A “one of one” edition of Bob Dylan’s first new studio recording of Blowin’ in the Wind released since 1962—issued on a unique acetate disc that marks an important advance to analogue playback technology.
2022 marks the 60th anniversary of one of the most iconic and profound songs written in the last century. Debuted on the diminutive stage of Gerde's Folk City in Greenwich Village in April 1962, Bob Dylan's ‘Blowin' in the Wind,’ proved an instant classic, and is today woven firmly into of the fabric of American culture.
Dylan first recorded the song for Columbia on 9 July 1962 for his second album, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. In 2021, he entered the studio again to re-record the song for his friend, Joseph Henry ‘T Bone’ Burnett III, the Grammy and Oscar winning composer, musician and producer. Unlike Dylan's 1963 release which achieved platinum status and has been played and heard countless millions of times throughout the decades, only a single copy of this new recording of ‘Blowin' in the Wind’ will be offered on a groundbreaking, new audio medium that combines the best of the past and the present: the Ionic Original. This new format embodies the depth and resonance of an analogue vinyl record while dramatically improving upon its sonic quality, playability and durability.
The patented technology behind the Ionic Original builds upon advances in nanotechnology and material sciences employing proprietary ion assisted deposition, and other advances in materials science to generate a protective sapphire and quartz gradient coating upon a traditional acetate substrate specifically designed for the superior reproduction and preservation of analog sound. This new hybrid technology yields the ‘holy grail’ for recording artists and audiophiles: a single format that can offer superior sound reproduction, foreign particle resistance, durability, excellent signal-to-noise ratio, longevity, portability, and compatibility with existing playback equipment.
In Burnett’s own estimation, ‘an Ionic Original is the pinnacle of recorded sound. It is archival quality. It is future proof. It is one of one. Not only is an Ionic Original the equivalent of a painting, it is a painting. It is lacquer painted onto an aluminum disc, with a spiral etched into it by music. This painting, however, has the additional quality of containing that music, which can be heard by putting a stylus into the spiral and spinning it.’
The First Ionic Original
THIS IS THE ONLY COPY OF BOB DYLAN’S 2021 RECORDING OF ‘BLOWIN IN THE WIND’ THAT WILL EVER BE MANUFACTURED. NO OTHER VERSIONS OF THIS RECORDING WILL BE RELEASED OR SOLD.
The 10-inch disc bears the etched signatures of Bob Dylan (‘Bob Dylan’), Joseph Henry ‘T Bone’ Burnett (‘TBONE’) and mastering engineer Jeff Powell (‘J POWELL’). Additionally, the disk bears one additional etched mark: (‘NF - EXOTHERMIC’), reflecting its identity during audio and durability testing.
The disc is housed in a custom cabinet handmade in California of walnut and rift sawn white oak, with brass disc platter within a push front drawer and an etched titanium plaque. The cabinet was designed and fabricated by Lawrence Azerrad, LADdesign, Inc. and Thomas Greek, Firm Designs, Inc.
The present recording of ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ presented on the first Ionic Original was recorded in 2021 in Los Angeles and Nashville. For this recording, Mr. Dylan was joined by Greg Leisz on Mandolin, Stuart Duncan on Violin, Dennis Crouch on bass, Don Was on bass, and T Bone Burnett on electric guitar. It was recorded by Michael Piersante and Rachael Moore and mixed by Michael Piersante. Final mix mastered by Gavin Lurssen.
‘Blowin' in the Wind’
The cultural impact of ‘Blowin' in the Wind’ cannot be overstated. Covered by hundreds of artists since the words and music first appeared in print in May 1962, the song not only brought Bob Dylan to the world stage, it gave new voice to the burgeoning social movements of the 1960s.
Dylan adapted the melody of ‘Blowin' in the Wind’ from an African-American spiritual, ‘No More Auction Block for Me,’ sung by the formerly enslaved who had fled to Nova Scotia after Great Britain abolished slavery in 1833, and was already part of Dylan's live repertoire. Woody Guthrie's autobiography, Bound For Glory, may have offered additional inspiration for the young songwriter, when Guthrie likened his political sensibilities to newspapers blowing in the streets of New York. Additionally, the song's opening interval echoed ‘We Shall Overcome,’ which helped hit resonate deeply within civil rights and antiwar movements.
The song marked a strong departure from his previous work which often took the form of specific narratives such as ‘Talkin New York’ or specific people and subjects like ‘Song to Woody.’ but ‘Blowin' in the Wind,’ according to critic Andy Gill, ‘was different: for the first time, Dylan discovered the effectiveness of the moving from the particular to the general … a song as vague as ‘Blowin' in the Wind’ could be applied to just about any freedom issue. It remains the song with which Dylan's name is most inextricably linked….’.
Long before Dylan’s 1963 studio release, the song had been published, first in the May 1962 issue of Broadside, and again that autumn in Sing Out! where Dylan offered his own commentary on its meaning:
There ain't too much I can say about this song except that the answer is blowing in the wind. … just like a restless piece of paper it's got to come down some ... But the only trouble is that no one picks up the answer when it comes down so not too many people get to see and know ... and then it flies away.
Dylan composed ‘Blowin' in the Wind’ in the wake of the release of his self-titled debut album which proved a commercial failure, selling only 5,000 copies during its initial release. Despite lackluster sales, Billboard singled out the album for ‘special merit,’ writing that Dylan was ‘one of the most interesting, and most disciplined youngsters to appear on the pop-folk scene in a long time,’ and predicting that once ‘he finds his own style, could win a big following.’ This was not enough for executives at Columbia who pressured John Hammond, who had signed Dylan to the label the previous year, to drop the young talent from Minneapolis. Hammond stood firm—determined to make the next album a major success. Soon after Dylan wrote ‘Blowin' in the Wind,’ in April 1962, he was back in Columbia Studio A working on his next LP, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan which was recorded during eight sessions between April 1962 and April 1963.
Released in May 1963, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, sold 10,000 the first month and eventually reached platinum status. A month later, Peter, Paul and Mary released their own cover of ‘Blowin' in the Wind’ that sold 300,000 copies in its first week of release. In July 1963, Dylan appeared at the Newport Folk Festival where he sang ‘Blowin' in the Wind’ as his finale—inviting Peter, Paul and Mary together with Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Theodore Bikel, the SNCC Freedom Singers to join him on stage. And quite appropriately, they followed ‘Blowin' in the Wind’ with ‘We Shall Overcome’. In the ensuing years, hundreds more musicians would cover ‘Blowin' in the Wind’, helping cement its position as one of the most important and recognizable songs ever written.
T Bone Burnett
Multiple Grammy and Oscar winner Joseph Henry ‘T Bone’ Burnett is a producer, musician and songwriter. Born in St. Louis and raised in Fort Worth, T Bone came to music at an early age, listening to a variety of styles. After seeing The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, he began performing with various garage bands, but soon gravitated to the world of recording. One of his early efforts was to produce (and play drums on) the song ‘Paralyzed’ by the legendary Stardust Cowboy (1968), but his big break came when Bob Dylan asked him to join his Rolling Thunder Review in 1975. After the tour concluded in 1976, Burnett went on to become a prominent solo artist while also producing and composing for film and television including the five-time Grammy winning soundtrack for O Brother, Where Art Thou?, The Big Lebowski, Cold Mountain, The Hunger Games, Crazy Heart and Walk The Line, among others. Burnett also composed and produced the music for critically acclaimed HBO series True Detective. He has collaborated with numerous artists including Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello and Roy Orbison, and won Album of the Year and Record of the Year Grammy Awards for Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ Raising Sand. Most recently, Burnett released The Invisible Light: Acoustic Space, the first full-length installment in The Invisible Light trilogy, an experimental song cycle which explores the idea that society has been subject to a programming pandemic which is causing us to lose our ability to differentiate fact from fiction.
 Wanye Hampton, Guerilla Minstrels: John Lennon, Joe Hill, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan.(Knoxville: Univeristy of Tennessee Press, 1986) p. 206.
 Andy Gill, My Back Pages: Classic Bob Dyand, 1962-1969. (London: Carleton, 1998) p. 23.
 Vol. 12, No. 4, October-November 1962, p. 4.
 14 April 1962, p. 43
 Sean Wilentz, Bob Dylan in America. (New York: Anchor Books, 2011.) 276-277.