Sony Music EntertainmentA limited-edition four-CD compilation offering a treasure trove of rare Bob Dylan recordings from 1962 was released in Europe recently, but good luck trying to score a copy. The set, titled The 50th Anniversary Collection, was officially issued by Sony Music but only about 100 copies were made available to a handful of stores in the U.K., France, Germany and Sweden.
A Sony label representative explains to Rolling Stone that the reason the recordings were released was to extend the copyright of the tracks, which, because of European legislation, had been scheduled to expire during 2012.
"The copyright law in Europe was recently extended from 50 to 70 years for everything recorded in 1963 and beyond. With everything before that, there's a new 'Use It or Lose It' provision," the source tells Rolling Stone. "It basically said, 'If you haven't used the recordings in the first 50 years, you aren't going to get any more.'" That is, the material would become part of the public domain.
According to a track list posted on the respected Dylan fan site Expecting Rain, The 50th Anniversary Collection includes material from various Columbia Records studio sessions throughout 1962. It also features home recordings, as well as songs from live performances at Montreal's Finjan Club and three New York City venues -- Carnegie Hall, Gerde's Folk City and the Gaslight Café. The tunes themselves include Dylan originals like "Blowin' in the Wind," "Corrina, Corrina" and "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall," and a variety of traditional folk and blues songs. Quite a few alternate versions of the same tracks appear on the compilation.
Mind you, it's not impossible to grab a copy, if you really want one -- and you have the cash. Copies of The 50th Anniversary Collection have been fetching more than $1,000 on eBay.
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