Bob Dylan’s new studio recording of his classic 1963 track “Blowin’ in the Wind” sold for an impressive £1,482,000 ($1,769,508) at auction during Christie’s London’s “Classic Week” on Thursday (July 7).
That amount exceeded expectations going into the auction — known as “The Exceptional Sale” — with initial estimates projecting it would go for between £600,000 and £1,000,000 ($720,000 and $1.2 million).
The new version of “Blowin’ in the Wind” was recorded last year during a special session with T Bone Burnett using the producer’s patented Ionic Original disc format (from Burnett’s NeoFidelity Inc.). According to a press release announcing the sale, the format delivers higher-quality audio than a typical vinyl record as well as “foreign particle resistance, durability, excellent signal-to-noise ratio, longevity [and] portability.” Ionic Originals discs are playable on widely-available vinyl playback equipment.
Only a single copy of the recording, the first to be recorded on an Ionic Original disc, is being offered for public sale. The original studio version of “Blowin’ in the Wind” was recorded in July 1962.
In a statement, Christie’s senior specialist of Americana, books and manuscripts Peter Klarnet said, “To work with such an incredibly important and groundbreaking advance in analogue playback technology is a tremendous honor. We are excited that this is just the beginning for this amazing new opportunity for recording artists to work with T Bone and NeoFidelity to reset the value of music.”
Burnett added, “With Bob Dylan’s new version of ‘Blowin’ In The Wind,’ our first Ionic Original archival analogue disc, we have entered and aim to help develop a music space in the fine arts market.”
In April, Burnett revealed he had been in the studio with Dylan to re-record some of the folk legend’s classic songs in the Ionic Originals format; “Blowin’ in the Wind” is the first of these re-recordings to be released. At the time of that announcement, Burnett said the format “advances the art of recorded sound and marks the first breakthrough in analog sound reproduction in more than 70 years, achieving dramatic improvements in listening experience and durability.”
The auction coincides with Dylan’s 60th anniversary as a recording artist. Ahead of the sale, Christie’s offered exclusive in-person chances to listen to the new version of the song in Los Angeles, New York and London.