Self Portrait

Self Portrait

by Bob DylanBob Dylan

CD

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Overview

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.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/05/1989
Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
UPC: 0886978991423
catalogNumber: 789914
Rank: 1091

Tracks

  1. All the Tired Horses
  2. Alberta #1
  3. I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know
  4. Days of 49
  5. Early Mornin' Rain
  6. In Search of 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 (the Pale Moonlight)
  14. Gotta Travel On
  15. Blue Moon
  16. The Boxer
  17. Quinn the Eskimo (the Mighty Quinn)
  18. Take Me As I Am (or Let Me Go)
  19. Take a Message To Mary
  20. It Hurts Me Too
  21. Minstrel Boy
  22. She Belongs To Me
  23. Wigwam
  24. Alberta #2

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bob Dylan   Primary Artist

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