Bob Dylan rerecords Blowin’ in the Wind for Christie’s auction

<span>Photograph: John Cohen/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: John Cohen/Getty Images

Bob Dylan has rerecorded his classic protest song Blowin’ in the Wind for the first time since it was tracked in July 1962. The new version is the debut release for Ionic Original, a new analogue format developed by Dylan’s long-term collaborator T Bone Burnett.

It is also highly exclusive: Ionic will produce one-of-a-kind aluminium discs painted with lacquer that features “a spiral etched into it by music”. Only one copy of the Dylan recording will be released, and is set to be auctioned by Christie’s in London on 7 July. It is expected to sell for between £600,000 and £1m.

Dylan recorded the new version of Blowin’ in the Wind last year, produced by Burnett. “Sixty years after Bob first wrote and recorded Blowin’ in the Wind, he is giving us a new recording of his song,” Burnett said in a press release. “One that is both deeply relevant for our times and resonant with decades of the artist’s life and experience.”

Blowin’ in the Wind was released on Dylan’s second studio album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, in May 1963. He had begun playing it a year earlier in Greenwich Village venues and first published the lyrics in Pete Seeger’s Broadside magazine, which was dedicated to folk and topical songs.

In June 1962, the lyrics were published again in Sing Out! magazine accompanied by comments from Dylan reiterating the points made in the song:

There ain’t too much I can say about this song except that the answer is blowing in the wind. It ain’t in no book or movie or TV show or discussion group ... But the only trouble is that no one picks up the answer when it comes down so not too many people get to see and know ... and then it flies away.

It became an anthem of the civil rights movement, admired by artists including Mavis Staples and Sam Cooke, and a modern hymn of sorts, frequently performed in churches.

Critic Janet Maslin described it as one of the songs that established Dylan as “the voice of his generation – someone who implicitly understood how concerned young Americans felt about nuclear disarmament and the growing civil rights movement: his mixture of moral authority and nonconformity was perhaps the most timely of his attributes.”

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Ionic Originals claims to be the first major new format in analogue music reproduction in more than seven decades, since the development of the polyvinyl disc replaced shellac records. Peter Klarnet, a senior specialist at Christie’s, called Blowin’ in the Wind “one of the most important songs written in the last century … I very much share T Bone Burnett’s passion for the sonic excellence of analog sound.”

Dylan’s US tour begins later this month. He will publish a new book, the Philosophy of Modern Song – containing more than 60 essays on songs by artists such as Nina Simone, Hank Williams and Elvis Costello – on 1 November.