Why spend extra money on this 4 disc `deluxe edition' box set instead of the standard 2 disc Another Self-Portrait?
The main reason is because you get the full 1969 Isle of Wight Bob Dylan and The Band Concert. This has a reputation for being a rather lack-lustre affair because the four tracks originally released were badly mixed and the quality of bootlegs was very poor. In fact this lovingly remastered version shows what a great concert it actually was, with Dylan fully committed to his material and The Band at the top of their game in accompanying him. Dylan's voice was light and lyrical, and nowhere better on display than in the acoustic versions of It Ain't Me Babe, To Ramona and Mt Tambourine Man. Close your eyes and you are transported back over forty years to the front row of a classic Dylan concert.
You also get two hard-back books, the first including essays by Greil Marcus and Michael Simmons. Greil Marcus is at his best here, and his analysis of Little Sadie is very perceptive, perfectly capturing what is so good about Dylan's strange and compelling treatment of this song. The second book contains lots of photos of a relaxed and unguarded Dylan from the Woodstock and New York years, many of which I have not seen before.
And finally - you get a pristine-sounding remastered version of the original Self-Portrait album, which was never as bad as the critics made out anyway.
All in all this deluxe edition is definitely worth having - a fantastic celebration of a period of Dylan's career which turns out to have been full of musical gold that no way justified those `What is this shit?' taunts.