Bob Dylan-The Great White Wonder

One of the most famous bootlegs of all time. This is the first bootleg ever to be produced in the rock-and-roll era. Great White Wonder was originally released in the United States in July of 1969. There was little on this piece to identify it to the world. It came out in a blank white gatefold cover, with blank white labels. The only identifying mark whatsoever is the matrix number: GF 001/2/3/4. (gwa 1Aa version 1). The name ‘Great White Wonder’ probably actually began as a joke when retailers needed to come up with a name for this blank white album. The term quickly became synonymous with Dylan in the bootleg world however, and has since been used many, many times to refer to either the man or his work. Later in the year this famous album was repressed. This second repress, (gwa 1Aa version 2 ) can be identified only by the addition of the number “2” carved after the matrix on all four sides of the LP.

At about the same time that the album first made its appearance in the United States, a Swedish pressing began circulating in Europe. The differences in this album and the previous is that this one had a very thin blank white gatefold cover, and a machine-stamped matrix BD 101 A/B. (gwa 1Ab). It is not impossible that this is actually the first “Great White Wonder”. Towards the end of the year, one of the above pieces began appearing in the east coast of the United States in two separate blank white covers. The matrix number has been completely scratched out, so it is not sure exactly which piece this is, or if it is actually a different pressing. This set is known as gwa 1Ac. Hot Wacks, the book that tries to chronicle bootlegs by every artist, claims that there is an original version of the above album with fewer songs. It is doubtful, however, that this actually exists.

The quality on all of the above pieces is similar, and fairly good. As the same master plates were used over and over, sound quality began to deteriorate somewhat. While these pieces, pressed in the last year of the decade, are fairly easy to chronicle … things start getting a little more complicated from here on out. There are no fewer than fifty separately identifiable albums that have either copied this material directly, or have released this material in varying qualities under the same title.-BobsBoots.com

Bob Dylan
The Great White Wonder

Disc 1

  1. Candy Man (minnesota Tapes, 22 Dec. 1961)
  2. Ramblin’ ’round (minnesota Tapes, May 1961)
  3. Black Cross (minnesota Tapes, 22 Dec. 1961)
  4. I Ain’t Got No Home (minnesota Tapes, 22 Dec. 1961)
  5. The Death Of Emmett Till (broadside Show, Nyc May 1962)
  6. Poor Lazarus (minnesota Tapes, 22 Dec. 1961)
  7. Bob Dylan’s New Orleans Rag (times They Are A-changin’ Sessions, Columbia Studios, Nyc, 1963)
  8. If You Gotta Go, Go Now (bob Dylan 1965 Revisited, Disk 1 Track 11)
  9. Sitting On A Barbed Wire Fence (bob Dylan 1965 Revisited, Disk 7 Track 2)
  10. Only A Hobo (for Sale Or Just On The Shelf, 12 Aug. 1963)
  11. Quinn The Eskimo (the Mighty Quinn) (genuine Basement Tapes, Vol. 2 #1)
  12. This Wheel’s On Fire (genuine Basement Tapes, Vol. 3 Apr.–oct. 1967)

Disc 2

  1. I Shall Be Released (genuine Basement Tapes, Vol. 3 Apr.–oct. 1967)
  2. Open The Door, Homer (genuine Basement Tapes, Vol. 2 #1)
  3. Too Much Of Nothing (genuine Basement Tapes, Vol. 2 #2)
  4. Nothing Was Delivered (genuine Basement Tapes, Vol. 2 #1)
  5. Tears Of Rage (genuine Basement Tapes, Vol. 2 #1)
  6. Living The Blues (johnny Cash Show, Nashville 1 May 1969)
  7. Baby Please Don’t Go (minnesota Tapes, 22 Dec. 1961)
  8. Dink’s Song (minnesota Tapes, 22 Dec. 1961)
  9. See That My Grave Is Kept Clean (minnesota Tapes, 22 Dec. 1961)
  10. East Orange, N.j. (minnesota Tapes, 22 Dec. 1961)
  11. Man Of Constant Sorrow (minnesota Tapes, May 1961)

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4 Comments

  1. Comment by Fred Muller:

    The non-chronological sequencing of these tracks puzzled me until I thought back to record changers on which you could load more than one record. Double LP sets like this used to have Sides 1 and 4 on one LP and Sides 2 and 3 on the other. If you re-sequence the tracks (disc 1 tracks 1 – 6; then disc 2 tracks 7 – 11, and so on) the tracks run chronologically as they would have done on the original vinyl set. The blank labels didn’t help the latterday incorrect flow!

    • Comment by admin:

      I’ve seen the track listing in so many different orders, I figured it was just safer to list it the way I received it. Feel free to re arrange the tracks however you feel works best, anything to help the listening experience.

  2. Comment by Louis Patrick:

    D2, #10 turns out to be Naomi Wise, not the East Orange, NJ chess story. Many thanks!

  3. Ping from American History Now » Vinyl as New Media:

    […] Dylan’s basement tapes.  Variously called Great White Wonder, Little White Wonder, and Troubled Troubadour, depending on the countercultural scamp who made […]

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