Amnesty International is one of the most important human rights organizations operating in the world today, and it celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year. Started in 1961 with a worldwide “Appeal for Amnesty” on behalf of individuals imprisoned for the peaceful expression of their beliefs written by British lawyer Peter Benenson, the movement now counts more than 3 million people worldwide.
What better way to celebrate this milestone anniversary than with an album of songs by a man whose songs include the anthems “I Shall Be Released” and “Chimes of Freedom”? Bob Dylan has long been a supporter of Amnesty International, and Chimes of Freedom was also the unofficial anthem for the amazing Human Rights Now Tour, commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1988.
The collection is available now directly from Amnesty International, on iTunes, or at Amazon. I downloaded the digital tracks, 76 of them, for $19.99 and it’s the best $20 I’ve spent in recent memory. I’m not exaggerating. By and large it’s great music, but more on that in a minute. Let’s get some math out of the way first, if you’re budget conscious like me. I don’t buy much music these days. For the most part, I rely on a subscription service, Rhapsody, for my music. I only purchase music when there’s are really good reason to. This is worth buying, a bargain by any standards.
It is a 76 song digital download for $19.99, or 4 CDs for $24.99. Moreover, all profits go to help Amnesty International in its work. That’s well over 5 hours of music and the satisfaction of helping out one of my favorite causes, for the price of two album downloads on iTunes. Your average digital LP on iTunes or most other legal sites is usually $9.99 (increasingly $11.99) and it usually includes 10-12 songs. This is 76 songs. If that were sold at 12 songs per record , it would be 6 1/3 records. Nobody like fractions, so let’s just say this collection equals 6 iTunes LPs + 4 free bonus tracks. If Amnesty International were a record label and not a human rights nonprofit, they’d have known to more slickly market this collection typical price of $59.94, but tell us it’s on sale now for $19.99, $24.99 for the 4 CDs. Then we’d know we’re getting a bargain!
Of course it’s only a bargain if the music is good. It could contain twice as many tracks, but if you only like 9 of them, then you still don’t want to pay $20.
So then, is it any good?