April 24: Bob Dylan: The 8th and last Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan session 1963

bob dylan freewheelin

 Freewheelin’ in it’s released form is essentially a “best of” from one of the most creative years in Dylan’s life. The lag between sessions resulted in an album whose sound metamorphosed at least twice.
~Clinton Heylin (BD – The Recording Sessions)

Dylan nailed 5 master versions for “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” @ this important recording session.

bob dylan freewheelin shots

A little background info:

The 7th recording session took place on December 6th (1962).. and before this last recording session Dylan was a trip over to London… and he had (off course) written new material…
                               Dylan’s keenness to record his new material for Freewheelin’ paralleled a dramatic power struggle in the studio: Albert Grossman’s determination to have John Hammond replaced as Dylan’s producer at CBS. According to Dylan biographer Howard Sounes, “The two men could not have been more different. Hammond was a WASP, so relaxed during recording sessions that he sat with feet up, reading The New Yorker. Grossman was a Jewish businessman with a shady past, hustling to become a millionaire.”
Because of Grossman’s hostility to Hammond, Columbia paired Dylan with a young, African-American jazz producer, Tom Wilson. Wilson recalled: “I didn’t even particularly like folk music. I’d been recording Sun Ra and Coltrane … I thought folk music was for the dumb guys. [Dylan] played like the dumb guys, but then these words came out. I was flabbergasted.” At a recording session on April 24, produced by Wilson, Dylan recorded five new compositions: “Girl from the North Country”, “Masters of War”, “Talkin’ World War III Blues”, “Bob Dylan’s Dream”, and “Walls of Red Wing”. “Walls of Red Wing” was ultimately rejected, but the other four were included in a revised album sequence.

bob dylan freewheelin back


Studio A
Columbia Recording Studios
New York City, New York
24 April 1963

Produced by Tom Wilson (some sources claim John Hammond)
Engineers: Knuerr and Dauria

  1. Girl From The North Country
  2. Girl From The North Country
    Yeah, I do, I wish I could write like Girl From The North Country. You know, I can’t write like that any more.
    ~Bob Dylan (Austin Press Conference, Sept 1965)
  3. Masters Of War
  4. Masters Of War
  5. Masters Of War
    [Masters of War]… is supposed to be a pacifistic song against war. It’s not an anti-war song. It’s speaking against what Eisenhower was calling a military industrial complex as he was making his exit from the presidency. That spirit was in the air, and I picked it up.
    ~Bob Dylan (to Edna Gundersen – Sept 2001)
  6. Walls Of Red Wing
  7. Walls Of Red Wing
  8. Walls Of Red Wing
    Dylan based “Walls of Red Wing” off of the traditional Scottish folk ballad “The Road and the Miles to Dundee”, which he may have learned during his trip to London in early 1963, from other aspiring folk singers, such as Martin Carthy. In his narration, Dylan goes to describe a juvenile detention center in Red Wing, Minnesota.
  9. Talking World War III Blues
  10. Talking World War III Blues
  11. Talking World War III Blues
  12. Talking World War III Blues
  13. Talking World War III Blues
    I was feelin’ kinda lonesome and blue
    I needed somebody to talk to
    So I called up the operator of time
    Just to hear a voice of some kind
    “When you hear the beep it will be three o’clock”
    She said that for over an hour
    And I hung up
    ~from the lyrics
  14. Bob Dylan’s Dream
  15. Bob Dylan’s Dream
    According to Shelton, Dylan credited the melody of “Bob Dylan’s Dream” to the traditional broadside ballad “Lord Franklin” (also known as “Lady Franklin’s Lament” and “The Sailor’s Dream”), which he learned from British folksinger Martin Carthy, whom he met while visiting London in late December 1962.
    However, Dylan probably learned the song even earlier from his Village friend Paul Clayton, who had recorded it in 1957 for his album Whaling and Sailing Songs: From the Days of Moby Dick on Folkways. In either case, within a couple weeks after returning from London in January 1963, Dylan began playing “Bob Dylan’s Dream” for Gil Turner during after-hours sessions at Gerde’s Folk City, where Turner was emcee.
  16. Girl From The North Country
  17. Girl From The North Country
  18. Girl From The North Country
  19. Girl From The North Country
  20. Masters Of War
  21. Masters Of War
  22. Masters Of War

Bob Dylan (guitar, harmonica & vocal)


  • 3, 4, 6, 7, 9-12, 16, 18, 20  are false starts.
  • Only  the released tracks 2, 5, 8, 13, 15 are in circulation.
  • Recorded 10-1 pm.

bob dylan freewheelin shots2

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9 thoughts on “April 24: Bob Dylan: The 8th and last Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan session 1963”

  1. A near perfect record that has a most beloved place in my heart together with Times, I was a boy of only seven, ’65 in the Netherlands, when my older brother bought them and let me play them on his portable pick up, grey and red any time I wished, and that was always… If only Let me die in my Footsteps had survived the brilliant change of sequence caused by this stellar studio session, Honey allow me one more Chance bugged me and could have been left of much better.

    1. Let Me Die in My Footsteps is an absolutely essential song from this period and its retention in the revised release would have made Freewheelin’ that much stronger!

  2. Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan is the event that doomed me to a life of being overly enthusiastic about music. Specifically, it was Bruce Langhorne’s guitar accompaniment on Don’t Think Twice that blew me away… but the whole thing spoke of new possibility. I was just a young boy in 1963, but I remember feeling how the record was simultaneously perfect for those times, and timeless as well. Sounded old, sounded new. &I’ve never lost my naïve infinite zeal for this recording.

  3. Im 62 and cant believe this album has been kicking about my place in one form of another for 50 years.Original is in my attic.From disc to ipod and I play it regularly.

    1. Yeah, I`m 60 and that was my very first record of Bob.
      It had the biggest musical impact on me and I`m still in that
      overwhelmed state, whenever I hear it ! Bob is definitely a genius !

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