The Bootleg Series volumes 1 – 3 were released on vinyl as a box set on March 26, 1991. It was the first release of the bootleg series, covering acoustic tracks from Dylan’s early days in Greenwich Village, through his retreat to Woodstock, the divorce and right up until 1989. It’s a big selection of rare and unreleased material, and includes five different LPs, plus a nice booklet with some great pictures. The record sleeves also have great Dylan pictures on them.
From a collector’s point of view, the first installment of the bootleg series is an essential item in their stash of Dylan vinyl LP records. This set is also the most rare, desirable, valuable and hardest to find of all officially release Dylan bootleg series sets on vinyl. Musically this is a stunning collection of songs, that shows just how magnificent Dylan is. There these were never released is testament to the quality of his material.
Why is it hard to find?
There have been 13 different releases of the bootleg series Vol 1 – 3 on CD box sets, but only one release on Vinyl. This is the catalogue number COL 468086 1 released on the Columbia label in Europe. This is not a limited edition release, and the production run is likely to have been high – probably upwards of 100,000 or more. However, considering that almost three decades have passed since it’s release, and the amount of Dylan fans around the world, it’s no surprise that it has sold out in shops.
One interesting question is why the LP version was never released in the U.S. Cassette and CD versions have been issued in the U.S. but never the vinyl version.
Where to buy the Bootleg Series Volumes 1 – 3 vinyl LP box set?
As mentioned above, this is no longer available as new from record shops, but only on the secondary market . The best places are record shops that are selling second hand versions, online record shops, and private sellers on eBay. You will see some really bad condition copies of this record come up for sale on eBay – if you’re looking for some records to play, and not bother too much about collecting them, this is a great chance to buy them cheaply. But always go for the best condition if you are adding it to a collection.
Discogs has different copies of the Bootleg Series available from vinyl dealers from around the world. Some of the copies are Near Mint and it’s even possible to find versions still in the shrink wrap (remember though, that unscrupulous shops do have the ability to take a near mint copy and add their own shrink wrap packaging.)
How much is the Bootleg Series Vol 1 – 3 vinyl box set worth?
Final sale prices on eBay range from £100 – £200. This is exactly the same as Discogs asking prices which vary from £120 for the lowest price up to £180 for the highest, with an average price of £140.
Let me tell you right now, I have bought a copy of this record in near mint condition for less than the above prices. I’ve also sold a Very Good / Excellent copy in the past for £180 on eBay.
Price will vary according to condition, with acceptable copies going for as little as £60, but near mint condition selling for the highest price. The perfect price for this record is £140 for a very good condition copy. Excellent and near mint will be hitting the £180+ mark.
As always, I like to back up claims of value with some of the final sale prices. Between 29 April and 29 June, nine copies sold in the UK on eBay with an average price of £85.41. The condition of these sets varied between acceptable to good, the most common states for private sellers who’ve listened to and played their records.