Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Song of the Week: Chimes of Freedom

On Tuesday, the massive album: Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan. Honoring 50 years of Amnesty International was released. And I am not kidding when I say massive; we are talking over 80 artists collaborating on 76 songs.  I know, I know everyone already covers Bob Dylan, he has after all published over 300 songs. And more time than I should probably admit to, I turn into a crotchety old lady and shake my fist at the kids of today and tell them that they should be listening to the original Dylan instead of some cover. But then I am reminded that with art, what the viewer gets out it is as important as what the creator puts into. So cover songs are (hopefully) outward acknowledgement of a meaningful song.  I still, however, shake my fist at the kids of today.

The scope of performers on this new album is mind blowing, it truly spans generations and genres:

This album just goes to show how well Bob Dylan was/is/will always be able to tap into the story lines that we as humans all face.  I have had a marathon listening party to it over the last couple days and though the idea of Miley Cyrus singing Dylan stills throws my body into violent convulsions, I’m digging the album. It's hard to pick out just a few to talk about, but here are some of my favorites (so far):

Johnny Cash featuring the Avett Brothers singing "Too Many Mornings". The brothers Avett performed the song on Jimmy Fallon last week and if you can get past the enormous cowboy hat, it is lovely version. I just wish Mr. Cash were still here to join in.

Pete Seeger and the Riverton Kids singing "Forever Young." Peter Seeger is 92, his legendary voice backed up with a chorus of children = magic.
(I couldn't find any video/audio of this to share, but it is as awesome as it sounds.)

And of course, of course, Mr. Dylan, himself singing the title track, "Chimes of Freedom". My heart almost explodes whenever I hear this song. I love it so much.  
(Again, couldn't find any good video of Dylan singing it himself. A million other people, sure.)

Proceeds from the album go to Amnesty International, and their mission to aid political prisoners around the world and “protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.”  You can listen to selected songs on their website, and you can album the whole album or individual songs there, or on the usual suspects (iTunes, Amazon). Heartfelt music and helping a worthwhile cause, what more could you ask for?

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