Maybe not Bob Dylan’s proudest moment, but there are good songs on the record.
— Hallgeir from Bob Dylan released Self Portrait in 1970 44 years ago
Self Portrait, was a bunch of tracks that we’d done all the time I’d gone to Nashville. We did that stuff to get a (studio) sound. To open up we’d do two or three songs, just to get things right and then we’d go on and do what we were going to do. And then there was a lot of other stuff that was just on the shelf. But I was being bootlegged at the time and a lot of stuff that was worse was appearing on bootleg records. So I just figured I’d put all this stuff together and put it out, my own bootleg record, so to speak. You know, if it actually had been a bootleg record, people probably would have sneaked around to buy it and played it for each other secretly. Also I wasn’t going to be anybody’s puppet and I figured this record would put an end to that… I was just so fed up with all that who people thought I was nonsense.
— Bob Dylan, Liner notes from Biograph