In one of the record-business surprises of the fall, an ambitious series of remastered Bob Dylan albums is selling big. New hybrid Super Audio Compact Disc versions of fifteen classic discs – including Highway 61 Revisited, Blood on the Tracks and Blonde on Blonde – have sold close to 60,000 copies since their release in early-October, including sales at online stores such as Amazon.com. A limited-edition box that includes all fifteen discs has also sold more than 3,000 copies – a big number for a set that retails for $240.
The Dylan albums have no bonus tracks or other new music; it’s the quality of the new mixes that’s the draw. Fans have long complained about the subpar quality of the CD versions of Dylan’s albums. For those who already own SACD players, the audio quality of the new discs is astounding: You can even hear the sound of Dylan’s cuff link hitting his guitar on “Shelter From the Storm,” from Blood on the Tracks. “There’s a whole new generation discovering Bob,” says Jeff Jones, senior vice president of Sony Legacy, who says the label has shipped 750,000 of these reissues to stores worldwide.
This story is from the November 13, 2003 issue of Rolling Stone.