September 07, 2011

Self-Portrait Rebooted - Bob Dylan [2011]

"What is this shit?" Thusly opined ye holey Greil. Time in and out of mind, the reaction was to be expected. An unbroken string of cultural paradigm pushing masterpieces and then....inept, shallow hodge podge: session out-takes, lame live performance, numbingly dire cover versions (take a bow The Boxer and Blue Moon). Double album! Critics, mainly critics let it be noted, were aghast n appalled. 

Erase Self Portrait from history. Wind forward 40 years and imagine, if you will, latest Columbia Records release Bootleg Series Vol. 0. A single disc showcasing 13 unearthed cuts from Dylan's notoriously fallow Nashville Skyline - New Morning interregnum. Prime proto-Americana: glowing string arrangements; female backing singers ten years before ubiquitous gospel backline wailers; instrumentals before official light of day on Pat Garrett soundtrack; front porch old-timey vibes prefiguring Theme Time Radio Hour by almost half a century. Suddenly, the Johnny Cash duets make perfect sense. Ye critics collectively poop thems drawers n nay mistake; the Greilster's fundamental question legitimised.

Laddies n Genlmen, Self Portrait Rebooted.

01 All The Tired Horses
02 Copper Kettle (The Pale Moonlight)
03 Early Mornin' Rain
04 Let It Be Me
05 Belle Isle
06 Take A Message To Mary
07 Take Me As I Am (Or Let Me Go)
08 I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know
09 It Hurts Me Too
10 Minstrel Boy
11 Alberta #2
12 Gotta Travel On
13 Wigwam

Oddi wrth y brawd
let it roll


jbull49 said...

It's still horrible--but not soul-wrenchingly horrible. Somehow, as a single album's worth, these are palatable. No feast, but one can choke it down. Thanks?

Anonymous said...

always thought Self Portrait was Bob's best album between Blonde On Blonde and Planet waves

Y Brawd said...

good on yer

Greg Schaal said...

Having never listened to "Self-Portrait" before, these are all quite nice songs. Understated and not the stream of consciousness poetry of earlier Dylan albums but do they need to be? No. Sounds like a nice companion piece to "Nashville Skyline".

Then again I'm now only familiar with this edited version. I can't speak to how good ro bad the rest of it is.

aldo said...

weird Dylan...from weird brother, but of course!


cavorting with nudists said...

Surprised to see "Days of '49" left off this, as I'd say it's the only keeper on the album.

Y Brawd said...

debated 49 but just too too painfully out of tune...even for these ears. has its moments though...hell, I'm gonna have te listen again now...

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