Running The Numbers: The Four-Disc, 73-Track Bob Dylan Covers Comp With Miley, Ke$ha, Lenny, And Many Others

chimesoffreedom_cover.jpg
Today Amnesty International releases Chimes Of Freedom, a really, really huge compilation of bob Dylan covers by artists both canonized and obscure. Trying to analyze such a huge undertaking can only be done in one way: Mathematically.

Amount of music in this collection: 73 songs on four CDs, totaling 313 minutes and 24 seconds. (You get three additional songs if you buy it digitally, for an additional eight minutes' worth of music.)

Number of songs by Pazz and Jop winners: Five: Adele (2011 singles poll); Elvis Costello (1978 and 1982 albums poll); Pete Townshend (The Who, 1971 albums poll); Lucinda Williams (1993 albums poll); Dylan himself (1975, 1997, and 2001 albums poll).
     Most ass-kicking: probably Lucinda's alt.slowjam cover of "Tryin' to Get to Heaven," but Adele brings the heat with her live "Make You Feel My Love."
     Least ass-kicking: Townshend's wobbly "Corrina, Corrina," which sounds like he just woke up, but not in a good way.

Number of songs by dead people: One. (Johnny Cash, accompanied by the Avett Brothers, leads things off with a slow bluegrass version of "One Too Many Mornings.")

Number of songs lasting longer than seven minutes: Five.
     Longest: The Belle Brigade's 6/8 time indie-folk take on "No Time to Think," which to be fair has a ton of verses.

Number of songs lasting less than three minutes: 10.
     Best: Carolina Chocolate Drops ripping "Political World" a new one.
     Weirdest: Daniel Bedingfield doing a James Blake/Tom Waits version of "Man in the Long Black Coat."
     Most insufferable: Sting's "Girl From the North Country," which sounds exactly the way you think it does.

Album most represented: The Times They Are A-Changin' and Bringing It All Back Home, with seven songs represented from each. In an upset, there are only two covers from Highway 61 Revisited; somewhat surprisingly, no one covered anything from "Love and Theft" or Modern Times. In a non-upset, Saved and Under the Red Sky are both unrepresented on this set. (Also it's not exactly surprising that no one covers "Neighborhood Bully," given that a full-on celebration of Israeli policies wouldn't seem to fit with Amnesty International's mission.)

Three most surprisingly good Bob Dylan impressions, in order: 1. Mick Hucknall grinding it out on "One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)" (the problem was never with Mick's voice, was it?); 2. Marianne Faithfull, "Baby, Let Me Follow You Down"; 3. Maroon 5, "I Shall Be Released."

Most unfortunately devoted to the original material: Lenny Kravitz doing (wait for it) "Rainy Day Women #12 & #45." Same trombone, same drums, same approach, same everything.

Songs you never need to hear even once in your life because they will make you bleed at the eyes and ears: Only a couple, but Pete Seeger's declamatory cover of "Forever Young," backed by a children's chorus called the Rivertown Kids, up there. I love Seeger and everything he stands for, but this is why the word "nadir" exists.

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BobTx
BobTx

The singlr fault with having Ke$ha sing on this is that she CAN'T FUCKIN SING....other than that no prob...next time we can have the 1812 by monkeys..

BobTx
BobTx

...and I'll type the review :)

mikep
mikep

"Also it's not exactly surprising that no one covers "Neighborhood Bully," given that a full-on celebration of Israeli policies wouldn't seem to fit with Amnesty International's mission."

What a bizarre statement. I can't think of any song that would better represent what Amnesty Internationnal stands forr. Israel's courageous defense of human and civil rights is one of the greatest accomplishments in human history. Only an anti-semite would disagree. It's truly shameful that the Voice would pander to the extremists, but indicative of what a travesty the left has become in recent years. 

Appalled
Appalled

Mikep...shut the fuck up....

mikep
mikep

Not a chance. Decent people all over the world are appalled at the lies the anti-semites are spreading, and we are going to continue to fight nazism wherever we find it. You people are ultra-violent, right-wing extremists, and everyone knows it. You have no support whatsoever and you are losing your attempts to revive nazism. We will not shut up, we will not go away, and we will continue to fight for human rights, the rule of law, and for the freedom of all people, including women, gays and others, to live their lives in peace. So why don't you and the rest of your 1% go away and let intelligent, educated people do the right thing? You're not wanted, you're not needed, and, most of all, you are violating American laws regarding hate crimes. 

LOL
LOL

u mad bro?

Brian Fairbanks
Brian Fairbanks

Disagree with almost everything here, except the last three paragraphs and the covers that should have been. Genius!

Ryan
Ryan

I'd pay cash money to hear Cee-Lo cover "Ballad of a Thin Man"

RICK SHAW
RICK SHAW

Why is this Ke$ha song so good? DTTIA isnt really a sad sappy song...it's more a F You to an ex no? Crying??? gimme a break, Bob dont cry on tape.

reader
reader

A few thoughts:

• Lenny Kravitz can be identified by just his first name now (as in this post's title)? Uh, no. That honor belongs only to Homer's co-worker.• Can buyers of the CD set legally get the digital bonus tracks separately, preferably for free?• Can we adhere to the distinction between song and track or recording please?

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