The very first Bob Dylan song I ever owned was I Want You on a Columbia compilation album called Best of ’66. In fact, I found the song list:
Help! – The Brothers Four
Hey Joe – The Byrds
Homeward Bound – Chad & Jeremy
Cloudy – The Cyrkle
You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me – John Davidson
I Want You – Bob Dylan
These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ – The New Christy Minstrels
You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling – Pozo-Seco Singers
Just Like Me – Paul Revere and the Raiders
Down In The Boondocks – Billy Joe Royal
Simon & Garfunkel – You’ve Got a Groovy Thing
Dylan following John Davidson?
Anyway, the first Dylan album I ever purchased was actually not for me but for my high school girlfriend. She was a big Dylan fan, and so for her birthday or Christmas, I bought her the new release. It was a double album, so it, for the time and my budget, was rather expensive. It was Self Portrait. She was really glad to get it. But as she and I listened to it, it became evident on her face, even though she tried to hide it, that she was, to say the least, disappointed with the music. And why not? As Amazon put it: “Self Portrait stands as a truly perverse collection. Released in 1970…Bob Dylan…delivered a pop-inflected collection largely made up of rather indifferently performed covers.”
I seem to recall specifically a truly horrific version of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Boxer”, which some, including me, thought was done in retaliation for S&G’s A Simple Desultory Philippic (Or How I Was Robert McNamara’d Into Submission, the bit at the end where Simon says, “I dropped my harmonica, Albert,” Albert being Albert Grossman, Dylan’s manager at the time.
Subsequently, I’ve purchased about 20 Dylan LPs and CDs. One of them is NOT Self-Portrait. Dylan’s 66 today.