Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Chimes of Freedom - The Songs of Bob Dylan

It’s been 50 years since Bob Dylan released his first album.  It’s also the 50th anniversary of Amnesty International.  This isn’t necessarily a coincidence, but it is an act of serendipity.  Many of Bob Dylan’s early songs addressed the injustices of groups of people [or in some cases, specific individuals] suffered at the hands of others.  Other songs addressed, to steal a phrase, hope and changes that were coming.  Amnesty International is all about fighting injustice wherever they see it.  To commemorate the anniversary, Bob Dylan gave the ok to donate proceeds from any songs on this collection to be donated to Amnesty.  Out of the 73 songs on this collection, there are lots of good renderings of Dylan’s work.  Some are just ‘ok,’ others are cures for insomnia.  There are some versions that are interesting because they just seem to come out of left field,  while a few should never have seen the light of day.  All ratings are subjective of course…

The REALLY Good Stuff
Drifter’s Escape – Patti Smith
Ballad of Hollis Brown – Rise Against
Love Sick – Mariachi El Bronx
Blowin’ in the Wind – Ziggy Marley
Outlaw Blues – Queens of the Stone Age
One More Cup of Coffee (To the Valley Below) – Lucia Micarelli/Steve Earle
No Time to Think – The Belle Brigade
The Times They Are A-Changin’ – Flogging Molly
Abandoned Love – Paul Rodgers/Nils Lofgren
Señor (Tales of Yankee Power) – Dierks Bentley
Chimes of Freedom – Bob Dylan [Duh!]

The Good Stuff
Blind Willie McTell – Tom Morello
This Wheel’s On Fire – Charlie Winston
You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go – Miley Cyrus [Surprise!]
Lay Down Your Weary Tune – Billy Bragg
Love Minus Zero/No Limit – Jackson Browne
Seven Curses – Joan Baez
Make You Feel My Love – Adele
She Belongs to Me – Neil Finn/Pajama Club
Buckets of Rain – Fistful of Mercy
Property of Jesus – Sinéad O’Connor
Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right [Instrumental] – Kronos Quartet
Political World – Carolina Chocolate Drops
Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream – Taj Mahal & the Phantom Blues Band
One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later) – Mick Hucknall
Tryin’ to Get to Heaven – Lucinda Williams
Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn) – Kris Kristofferson
Gotta Serve Somebody – Eric Burdon
John Brown – State Radio
Heart of Mine – Blake Mills
4th Time Around – Oren Lavie
I Shall Be Released – Maroon 5

Somewhat Interesting
Subterranean Homesick Blues – Michael Franti
Mr. Tambourine Man – Jack’s Mannequin
All I Really Want To Do – Sussan Deyhim
It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue – Bad Religion
Desolation Row – My Chemical Romance
Shelter From the Storm – Ed Roland/The Sweet Tea Project
Forever Young – Pete Seeger [Just because a 90-year old dude is singing it…]

Zzzzz….. [Not terrible, just incredibly dull…]
Corrina, Corrina – Pete Townshend
Most of the Time – Bettye LaVette
Simple Twist of Fate – Diana Krall
Girl From the North Country – Sting
Restless Farewell – Mark Knopfler
Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 – Lenny Kravitz
License to Kill – Elvis Costello
Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You – Sugarland
Just Like a Woman – Carly Simon
Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door – RedOne
It Aint Me, Babe – Band of Skulls
Like a Rolling Stone – Jeff Beck/Seal
Bob Dylan’s Dream – Bryan Ferry
I’ll Remember You – Thea Gilmore
Mama, You Been On My Mind – We Are Augustines

Meh…[I could have gone my entire life without hearing these versions…]
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat – Raphael Saadiq
You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere – Brett Dennen
Changing of the Guards – The Gaslight Anthem
Not Dark Yet – Silversun Pickups
You’re a Big Girl Now – My Morning Jacket
Boots of Spanish Leather – The Airborne Toxic Event
Lay Lady Lay – Angelique Kidjo
Ring Them Bells – Natasha Bedingfield
With God on Our Side – K’NAAN
I Want You – Ximema Sariñana
Tomorrow Is a Long Time - Zee Avi
New Morning – Darren Criss
The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll - Cage the Elephant
Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right – Ke$ha
All Along the Watchtower – Dave Matthews Band
Man of Peace – Joe Perry

What Were They Thinking?
One Too Many Mornings – Johnny Cash & the Avett Brothers
I’d Have You Anytime – Evan Rachel Wood
Baby Let Me Follow You Down – Marianne Faithfull

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