Bob Dylan

Another Self Portrait: The Bootleg Series Vol. 10 (1969-1971) (Columbia)

Box Sets

Bob Dylan

Another Self Portrait: The Bootleg Series Vol. 10 (1969-1971) (Columbia)

Hard to convey the critical shitstorm Bob Dylan's Self Portrait generated in 1970. Arriving at the peak of his cultural cachet, the album's half-baked assortment of country, folk, and early rock & roll covers led fans to dismiss it as an elaborate joke, or as a willful act of self-demystification by the Voice of a Generation. Dylan later pushed the latter explanation, albeit unconvincingly. Thirty-five Self Portrait-era outtakes, demos, and alternate versions that form the core of Another Self Portrait support the intentional sabotage theory. Otherwise, why would Dylan leave off such vibrant gems as shaggy-dog original "Tattle O'Day," the haunting English trad-folk tune "Pretty Saro," and heartfelt covers of Eric Andersen and Tom Paxton in favor of the feeble performances that made the cut? Many of the biggest revelations here come from a stripped-down session with David Bromberg on guitar and Al Kooper on keyboards. Some of those tracks were ruined originally by extraneous overdubs, but these intimate versions compellingly convey what the original album only hinted at: a visionary working his way out of a period of creative uncertainty. Combined with illuminating outtakes and demos from less-troubled follow-up New Morning, they make Another Self Portrait a far more rewarding listen than its predecessor. The double-disc version incorporates the aforementioned rarities, while a 4-CD box set adds a redundant remaster of the original album, plus Dylan and the Band's fabulous full set from the 1969 Isle of Wight festival, and two hardbound books housing Greil Marcus' thoughtful liner notes.

****

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Bob Dylan
Heart-Shaped Box Sets
Bob Dylan
Trouble No More: The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981 (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Dec. 8, 2017

Gift Guide 2015: The Boxing Lesson
Bob Dylan
The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12 (Record Review)

Jim Caligiuri, Dec. 18, 2015

More Music Reviews
Friday ACL Fest 2018 Record Reviews
Natalie Prass
The Future and the Past (Record Review)

Michael Toland, Oct. 12, 2018

Saturday ACL Fest 2018 Record Reviews
Ruston Kelly
Dying Star (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Oct. 12, 2018

More by Scott Schinder
Music DVDs
The Byrd Who Flew Alone: The Triumphs and Tragedy of Gene Clark

Dec. 19, 2014

Box Sets
Bob Dylan & The Band
The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11 (Record Review)

Dec. 12, 2014

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Bob Dylan

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle