"Self Portrait" shows Dylan's improvisational guitar to be as unorthodox, and unparalleled as his Picasso inspired self portrait gracing the cover. The album showcases an electric Dylan, much more mature, and well rounded since the initial electric show at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival.
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"The Mighty Quinn" personifies the entire album, classic Dylan
lyrics laced over an electric thrill ride of rock and roll. The song that was later covered by Mannfred Mann, shows Dylan's rare playful side through innovational electric riffs, and inspiring vocals on a song Dylan was quoted as saying, "I just don't know what it was about."
Dylan also offers his own rendition of Paul Simon's "The Boxer," Dylan's creative guitar work, and nasalized vocals squealing, "Lai-La-Lai," are nearly enough to force one to forget the original Simon and Garfunkel version.
Self Portrait also includes what is perhaps Dylan's most remembered song, "Like A Rolling Stone." Dylan adds a bit more pep to the traditional arrangement, and is uncharacteristically on-key during the trade-mark, "How does it Feeeeeeeeeel?"
This album is not solely for die-hard fans, although all fans should own a copy. It is a great introduction to the work of this rock legend, while mixing rare songs with classic staples.