Astralwerks and War Child, an award winning charity that provides humanitarian assistance to war-affected children in some of the most devastated regions of the world, are proud to announce a unique and unprecedented collaboration between some of the biggest names in music history and today´s hottest artists. War Child asked some of the biggest legends in music history (Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, David Bowie) to select a classic track from their own songwriting catalog, and nominate an artist from the next generation (Beck, The Hold Steady, Duffy, TV On The Radio) to create a modern reworking of that classic song. This album is the result: 16 exclusive and truly inspired cover versions.
The album´s artwork was painted by former Stone Roses guitarist John Squire. It was inspired by pictures drawn by the children that War Child works with. John has been a long-time supporter of War Child and he also designed the covers for our ´Help´ and ´Help! A Day in the Life´ albums. David Bowie and Sir Paul McCartney were the first legends to lend their support and they selected two of 2008’s most acclaimed artists: Welsh singer Duffy, whose debut album ´Rockferry’ has sold 4mSir Paul McCartney copies and marked her out as one of the year’s freshest talents; and New York art-rock outfit TV On The Radio, the coolest, most critically-lauded act of the year thanks to their outstanding album ‘Dear Science’. These first selections would set a sharp template and a high bar. The rest of our stellar cast were not far behind in coming on board and their nominations did not disappoint. The pairings would throw up some astonishing, historic moments.
This album features so many talented artists re-making their classic tracks. The way the band cover the artists is a delicate and intriguing part to this album. Some of my favorites include the piano driven Hold Steady’s cover of Sprignsteen’s “Atalnatic City”, Franz Ferdinand doing Blondie’s “Call Me” and Duffy’s pristine make of “Live and Let Die.” Elbow is another highlight of U2’s “Running To Standstill” in their own fashion. The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, Peaches, and The Like show off their pop side on these songs. TV On The Radio ends the album delicately with their bittersweet version of Bowie´s "Heroes."
Even though each band has its own unique style the album flows together really well. This isn’t just some compilation thrown together. The depth of the thought that was put forth is irrevocable. Other than the way the bands were hand picked fro the original artists the best thing about this album is that its helps a great cause. Its great to see today’s artists stepping up to the plate and creating what they love the most for this great cause. This isn’t just some compilation put together, this is a taste of what warchild has to offer and that they do for the people.