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Bob Dylan: Self Portrait

GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 23 Aug 02 - 05:27 PM
Clinton Hammond 23 Aug 02 - 05:54 PM
GUEST,Taliesn 23 Aug 02 - 06:02 PM
Little Hawk 23 Aug 02 - 06:33 PM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 23 Aug 02 - 06:42 PM
Little Hawk 23 Aug 02 - 08:57 PM
khandu 23 Aug 02 - 09:29 PM
Bobert 23 Aug 02 - 09:41 PM
GUEST,Taliesn 24 Aug 02 - 01:07 AM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 24 Aug 02 - 05:16 AM
Little Hawk 24 Aug 02 - 10:20 AM
khandu 24 Aug 02 - 01:07 PM
khandu 24 Aug 02 - 01:08 PM
GUEST,GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 24 Aug 02 - 02:24 PM
Little Hawk 24 Aug 02 - 10:15 PM
Amos 25 Aug 02 - 09:50 PM
GUEST,Gern 26 Aug 02 - 10:48 AM
Steve Latimer 26 Aug 02 - 10:40 PM
GUEST,Chris b (Born Again Scouser) 27 Aug 02 - 08:24 AM
Little Hawk 27 Aug 02 - 05:39 PM
GUEST,Gern 28 Aug 02 - 11:21 AM
Little Hawk 28 Aug 02 - 05:00 PM
Peter T. 28 Aug 02 - 06:04 PM
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Subject: Bob Dylan: Self Portrait
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 05:27 PM

OK, here it comes. I think SP is the key album in Zimmy's whole career. It's him saying (in 1969/70), 'Look, I'm not a prophet, I'm not the voice of your generation, I'm just a singer. Get a life. I have'.

Everything on it is there just because he wants it to be there and he had fun doing it. The two 'Albertas' are among the most funky, tender and gorgeous things he ever recorded. 'Days of 49' sounds and feels like a cut from the 'Basement Tapes'. 'All The Tired Horses' sounds like the kind of kid's nursery rhyme Woody Guthrie would have written. I could go on and be warned I probably will if anyone responds but in a nutshell: this is the great lost Dylan album if only because everyone missed the point at the time. It was also the first Dylan album I actually bought, when I was 13 in 1970. It led me back to 'Freewheeling' and it took me forward to 'Desire'. Listen. It's all in there. And all anyone can talk about is the bloody cover...


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan: Self Portrait
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 05:54 PM

Fneeeeah... It's far from my favourite Bob album...


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan: Self Portrait
From: GUEST,Taliesn
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 06:02 PM

*Not* being that much of a devotee' of the Bobster as a performer because of his...how can I put this gentley....shade less than stellar alacrity with his command of his instrument ( Lord I know I'm gonna catch it for that , but , truth be told ) I can speak for this "studio" musician embellished and strategically enhanced productiob of his material on this album and , mercifully , his voice didn't sound as much as what he croaks out with now. All that said one of my absolute favorite songs that I *never* tire of listening to is "Tangled up in Blue" from, I believe ,"Blood on the Tracks". Just as an aside it was my pleasure to see the double bill tour of Joni Mitchel/Bob Dylan roughly 3 summers ago at Univ. of Maryland. I was more than content enough to finally see Lady Joni Mitchel live and could'vre gone home happy , but I was some close friend's guest and gave Dylan "Live" my due respect. Well after making some smart-arsed remarks about how well he was using his guitar as well as Elvis , mainly as some manner of fashion accessary , I further "opined" that Dylan also appeared to have been a follower of the Ross Perot Church of corporate management whose principle of "Just surround yerself with good people" was a prime directive. ( Man I know that i'm gonna catch for that one too ).

Well all that was put in its place with the full 4 accoustic guitars blazin' performance of a generously long rendition of "Tangled Up in Blue" that literally had 4 generations of concert attendees on their feet dancin'. needless to say surrounding himself with "good people" was *the* crucial element and no one was gladder than I that he chose to do so. I was absolute magic. Being unabashedly biased I say: quite the gourmet dessert to a Joni Mitchel feast.

Unasked for Opinions "R" Us

Taliesn


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan: Self Portrait
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 06:33 PM

Chris - I pretty much agree with your analysis of Self-Portrait.

Taliesn - Sometimes he plays very well on either guitar or harmonica...and sometimes he doesn't. A listen to the whole catalog will supply examples of either extreme.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan: Self Portrait
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 06:42 PM

Hee Hee! Now we're getting somewhere...


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan: Self Portrait
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 08:57 PM

I saw the Joni Mitchell/Bob Dylan show too...it was great all the way around, but I came primarily to see Bob. Saw him in Toronto a few days ago, and the music was just fine in every respect. I really enjoyed hearing "Under The Red Sky" live for the first time. He opened, by the way, with a gospel tune...probably an old Jimmy Rodgers song or something like that.

I think the best Dylan show I ever saw was in '79, but it's hard to pick one as the best.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan: Self Portrait
From: khandu
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 09:29 PM

Hey, hey! Someone besides me likes "Self-Portrait"! I thought the cover was great! It was a parody created by the man. And there are some real jewels on the collection. Yes, Chris, you are right on!

I saw him in Jackson, MS in 92. It was one of the outstanding moments in my musical life!.

khandu


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan: Self Portrait
From: Bobert
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 09:41 PM

Taliesn: Hmmmmmmmm? Think this ol' hillbilly woke a sleeping giant... Oh well, have fun! Yeah "Tangled Up in Blue" was real nice. So was "She Belongs to Me" et al from Dylan's earlier days. I mean when it come to Dylan, there seems no beginning and no end. No best, worst or middle. It's Dylan afterall...

Yeah, some folks look at his deficiencies like going to a car race hoping for a wreck. Not me. Dylan rules.

Bobert

ps: See ya at the Bean! (Code talk)


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan: Self Portrait
From: GUEST,Taliesn
Date: 24 Aug 02 - 01:07 AM

(quote) "Taliesn: Hmmmmmmmm? Think this ol' hillbilly woke a sleeping giant."

Oh ,not really. Just feelin' a bit "ornery myself . Being under the influence of the tail end of a full moon always brings out a streak of mischief.

I give Dylan his due. I would say the alpha and omega that is Dylan's best/worst encapsulated in a single recorded moment was his live performance in The Band's farewell performance in "The Last Waltz". First Dylan comes out with his attempt at still tryin' to convince hisself in front of all of us that he was a still born again Christian with his first song and then let's rip with a rousing rendition of the old Dylan gone electric tune that was absolute "barnstorm" and is preserved forever on film. He will always be the writer, par excellance' first to be followed by singer/poet that defined his time with signature bigger than just about anyone....just about.

Again my bias still favors M'Lady Joni Mitchel as iconic iconaclast singer/songwriter/poet/ musician/ and accomplished artist. As far as timeless anthem defining its time with crystaline perfection I'd put just her song "Woodstock", *alone* , up there with *anything* Dylan is lionized for. Just giving a master and "living treasure" her deserved due that's all.

History will have its say ultimately , but I'll wager that "Circle Game" will be passed on as much as "Blowin' in the Wind" . See ya in a hunerd years and let's just see Bobster


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan: Self Portrait
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 24 Aug 02 - 05:16 AM

Thanks, Khandu! Couple of other high points: 'Minstrel Boy' with The Band (bit loose, but yery Big Pink) and 'Mighty Quinn' (I remember thinking 'I want to play electric guitar like that'), 'Livin' the Blues' (another great solo - David Bromberg, perhaps?), 'Little Sadie no.1 (forty-one days, forty-one night, forty-one years to wear the ball and stripes OH NOOOO!), 'Belle Isle', and lots of others.

OK, who else likes this record but has been keeping it to themselves?


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan: Self Portrait
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Aug 02 - 10:20 AM

My hamster loves it, but he can't type...or at least, he's not big enough to move the keys anyway. I know he likes it, because he comes out even during broad daylight to listen when I put it on. He doesn't do this for other recordings...except for "Sonny and Cher Live in Las Vegas". Strange, isn't it?

- LH


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan: Self Portrait
From: khandu
Date: 24 Aug 02 - 01:07 PM

Little Hawk, Does the hamster not come out when you play Martha and the Vandellas "Dancing in the Streets"? (Didn't Shatner do some harmony on some of their songs?)

khandu


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan: Self Portrait
From: khandu
Date: 24 Aug 02 - 01:08 PM

William Shatner is a hamster!

khandu


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan: Self Portrait
From: GUEST,GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 24 Aug 02 - 02:24 PM

Sounds like one smart hamster to me.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan: Self Portrait
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Aug 02 - 10:15 PM

Some of them are very clever. If they were bigger, they'd be formidable.

Khandu - Are you talking to yourself? Too many hours spent gazing at photos of Big Bill? What would you do for an autographed one?

I don't have any stuff by Martha and the Vandellas (dontcha love those old girl group names?), but maybe I can borrow it from someone...

I wonder if "Baby Love" would rouse the little beast?

- LH


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan: Self Portrait
From: Amos
Date: 25 Aug 02 - 09:50 PM

Just mail the bugger off to Micca, then, LH -- he can arrange free bus fare for the little tyke!! (See Song Challenge 87). :>))

A


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan: Self Portrait
From: GUEST,Gern
Date: 26 Aug 02 - 10:48 AM

Back to the topic--I've been with Bob since Freewheelin', and have defended him from time to time, only to shake my head at his flippance and density at other times. But I'm not so fanatical as to validate Self-Portrait. It has some of history's worst performances, and ranks near the bottom of his career, alongside Street Legal. For ex: the atrocious "Like a Rolling Stone," with his throaty Nashville Skyline voice; the inferior version of "She Belongs to Me"; even more rampant lyrical screw-ups than usual ("Belle Isle," "Little Sadie,"); throw-away first takes of "Alberta," "The Boxer" and "Wigwam"; and the grating, pathetic "In Search of Little Sadie." Except for a few decent cuts, the album strikes me now, and struck me then, as rather sarcastic. Just one person's opinion, but if this had been a debut album, Dylan wouldn't even be allowed to sing karaoke.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan: Self Portrait
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 26 Aug 02 - 10:40 PM

I had Self Portrait given to me many years ago. I must admit that I didn't really appreciate Dylan at the time, but I remember that I really didn't like it. Maybe it's time to give it another spin.

I was shopping last week and the local HMV had a sale on. I picked up a couple of Dylan CD's for 7.99 CDN. One was John Wesley Harding, which I'm still not sure if I like, the other was Good As I Been To You which I'm really enjoying. Just Bob and his guitar doing old Folk songs. Really a neat CD.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan: Self Portrait
From: GUEST,Chris b (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 27 Aug 02 - 08:24 AM

A little harsh, Gem. I don't myself see anything throw-away about the two 'Alberta's and I still think 'Little Sadie' is hilarious but that's just my opinion. 'History's worst performances'? You obviously never saw Laurence Olivier in 'Khartoum'.

Thing is, the 'flippance and density' is very much the point. On 'Self Portrait' Dylan manifestly doesn't care whether anyone defends him or not. You may detect an undercurrent of sarcasm (though I wouldn't necessarily agree) but Dylan and sarcasm? Hardly strangers.

Like I said, it's the key album. Dylan draws a line under the 60s and everything everyone has ever expected from him and tells his fans to grow up and get along without him. After this, no-one was ever going to expect him to be 'their' voice if they had any sense - which made it easier, perhaps, for Dylan to find his own voice again as he got into his thirties.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan: Self Portrait
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Aug 02 - 05:39 PM

I remain, to this day, utterly astounded by people who list "Street Legal" as one of Dylan's worst albums. I consider it one of the 5 or 6 that I most enjoy listening to ever. It's absolutely superb, with the exception of the one song (Baby Please Stop Crying) that got radio airplay at the time. Isn't that typical of the f**king music business? They gravitate to bad music like flies to manure.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan: Self Portrait
From: GUEST,Gern
Date: 28 Aug 02 - 11:21 AM

I'll admit to liking "Changing of the Guard" and agree with Little Hawk on "Baby Stop Crying." The rest is of course personal taste, and none of us can really explain to the anti-Dylan crowd why we like a particular Dylan cut. It's kind of like why some people like Guinness of Slim Jims: if you have to ask, ... Sure don't mean to be harsh to Chris B's tastes at all. But the notion that Dylan decided to announce the end of the 60s by producing a crappy album with sleepwalk vocals like "Early Morning Rain" is hard for me to swallow.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan: Self Portrait
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Aug 02 - 05:00 PM

I like that cut, too... :-)

- LH


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan: Self Portrait
From: Peter T.
Date: 28 Aug 02 - 06:04 PM

Self Portrait is such tripe. For a real self-portrait, get Biograph or the Bootleg collection. The range of experience, and the extraordinary performances are better validations of his whole career.

yours, Peter T.


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