The War Child charity is to partner with EMI’s Parlophone label on a covers album, “Heroes”, featuring contemporary acts chosen by music legends.
The album, released by Parlophone on Nov. 24, will raise funds for the UK-based charity, which works to protect children in war zones including Iraq and Afghanistan.
The charity says that veteran music stars including Sir Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Brian Wilson and The Clash have selected acts to cover their songs. Duffy has recorded a version of Paul McCartney and Wings’ “Live And Let Die”; U.K. dance act Hot Chip have reworked Joy Division’s “Transmission”; Beck has covered Bob Dylan’s “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat”; and U.K. indie-rock act The Kooks have been chosen by The Kinks to record “Victoria”.
“I have been supporting War Child since 1995,” said Sir Paul McCartney in a statement. “Their work with children in war zones saves lives and their work with those who take decisions that help them to do something about it saves even more lives.
“I think Duffy’s version of ‘Live And Let Die’ is great – I was really impressed. The breadth of talent on this project is amazing; it’s great that so many people gave their time, energy and support to this initiative.”
Rufus Wainwright is also on board, having been chosen by Brian Wilson to record a medley of two songs from “Smile”. The full track-listing has not yet been confirmed.
“‘Heroes’ is the most innovative and exciting War Child album to date and therefore it was essential for me that Parlophone be involved,” said Parlophone managing director Miles Leonard in a statement. “It is very rewarding to see so many artists giving so generously of their time for such a worthwhile cause.”
War Child’s first music project, “Help”, was released Sept. 1995 by Go! Disc Records and involved various artists recording and releasing an album within six days. Contributions by Oasis, Blur, Sir Paul McCartney, Portishead and Radiohead – their track “Lucky” later appeared on the band’s “OK Computer” (Parlophone) – ensured the set went to No. 1 in the U.K. based one day’s sales. Former Stone Roses guitarist John Squire provided the sleeve art and he has returned to create the cover for the “Heroes” album.
The charity has been involved in several other music releases and live events in the past decade. Meldodic rock trio Keane donated profits from last year’s “The Night Sky” (Island) to War Child.