Amnesty International commemorates its 50th anniversary with the release of an album featuring the cream of the world’s music talent covering Bob Dylan songs, with contributions from a huge variety of artists including Adele, Patti Smith, Pete Townshend, Ke$ha, The Gaslight Anthem, Sting, Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, Sinéad O’Connor, Kris Kristofferson, Bad Religion, Marianne Faithfull, My Chemical Romance, Bryan Ferry, Pete Seeger and many more. Entitled Chimes of Freedom: Songs of Bob Dylan the album features 73 tracks on four CDs.
Preserving newly written Bob Dylan songs for copyright is the reason why the Band's Garth Hudson rolled tape at Big Pink but The Basement Tapes were something much more than songwriting demos. Greil Marcus dubbed it a celebration of the "Old, Weird America" in his 1997 book Invisible Republic, connecting these songs to Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music, adding an extra layer of myth to tapes that were shrouded in mystery from the moment bootlegs started to circulate. The Basement Tapes Complete strengthens portions of that legend while simultaneously puncturing it. Certainly, the six-disc box – its first five discs assembled according to Hudson's numbering system, with the sixth disc collecting sessions discovered later – feels substantially different from the LP released in 1975, where the overall picture was distorted by Robbie Robertson adding sometimes significant overdubs and including Band recordings that weren't cut during those seven months in 1967.
This superb 3 CD set was originally released by Doberman, who professionally manufactured the inserts & booklets. With the original issued package, the discs were CD-r's with very nice paper labels. Doberman had released only glass mastered titles in the past, and some of their newest releases are once again appearing on glass mastered CDs. The three CDs were then pressed by the wonderful people at Scorpio, who released them on 24kt gold discs. The discs carry a take off of the MFSL gold disc logo.
The official release of The Basement Tapes – which were first heard on a 1968 bootleg called The Great White Wonder – plays with history somewhat, as Robbie Robertson overemphasizes the Band's status in the sessions, making them out to be equally active to Dylan, adding in demos not cut at the sessions and overdubbing their recordings to flesh them out…