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Another Self Portrait on vinyl

... and the world doesn't need any more publicity for Volume 10 of Bob Dylan's Bootleg Series - Another Self Portrait.

The press and the internet has - quite rightly - been full of praise for a well-curated, revelatory and frequently downright beautiful set of songs from the master at his fin-des-sixties crossroads.

But I have so far failed to spot anyone specifically raving about the vinyl version. May I fill that gap?

Sony get some deserved stick for their exploitative 'deluxe' versions of releases like this. The main selling point of the four-CD box set of this set (retailing at around £75) is the inclsusion of the full Isle of Wight 1969 concert. But that is also included on the MP3 version, selling at £10.99. So £64 for hardback versions of the - admittedly very attractive and photo-filled accompanying booklets, plus a remastered version of the original Self Portrait, which this release is designed to make obsolete. Not an obvious bargain.

The vinyl set is rather different. Three heavy and sonically precise records in a very sturdy slipcase. Plus 2 CDs of the main album, plus a 12" softcover version of the booklet. I got mine for under £45 preordering from Amazon, though the price now seems to rising rather sharply. (I tend to distrust record company blurbs about 'limited editions' but I suspect demand will exceed supply with this - it certainly ought to.)

The attention to detail is really nice. Not only do you get three different sleeves for the records which are modelled on picture sleeves for Dylan singles released around the Self Portrait / New Morning era, you even get different inner sleeves, copying plain 7" sleeves of the period from Italy, Uruguay and... where? It's red where the British would have been orange.

The only criticism, I suppose, is that they didn't include the Isle of Wight set - but that would have needed two more discs and a bigger box. I'm happy with a separate download for now. And they can always take some more money off us in the future with a dedicated vinyl release.

I am sure Sony will continue to get flack for their handling of the Dylan back catalogue in the future. (Why no complete Blood On The Tracks sessions yet? What about the Basement Tapes? etc, etc) But for now, with this particular version of a very fine compilation, they should be basking in the warm glow of a job well done.

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Reader Comments (4)

I'm looking forward to a vinyl copy, BUT first things first is the sound quality???

August 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDobro910

The vinyl set is definitely "sonically precise," rich and welcoming. It's killing me that a vinyl version of Isle of Wight is not available. I hope this situation will be corrected soon.

August 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike Anderson

Great sound quality on the records...yes...the Isle of Wright show should have been included in VINYL form....but oh well....however, i think they should fire Geoff Gans once and for all...not only because he has failed to produce a decent concert poster for the last 10 or more years...but also because his overall aesthetic decisions seem poor at best...many of the photos in the booklet are not reproduced well....especially the John Cohen pictures....which i have seen in person....the color picture of Bob from the isle of wight is great, but most of the color pictures were printed badly to my eyes...i don't want to get on the soap box about digital printing, but this is a good example of how we have gone down in quality rather than up....the black and white scans are not that great either....especially compared to some of the many dylan photo books that have been released over the years....

August 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermichael hansen

Check your amazon cloud and the Isle of Wight mp3s will be there. I bought the vinyl too from Amazon and couldn't believe it when I magically found them there. Pretty cool.

August 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

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