Sometimes I think people hold Bob Dylan up to such godlike standards, that we tend to forget some of the great criticism the guy has drawn.  I was reminded of this today when reading the PopMatters essay on Greil Marcus, “Risk and Equilibrium: The Impact of Greil Marcus”.

I could be wrong, but I doubt many other reviews that open up with the line “what is this shit” are as well remembered as the one Marcus wrote for Dylan’s 1970 album, Self Portrait.  Instead of being forgotten, it became one of the critics defining pieces, and provided future generations of music reviewers with their own “Call me Ishmael”.

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  • Todd

    Yes. But Greil is an absolute twit on many subjects. This is one of them.

  • Jason Diamond

    Obviously a critic can’t always be right.

    Ilike “Self Portrait”, and think “Wigwam” is one of my favorite Dylan songs.

  • Happy

    In 1970 Self-Portrait was a confusion. It’s gained a lot of ground since; I find it a warm but uneven record. Marcus is not always right, but he’s not a twit when it comes to Dylan.