Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Serving up Dylan for Amnesty International...

Eric Burdon is one of the artistes that has contributed to Chimes of Freedom, a 4 cd album set of Bob Dylan songs supporting the 50th anniversary of Amnesty International. Some approach the songs and arrangements pretty much as an homage to the original, others, like this, have a spirit of re-invention. This song is taken from the first of Dylan's 'Christianity phase' albums, Slow Train Coming and features Mark Knopfler and Pick Withers from Dire Straits amongst the musicians on the 1979 release.

It was the 1960s hit for The Animals, 'The House of the Rising Sun', that launched Eric Burdon on his career, followed up by a string of hit singles for the band. In a recent BBC documentary about the Gospel hymn Amazing Grace the Blind Boys of Alabama sang the words to the tune of House of the Rising Sun, an apposite combination.

I've picked out the Eric Burdon track as a highlight, IMO I don't hear many other moments of inspiration and it is difficult to even imagine who this collection would appeal to. Certainly Dylan aficionados will find it painful and, ironically, the least original approaches marginally less so. Supporting Amnesty is a good thing, so cut out the middle peeps and send them some dosh direct instead!


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