Another Self Portrait One Of Most Important Bob Dylan Albums

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…Rolling Stone Magazine says Another Self Portrait is one of the most important, coherent and fulfilling Bob  Dylan albums ever released

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

Rolling Stone Magazine reviewer David Fricke gives 4.5 stars to Another Self Portrait (1969-1971): The Bootleg Series Vol. 10. Fricke wrote “This two-CD set of previously unissued demos, alternate takes, scrapped arrangements and discarded songs from more than 40 years ago is one of the most important, coherent and fulfilling Bob Dylan albums ever released.” “The performances are immediate and invigorating, often in spare, buoyant arrangements with clear, virile singing.” 
“Despite the vintage, or maybe because it’s all been hidden for so long, everything here feels like new music, busy being born and put to tape with crisp impatience.” ”Let’s just take this one,” Dylan says before a take of the traditional ballad “Little Sadie,” one of 17 raw, magnetic tracks from a single three-day sprint with guitarist David Bromberg and pianist Al Kooper in March 1970. Dylan was, in fact, on the verge of a crossroads: the widely scorned double LP Self Portrait, issued three months later. He sounds eager to get there.” One can hardly imagine this is true since Rolling Stone Magazine panned the original album 40 years ago but time does change opinions of art. “Self Portrait and the country-folk assurance of its late-’70 follow-up, New Morning, were actually part of a long, connected act of self-examination and re-ignition,” continues Fricke. “Most of Another Self Portrait comes from those sessions, highlighting Dylan’s breadth of drive at a time when many thought he had no direction forward. The horns on this set’s “New Morning” are busy in the verses but a delightful Stax-like reveille in the chorus, while a pre-overdub version of Self Portrait’s ghost story “Days of ’49&Prime has more room for the haunting in Dylan’s voice.“I contemplated every move, or at least I tried,” he sings in a moving take of “Went to See the Gypsy,” effectively summing up this period in a line he then cut from the song on New Morning.” Fricke says the remastered “Self-Portrait” CD in the Another Self Portrait Deluxe Version is forgettable. “But you won’t go back to it that often. There will be no need.” Fricke liked the Isle of Wight concert with The Band CD calling it a “romping affair (excerpted on Self Portrait) that, except for the mileage on Dylan’s voice now, doesn’t sound that distant from his shows of the past 20 years.” The Deluxe set has dropped about $10 in price since it was first announced. $100 is pretty steep for 4 CD’s.
For the complete review, see Rolling Stone Magazine.

4.5 / 5 stars     
By Stephen Pate, NJN Network

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1 Comment

  1. This era (1969-1971) is far from my favorite, but I also think it’s far from his worst and I’m definitely curious to hear this set. I actually like the strings on “Copper Kettle,” it’s possibly the only time on that album where they actually worked for me, but the ‘raw’ track sounds promising. I’ve never been a fan of “Days of ’49,” but “Copper Kettle” is easily my favorite track from the original album, the only one I bother keeping on my iPod.

    I’m guessing they used the same performance of “Spanish Is the Loving Tongue” that was a 45 B-scomment_IDe only release – that one is a gem, and it should’ve been on an LP, not just a 45. (FWIW, Columbia released a different take on the eponymous ‘revenge’ album of outtakes released in 1973, and that version is horrcomment_ID.)

    I also noticed in the trailer that they released an alternate “violin” version of “If Not For You” that sounds like the one previously found on bootlegs. The critic at the New Yorker dcomment_IDn’t like it, but I think that’s the version they should’ve used on [i]New Morning[/i]. Truth be told, I don’t think it’s a *great* song, and I was never big on the version that he dcomment_ID release on the original LP either, but it’s still pleasant and the version that’s apparently on [i]Another Self Portrait[/i] is very lovely. (The definitive version is still George Harrison’s on [i]All Thing Must Pass[/i] – the guitars alone make a huge difference.)

    Finally, I was disappointed that they dcomment_IDn’t include the ‘electric piano’ version of “Went to See the Gypsy.” They used a different alternate – you hear a snippet of it in the trailer – which may be good in its own right, but I really like the other one. It sounds like the type of record Phil Ramone would produce for Paul Simon in the ’70s, and while I’m not a huge fan of that sound, it works for me on that track, possibly because of Dylan’s vocal.

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