http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/ad49e547d5dee8c66a18017ef4f64a4b81fdf904.jpg Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan

Various Artists

Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan

Amnesty International
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3 0
January 24, 2012

This collection, assembled in honor of Amnesty International's 50th birthday, is stuffed with 80 artists, from Pete Seeger (folk-music deity, b. 1919) to Miley Cyrus (hot mess, b. 1992). Revelation and humor are in as short supply as hip-hop; instead, you get a good catchall for a great cause, with head-scratchers and surprises side by side (Miley turns out to be both). Most often those who underplay their covers play it best: Pete Townshend's fingerpicked "Corrina, Corrina" captures the grace and grief of Dylan's best love songs; Ke$ha treats "Don’t Think Twice" as an acting-class monologue and earns a callback; Lucinda Williams mumbles the mysticism of "Tryin' to Get to Heaven" until it feels like barroom banter; My Morning Jacket turn "You’re a Big Girl Now" into a paper kite floating in space. Not everything is a keeper – My Chemical Romance can't find their way out of "Desolation Row," and instead of Gaga painting the daytime black, we get her producer RedOne plodding through "Knockin’ on Heaven's Door." In the end, Chimes of Freedom is like one of those carnival songs Dylan used to knock off in a single take of amphetamine-fueled laughter and tears: You'll lose track of the winners and losers as the flood rolls on, and the next time you take the trip, you'll notice the scenery has completely changed. That may be the most fitting tribute of all.

Listen to "Don't Think Twice":

Bob Dylan at 70: Dylan Tributes, Greatest Songs, Interviews, Photos and More

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories


    Mariah Carey | 1995

    Serendipity stuck when Mariah Carey rediscovered the glitchy Tom Tom Club hook, a sample of which is the heart of this upbeat slice of dance pop. "I had the melody idea for 'Fantasy' and I was listening to the radio and heard 'Genius of Love,' and I hadn't heard it in a long time," Carey said. "It reminded me of growing up and listening to the radio and that feeling the song gave me seemed to go with the melody and basic idea I had for 'Fantasy.' I initially told [co-writer] Dave Hall about the idea, and we did it. We called up the Tom Tom Club and they were really into it."

    More Song Stories entries »