In a 2009 interview with Rolling Stone, guitar legend Jeff Beck shared his unpleasant memories of being onstage at the Rock Hall induction ceremonies 20+ years ago jamming "Like A Rolling Stone" and "Satisfaction" with members of the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and apparently everybody who was anybody.
"It was one of the worse cacophonies I've ever heard in my entire life. Just horrendous."
So it's a pleasant surprise to hear him revisiting "Like A Rolling Stone" with Seal on lead vocals, which ends up being one of many enjoyable moments on the new Chimes of Freedom Bob Dylan-themed tribute celebrating the 50th anniversary of Amnesty International.
There are 76 tracks from a variety of artists from Jackson Browne to the Silversun Pickups, most of them newly recorded with a handful of live cuts rounding things out. Believe it or not, there are very few musical inclusions that will make you cringe and reach for the skip button.
[But there are at least a couple: Special shout out to the Avett Brothers for taking an unnecessary time travel trip to guest on the opening cut by Johnny Cash. Honorable mention goes out to Silverstein for their contribution 74 tracks later.]
At less than $20 for either the physical four CD collection or MP3 download, there were enough of my favorite artists (Browne, Mark Knopfler, Neil Finn, Raphael Saadiq, etc.) present, that I was completely game to take a chance on hearing a whole bunch of bands and singer/songwriters cover Bob Dylan songs for hours and hours.
I'm glad I did and you should too!
Here's one of the noisier moments from the collection, courtesy of Bad Religion.
....and on the opposite end