Almost three years after the release of Bob Dylan’s The Bootleg Series Vol. 9 - The Witmark Demos 1962-1964, Columbia Records has announced a tenth volume in the acclaimed series dedicated to the unreleased recordings of The Bard of Hibbing. On August 27, the label will deliver Vol. 10 - Another Self Portrait (1969-1971), drawing on the treasure trove of material mainly used to assemble the 1970 studio albums New Morning and Self Portrait. This new, 35-song collection was previewed for April’s Record Store Day event via the limited edition 7-inch single of “Wigwam” and “Thirsty Boots.” (For those who missed out, no fear. Both songs are included on the new Bootleg volume.) A special box set edition of The Bootleg Series Vol. 10 will also premiere a rare live concert from 1969 with Dylan and The Band.
Greil Marcus infamously asked, “What is this shit?” in his review of Dylan’s tenth album, Self Portrait. A mix of frankly strange cover versions, instrumentals, live recordings and originals spread over 2 LPs, Dylan told young journalist Cameron Crowe that the intention was to put out “his own bootleg record” consisting of studio warm-ups “just to get things right, and then we’d go on and do what we were going to do.” Prior to the Crowe interview, the singer had asserted that the album was a pointed slap in the face to his own overzealous fans: “I said, ‘well, fuck it. I wish these people would just forget about me. I wanna do something they can’t possibly like, can’t possibly relate to. They’ll see it, and they’ll listen, and they’ll say, ‘Well, let’s get on to the next person. He ain’t sayin’ it no more.’” Indeed, Dylan appeared anxious to shed his standing as a message-carrying prophet of song and get down to the simple business of making music. Self Portrait still managed to go gold as listeners wanted to hear what the hell it was all about. Like many of Dylan’s albums, a number of outtakes were generated in the sessions held between April 1969 and March 1970; some might wonder about the quality of the songs left off such a maligned album! But Another Self Portrait aims to place Dylan’s sessions of the era in context, allowing them to be viewed in a revelatory new light.
Hit the jump to explore the new Bootleg Series entry!
For Self Portrait, Dylan was joined by a small ensemble of musicians, primarily folk hero David Bromberg (guitar) and “Like a Rolling Stone” organist/all-around musical renaissance man Al Kooper (keyboards, guitar), with producer Bob Johnston later adding overdubs to the basic tracks in Nashville. Another Self Portrait presents these original session masters for the first time without overdubs. Following the odd hybrid Self Portrait, Dylan concentrated his own compositions to create his eleventh studio album, New Morning.
New Morning began to take shape on May 1, 1970 when Dylan was joined by George Harrison, Charlie Daniels and Russ Kunkel at Columbia’s Studio B in New York City. With Johnston, Dylan began recording an eclectic blend of material in rough-hewn versions. These sessions yielded more cover versions, although the ultimate album sequence consisted entirely of original compositions including “If Not for You,” “Went to See the Gypsy” and “Time Passes Slowly.” The latter was originally written for a stage musical Dylan had been exploring with poet and playwright Archibald MacLeish (J.B.) based on The Devil and Daniel Webster. When the writing of the stage show stalled, “New Morning” and “Father of Night,” along with “Time Passes Slowly,” found a home on New Morning. Previously unreleased alternates of “If Not for You,” “Went to See the Gypsy,” “New Morning” and “Time Passes Slowly” all appear on Another Self Portrait.
The Bootleg Series, Vol. 10 - Another Self Portrait (1969-1971) will be available in a standard two-disc edition as well as in a four-disc deluxe box set which will include, for the very first time, the complete performance by Bob Dylan and The Band from the Isle of Wight Festival on August 31, 1969. Housed in a slipcase, the deluxe edition will also include a newly remastered version of the 1970 Self Portrait album, in its entirety with original sequencing, in addition to two hardcover books featuring liner notes penned by (who else?) Greil Marcus. A vinyl version of The Bootleg Series, Vol. 10 - Another Self Portrait (1969-1971) will include the core 35 tracks on three LPs plus a 12" x 12" booklet.
To cap off this remarkable set, Bob Dylan has provided a new cover painting, as he did for the original Self Portrait. If you’d like to read more about the Self Portrait/New Morning sessions, check out this Reissue Theory from 2011 in which this author imagined an expanded edition of New Morning.
The Bootleg Series, Vol. 10 - Another Self Portrait (1969-1971) will be available from Columbia Records on August 27. It can be pre-ordered below!
The Bootleg Series Vol. 10: Another Self-Portrait (1969-1971) (Columbia, 2013)
2CD Standard Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. (Link TBD)
3LP Standard Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. (Link TBD)
4CD Deluxe Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. (Link TBD)
- Went to See the Gypsy (Demo)
- In Search of Little Sadie (without overdubs, Self Portrait)
- Pretty Saro (unreleased, Self Portrait)
- Alberta #3 (Alternate Version, Self Portrait)
- Spanish is the Loving Tongue (unreleased, Self Portrait)
- Annie's Going to Sing Her Song (unreleased, Self Portrait)
- Time Passes Slowly #1 (Alternate Version, New Morning)
- Only a Hobo (unreleased, Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II)
- Minstrel Boy (unreleased, The Basement Tapes)
- I Threw It All Away (Alternate Version, Nashville Skyline)
- Railroad Bill (unreleased, Self Portrait)
- Thirsty Boots (unreleased, Self Portrait) *
- This Evening So Soon (unreleased, Self Portrait)
- These Hands (unreleased, Self Portrait)
- Little Sadie (without overdubs, Self Portrait)
- House Carpenter (unreleased, Self Portrait)
- All the Tired Horses (without overdubs, Self Portrait)
- If Not for You (Alternate Version, New Morning)
- Wallflower (Alternate Version, 1971)
- Wigwam (Original Version without overdubs, Self Portrait) *
- Days of '49 (Original Version without overdubs, Self Portrait)
- Working on a Guru (unreleased, New Morning)
- Country Pie (Alternate Version, Nashville Skyline)
- I'll Be Your Baby Tonight (with The Band) (Live @ The Isle of Wight Festival - 8/31/1969)
- Highway 61 Revisited (with The Band) (Live @ The Isle of Wight Festival - 8/31/1969)
- Copper Kettle (without overdubs, Self Portrait)
- Bring Me a Little Water (unreleased, New Morning)
- Sign on the Window (with orchestral overdubs, New Morning)
- Tattle O'Day (unreleased, Self Portrait)
- If Dogs Run Free (Alternate Version, New Morning)
- New Morning (with horn section overdubs, New Morning)
- Went to See the Gypsy (Alternate Version, New Morning)
- Belle Isle (without overdubs, Self Portrait)
- Time Passes Slowly #2 (Alternate Version, New Morning)
- When I Paint My Masterpiece (Demo)
All tracks previously unreleased except * released on Columbia single 88765 49235-7, 2013
Disc 3: Self Portrait (released as Columbia C2X 30050, 1970) **
- All the Tired Horses
- Alberta #1
- I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know
- Days of '49
- Early Mornin' Rain
- In Search of Little Sadie
- Let It Be Me
- Little Sadie
- Woogie Boogie
- Belle Isle
- Living the Blues
- Like a Rolling Stone (with The Band) (Live @ The Isle of Wight Festival - 8/31/1969)
- Copper Kettle
- Gotta Travel On
- Blue Moon
- The Boxer
- The Mighty Quinn (Quinn the Eskimo) (with The Band) (Live @ The Isle of Wight Festival - 8/31/1969)
- Take Me As I Am (or Let Me Go)
- Take a Message to Mary
- It Hurts Me Too
- Minstrel Boy (with The Band) (Live @ The Isle of Wight Festival - 8/31/1969)
- She Belongs to Me (with The Band) (Live @ The Isle of Wight Festival - 8/31/1969)
- Alberta #2
Disc 4: Live At The Isle of Wight Festival - 8/31/1969 **
- She Belongs to Me
- I Threw It All Away
- Maggie's Farm
- Wild Mountain Thyme
- It Ain't Me, Babe
- To Ramona/Mr. Tambourine Man
- I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine
- Lay Lady Lay
- Highway 61 Revisited
- One Too Many Mornings
- I Pity the Poor Immigrant
- Like a Rolling Stone
- I'll Be Your Baby Tonight
- Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)
- Minstrel Boy
- Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
** disc available in deluxe edition only
I'm curious and will buy it, I'm sure. But this was a rough period for Dylan artistically. I believe he discusses in Chronicles the fact that he was going through a rather severe period of writer's block at the time, which was why he turned to cover songs on Self Portrait. Also, haven't we already heard outtakes from Self Portrait in the form of the abysmal 1974 album Dylan, released without Dylan's participation and in apparent revenge for his brief defection to Asylum Records?
Can we hope that the Isle of Wight disc will be issued on its own down the road, a la Brandeis University? wardo everybodysdummy.blogspot.com twitter.com/everybodysdummy
I sure hope so... There's been a crappy sounding bootleg of the show that's circulated for ages, and there's the songs that originally appeared on Self Portrait. It's not a great show, from what I've heard, but I would buy it if it's released on its own.
No way I'm buying a "deluxe" set of outtakes from, and a new remaster of, the Self Portrait album though. Fuck that crap. I like the New Morning album, but I'm not dying to hear outtakes from that album (apart from the sessions George Harrison played with Bob).so badly that I would need to buy this.
There's been a boot of the George & Bob stuff around for a long time. Interesting but sloppy, as I recall.
Seth Hollander says
I don't think there have been any Deluxe Edition 2CD reissues from Dylan's catalog , but the remastered New Morning plus Isle Of Wight fits the format. Maybe next year that pair of discs will come out as a Deluxe Edition for approx. $30? I know I can wait and see on this idea....
I would say that is unlikely. However, SONY will probably do some massive boxset of all of Dylans official studio albums and include the remastered Self Portrait (Disc 3 of the deluxe set). But this massive box will not likely be issued at the $3 per disc cost of many of the SONY complete studio boxes recently issued. It will likely be in the $10-$15 per disc range, be truly limited, and cost way more than $400
I am very stoked about this title, and yes, I will be getting the 4-disc version.
I hope they offer the 2 extra discs from the deluxe version separately someday. The only reason I'll not be getting the 4-disc deluxe version is because I don't want the book or over-sized packaging.
Unlikely, in my opinion. About the book: nearly every Dylan fan pretty much knows what he looks like, and knows alot of his life story. Books about Dylan have become somewhat meaningless at this point, so they are not a draw or give any added value.
I get angry about the idea of paying $50 per CD for CDs #3 and #4, when Self Portrait will probably sound not much better (if at all) than the very common 1st pressing of the vinyl, and Isle of Wight (despite the beautiful performance of Wild Mountain Thyme) is pretty much a listen once or twice disc.
The book that came with the deluxe version of "Tell Tale Signs" was actually quite good--not photos of Dylan, but a collection of artwork taken from his picture sleeve singles from over the years. Overpriced? Probably, but as somebody who also finds Dylan's life somewhat boring to read about, I've actually found myself going back to look at the picture sleeves on many occasions.
Anyone know which tracks feature George Harrison? Not a Dylan fan in the slightest but I'd be willing to pick up the 2-disc set if there's enough Harrison content.
Jason Michael says
Just two songs from the 2 disc set feature Harrison, "Time Passes Slowly" and "Working on a Guru,"
I am a little disappointed this doesn't include any of the songs released on the "Dylan" album. I know Dylan doesn't like the album, but I think it would've fit well in the context of this box and would've been an opportunity to release that material properly..
Thank you! I'll just download those tracks from Amazon then.
My understanding is that part of Bob's agreement to return to Columbia was that "Dylan" would never be reissued in any form.
Totally agree. They should have been added in the deluxe set as a draw.
The 1973 "Dylan" album has been reissued, however--I haven't checked lately, but for a while, it could even be purchased from iTunes.
I don't think it's an issue of Dylan himself refusing to allow reissues of the album; I think it's an issue of Sony being stingy with the rare tracks for which it knows that completest collectors will pay a premium.
Jason Michael says
I had heard that never re-releasing "Dylan" was a stipulation at the time, I was just hoping that 40 years might've softened his stance.
Have you heard it? Bob is right! ; )
Jason Michael says
I actually have a sealed and an open copy on vinyl. I enjoy it, and think it's as good as "Self Portrait" and the songs would fit well with this volume of the Bootleg Series. I suspect Bob's veto is based more on his distatste for the label's actions than on the quality of the material.
But no, it isn't "Blonde On Blonde"!
It is outtakes from Self Portait and has some very good performances that fit right in.
It's not great, but it's better than Self Portrait.
Can't be true, because Columbia Records officially reissued it on CD in Europe and Japan.
So what happened to the Supper Club shows from the 90s that were rumored to finally being released? I was really hoping that was going to be the next Bootleg Series release.
So many great live recordings, from so many different eras, and yet we have to wait three years just to get a release chronicling one of the worst eras of Bob's career (although I do like New Morning)?
More live releases from Bob, please!
You can get the Supper Club shows if you wish, just not on SONY
Oh, I know... I have one of the shows already. I was just hoping for a pristine, official release.
Columbia has routinely shown the cover of the hated "Dylan" album in promotional material, including a sticker sheet that had a sticker for every album including the one in question. That was in the '90s at the earliest.
I was hoping for a box set with EVERYTHING from the beginning of the Nashville Skyline sessions, through just before Planet Waves, that is the complete Columbia Sessions after JWH and up to his departure for Asylum Records.
All of the unreleased sessions, studio and demo, Cash, Harrison, all the alternates, undubbed, everything.
It would have been simply incredible
Now $82 at blowitoutahere. You can give Amazon another $25 if you wish.
Amazon has a pre-order price guarantee that states you won't pay a higher price than the lowest price on release day, and usually the price does drop as that date approaches. I can't speak for everyone, but it's always worked out for me.
Once in a while, Amazon does offer the best price anywhere, but most often not. It is worthwhile searching, especially on box sets. Sometimes, blowitoutahere does offer the best price, but usually they are beaten by someone else, like maybe importcds.com
Importcds.com had not yet listed the item, so I went with "blowitoutahere". I can imagine that someone may offer the boxset at $79, but I'd be surprised. I do not expect such a price at Amazon.
If you are skeptical of these other sites, as I understand (I once was), I will say that neither "blowitoutahere" or importcds have ever ripped me off.
When you end up paying $105 at amazon, as I expect you will, think about that extra $23...Amazon already did their price drop since the announcement
I was right. The lowest price is now importcds.com at $75 for the 4CD boxset
Pär Pärsson says
Is the Spanish is the Loving Tongue included here similar to the one on the B-side of the 7" Watching the River Flow? Hopefully - as that piano-version may be the best cut by Dylan ever released. Yes, that's my opinion.
I sure hope it is. But that rare version is also on the official Australian 3CD set called Masterpieces. However, that set is out of print, and pretty expensive.
Latest price update, importcds.com is still $21 less than amazon for the boxset
I'll change that...I hope it is another totally new third version just as good as the version on the single!