The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Positively 4th Street: Bob Dylan’s First “Greatest Hits” Goes Gold

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When Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits first appeared on record store shelves in March 1967, it was Dylan’s first offering since the previous year’s Blonde on Blonde double-LP opus and subsequent, well-publicized motorcycle accident.  Although the 10-track Columbia Records set has since been superseded by numerous other compilations from the Bard of Hibbing, Dylan’s first ever Greatest Hits captures the moment in time when there was arguably no more influential songwriter.  On July 3, the original Dylan compilation will return to CD in a 24K Gold CD edition from Audio Fidelity, remastered by Steve Hoffman.

Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits hit the U.S. Top 10 upon its release, and contains every Top 40 single charted by Dylan up to 1967.  Those six chart hits are joined by one non-charting single and three key LP tracks.  That lone non-charting 45, Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind,” had of course scaled the charts in a version not sung by its composer but rather by Peter, Paul and Mary.  Of the three album tracks, “It Ain’t Me Babe” and “Mr. Tambourine Man” were also hits in versions recorded by other artists: The Turtles and The Byrds, respectively.  The oft-covered “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” one of Dylan’s most beloved songs, was not released as a single in the United States, but hit the Top 10 across the pond in the United Kingdom.    Greatest Hits marked an appearance on LP for the non-album single “Positively 4th Street,” the 1965 song which reached No. 7 in the United States.  To this day, it would be difficult to compile a more incendiary 10 tracks than those found on this album.

Hit the jump for more details, the track listing with discographical annotation and a pre-order link!

Bob Cato’s now-iconic cover artwork for Greatest Hits won a Grammy Award for Best Album Cover – Photography; the image itself was taken by Rowland Scherman at Dylan’s Washington, DC concert of November 28, 1965.  As with the original LP, the gold CD will include a booklet-sized replica of Milton Glaser’s famous psychedelic poster of Dylan.  Remastering engineer Steve Hoffman has commented of his own work on Audio Fidelity’s remaster that “I believe the Audio Fidelity Gold CD of Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits will have the best sounding version of ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ ever.  Just something to be proud of.”  No doubt fans will be anxious to hear for themselves whether Hoffman is on the mark with his assessment.  Columbia’s 1997 CD reissue of Greatest Hits replaced the original single mix of “Positively 4th Street” with a slightly longer mix; it also remains to be seen which version this remastered edition will utilize.

Bob Dylan has just been awarded one of the nation’s highest honors, The Presidential Medal of Freedom, by President Barack Obama.  The limited, numbered gold CD of Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits might be a fine reminder of his ageless art.  It will arrive in stores on July 3 and can be ordered at the link below!

Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits (Columbia LP CS-9463 – reissued Audio Fidelity AFZ 140, 2012)

  1. Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
  2. Blowin’ in the Wind
  3. The Times They Are a-Changin’
  4. It Ain’t Me Babe
  5. Like a Rolling Stone
  6. Mr. Tambourine Man
  7. Subterranean Homesick Blues
  8. I Want You
  9. Positively 4th Street
  10. Just Like a Woman

Track 1 from Columbia single 43592, 1966 (No. 2, U.S.)
Track 2 from Columbia single 42856, 1963 (did not chart)
Track 3 from The Times They Are A-Changin’, Columbia LP CS-8905, 1963
Track 4 from Another Side of Bob Dylan, Columbia LP CS-8993, 1964
Track 5 from Columbia single 43346, 1965 (No. 2, U.S.)
Track 6 from Bringing It All Back Home, Columbia LP CS-9128, 1965
Track 7 from Columbia single 43242, 1965 (No. 39, U.S.)
Track 8 from Columbia single 43686, 1966 (No. 20, U.S.)
Track 9 from Columbia single 43389, 1965 (No. 7, U.S.)
Track 10 from Columbia single 43792, 1966 (No. 33, U.S.)

Written by Joe Marchese

June 20, 2012 at 09:52

Posted in Bob Dylan, News, Reissues

3 Responses

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  1. Hard to argue with the track listing on the original record. It was my introduction to Dylan’s music in the late-70s (when I was about 13), and even though it barely skims the surface (and there are better Dylan compilations on the market now), it’s a great teaser of his early years. I think it would still be a good starting point for any kids wanting to check out what all the fuss was about.

  2. Is the original stereo single mix of “Positively 4th Street” on any currently available CDs? I know the mono mix is on the “Best of the Original Mono Recordings” CD. Or was it only released in mono back in ’65? My vinyl copy of “Greatest Hits” (purchased in the 70s) has the song in stereo.
    I preordered this a week or so ago. Really looking forward to it. Hoffman’s remaster of “Highway 61” is very good, so I hold out high hopes for this one.

    Jason Michael

    June 20, 2012 at 12:57

  3. This is not meant to take away from the quality of the recording as it is excellent.

    That said, it needs to be more widely know that Audio Fidelity, after advertising this as a “Limited Numbered Edition” decided to press more copies beyond the usual 5,000 without any “numbering” on the packaging or disc.

    Anyone believing they will be purchasing a rare recording limited to 5,000 pressings is mistaken. There is much debate as to how many more will be produced but I believe there will be no shortage of this “limited” disc in the foreseeable future.

    If the number sticker means nothing to you when buying this disc (which I believe should be this case when they press more than initially indicated) then know it can be had for much less than the original retail price from Audio Fidelity.

    Caveat Emptor

    Peter Windome

    May 20, 2014 at 23:58

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