Music historian and collector Jeff Gold made a "major discovery" in a Greenwich Village apartment building that used to house a recording studio, he wrote on the Record Mecca blog.
Stowed away in a small closet in a loft above a bedroom that nearly went unnoticed were two boxes labeled "Old Records."
Contained within these boxes were 149 never-before-heard Bob Dylan acetates, or recordings, left untouched for roughly 40 years.
Essentially, an acetate is the raw material of what would ultimately become a vinyl record. However, after "20 or 30 plays," the sound quality recedes. What's notable about these particular acetates is that they're reportedly in excellent condition.
Dylan worked in that studio between 1969 and 1972, where he recorded Nashville Skyline, Self Portrait, and New Morning.
Many of the tracks found on the acetates were unreleased versions of songs from the recording sessions of those three albums.
"We discovered many of the acetates were unreleased versions of songs, in some cases with different overdubs, sometimes without any overdubs, many with different mixes, different edits and in a few cases completely unreleased and unknown versions. There are outtakes too, including electric versions of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" and "Folsom Prison Blues" recorded during the Self Portrait sessions, and a gospel tinged version of "Tomorrow is Such a Long Time" recorded during the New Morning sessions."