Self Portrait

Self Portrait

by Bob DylanBob Dylan

Vinyl LP(Long Playing Record)

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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: 10/27/2009
Label: Sundazed Music Inc.
UPC: 0090771512215
catalogNumber: 5122
Rank: 30550

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bob Dylan   Primary Artist,Guitar,Harmonica,Keyboards,Vocals
Doug Kershaw   Violin
David Bromberg   Guitar
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   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
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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