One of the most controversial albums in Bob Dylan's remarkable catalog, the 1970 double-LP Self Portrait continues to exercise a considerable fascination amongst Dylan devotees. Released on the heels of the artist's gamechanging Nashville Skyline, Self Portrait offered a quirky assortment of studio and live tracks, encompassing Dylan originals as well as covers of familiar pop and folk numbers, recorded with an all-star musical cast.
At the time of its original release, the sprawling, unconventional Self Portrait generated an immense amount of discussion and disagreement amongst Dylan's admirers. The ongoing controversy surrounding the album has been fueled over the years by Dylan himself. At various times, Dylan has defended Self Portrait as a heartfelt artistic statement, dismissed it as a joke and described it as a concerted effort to escape the pressures of his unwanted status as the voice of a generation. Whatever the artist's actual intentions, Self Portrait retains a unique niche in the hearts of Dylan devotees, and is often cited as an early landmark in the birth of alternative country.
Self Portrait's highlights include the Dylan originals "Wigwam," later featured in the Wes Anderson film The Royal Tenenbaums; "Living the Blues," subsequently covered by artists ranging from Leon Redbone to Antony Hegarty; and "The Mighty Quinn (Quinn the Eskimo)," which Manfred Mann had turned into a British Invasion hit in 1968. The latter song is one of a quartet of live tracks drawn from Dylan's legendary performance with The Band at the historic Isle of Wight festival, along with memorable versions of the Dylan standards "Like a Rolling Stone," "Minstrel Boy" and "She Belongs to Me." Also featured are Dylan's readings of a variety of outside material, ranging from his iconic interpretation of the rural folk song "Copper Kettle" to his distinctive takes on such familiar tunes as Paul Simon's "The Boxer," Gordon Lightfoot's "Early Mornin' Rain" and the vintage Everly Brothers hits "Let It Be Me" and Take a Message to Mary." Sundazed has restored this one-of-a-kind release to its original double-LP format.
Mastered from the original analog master tapes, the album is pressed on high-quality, high-definition vinyl, with meticulously reproduced original gatefold cover art.