"Searching For A Gem"

Bob Dylan's Officially Released Rarities and Obscurities

Audio: 1968

All the songs listed in the Official Rarities section are cross-referenced by song title in these alphabetical pages.
A-E F-J K-O P-S T-Z


My Manchester flat in 1968 including a state-of-the-art "stereogram" - my entire album collection including all the Dylan albums up to John Wesley Harding was stolen in May 1968!

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This yearly page now contains only the main Rarities List! Mono 7" Singles & EPs (up to 1976) are now here, and Promotional Items (Albums and Singles) are now here. All Honourable Mentions are now here.

If you have any entries to add to the list or additions/corrections to existing entries, please let me know! Please note I cannot value your Dylan rarities - see the Mission page for reasons why. Contact the dealers on my Trading page for assistance!

 Revised: 14 November, 2017.


Titles in red are not available on a currently released Bob Dylan CD (for these see bobdylan.com )

Key to symbols used:
Links to other World Wide Web pages -
Links to email addresses -
Performances currently available on commercial CD are marked by (these are the ones that count as obscurities rather than as rarities)


Various Artists - "Rover-Pak January '68 Pop Product" - 7" mono promo EP, Columbia/Rover-Pak ZSP 136002/136003 (USA), Jan 1968:


Columbia/Rover-Pak ZSP 136002 (USA) - A-side picture from eBay (no Dylan)
This 7" mono promo EP contains excerpts from four current Columbia albums. The A-side has excerpts from tracks by Taj Mahal and Leonard Cohen (Suzanne), the B-side has excerpts from tracks by The Byrds (Goin' Back) and Bob Dylan (Drifter's Escape).

R-1016 Drifter's Escape - edit of track from John Wesley Harding

Tim Dunn has timed the track at 2:37 with a spoken intro of 0:16, making the excerpt 2:16. The complete mono track is timed at 2:50 on singles and 2:47 on the 2010 mono CD.


Columbia/Rover-Pak ZSP 136003 (USA) - B-side scan by Manuel García Jara (includes R-1016)

Columbia/Rover-Pak ZSP 136003 (USA) - B-side in Columbia sleeve, scan by Manuel García Jara

Thanks to Tim Dunn, Keith Venturoni and Manuel García Jara for information and scans.


Bob Dylan/The Band - "Basement Tapes" acetates/test pressings, Sunset Sound Recorders (USA); Feldmans/Dwarf Music (UK)/IBC Recording Studios (UK), 1968:
R-0545 and R-0546 have now been released in Nov 2014 on The Bootleg Series Vol. 11 - The Basement Tapes Complete, so are no longer rarities.


US test pressing side 1, scan by Arie de Reus

R-0545 Too Much Of Nothing - alternate take to the officially released track, recorded at Big Pink, West Saugerties, NY, Jul-Oct 1967

R-0546 Tears Of Rage - alternate take to the officially released track, recorded at Big Pink, West Saugerties, NY, Jul-Oct 1967

All other tracks on these test pressings (shown on the label listings) were released on The Basement Tapes in 1975, on Biograph in 1985, or on The Bootleg Series Vols. 1-3 in 1991, although these are mono versions.


US test pressing side 2, scan by Arie de Reus


UK acetate side 1, scan by Arie de Reus (variant 1)


UK acetate side 2, scan by Arie de Reus (variant 1)

BTAcetate.jpg (55655 bytes)
UK test pressing side 1, scan by Andrew Codd (variant 2)


UK test pressing side 2, scan by Andrew Codd (variant 2)


UK test pressing side 1, picture from www.discogs.com (variant 3)


UK test pressing side 1, picture from www.discogs.com (variant 3)


UK test pressing side 1, picture from eBay (variant 4)


UK test pressing side 1, picture from Eduardo Ricardo (variant 5)


UK EP test pressing side 1, photo from eBay


UK EP test pressing side 2, photo from eBay

UK single test pressing - scan by Arie de Reus (single-sided)

UK single test pressing - picture from eBay (A-side of double-sided test pressing)

UK single test pressing - picture from eBay (B-side of double-sided test pressing)


UK single test pressing - scan by Gerd Rundel (single-sided)


UK single test pressing - photo by Gerd Rundel (single-sided)

Card sleeve for UK single test pressing - scan by Gerd Rundel

UK single test pressing - picture from eBay (single-sided)

UK single test pressing - picture from eBay (single-sided)

The Emidisc UK 14 track acetate/test pressing LP (five copies of which are shown with different text, two typewritten, three handwritten) is reputedly the source of the songs made available to UK groups such as Manfred Mann (The Mighty Quinn), The Brian Auger Trinity/Julie Driscoll (This Wheel's On Fire), Fairport Convention (Million Dollar Bash), etc. Apparently only about ten copies were pressed. John Bauldie describes this 14 track LP in detail in his article "The Basement Tapes" in "Record Collector", Jul 1987, but Hans Seegers disputes its legality. Hans says the songs were only legally distributed on tape, which is confirmed by Dean Chambers, who has information the songs were supplied to the music publishing company Feldmans in London on a 7" reel by Albert Grossman. However, several acetates/test pressings were indeed made from this tape for private distribution, and these were the source of the much poorer quality bootleg LPs that surfaced. The US test pressing from Arie de Reus has exactly the same track list and appears official. Arie's UK LP is a double-sided acetate - a metal disc with a shellac coating on both sides, with the recording cut into each side, not pressed. The UK test pressing with the yellow/black IBC labels found by Gerd Rundel is double-sided with all the tracks listed on Side 1, and the Side 2 label blank. The test pressing listed as variant 5 belonged to Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, and was given by him in 1967-68 to a woman who worked as Fan Club Secretary for the band from 1964 to 1972, and is now selling it through auctioneers Bonhams.

Also shown are other Emidisc double-sided and single-sided acetates and test pressings for sale on eBay. ("Emidisc" was EMI's brand of recording blank, made at Hayes, Middlesex, which could be used by anyone in the recording industry - exactly like a CD-R today - and the name does not mean this recording was produced by EMI itself. I have other 1960s test pressings pressed on vinyl blanks with Emidisc labels. The single Emidisc acetate of I Shall Be Released is of the track from The Basement Tapes sessions eventually released on The Bootleg Series Vols. 1-3 in 1991, not the later version released on Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II in 1971. The title is misspelled "Realeased"! The three other single Emidisc test pressings are all of tracks from the UK LP and later released on The Basement Tapes in 1975. Gerd Rundel's copy of Please Mrs. Henry is blank on the reverse and comes in a grey card sleeve with blue edges. The Emidisc test pressing EP has two takes of Tears Of Rage plus Quinn The Eskimo on Side 1, with Quinn the Eskimo, Open The Door, Richard and "Nothing Is There" (Too Much Of Nothing or Nothing was Delivered?) on Side 2.


Front of sleeve scan from johnpeelarchive.com
Thanks to Ian Woodward for finding a "Demos" copy of the 14-track album with exactly the same tracklist in a white card sleeve that was owned by the late British "underground" DJ John Peel (John Robert Parker Ravenscroft, 1939-2004). The rear of the sleeve is blank, and the disc comes in a white paper inner sleeve with blank white labels. There is an associated record card with a typed tracklist.
Record card scan from johnpeelarchive.com

Arie de Reus' acetate of I Shall be Released above was used for the insert of the 2CD release of The Bootleg Series Vol. 11: The Basement Tapes Raw in 2014. The B-side of this acetate looks as if it had a track cut into it, but it has deep grooves scored across it to make it unplayable.


Other People's Music OPM 281/ Columbia/Legacy 88875064261 (USA) - front with wraparound sleeve, photo by Steven Fant (200gm pink vinyl edition)

This 14-track album was re-released as The Basement Tape by Other People's Music and Columbia in three versions for Record Store Day 18 Apr 2015! As none of the tracks are now rarities, these releases have been added to The Bootleg Series Vol. 11 - The Basement Tapes Complete/Raw album page here.


Columbia 88875064261 (USA) - Side 1 scan by Steven Fant (200gm pink vinyl edition)

Columbia 88875064261 (USA) - Side 2 scan by Steven Fant (200gm pink vinyl edition)

Other People's Music OPM 281/ Columbia/Legacy 88875064261 (USA) - front with wraparound sleeve, photo by Steven Fant (180gm black vinyl edition)

Other People's Music OPM 281/ Columbia/Legacy 88875064261 (USA) - front with wraparound sleeve (my copy, 130gm back vinyl edition)

Arie's UK acetate above was used by Jan Haust as the basis of these 2015 labels.

None of the tracks were thought to be rarities, but Peter Coulthard points out that at the start of This Wheel's on Fire Bob is heard to sing/mumble softly "If your mem'ry serves you well..."  This fragment of singing ahead of the first strummed note does not occur on the 6CD set The Bootleg Series Vol. 11 - The Basement Tapes Complete. so these albums have also been added to 2015 as containing a rarity.

R-1653 This Wheel's On Fire - unedited version with Bob intro
It is possible that this intro also occurs on the 1968 test pressing LP, confirmation required!

Thanks to Arie de Reus, Andrew Codd, Gerd Rundel and Wiebke Dittmer for information and scans.


Bob Dylan/The Band - "This Wheel's On Fire"/"Tears Of Rage" - mono 7" test pressing single, CBS (no catalogue number) (UK), 1968(?):


A-side picture from eBay found by Jean-Pol Hiernaux
Both songs were eventually released in 1975 on The Basement Tapes, although these are mono versions.

This "Emidisc" test pressing is in a brown paper sleeve which is inside a plain white sleeve. It came from the collection of Denise Mills, PA to Island Records founder Chris Blackwell.

Thanks to Jean-Pol Hiernaux for finding this on eBay.


B-side picture from eBay found by Jean-Pol Hiernaux

Joan Baez - "Joan Baez" - stereo vinyl release, Vanguard C 104/7 (NL), 1968:


Vanguard C 104/7 (NL) - front scan by Manuel García Jara

Vanguard C 104/7 (NL) - rear scan by Manuel García Jara

Vanguard C 104/7 (NL) - detail of rear, scan by Manuel García Jara

Vanguard C 104/7 (NL) - Side 1 scan by Manuel García Jara (includes R-0023)

Vanguard C 104/7 (NL) - detail of Side 1, scan by Manuel García Jara ("1) Joan Baez accompanying herself on the guitar with Bob Dylan")

Vanguard C 104/7 (NL) - Side 2 scan by Manuel García Jara (includes three Dylan covers)

R-0023-2 We Shall Overcome (Zilphia Horton/Frank Hamilton/Guy Carawan/Pete Seeger) - Bob performs with the Freedom Singers and ensemble, recorded live at the Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI, 26 Jul 1963, from the Vanguard album Evening Concerts At Newport Vol. 1, see 1964 (stereo version)

This was an exclusive compilation made by Vanguard for "Boek en Plaat [Book and Record]", a Dutch mail order club. (A different Spanish mail order club with the same name, "DiscoLibro", released an exclusive edition of Desire.) This album has the "Boek en Plaat" logo on the rear sleeve, but not on the record labels, as was usual for records made for this club. It includes three Dylan covers on side 2: Farewell, Angelina, Daddy, You Been On My Mind and It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (tracks 1-3), but the most interesting track on this record is We Shall Overcome (Side 1, track 1) credited as performed by "Joan Baez accompanying herself on the guitar with Bob Dylan". Joan Baez sings and plays guitar, but there is also an ensemble vocal - Bob must be singing background vocals here. There is no information for this track, but it must be the live performance taken from the Newport Folk Festival.

Thanks to Manuel García Jara for information and scans.


Mono Singles & EPs for 1968

GerEP6158Front.jpg (25158 bytes)
Mono 7" Singles & EPs 1966-68
These are now here: Mono 7" Singles & EPs 1966-68. Mono LPs have their own pages, see International Mono Releases.

JWHUSMonoFront.jpg (20499 bytes)
John Wesley Harding
(1968, mono)


Promotional/Regular Items for 1968


Living In Another Country: International Stereo Releases

Stereo promo items for 1968 which don't contain rare material but which are still very collectable are now included with promo releases of regular albums and commercially released singles on the appropriate page in International Stereo Releases. John Wesley Harding 1968
John Wesley Harding
(1968, stereo)

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A Flying Pig production

Listings © 1998-2017
The rights to material from all quoted contributors remain with them. Copyright of all included artwork remains with the various record companies.

 

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