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Another self

Another Self Portrait: Bootleg Series Vol. 10

Bob Dylan - 2013

The first question you ask yourself before listening to the most recent Bootleg Series release from Dylan is, “why reissue an expanded edition of one of his least liked albums?”. It’s a valid question. I asked myself the same question, but since I owned the other 9 releases in the series and am always captivated by all things Dylan, I blindly forged ahead. ASP is a 4 disc set featuring music from 1969-1971. This is a transitional time in Dylan’s career. Coming off of one of the most amazing runs of album releases through the 60’s, 1969’s Nashville Skyline was a departure for Bob, not only because it was a country album, but because of a different, country crooner timbre to his voice. The next release, Self Portrait, was a mess of leftover tracks and cover songs. Nobody likes that album. They’re lying if they claim to. What this expanded release gives us is a vision into what surrounded the album. The remaster copy of the album itself is disc 4, as if admitting that you will probably never get to listening to it. I did listen to it again however. I thought that I may have a new perspective with a new master. I thought that the few years since I had last heard it would arm me with….I don’t know what. In short, it still sucks. The cool thing is that the first two discs, which contain alternate takes of songs from the album, (some with different instrumentation, some with less overdubs), and songs left off, are WAAAY better than the album itself. The crapaliciousness of the album make these alternate versions feel like a breath of fresh air. Only a character as dark and enigmatic as Dylan would release the mess that was Self Portrait, while having a stock pile of better versions. Also included in the set is the live performance by Dylan and the Band at The Isle Of Wight n ’69. Having an officially mastered version of that show is worth the price of the set alone. Overall this release makes perfect sense in the cannon of Dylan’s career. “What the hell is he thinking?………Oh, I get it. Brilliant!"

Posted by Tambe



Posted: 12/23/2013

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