Shop now Shop Clothing clo_fly_aw15_NA_shoes Shop All Shop All Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop Amazon Fire TV Shop now Shop Fire HD 6 Shop Kindle Paperwhite Shop now Shop Now Shop now

Customer Reviews

136
4.5 out of 5 stars
Another Self Portrait (1969-1971): The Bootleg Series Vol. 10
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:£12.14+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

81 of 85 people found the following review helpful
First of all, a confession: I've always loved 'Self Portrait'. For my money, it's one of Dylan's easiest, warmest and most listenable albums - and, of course, an 'Americana' masterpiece decades before the term was even coined. Perhaps 'Self Portrait' was Dylan's attempt to capture the elusive Basement Tapes spirit with the full resources of Columbia's studios at his disposal. Even if not, as with the 'Basement' sessions, many, many yards of tape were recorded for 'Self Portrait' and, more than once, Dylan did indeed capture lightning in a bottle. What 'Another Self Portrait' proves is that not all of these moments of magic were released on the original album.

So, here's the good news. 'Pretty Saro' is without doubt one of the most gorgeous performances of Dylan's entire career, and is most certainly worth the price of admission all by itself. Close behind are 'Thirsty Boots', 'Tattle O'Day', 'Railroad Bill', 'This Evening So Soon', 'Annie's Gonna Sing Her Song' and yet another outing for one of Dylan's perennial favourites 'Spanish is the Loving Tongue'. All of these are excellent tracks that inexplicably missed the cut for the 'Self Portrait' album. Some are sung in a sensitive tenor folk croon that recalls his very earliest (pre-1961) voice, but with a depth of expression wrought from a decade of performing experience. These are some of Dylan's very finest folk performances, and are an absolute 'must' for any collector.

There are other real goodies here too. In particular, the 'New Morning' out-takes are a revelation. The 'big band' overdubs on the title track give it a real swagger, and an electric piano version of 'Went To See The Gypsy' with the same fuzzy warmth as the Stones' 'Fool To Cry' is simply jaw-dropping. And a 'straight' rendition of 'If Dogs Run Free' make me want to shoot that scat singer all the more. This and a couple of other outtakes show that 'New Morning' could clearly have been a very different and maybe more compelling album than the one eventually released.

When then only the four stars? Quite a few reasons, in fact. Firstly, this is a collection that casts its net very widely indeed, and to my mind it loses coherence as a result. In addition to the various 1970 studio out-takes, there are a couple of discarded takes from 'Nashville Skyline', a 1967 'Basement' recording of 'Minstrel Boy' [begging the question as to when the Basement Tapes will FINALLY get a proper Bootleg Series re-issue], two previously-unissued takes from the 1969 Isle of Wight Concert, a demo of 'When I Paint My Masterpiece', a track from the 1971 session from Happy Traum... In other words, it's a real mixed bag - kind of a 'Tell Tale Signs' for 1967-71 - but sequenced in a way that makes no sense at all and provides a really stop-start listening experience. And despite the period-hopping it's far from comprehensive. A really complete overview of the period would have given us the Cash-Dylan and Dylan-Harrison sessions, the 1968 Woody Guthrie memorial concert and would also have dusted down the 1973 'Dylan' compilation for a long-overdue CD re-release.

Finally, a huge raspberry to Columbia for reserving the full 1969 Isle of Wight concert for the insanely expensive 'executive' version. Sheer greed. Disgraceful. The right thing for Columbia to have done would have been to have re-issued (as separate releases) an extended 2-CD version of 'Self Portrait', an extended 1-CD 'New Morning', a single live CD of Dylan and the Band in 1968-69, covering the Guthrie gig and the Isle of Wight concert, a single CD remaster of 'Dylan', and then a further 2-CD set of other 1968-71 session work, with the Cash-Harrison sessions, the unissued Happy Traum collaborations, plus the remaining outtakes from Nashville Skyline - oh, and both sides of the 'George Jackson' single as well, please. I'd buy the lot!

All in all then, this is a worthwhile set, and is lovely to have, but it's still a pale shadow of being a proper representation of this interesting, transitional and rewarding period in Dylan's career.
1414 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 7 November 2013
Further evidence that Dylan rewards his fans more than anyone in releasing not only unreleased material but stuff that is worthy of the original releases themselves. Self Portrait for sure is flawed but had many highlights. So here are some highlights:
1) Great sleevenotes. Love the way Greil Marcus' original review from Rolling Stone 'What is this s***?' is turned into 'what this s*** is'.
2)Tattle O Day Hilarious lyric, should have been on the album, in place of Minstrel Boy for example.
3)Alberta 3 so much better than 1 and 2. What was Bob thinking?
4)The live Isle Of Wight tracks: both better than what turned up on Self Portrait. I love Levon's shouted backing vocal! I am a little pissed off that the entire Isle of Wight concert is only available on the super expensive box set edition, but that is not what I am reviewing here.
5)When I Paint My Masterpiece: good demo, although I prefer the original lyrics to the rock'n rolla lines here. Bob's piano is great.
6)Railroad Bill simple but effective
7)Thirsty Boots easily should have made the album. At the expense of the pretty poor and incongruous 'Like A Rolling Stone' Isle Of Wight version. Why did Self Portrait include such live tracks as they just destroy the continuity of the album.
8) Annie great song, should have replaced Alberta 1 or 2 or 'I've Forgotten More'
9) This Evening So Soon Genuinely moving.
10) Copper Kettle without overdubs, same: moving
11) Working On A Guru: fun song,not great but featuring George H so of specila interst to us Beatles/Dylan fans
12) Spanish Is The Loving Tongue: perhaps the best track here,superb and much better than the later released version (although the 'Dylan' album from 1973 is mysteriously unavailable still!
13) Pretty Saro amazing

Personally the New Morning songs don't do much for me or improve on the album versions. The Nashville outakes are tantalising but I would have preferred a full set of those! But there is so much value for money here that I doubt you will be disappointed.

35 tracks here for a very reasonable price. Wish Bob's contemporaries would reward us so richly. Maybe the reason is because there isn't as much good material still to be released from those folks. We can quibble over the original albums' song selection but here we have it both ways.

'All the tired horses in the sun. How am I supposed to get any ridin' done?' Even that is a great line. So evocative. Even Greil Marcus has reversed his opinion.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
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.
1111 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
53 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on 26 August 2013
Well we all know what Greil Marcus thought of 'Self Portrait' back in 1970. Now I'm no Dylan nut, but I do own his greatest albums, all the Bootleg releases and I know that he is one of the most important artists of the past 50 years. His influence cannot be denied and in my opinion it is equal to The Beatles. Back in the mid 60's when The Beatles heard Dylans first albums they realised there was more to lyric writing than 'she loves you yeah, yeah' and equally when Dylan heard The Beatles albums he realised there was more to making music than strumming an acoustic guitar. But despite my love for many of his albums I know there are those that need to be avoided, 'Saved' 'Under The Red Sky' for instance, and I'd always been led to believe that 'Self Portrait' and 'New Morning' fell into that category. So when I saw that this was the next release in the Bootleg series I was wary. Was this a case of scraping the bottom of the barrel and trying to get more money out of Dylans fans or had something truly revealing been discovered in the vaults? I held back on ordering until I read David Fricke's review in Rolling Stone which indicated it was the latter.

I've never listened to the albums 'Self Portrait' and 'New Morning' (Even in these days of Spotify), but that maybe an advantage as I've come to these recordings with no baggage and can listen to them from a different perspective to many others. All I can say is this really is quite an amazing set of recordings. Dylan had reached a crossroads in his career here, the end of his first decade as a recording artist. He'd been the 'spokesman for a generation' acoustic troubadour on his first albums, and then ventured down the rock'n'roll route, where was he going to go from there. Well, the evidence here suggests he was looking back towards his earlier style, on the whole these are quite bare recordings, mainly acoustic guitars, harmonica and piano, none of the raucous rock'n'roll from Highway 61 etc but a continuation of the styles he had explored on 'John Wesley Harding' and 'Nashville Skyline'. Speaking of Highway 61 there is an amazing recording of this song with The Band from the Isle of Wight festival, along with 'I'll Be Your Baby Tonight'. The whole of that concert is available on the Deluxe edition of this release but I wasn't prepared to fork out £75 for that. But let's concentrate on this edition rather than complain about Columbia's marketing strategy. This really is an outstanding release, when 'The Witmark Demos' was released a few years ago I thought the well had run dry. It has not only not run dry there seems to be plenty more in there if this is anything to go by. I'll even go so far as to say that this could be the most satisfying of all The Bootleg series, and that is saying something as none of them have disappointed me.

To think that over 50 years after his first recording not only is Dylan still able to amaze us with new recordings, but there are 10 volumes of bootleg recordings as well, and for me none of those belong in the category 'scraping the bottom of the barrel'. There are only a few other artists I wish would undertake a similar program (Mick, Keef are you reading this)Dylan really has led the way here. If you were wondering whether or not to buy this volume of the series, wonder no longer it really is quite a revelation.
1414 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 31 December 2013
I'm so glad I bought this, the 2 disc edition. Whilst I would love to have the deluxe set with the full live performance, I am absolutely delighted with this standard edition. "Another Self Portrait" is beautifully sequenced and is conceptually and musically superior to "Self Portrait". It takes you on a gorgeous journey into Americana, continuing the trip started with the Big Pink basement sessions through John Wesley Harding, Nashville Skyline and into New Morning. To me, this music achieves the same ambitions as a John Ford western. Majestic and intimate, sweeping and affectionate. Nostalgia can be sweet in measured doses and it's a pity that the original "Self Portrait" album ended up being so muddled and forced. The Bootleg Series has once again come up with gold. Buy with confidence.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 18 November 2013
Dylan seems to be one of those artists that people really like or really can't find anything nice to say about. I am in the first camp and paid up, a bit much I think, for the deluxe version. Was keen to hear the IoW concert in full and all the other stuff that came with it. Have many Dylan albums and the linear notes are usually a good read. Overall I enjoyed hearing songs not previously released though suspect that this version that I purchased is for the big fan that can't seem to get enough of the man! Always interesting to note that the Dylan bandwagon rolls on and that there is likely a lot of stuff that Columbia have stashed away that they will eke out over a period of time. Let's hope they do it in my lifetime ! A good example would now be 'unseen ' footage of the IoW concert that has been hidden in someone's loft since 1969 or a live dvd of when he pitches up at The Albert Hall next week. I will be there !
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 23 November 2013
I bought Self Portrait as part of a catching-up with Dylan phase I'm going through - he's more Bob than Dylan now I suppose after Radio Hour. I heard it first when it was released and it didn't impress me much - though I went on to buy New Morning and liked it a lot. I was surprised at how much I played Self Portrait and enjoyed it. I'm enjoying this, son of Self Portrait and father of New Morning just as much. None of it has the impact of the words and music of other earlier and later Dylan. Mellow and then sometimes a little bit nasty (killing Sadie twice is wrong) with the odd unlistenable track - tired horses indeed. Tryouts for later stuff is fine. I have never been an archivist (or bootlegger) but I would buy this for someone (I liked) for Christmas.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
I never considered the original album to be the disaster that many, including Greil Marcus, thought it to be. This update proves that the original conception was another gem in Dylan's not inconsiderable body of work. Possibly the original execution was flawed in some respects but this new release reveals the gold as originally envisioned. Worth every star. Also worth noting is that the MP3 release of the deluxe 4 cd box is only of the previously unreleased material so it means that you do not have the remastered original material. Just in case anyone thought that they were getting all the CDs as a download.
1212 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 September 2013
I got off the 'must have everything train' some time ago when I ignored the CD release of duplicated material in order to get the only available version of Things have changed. A small gesture of defiance but a quite significant change for me. Tell Tale Signs was next when I simply refused to buy the astronomically priced 3 CD version and satisfied myself with a bootleg of that 3rd disc. This time around I simply couldn't resist shelling out for the deluxe Another Self Portrait in order to get the historically important I.O.W. performance but I don't agree with all those who say that the addition of a couple of (admittedly tasty) books justifies a £70 - £80 price tag. The claims that because the music on those first two CDs is so magnificent (true) makes them worth the money is to me the same as saying that Sony themselves, not Dylan, are responsible for their brilliance.

The point seems to me to be one of why, in these times of dizzyingly varying formats that these sets are released in, couldn't we have had a reasonably priced version that fell in between the 2 CD one and that with a remastered Self Portrait - i.e. with just the 2 studio CD's and I.O.W.? Well, I guess we all know the answer to that one. Shove in an upgrade of a CD we already have (and many of us don't want) and help that to make the purchase look better value for money (along, of course, with making it the only way to get the concert disc). I've no argument with those fans who will always buy the most complete product on offer - naturally that's their choice - but if you think we're not getting screwed again and again by Sony, I believe you're mistaken. I remember the early 70s outcry on the release of More Greatest Hits that, in order to get just 5 previously unreleased Dylan songs, one had to fork out for an entire double vinyl album. How times have changed!

Off the 'value for money' theme, I'd just like to add that I'm mildly surprised at the overwhelming praise Dylan's I.O.W. performance has garnered. I find it uneven, at best, with Dylan's affected Nashville Skyline voice woefully unsuited to much of the material. (Thank goodness his flirtation with this manner of singing was so brief!) There are great moments, sure - Highway 61, Quinn the Eskimo and pretty much all of Dylan's solo set, in particular - but some of his vocals are so bloodless that it's not hard to see why his performance was fairly widely reviewed as weak at the time. Don't misunderstand me, the concert's of such historical importance that I don't regret for a minute having obtained it, and yes, it has its moments, but so much of it is lacklustre with Dylan blowing lyrics and throwing away songs in deference to his (then) preferred singing style. Have a look back at the original Greil Marcus review's comments on Like a Rolling Stone - they're spot on. God, it's awful! (Laughingly, the Self Portrait songbook at that time included a review that claimed the song "has never sounded better" - at a time when it was obvious that the song had never sounded worse. Mind you, such tripe could be expected from a review that begins with such tepid enthusiasm as "I have been listening to the Bob Dylan Self Portrait album . I think it is a good record and that you should consider buying it ") Anyway, nice to hear Bob's continued shouts of encouragement and appreciation to The Band (not something you'll hear too often!) and they really do play their socks off. (Oh yeah, I nearly forgot to say, the studio CDs are truly wonderful.)
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 20 September 2013
Went for the deluxe edition and, it is a fascinating return to a troubled part of Bob's recording career. I've been drawn into buying all sorts of Bob material over the years, and have been truly faithful to the cause, because I love Bob and most that he's done over the decades. No problem with getting this fascinating box, it is a great edition in the series...but, yep, I've also got the glitched disc 4, oh yippee. I'd been reading that they'd sold all the kn*ckered versions and had remastered the bad disc so the glitch is now fixed (but not for the one I bought). No news of where existing owners should go to get a new copy, which is disgraceful. I believe, from blog sites, that we should contact the product manager for Columbia in the UK, but I've yet to find his or her details online. Any ideas guys? Girls?

5 stars for the album, 1 star for the glitch = 3 overall. Shame on you Columbia.
99 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed


Self Portrait
Self Portrait by Bob Dylan (Audio CD - 1991)
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.