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PICTURES: Bob Dylan / Complete Album Collection Vol. One

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We have finally got our hands on the much talked about Bob Dylan Complete Album Collection Vol. One

Despite containing most of the musical legend’s studio output, the 47CD box set is surprisingly compact, measuring just over seven-inches across and a little over five inches in height and depth. It has a very attractive rubbery soft-feel finish with some classy spot varnishing on the graphics and photos.

Unlike the comparable Johnny Cash Complete Columbia Albums set which had a hinged lid, the Dylan box has a lift-off top which works rather well. Another difference is that while Cash had a softback book, this Bob set comes with a very cute and stylish 272-page hardback book. An introductory essay by Bill Flanagan leads into photos, credits, track listings for each album with some of the classics afforded some more space for extra words. Obviously the book is small, but the quality of the presentation and binding (it doesn’t feel like it will fall apart easily) adds to the overall appeal of this box set.

As you might expect if you’ve bought one of Sony’s ‘complete’ collections before, the CDs are all presented in simple card sleeves. No inner sleeves in any of them and no separate booklets. Artwork and cover reproduction varies. The famously out of focus Blonde On Blonde has a bit too much red in it, lending it a rather unattractive hue. The SACD from 2003 looks far better. On the other hand Blood On The Tracks, Desire, Highway 61 Revisited and most of the early albums are perfectly fine.

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It has to be said that these aren’t a patch on proper Japanese mini-LP CDs, but you’ll be lucky to pick-up six or seven of those for the £140 being charged for the 47CD set! So it’s not a fair comparison. There are a handful of gatefolds here, including the aforementioned Blonde On Blonde, Before The Flood and Side Tracks, the exclusive compilation of previously released non-album material.

Most Dylan fanatics are not, in all honesty, going to really need this set. You may well already own many, if not all of the SACDs from 2003 (possibly with the collectors’ box) and you might also have picked up the Mono Recordings box. One way or another, if you’re a big fan, it’s likely you own all the decent albums already. Despite this, there is something undeniably appealing about The Complete Album Collection Vol. One. Having everything under one ‘roof’ is satisfying and the solid and attractive nature of the box set increases the desire (no pun intended) to own it. It just looks so damn good on the shelf. Your own compact and portable Dylan library.

The Complete Album Collection Vol. One box set is out now. More photos below.

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Sealed box
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47 CDs – your own Bob Dylan library (click to enlarge)
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Bob is spot-varnished on the box (click to enlarge)
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Book included with this set (click to enlarge)
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Spot varnished (click to enlarge)
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Side Tracks – exclusive 2CD compilation (click to enlarge)
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Side Tracks (click to enlarge)
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Some gatefold sleeves within this set (click to enlarge)

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Alex Cho

I guess my main issue is calling this “Vol.1” – 50 years of work compiled… I certainly won’t be around when Vol. 2 comes out…

Scott

Thanks for the great review above. I will order this as I only have his recent CD’s from Time Out of Mind up to Modern Times which are all really good. I keep reading all those Album lists like Top 500 Rock Albums and Albums You Should Hear Before You Die, so I think this will be a good box set to have because a lot of these albums are in those lists.
I have to save a bit but first but this looks like it will be worth it. Thanks from Scottie

Ricky

I don’t think they’ve made a public announcement by the way, I think they are just emailing regular customers of the website.

Ricky

I’ve also had the Sainsbury’s email advising me that after March 2014 they are stopping selling physical products online such as CD’s and DVD’s.

They said they will only be offering streaming services and downloads after that date because that’s what they feel the majority wants and is the way the industry is moving.

Quite disappointed that they see it like that as to me it will leave Amazon as they only decent online retailer of varied stock at decent prices.

Mike Bushell

Still trying to make my mind up on this. Having bigged up Sainsbury’s on a previous post, I see that they are stopping hard copy product next year.

So I suppose we should get it while we can. Shame on them.

Phil Wilson

The faulty Hard Rain disc has a glitch at 0.08 and a more noticeable one at 3.53 (during the word tomorrow).

The address to email is now: bobdylan.replace@sonymusic.com not Jim Lane as mentioned elsewhere, he now directs you to the one mentioned.

They replied within about 2 minutes, saying they will have replacements in stock on 27/11 and will ship them out then.

Eric

It’s the picture of all the spines stacked together in the box which tempts me the most. And they’ve even got the numbers on them to help with chronology (though I suppose Dylan fans don’t need help to know the order they were released).

bob

This box set looks fantastic and is amazing value. I am not a massive Dylan fan, a greatest hits kind of fan, but I am seriously tempted to but this box set. Imagine, a 50 year career and 47 cd’s collected in one 7″ x 5″ cool shelf friendly box. I bet Dylan fans are loving this set.

Galley

I should’ve snagged it when Amazon had it for $148.00.

Richie

Killian if you buy a box with a faulty disc all you need to do is click onto the link provided by Barry and you will be sorted.
About the actual box set, if you have no Dylan and are thinking about it BUY THIS BOX SET NOW! It`s still £125 from Sainsbury Entertainment and it is superb.
I had every Dylan album and most of them 3 or 4 times over but the wife saw me looking at this set on the net once or twice and bought me an early Xmas prezzie and I love it.

Killian Scott

Here we go again. How do we know when it’ll be ok to buy one with the corrected “Hard” Rain?

Barry

Some of the initial batch have a faulty ‘Hard Rain’ disc. Sony are replacing (I’m awaiting mine). More details here: http://expectingrain.com/discussions/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=78158&p=1424980&sid=829a133a69d54e1ac64b0d26a73c2958

Eric

Ah, so that’s what some of the amazon reviews are talking about with regards to faulty discs.

This does look a very nice set to have, although I’ll be passing because I’ve built up my Dylan CD collection over the years and don’t have £130+ to spare in order to (literally) downsize it!

My Jelly

This is a cracking box set. I bought it from Amazon for £127.60p even cheaper on Sainsbury’s site £124.99p. Just over three quid an album bargain! A quality produced box booklet and cds all a true Zimmy fan could ever want. I’ve been a collector since the early 70’s bought various cassettes cds blu-rays over the years. There will always be duplications when a ‘beastie of a box’ this size is released, there will always be sub-standard material in such a vast collection, even The Beatle’s, The Stones, The Who released a ‘honker’ in their time. The sound quality is superb throughout with very few ‘howlers’ A good investment a truly remarkable artist, ‘The Mighty Dyl’ comes up trumps.