Thursday, February 2, 2012

My Review of Chimes of Freedom The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International.

Since there were over 70 songs it took me 5 sittings to hear Chimes of Freedom The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International. It has to be the most ambitious and varied collection of Dylan covers. In my personal collection I have several genre specific collections:
  • Country
  • Gospel
  • Bluegrass
I also have many CDs that are one artist’s interpretations of Dylan’s works:

  • Byrds
  • Joan Baez
  • Judy Collins
  • Ben Sidran

There are also covers of complete Dylan albums:

  • Blood on the Tracks - Mary Jane Corvette
  • Blues on Blonde on Blonde - various artists

Dylan’s music is always open to interpretation lyrically and musically. I do not care for tribute bands who imitate his voice or phrasing. A good cover version must be distinct from the original. I am happy to say that the 70 plus succeed in that respect. The compiler of this set must succeed in pleasing most of the people most of the time. I was happy for the most part with what I heard.

I guess I must be listening to oldies music too much since I was not familiar with many of the artists. I never heard of Flogging Molly, My Chemical Romance, Cage the Elephant, and Michael Franti among others. There are many artists who are actively recording today including Adele, Kei$ha, Mark Knopfler, Miley Cyrus, and Elvis Costello. None of my lists are exhaustive.

 Of course many older artists appear in the set. There is a version of One Too Many Mornings where the Avett Brother overdub the late Johnny Cash’s version. Patti Smith, Sting, Joan Baez, Kris Kristofferson, Eric Burdon, Marianne Faithful, and Pete Seeger appears. The CD concludes with Dylan himself singing the Chimes of Freedom.

There are many cover versions of Dylan songs that have lasted the test of time and are quite distinguished. The versions in these compilation must age before they will be accepted by the Dylan community. My favorite has to be Forever Young by Pete Seeger with the Rivertown Kids. Pete, God bless him, is 92 years young and sounds terrific.
My only disappointment was in the artists who did not appear here:

  • Roger McGuinn
  • Judy Collins
  • Eric Clapton
  • Bruce Springsteen -  covered the Chimes of Freedom
  • Richie Havens
  • Rod Stewart

I would highly recommend this set for all Dylan fans and for younger music lovers who should discover his songs. You will be pleased most of the time.

No comments:

Personal-Journals blog