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Monday, March 02, 2009

Music for War-Torn Children

Today, I’m listening to the War Child: Heroes album. The album was released just a few days ago. The concept is brilliant. 15 music icons were asked to select one of their favorite tunes from their extensive catalogue and to pick which “current” icon or newer artist they trusted to cover the tune with their own interpretation in order to support War Child.

War Child comments, “In devising the concept behind this album - inviting musical legends to place their faith in the next generation – we sought to mirror War Child’s work. We feel the reaction was fittingly awesome.”

The following bands did theses covers from the following artists:

Beck (Bob Dylan: Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat)
Scissor Sisters (Roxy Music: Do The Strand)
Lily Allen (The Clash: Straight To Hell)
Duffy (Paul McCartney: Live And Let Die)
Elbow (U2: Running To Stand Still)
TV On The Radio (David Bowie: Heroes)
Hot Chip (Joy Division: Transmission)
The Kooks (The Kinks: Victoria)
Estelle (Stevie Wonder: Superstition)
Rufus Wainwright (Brian Wilson: Wonderful/ Song For Children)
Peaches (Iggy Pop: Search And Destroy)
The Hold Steady (Bruce Springsteen: Atlantic City)
The Like (Elvis Costello: You Belong To Me)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs (The Ramones: Sheena Is A Punk Rocker)
Franz Ferdinand (Blondie: Call Me)

It’s not the first time there has been a compilation album of covers by a variety of artists. Usually these kinds of albums are tribute albums to one specific artist such as the “In the Name of Love” album by Artists United for Africa or “Encomium: A Tribute to Led Zeppelin” by various artists. We’ve also seen tribute albums recreated by one particular artist in their style such as Booker T. & the M.G.’s recreation of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors album. Or, genre tributes such as “Is It Rolling Bob?: A Reggae Tribute to Bob Dylan.

I like this fresh approach.

I’m particularly fond of the Beck, Duffy, The Kooks, Elbow, and Rufus Wainwright offerings at this point in my early listening through the tracks.

According to the site . . .

“War Child works with children affected by war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. We work with children who have been hit hardest by the joint forces of poverty, conflict and social exclusion. Our groundbreaking work with former child soldiers, street children and children in prison has supported and helped thousands who would otherwise not have been able to reintegrate with their community, gain access to education or enjoy sustainable livelihood support.

The children we work with participate directly in our decision-making and project design. In this way our projects reflect their needs not ours.

War Child works closely with other aid organisations and local and national government to ensure the knowledge and skills gained through our work are shared with as many people as possible. In this way we are able to help many more children than we can hope to reach directly.”

Buy the album. Support this work.

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