Another Self Portrait
The Never Ending Bootleg Series

posted 25 Aug 2013, 15:16
This week sees the release of the eagerly anticipated Another Self Portrait, no 10 in the ever-expanding Bob Dylan Bootleg Series containing 35 rare and previously unreleased (except on bootleg presumably) recordings. The tracks that have been selected for this edition comprise mainly out-takes from the recording sessions that produced the trio of albums that include Nashville Skyline, Self-Portrait and New Morning.


Self Portrait was Dylan's tenth studio album. Released in June 1970 by Columbia Records it consists mostly of covers with a few live recordings thrown in. Largely derided by critics at the time of its release (one of whom famously remarked, "What is this shit?") it was, nevertheless a commercial success. Appreciation for the album has grown over the years such that it ranks, arguably as one of the most enjoyable listening experiences where Dylan's back catalogue is concerned. Dylan himself has suggested that the album was released in some sort of spirit of defiance:

"Well that was a joke, that album was put out at a time I didn’t like the attention I was getting. I never did want attention. At that time I was getting the wrong kind of attention for things I hadn’t done. So we released that album to get people off my back, so they would not like me anymore, that’s the reason the album was put out, so people would stop buying my records, and they did." – Bob Dylan, 1981. Source: Johanna's Visions website.

In the sleeve notes to the 1985 box set Biograph, he comments:

"Self Portrait was a bunch of tracks that we'd done all the time I'd gone to Nashville. We did that stuff to get a (studio) sound. To open up we'd do two or three songs, just to get things right and then we'd go on and do what we were going to do. And then there was a lot of other stuff that was just on the shelf. But I was being bootlegged at the time and a lot of stuff that was worse was appearing on bootleg records. So I just figured I'd put all this stuff together and put it out, my own bootleg record, so to speak. You know, if it actually had been a bootleg record, people probably would have sneaked around to buy it and played it for each other secretly. Also, I wasn't going to be anybody's puppet and I figured this recorord would put an end to that ... I was just so fed up with all that who people thought I was nonsense." - Biograph, 1985 (sleeve notes by Cameron Crowe)


The Bootleg Series, Vol. 10 - Another Self Portrait (1969-1971) will be released on 27 August and is available for pre-order now on iTunes, Amazon and the Official Bob Dylan Store.