Four classic albums released for War Child between 2002 and 2009 featuring the likes of Muse, Stereophonics, Oasis, George Michael, Avril Lavigne, Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Coldplay, Radiohead, Gorillaz, Manic Street Preachers, Beck, Keane, Lily Allen, Elbow and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are to be made available again to raise vital funds for children whose lives have been torn apart by war.
1 Love, Hope, Help! A Day In The Life and War Child Presents Heroes will be released by War Child Records – the charity’s independent record label. All proceeds from the releases will fund War Child’s life-saving work.
When conflict broke out in Ukraine, War Child were quick to respond. Their teams are already on the ground working to understand the impact on children and supporting local volunteers and non governmental organisations who operate in the border regions to Ukraine to get children vital aid and psychological care – fast. Here, millions of children and families are seeking refuge; arriving with little more than the clothes on their backs, and little access to food, water and shelter.
By purchasing these classic albums fans are supporting War Child to reach children in Ukraine and conflict zones around the world and give them the vital protection, education and psychosocial support they require.
1 Love was originally released in 2002 in partnership with the NME to celebrate 50 years of the seminal music mag and 50 years since they printed the first singles chart. Artists were asked to pick their favourite number one track to cover and this resulted in an album produced by Spike Stent which saw an incredible roster of talent record a wonderful array of songs.
Muse added their trademark space rock to The Animals 1964 chart topper House Of The Rising Sun, Elbow paired back Thunderclap Newman’s Something In The Air giving it the low-fi garage treatment and The Prodigy chose childhood heroes The Specials to pay tribute to. The result was a full throttle, dark, brooding rendition of Ghost Town.
A year later, in 2003, War Child teamed up with The Daily Mirror to respond to the Iraq war and the increasing desperate situation facing the country’s children. In just three weeks some of the biggest artists around contributed new material, exclusive tracks and cover versions to create the Hope album.
Some standout moments were created – George Michael, who had publicly spoken out against the Iraq War, contributed a beautiful cover of Don McLean’s The Grave – a song he first heard as a 7-year-old written in protest to the Vietnam War and perfectly captured his sentiments about the Iraq crisis. New Order followed on the same theme adding their stamp to Jimmy Cliff’s 1969 classic anti-war song Vietnam. Paul McCartney donated an alternate rendition of ‘Calico Skies’ – including a poignant verse about the futility of all wars, whilst David Bowie recorded the Metro Mix of ‘Everyone Says ‘Hi’’ exclusively for Hope before the album was wrapped up by Yusuf / Cat Stevens who recorded his first pop song for 25 years with a new version of his 1971 hit ‘Peace Train’ with South African choir the Incwenga Singers.
The vinyl release of Hope features exclusive alternate artwork using the original cover designed by Nick Robertson which wasn’t used on the 2003 release.
War Child marked the 10th anniversary of the HELP album, which was recorded in a single day, mixed mastered and in the shops five days later, by dialling up the speed of recording and releasing. As such Help! A Day In The Life once again asked the cream of British music to record a track in a single day, but this time the album was released for download just 24 hours later, becoming the fastest album ever.
Bands rallied to deliver tracks from all over around the world, Damon Albarn cancelled a flight to China so Gorillaz could record their track, ‘Hong Kong’. The Kaiser Chiefs recorded a cover version of ‘I Heard It Through the Grapevine’ whilst on tour in Berlin, Chris Martin recorded a new vocal and lyrics for ‘How You See The World No. 2’ from New York and Tuarweg musicians Tinawiren sent in Cler Achel from Paris.
Elbow recorded a new song ‘Snowball’, which Guy Garvey described as dealing with his outrage at the UK involvement in the Iraq conflict and a significant contribution came from Sudanese rapper Emmanuel Jal, a former child soldier and refugee who donated the track ‘Gua’. Alongside The Manic Street Preachers and Radiohead, John Squire also returned from the original HELP album to design the cover of Help! A Day In The Life which also features a cover of Goodbye Yellow Brick by War Child patrons Keane and illustrations from Paul Smith and Duncan Lloyd of Maximo Park.
In 2009 War Child Presents Heroes was released, bringing together legendary musicians with their favourite artists to create the ultimate covers album. Legends supporting the album included David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Brian Wilson, The Kinks, Roxy Music, Joy Division, The Clash, The Ramones, Blondie and Iggy Pop and the artists taking on those covers included Scissor Sisters, Elbow, Beck, The Kooks, Rufus Wainwright, Estelle, Hot Chip, The Hold Steady and Lily Allen.
Some legends selected one of their all-time classic standards like Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’, covered by Estelle, and Blondie’s ‘Call Me’, covered by Franz Ferdinand, others selected favourite tracks that deserved to be rediscovered such as Scissor Sister’s exhilarating version of Roxy Music’s ‘Do The Strand’ – not originally released as a single in the UK- and Lily Allen’s stunning take on The Clash’s ‘Straight To Hell’ featuring backing vocals and guitar from Mick Jones, which was originally the B-side of ‘Should I Stay, Or Should I Go’.
The album was recorded over six months in studios in London, Manchester, Paris, Berlin, New York and Los Angeles, and mastered at Abbey Road studios in London.
Now, these albums are available buy on vinyl for the very first time. Every purchase will be directly supporting the lives of children in horrific situations due to war. Like the children of Ukraine, where right now 10.7 million children are at risk due to the Russian invasion.
1 Love, Hope, Help! A Day In The Life and War Child Presents Heroes have been cut by Geoff Pesche at Abbey Road to be put onto limited release vinyl for the very first time. Available now on 12” vinyl in classic black, yellow (independent record store exclusive) and red (D2C exclusive) from all good retailers or from the War Child Records online store which also features a core range of merchandise including t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts and caps.
1Love – https://WarChild.lnk.to/
Help! A Day In The Life – https://WarChild.lnk.to/Help-
War Child Presents Heroes – https://WarChild.lnk.to/