Self Portrait

( 5 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
There has never been a clearer attempt to shed an audience than Self-Portrait. At least, that's one way of looking at this baffling double album, a deliberately sprawling affair that runs the gamut from self-portrait to self-parody, touching on operatic pop, rowdy Basement Tapes leftovers, slight whimsy, and covers of wannabe Dylans from Paul Simon to Gordon Lightfoot. To say the least, it's confusing, especially arriving at the end of a decade of unmitigated brilliance, and while the years have made it easier to listen to, it still remains inscrutable, an impossible record to unlock. It may not be worth the effort, either, since this isn't a matter of ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
There has never been a clearer attempt to shed an audience than Self-Portrait. At least, that's one way of looking at this baffling double album, a deliberately sprawling affair that runs the gamut from self-portrait to self-parody, touching on operatic pop, rowdy Basement Tapes leftovers, slight whimsy, and covers of wannabe Dylans from Paul Simon to Gordon Lightfoot. To say the least, it's confusing, especially arriving at the end of a decade of unmitigated brilliance, and while the years have made it easier to listen to, it still remains inscrutable, an impossible record to unlock. It may not be worth the effort, either, since this isn't a matter of deciphering cryptic lyrics or interpreting lyrics, it's all about discerning intent, figuring out what the hell Dylan was thinking when he was recording -- not trying to decode a song. There are times where it's quite clearly played for a laugh -- if his shambling version of "The Boxer" isn't a pointed parody of Paul Simon, there was no reason to cut it -- but he's poker-faced elsewhere, and the songs apart from such earthed gems as "Mighty Quinn," which aren't presented in their best versions are simply not worth much consideration. But, in a strange way, Self Portrait is, because decades have passed and it still doesn't make much sense, even for Dylanphiles. That doesn't necessarily mean that it's worth the time to figure it out -- you're not going to find an answer, anyway -- but it's sort of fascinating all the same.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/27/2009
  • Label: Sundazed Music Inc.
  • UPC: 090771512215
  • Catalog Number: 5122
  • Sales rank: 72,219

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Bob Dylan Primary Artist, Guitar, Harmonica, Keyboards, Vocals
Doug Kershaw Violin
David Bromberg Guitar
Al Kooper Guitar, Horn, Keyboards
Robbie Robertson Guitar, Vocals
Rick Danko Bass, Violin, Vocals
Pete Drake Steel Guitar
Fred Carter Guitar
Martin Katahn Vocals
Ron Cornelius Guitar
Byron Bach Violin
Brenton Banks Synthesizer, Violin
George Binkley III Violin
Albert Wynn Butler Horn
Kenny Buttrey Drums
Marvin Chantry Viola
Charlie Daniels Bass, Guitar
Bubba Foller Guitar
Fred Foster Guitar
Dennis Good Trombone
Emanuel Green Violin
Hilda Harris Vocals
Levon Helm Mandolin, Drums, Vocals
Freddie Hill Trumpet
Karl Himmel Drums
Garth Hudson Keyboards, Saxophone
Sheldon Kurland Violin
Richard Manuel Drums, Keyboards, Vocals
Martha McCrory Cello
Ollie Mitchell Trumpet
June Page Vocals
Albertine Robinson Vocals
Al Rogers Drums
Maretha Stewart Vocals
Gary VanOsdale Viola
Bob Wilson Organ, Piano
Stu Woods Bass
Dorothy Ann Dillard Vocals
Charlie McCoy Guitar, Harmonica
Bob Moore Bass
Technical Credits
Norman Blake Contributor
Bill Pursell Contributor
Alan Lomax Composer
Delores Edgin Contributor
Anthony Ferron Contributor
Solie Fott Contributor
Lilian Hunt Contributor
Elmore James Composer
Bob Johnston Producer
Millie Kirkham Contributor
Barry McDonald Contributor
Carol Montgomery Contributor
Gene A. Mullins Contributor
Rex Peer Contributor
Frank Smith Contributor
Frank Warner Composer
Traditional Composer
Tom Six Composer
Dave Lazer Composer
Albert Frank Bedoe Composer
London Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    One you can skip

    There are some interesting things here but this is one of the few Dylan albums you can skip without missing much. For they die-hard Dylan fan only.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    Well after the promise of " When I paint my masterpiece..." Everyone thought this was it. Ha Ha and it was him doing a self portrait using other people's music.. It was so cool... I remember when friends came home with the albumn and we just scrambled to put it on the turntable... What a surprise! ha ha... Love ya, Bob

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Obscure Classic

    This may not be a Blonde On Blonde or a Blood on the Tracks, but it is truly amazing!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Wigwam

    When I saw Bob Dylan in concert a couple years ago, I shouted out a request for "Wigwam." Everyone looked at me like I was insane. Admittedly, I did it for a laugh and a reaction, just because "Self Portrait" is perhaps the most controversial Dylan album ever released. I personally think it's Dylan's most underrated record, but it's obviously not for everyone. It was Dylan's cosmic goof in '70- a tongue-in-cheek attempt to shrug off his overblown fame and obsessive fans. He certainly succeeded in that. Unfortunately, I still love the record despite his efforts. If you like "Nashville Skyline," you might the country rock of this one too. I personally prefer Dylan's country to a lot of more authentic country artists. No offense intended, of course. Yes, there are some covers, but I like some of the covers even more than their originals. It was like Dylan was covering everyone to get back at everyone who was covering him at the time. It's a good, relaxing record. Make sure you hear it if you are a Dylan fan, before you slag it off. The samples on this page will give you a taste of what to expect. And no, it's not his worst album. At least this album doesn't have a Jewish man singing Christian rock....."Saved" anyone?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    SUPERB

    ABSOLUTELY STUNNING

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews