Another Self Portrait

Just a quick note to say that I’m looking forward to the release of the Bootleg Series vol. 10, Another Self Portrait, which will highlight the very interesting period around 1970, seeing the controversial releases of Self Portrait and New Morning.

Since I consider this to be one of the two, perhaps three most interesting periods in Dylan’s career (the others being the gospel years and the early 90s) (not that I don’t like the early and mid 60s), while at the same time having previously sided with those who said: “What’s this shit?” about Self Portrait when it came out, I’m especially looking forward to setting thing straight concerning why I consider SP a bad album.

Which I do.

And for the right reasons.

Stay tuned!

4 thoughts on “Another Self Portrait

  1. eyolf, i thought you tdid a good job in your write-up on “self portrait” of describing why, although at times interesting, it’s not a good album.

    what i find most exciting is that i think it shows an interest on the part of dylan’s management to explore probably dylan’s most hated period, and it gives me hope they’ll finally release the bootleg series album i’ve been waiting for: bootleg series vol. 12, the gospel era.

    and what i find second most exciting is that the deluxe edition is going to contain the full isle of wight gig. every biography of dylan i’ve read has detailed what a disappointment this concert was. are eric clapton and i alone of the opinion that this entire performance was brilliant (and the recordings from this concert which appeared on “self portrait” its most inspired moments)? i’m sure dylan’s gonna gouge me for the deluxe edition again, just as sure as dylan knows i’ll pay it…

  2. As for “BS vol. 12: The Gospel Era”: Amen to that.
    As for the Isle of Wight: yes and no. An important reason why it was a disappointment is that it was so short.
    Musically: yes, it is interesting, for many reasons. One is of course the obvious country feel, but more importantly, I think, is that it’s actually the first example of what came to be Dylan’s trademark “you can’t recognize the tunes” approach to doing “Dylan covers”. He had reworked songs before, but the IoW show eccentricities sound much more like improvised ad libs. Much as I enjoy listening to the 1966 shows, they are interesting not because “you never know what’s going to happen” – because you will know, if you attended the previous show – but because of the intensity and energy. The IoW, on the other hand, is the first “you never know what’s going to happen” show.
    That said, I think the musical quality is too uneven for it to count as a really great show. Had he done a few more shows on the same “tour”, we would probably have seen/heard a remarkable development, so that by show #4 his interpretations would have reached a certain level of perfection, show #12 might have been slightly run-of-the-mill predictable, but show #20 – oh, my God what a show that would have been!

  3. Hi Eyolf,
    Self Portrait is one of my favourite Dylan CDs and I can’t wait for the new one. I hope that after you have tabbed the new songs you have time to update the zip file. Then we can all have the complete works saved at home, until of course the next release!

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