Though Bob Dylan moved away from his role as a ‘protest singer’ long ago — we saw Another Side by his fourth album — his name will forever be associated with social activism. The international human rights organization Amnesty International rose out of the same turbulent era as Dylan, forming in 1961, the year Dylan recorded his first album. Fitting, then, that in celebration of their 50th birthday, Amnesty would call on artists to contribute their Dylan covers to the massive four disc set Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International.
Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International doesn’t come out for another month, but the massive four-disc tribute is available to stream below. We’re just making our way through it ourselves, but the Gaslight Anthem’s “Changing of the Guards” and Queens of the Stone Age‘s “Outlaw Blues” are early highlights. On the flip side, Ke$ha‘s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” is truly atrocious (though Miley Cyrus‘ “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go” isn’t bad at all). For whatever reason, you can stream 60-second excerpts of the first two discs and the full songs for the second two. At 2+ hours of music, though, we think you’ll survive. Stream the album below, then tell us what the best/worst songs are in the comments. (via Facebook)
Can you ever have ever too much Bob Dylan? With the release of an astounding line-up of artists for the latest Dylan tribute, the answer is a resounding – never! Last month we brought you more info on the upcoming Bob Dylan tribute album, Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International (including Ke$ha’s unfortunate quote comparing her music to that of the legend), but the full tracklist gets us even more excited. Elvis Costello! The Gaslight Anthem! Pete Townshend! Flogging Molly! Kronos Quartet!
In the Spotlight showcases a cross-section of an artist’s cover work. View past installments, then post suggestions for future picks in the comments!
Claremont, CA’s The Mountain Goats began as the alter-ego of singer-songwriter John Darnielle, who’d record raw versions of songs on cassettes to distribute to friends in the early 1990s. Since then, Darnielle’s project has added a few members and become a major force in the indie world. Albums like The Sunset Tree, Get Lonely and most recently All Eternals Deck have received serious critical praise and become favorites among the college radio crowd. One might guess that’s primarily because of the compelling figure cut by Darnielle; his mix of brutal honesty and quirky humor speaks to listeners much in the way an artist like Ben Folds does, although instead of a massive piano between Darnielle and his audience, there’s usually just an acoustic guitar.