The real value in Another Self-Portrait The Bootleg Series Vol. 10 runs a steep $105
If you didn’t buy Bob Dylan’s Self-Portrait in 1970 it was probably for a good reason.
The album was Dylan’s attempt to snub his loyal followers by producing a double album of old folk tunes and covers done abysmally badly, along with 4 songs from his Isle of Wight performance.
Now Dylan or Sony want us to shell out $20 for Self Portrait (1969-1971): The Bootleg Series Vol. 10. It the 2-CD set worth $20?
The only reason to buy this Dylan’s Another Self-Portrait is you’re a completist, like myself, or if you think it will have musical value. It does occur to me how great it will be to hear Dylan in his younger days when his voice was still there, and not the raspy croak it has become.
“I forgot more than you’ll ever know” Bob Dylan Self Portrait
Frankly, it will cost $85 more to get much musical enjoyment, namely the Isle of Wight concert with Bob Dylan and The Band. That CD is only available with the Deluxe set Another Self Portrait (1969-1971): The Bootleg Series Vol. 10 for $105.
If you like Dylan singing old folk songs, he did a better job with World Gone Wrong and Good As I Been to You. At least on those two CD’s Dylan was exploring old tunes and performing them well. Both can be had for $10 total.
Bob Dylan and The Band on the Isle of Wight
Bob Dylan’s 1960 Isle of Wight Concert performance has achieved almost mythic status. Dylan, despite living in Woodstock, skipped the Woodstock Festival.
His appearance on the British Isle of Wight attracted 150,000 fans. Dylan’s set did reinforce the growing movement to country-rock with The Band and the Southern California folk-rock thing like Linda Ronstadt, The Eagles and Jackson Browne.
I have heard most of the Isle of Wight concert in bootlegs. Personally I was underwhelmed but would like to own the official version.
Here’s what other critics have to say about Dylan at the Isle of Wight.
“John Lennon opined that Dylan’s performance was reasonable, though slightly flat; and that the audience was “waiting for Godot or Jesus”. Eric Clapton was mesmerized, however, having already been inspired back to blues and country post-Cream by Dylan’s change of musical direction and by The Band’s album Music From Big Pink. “Dylan was fantastic,” Clapton later said. “He changed everything … [The audience] couldn’t understand it. You had to be a musician to understand it.”" Wikipedia
Again, you have to buy the Deluxe $105 version of The Bootleg Series Vol. 10 to get the Isle of Wight concert.
Full disclosure – I am a Bob Dylan fan. I own almost every vinyl album, most CD’s in several versions, the SACD set, all his videos and movies, and two rows of my bookshelf are devoted to Bob Dylan books. I also own the original “Self Portrait” vinyl and never play it. Well, I played it several times in the last decade to see if my memory was right and yes it is a dog of an album. There are great songs on it but you have to listen to other some dreadful songs to hear them.
Self-Portrait is so bad that it’s camp, like the “bad” movie “Plan 9 From Outer Space”.
Bootleg Series Vol. 10 – outtakes and alternate versions on the 2 CD set
The official Bob Dylan bootlegs often contain interesting and musically valuable material. I am especially fond of Tell Tale Signs: the Bootleg Series Vol. 8 which contains material from the late 1980′s to Modern Times.
I sorted the 2-CD version of The Bootleg Series Vol. 10 by original CD and it is mainly from Self-Portrait. If they take all the backing tracks and over-dubs it might improve the music. Hard to say at this point.
I Threw It All Away (alternate version, Nashville Skyline)
Country Pie (alternate version, Nashville Skyline)
Went to See the Gypsy (demo)
Time Passes Slowly #1 (alternate version, New Morning)
If Not for You (alternate version, New Morning)
Wallflower (alternate version, 1971)
Working on a Guru (unreleased, New Morning)
Bring Me a Little Water (unreleased, New Morning)
Sign on the Window (with orchestral overdubs, New Morning)
If Dogs Run Free (alternate version, New Morning)
New Morning (with horn section overdubs, New Morning)
Went to See the Gypsy (alternate version, New Morning)
Time Passes Slowly #2 (alternate version, New Morning)
Greatest Hits II
Only A Hobo (unreleased, Greatest Hits II)
Minstrel Boy (unreleased, The Basement Tapes)
When I Paint My Masterpiece (demo)
Isle of Wight
I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight (Live with The Band, Isle of Wight 1969)
Highway 61 Revisited (Live with The Band, Isle of Wight 1969)
“Take a message to Mary” Bob Dylan Self Portrait
In Search of Little Sadie (without overdubs, Self Portrait)
Pretty Saro (unreleased, Self Portrait)
Alberta #3 (alternate version, Self Portrait)
Spanish Is the Loving Tongue (unreleased, Self Portrait)
Annie’s Going to Sing Her Song (unreleased, Self Portrait)
Railroad Bill (unreleased, Self Portrait)
Thirsty Boots (unreleased, Self Portrait)
This Evening So Soon (unreleased, Self Portrait)
These Hands (unreleased, Self Portrait)
Little Sadie (without overdubs, Self Portrait)
House Carpenter (unreleased, Self Portrait)
All the Tired Horses (without overdubs, Self Portrait)
Wigwam (original version without overdubs, Self Portrait)
Days of ’49 (original version without overdubs, Self Portrait)
Copper Kettle (without overdubs, Self Portrait)
Tattle O’Day (unreleased, Self Portrait)
Belle Isle (without overdubs, Self Portrait)