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Amnesty International 'Chimes of Freedom' salutes Bob Dylan's music

December 5, 2011 |  2:25 pm

Bob Dylan Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan gets a broad-spectrum musical salute with the  new four-CD, 75-song multi-artist tribute album “Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan: Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International,” being released as part of anniversary efforts for the human rights organization.

Participating arists include Adele, Elvis Costello, Pete Townshend, Patti Smith, Miley Cyrus, Ke$ha, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, My Chemical Romance, Queens of the Stone Age, Sting, Sugarland, Airborne Toxic Event and the Dave Matthews Band.

Dylan was selected as the focus of Amnesty International’s latest project because 2012 also will be the 50th anniversary of the release of his debut album, “Bob Dylan.” The “Chimes of Freedom” album seeks to raise funds for and awareness of the organization that lobbies on behalf of political prisoners and victims of human rights abuses throughout the world.

The 92-year-old Seeger, one of Dylan’s prime influences during the folk music revival of the '50s and '60s, sings “Forever Young,” among 70 tracks recorded especially for the album. A small handful of previously unreleased recordings round out the tribute, along with Dylan’s own 1964 recording of the title track.

“Bob Dylan’s music endures because he so brilliantly captures our heartbreak, our joy, our frailty, our confusion, our courage and our struggles,”  Karen Scott, Amnesty International’s manager of
music relations, said in a statement. “His words convey a depth of meaning that few artists can equal, inspiring us and always moving ahead of our expectations.”

The album is slated for release Jan. 24 in North America and Jan. 30 throughout the rest of the world.

A 2007 Amnesty International salute to John Lennon, “Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur,” was released in physical form as a 23-track, double-CD set, with an expanded MP3 download-only edition including an additional 38 recordings of Lennon songs by a wide variety of musicians. It has sold a combined 217,000 physical and digital copies since its release, according to Nielsen SoundScan.


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-- Randy Lewis

Photo of Bob Dylan during his performance at the 2011 Grammy Awards. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times.