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Self Portrait

Bob Dylan Audio CD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 24.95
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Self Portrait + Nashville Skyline
Price For Both: CDN$ 29.95

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Product Details


1. All The Tired Horses
2. Alberta #4
3. I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know
4. Days Of 49
5. Early Mornin' Rain
6. In Search Of A Little Sadie
7. Let It Be Me
8. Little Sadie
9. Woogie Boogie
10. Belle Isle
11. Living The Blues
12. Like A Rolling Stone
13. Copper Kettle
14. Gotta Travel On
15. Blue Moon
16. The Boxer
17. The Mighty Quinn (Quinn, The Eskimo)
18. Take Me As I Am
19. Take A Message To Mary
20. It Hurts Me Too
See all 24 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Amazon.ca

Self Portrait stands as a truly perverse collection. Released in 1970 at a time when those on the radical left were hungering for their then-unimpeachable hero to reclaim his role as the conscience of his generation, Bob Dylan instead delivered a pop-inflected collection largely made up of rather indifferently performed covers. Youth culture was at a boiling point and the one figure the vanguard of The Movement hoped would galvanize all those street-fighting men and women was . . . crooning "Blue Moon"? In hindsight, Self Portrait is, at best, pleasant. The uncharacteristically lush likes of "All The Tired Horses," "Wigwam," and "Copper Kettle" are mighty nice, in fact. But then the tepid covers of "The Boxer," "Early Mornin' Rain," and "Gotta Travel On," as well as perplexingly lifeless live versions of "Like a Rolling Stone" and "She Belongs to Me" drag the whole set down and leave one wondering what Dylan was thinking when he selected such a provocative title for such an unrevealing album. --Steven Stolder

Product Description

Slapping together bizarre new songs, apparent parodies (as with Paul Simon's The Boxer ) and Basement Tapes outtakes, this 1970 double-album seemed designed to confuse-yet it still hit #4! Versions of Like a Rolling Stone; The Mighty Quinn , and It Hurts Me Too join All the Tired Horses; Wigwam; Woogie Boogie , and more.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than expected June 9 2006
By Alex
Format:Audio CD
Since many reviews for this album say that it's average, pretty incoherent and drab I didn't have high hopes for this album.

From most reviews I expected that this album would be a longer 'Nashville Skyline' with more filler tracks

That's why when I was given the CD (reviews put me off buying it myself) I was pleasantly surprised to find out it's really good.

It is slightly incoherent with some live tracks mixed in (of which the rolling stone one could easily have been left out) yet is incredibly creative. If you want and idea of what this album sound like try a mix between 'Nashville skyline' and 'Blonde on Blonde'

Yes some tracks aren't great and if this album was released as a 15 or even 18 song disc I would probably be giving it 5 stars instead of 4 yet I still love it.

For me the album art sums it up. An abstract project, unlike what he's done before yet with it's own charms all the same
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4.0 out of 5 stars quintessential woodstock! Dec 31 2003
Format:Audio CD
I can't believe Dylan himself panned this album! It's hard to argue with that, but I'd like to anyway. In a nutshell, Self-Portrait is a chronicle of Dylan kickin' back, unwinding, enjoying the country air, taking a load off. Possibly dealing the corporate world a joker, to see just what they'd do with it? Listen to the Basement Tapes, Nashville Skyline, and The Band's Music From Big Pink before even trying to approach this album. The landscape will then seem quite familiar: the laid-back country blues of Living The Blues, the timeless balladry of Days of '49. the gentler side of the great man in Early Mornin' Rain. Yes, there are clunkers on this album. In Search of Little Sadie is an interesting experiment in melody gone embarassingly awry, and All the Tired Horses, while lush and poignant, only needed to be about a minute long. The heart of the album is his cover of "Copper Kettle," ostensibly the narration of a bootlegger. Here Dylan is clearly reveling in his bucolic idyll: "You'll just lay there by the juniper while the moon is bright.." It's the anthem of his Woodstock sojourn if there were such a thing. At least one reviewer has noted that the Isle of Wight tracks peppered throughout break up the continuity of the album; think of the album as a documentary and I think the puzzle pieces fit together a little more nicely, all spread out to give you a feel of the larger picture. The so-called "lackluster" Isle of Wight performances sound just like the Dylan and Band I would expect from this period: laid back, more than a little bluesy. It sounds like they might even be- gasp- enjoying themselves. Just perfect. To sum it up, leave it behind if you would be disappointed by anything less worthy than Blonde on Blonde. But if you are already into The Band, or american roots music, or dig Bob's country stylings, this album may surprise you.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "how am I supposed to get any writin' done?" Nov. 3 2003
By Tarheel
Format:Audio CD
The AMC online review says one must either be a diehard Dylan fanatic or someone with a perverse sense of humor to enjoy this. I guess I'm both. This album is part of the "Woodstock" continuum of albums--Basement Tapes, John Wesley Harding, Nashville Skyline, New Morning, and Planet Waves--my favorite period of Dylan. In terms of artistic quality, this album doesn't rate with Dylan's five-star albums such as...you name 'em. However, this remains one of my most-played albums. In the summer of '70 when this came out, we were all tired horses in the sun. After two years of protest marches, I was sitting around waiting to be drafted. The country was psychologically exhausted, and frankly we didn't need any more angst from anyone for a while. Dylan seemed to understand this, and he gave us an album that basically says, "Hey, take it easy. Enjoy simple pleasures and see things (including my music) in a broader context. Be able to laugh, including at yourself. Hang in there for the long run." I'm glad that Bob has.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dylan's most challenging album... July 25 2003
By ewomack
Format:Audio CD
The first time I heard this album I nearly laughed myself unconscious. I had recently seen "Don't Look Back" in which Dylan gives surrealistic and absurd press conferences, makes fun of Donovan, and pretty much shows he's not your conventional performer. Then I heard the opening notes of "All the Tired Horses" and I was pretty sure that this album was in the same league as the "Oh! I though you'd ask me about the lightbulb" or "I consider myself a song and dance man" press conference clips from "Don't Look Back." I laughed and laughed, played it for friends, who usually didn't understand what I found funny, and more or less made up my mind that this album represented Dylan giving the middle finger to his fans. For some strange reason that belief endeared the album to me.
Years later, when I finally opened enough musically to appreciate Dylan's "country phase" (beginning with, roughly, "John Wesley Harding" and roughly ending with this album) I now think about this album very differently, and I actually enjoy listening to it, with the exception of a few tracks.
Dylan's first decade was spent continually changing styles. The "protest singers" hugged him to their bosoms until "Another Side of Bob Dylan" and then became violently offended when he completely ditched the protest scene, went electric and didn't seem to care what they thought. Simultaneously, an entire new scene opened up to him with "Like A Rolling Stone." Now Dylan was cool, and cooler than could ever be imagined. He was on the pop charts and in the spotlight. The fans at the time probably thought that Dylan had found himself and looked forward to years and years of the same kind of thing. But he unexpectedly turned coat on the "cool rock" scene as well and dove head first into its seeming "uncool" antithesis: country music.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Dylan Classic
Maybe not for everyone. But for Dylan fans, this is his most eclectic, maybe most honest album. With the exception of Quinn the Eskimo you are not likely to hear any of these... Read more
Published 19 months ago by David A. Mcclyment
5.0 out of 5 stars bob dylan self portrait
this is for die hard Dylan fans only. this is truly another side of Dylan which is a little country..but a self expression album for sure...
Published on April 20 2010 by Deborah N. Rothschild
4.0 out of 5 stars Critics suck!
Is it Bob's best Album no. Is it any good Yes! The songs on this album are all over the map. The songs have a loose just have fun feel to them.
Some critics hated this record. Read more
Published on April 11 2009 by KMT
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius per usual
Anyone who doesn't get the brilliance of this album has no connection with true poetic soul. The man remains a prophet. I would put Dylan above all authors of the Bible. Read more
Published on April 6 2004 by Jazz
5.0 out of 5 stars Every time I read about this Dylan album...
...they basically say it sucks. I like it. To me it's meditative. I came on to this site to give it 5 stars expecting to see 3 or less. Read more
Published on April 5 2004 by James E. Duckworth
5.0 out of 5 stars A glimpse into Dylan's influences and roots
Funny how this is such a polarizing album. I think fans of Dylan who just wanted more of what he had produced before were disappointed when they were not fed the familiar and... Read more
Published on Feb. 19 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Do Not listen to the Detractors!
For nearly 40 years, we have had to listen to people complain that this is "Dylan's worst album." Even Dylan himself said so. Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Fantastic "Worst Album Ever Made"
It's ironic that most of the albums the public chooses to label as the "worst ever recorded" are often made by those who are acclaimed giants in the music world; examples include... Read more
Published on Dec 20 2003 by Bud Sturguess
4.0 out of 5 stars country and covers
i was pretty suprised when i saw that a lot of people were unimpressed and considered this album a joke. i've had this one for about 2 years and i enjoy it. Read more
Published on Aug. 12 2003 by Mr. Aaron H. Levine
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