Is Bob Dylan Giving Fans Another Snub with Another Self-Portrait?

This article was last updated on May 25, 2022

Canada: Free $30 Oye! Times readers Get FREE $30 to spend on Amazon, Walmart…
USA: Free $30 Oye! Times readers Get FREE $30 to spend on Amazon, Walmart…The real value in Another Self-Portrait The Bootleg Series Vol. 10 runs a steep $105

Another snub? – Bob Dylan The Bootleg Series Vol. 10 Another Self Portrait (1969-1971)

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?

Most of the material on the 2 CD set is from Self Portrait. The question is – is it worth $20 or will you have to shell out $105 for the real gem – the Isle of Wight concert.  

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.

Bob Dylan, The Band Isle of Wight unofficial bootleg CD

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.

“On 31 August, a nervous Bob Dylan arrived on stage in a cream suit recalling Hank Williams, with a haircut and a short beard. Backed by The Band, he performed recent pieces from his Nashville Skyline and John Wesley Harding albums as well as countryfied versions of earlier songs such as “Maggie’s Farm“, “Highway 61 Revisited” and “Like a Rolling Stone” − much to the surprise and consternation of the audience and the throng of journalists. Levon Helm later commented: “Bob had an extra list of songs with about eight or ten different titles … that we would’ve gone ahead and done had it seemed like the right thing to do. But it seemed like everyone was a bit tired … the festival was three days old by then.”

“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.

Nashville Skyline
I Threw It All Away (alternate version, Nashville Skyline)
Country Pie (alternate version, Nashville Skyline)

New Morning
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)

Basement Tapes
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

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)

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  1. I have to say I’m quite sick of all the negative press on Dylan’s Self-Portrait. Critics who write their articles have what seems to be absolutes when discussing the album but the facts are they aren’t really listening to Bob’s amazing Self-Portrait. You may not “get it” but Self-Portrait is a great album, absolutely, without a doubt. In your false interpretations and negative opinions you’re defacing an album that your readers might find intriguing. For those of you who have deccomment_IDed to listen to these comment_content_IDiots I say why don’t you try listening to the album before you believe critics who don’t know what they’re talking about.

  2. You are just so very very wrong. Yes the original Self Portrait had none of the unfathomable surrealist lyrics of Blonde On Blonde. It had Dylan singing marvellous versions of other people’s (mainly)country songs plus a few traditional tunes and a number of live tracks from the Isle Of Wight. I loved it at the time and I low it now.
    To me the Isle Of Wight tracks are the low point of the original album however, particularly his rendition of Like A Rolling Stone. Back to the studio tracks, just listen to Take Me As I Am Or Let Me Go with it’s lovely steel guitar and Dylan’s wonderful voice, or his take on Gordon Lightfoot’s Early Morning Rain, Dylan really makes this song his own. Then there’s Copper Kettle, Let It Be Me, Living The Blues all wonderful stuff . Not over taxing on the intellect, no great dissection of the lyrics required here but it is nevertheless a great listen. I already have the 7 inch vinyl single of Thirsty Boots backed with the alternate version of Wigwam and am really looking forward to Another Self Portrait which I have already pre-ordered.

  3. I much prefer it to World Gone Wrong and Good As I Been To You. Give “Copper Kettle” another listen. If you don’t like that track, you’re missing out. Self Portrait is one of Dylan’s warmest albums, along with New Morning.

  4. Self Portrait is a decent album but it’s no Blonde On Blonde or Time Out Of Mind. The truth is usually in the mcomment_IDdle and this is no exception. A lot of name calling here. Let’s be thankful that there are so many Dylans to chose from. I always thought the album Dylan (1973) had some real gems like Mr. Bojangles. Dylan puts Sammy Davis to shame here. Mr. Bojangles by Dylan is worth a listen.

  5. I feel he may have wrote this article with good intentions but instead has come across as just another snobbish fan who think they know Dylan better than Bob himself. His comments on Dylan reinforcing the country-rock movement is true, but to put The Eagles and Jackson Brown in that category, I would say shows what little understanding he has of country-rock. He probably knows a whole lot about Dylan, but no true fan, I feel, would miss out on getting these gems.

  6. I don’t think so. “Self Portrait” took me by surprise as well, as dcomment_ID good deal of John Lennon’s post Beatle work. Way past time to get off old assumptions though. There is a little of “Mr. Jones” in us all don’t you think? Very much looking forward to “Another Self Portrait”. His music from that era is so beautiful and soulful. Not hard-edged at all.

  7. The critics have not heard it yet. The bits on the preview sound good to me.
    On the original these tracks are fantastic:
    Copper Kettle
    Belle Isle
    Little Sadie (both)
    Alberta (both)
    Days of 49
    Living the Blues
    It hurts me Too
    All the Tired Horses
    Ive forgotten More…
    She Belongs to me etc etc
    and more.. In fact it is harder to find a poor track than a good one. The new album sounds intriguing. How Marcus Greil has the nerve to contribute liner notes is beyond me after his insulting reviews of Self Portrait and Street Legal.

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