By Bob Ruggiero
John Cohen Dylan during the Self Portrait/New Morning era
Another Self Portrait (1969-1971)
The Bootleg Series, Vol. 10
"What is this shit?"
It is the most famous review opening line in all of rock journalism. And it was penned by Rolling Stone's Greil Marcus in 1970 in an attempt to explain the unexplainable Bob Dylan Self Portrait double album to an audience still desperate for the Bard of Hibbing to claim his "spokesman for a generation" title.
But Dylan himself was just as uninterested in that moniker--or any other--in '70 as he was in '62. And Self Portrait's oddball, hodgepodge collection of folk and pop covers, instrumentals, live cuts, and weak originals (jacketed with a hideous painting by Dylan) remains the most reviled release in his catalogue.
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