Back Home. Not Highway 61 Revisited. Not Blonde on Blonde either. These three consecutive albums certainly are brilliant and are worthy of a spot here, but not this time. Instead, let’s look at Dylan’s 1967 effort that followed Blonde on Blonde. It is the departure album, John Wesley Harding. Not another folk album, John Wesley Harding instead is a softer album representing Dylan’s first venture into country.

John Wesley Harding is not a complicated album, but it nevertheless illustrates Dylan’s genius and breadth. The album consists of 12 songs and includes “All Along the Watchtower”, famously covered by Jimi Hendrix. Let’s now take a look at the first U.S. CD issue of John Wesley Harding. This CD was released in the mid-’80s under Columbia Records catalog number CK 9604.

Admittedly, John Wesley Harding does not enjoy top-tier status when considering Dylan’s early efforts (Popularity Contest!), and as such, was not among the first Dylan albums released on CD by CBS Records. In the U.S., the first Dylan albums released on CD were Highway 61 Revisited, Blood on the Tracks, and Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits. The first copies of these albums to be released in the U.S. were Japanese CBS/Sony pressings. In the case of John Wesley Harding, there is no Japan-for-U.S. pressing. Instead, the album first appeared as a U.S. DADC pressing.

The early U.S. DADC pressing of John Wesley Harding bears the typical plain design of U.S. CBS releases, just black text with no paint coating. The disc has “Made in USA – Digital Audio Disc Corp.” stamped on the plastic ring, and the matrix code is “DIDP 70097 11A4”. “DIDP 70097” is printed beneath the catalog number at 3 o’clock. This disc is not terribly rare, though one is far more likely to find later U.S. pressings by DADC or the now-defunct Columbia Records plant in Pitman, New Jersey (all bearing catalog number CK 9604).

Shown below is the cover and back insert for the original U.S. issue of John Wesley Harding, as well as the early U.S. DADC pressing.

Happy New Year!

 

The cover for the original U.S. issue of Bob Dylan John Wesley Harding (Columbia, catalog number CK 9604). This is the standard cover artwork for this album.

 

The back insert for the original U.S. issue of Bob Dylan John Wesley Harding (Columbia, catalog number CK 9604). The 12 tracks are listed. Note the barcode in the bottom left corner.

 

The early U.S. DADC pressing of Bob Dylan John Wesley Harding (Columbia, catalog number CK 9604). “Made in USA – Digital Audio Disc Corp.” is stamped on the clear plastic ring at the center, and the matrix code is “DIDP 70097 11A4”. “DIDP 70097” is printed beneath the catalog number at 3 o’clock.

Comments are closed.

-->