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William C. Altreuter
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Well now, this could be interesting. The next edition of Bob Dylan's "Bootleg Series"-- Volume Ten, is called Another Self-Portrait, and will consist of re-mastered versions of material from Self-Portrait and New Morning, as well as unreleased stuff, including collaborations with George Harrison.  Most people know Self-Portrait as the album that was critically lambasted-- and in Chronicles, Vol. 1 Dylan wrote that he released the set as an attempt at de-mythologising himself: "“I released one album (a double) one where I just threw everything I could think of at the wall and whatever stuck, released it." He's told similar stories here and there, I've always been inclined to take that particular version of how he came to record Self-Portrait with a bit of salt, because you have to take everything Dylan says with a bit of salt: he says what he means in his songs, and people who ask him what the songs mean, man, deserve the answers they get. So we'll have a chance to re-evaluate Self-Portrait now. My feeling about it has mostly been that it is a good place to go when you want to hear Dylan material that isn't all that familiar, because nobody ever played it much, and there's stuff there that is actually pretty good. Would it have been better if it had been cut down to a single disk? Maybe, but I'd be willing to bet that it's stuff like "All the Tired Horses" and "Wigwam" that would have been cut.

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