BOB DYLAN – THE VILLAGER (a WCF original; # 503/504)

Dylan Villager.JPG

Dylan Villager inner

The blank inner gatefold covers, as used for all double albums WCF produced between 1070 and 1972.

Dylan Villager Kathy

Labels came in any combination of ‘WCF blue’, red or white with the names “STEVE” or “KATHY”.

USA: 1971

Matrix: 503-A/B X and 504-A/B V

The title comes from the location of the Gaslight Cafe in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village area.

Gaslight cafe

Source: Side 1 & 2: “The Famous ‘Gaslight’ tapes have traded among collectors since the 60’s, and individual songs have been available on various bootleg recordings since the early 70’s.” [bobsboots.com] 06 September 1961 known as the first Gaslight (cafe) tape. This is the first recording capturing Dylan performing one of his own compositions.

Man On The Street
He Was A Friend Of Mine
Talkin’ Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues
Song To Woody
Pretty Polly
Car Car

The last song on 503-B “California” is a ‘Times They Are A-Changin’ sessions outtake from the second half of 1963. Two more close the second disc (marked with * below).

The second disc has the Gleason home tape, recorded 01 February 1961 in East Orange, NJ ( http://www.bobdylanroots.com/gleason.html ):

Jesus met the woman at the well
Gypsy Davy
Bull session I
Pastures of plenty

Jesse James
Bull session II
Remember me
Lay down your weary tune *
Moonshine blues *

 

Most interesting are the comments found at bobsboots.com: “As far as quality goes, the Villager is one of the worst records ever made. Paradoxically, as far as collectibility goes; it was a highly sought after piece for collectors of this type of material.
The rarity of the album stems from a few facts. First of all, there was a very small run produced. The title itself evoked all kinds of speculation and rumors in the early 70’s. A lot of people talked of the existence of this record, but few had seen it.
This LP set a record in Europe in 1976 as the highest price ever paid for a bootleg album. The album changed hands for an incredible $400! One of the reasons for this high price was not only the speculation of the early 70’s, and the fact that it was an import in Europe … but an incredible looking full printed cover. As it turns out, the cover had been a one or two of a kind silk-screen … not done by the manufacturer, but by a printer who wanted to create a wonderful looking cover for his album. Putting a value on this cover is a very subjective thing and better left to the discretion of the buyer/seller.”

These days, the title achieves from < $30 – $70 at auction.

**

This double set was also reissued in a folder-style cover ca. 1973/4 with the usual blank white labels:

Dylan GWW inner

 

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1 comment
  1. YesDays said:

    Referencing Dennis Liff in “Raging Glory”, the matrix number was 503-A/B and 504-A/B, plus an “X” on both sides of disc 1 and a “V” on both sides of disc 2. And the folder-style cover re-issue had blank, white labels. Of note, this entry in the Dennis Liff book indicates the matrix # 503 and 504 information is an exact match of the entry for the release in “Great White Answers” by Dominique Roques (1980). And also, the folder-style cover re-issue is not listed “Great White Answers”.

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