Help!: A Day in the Life

Various Artists for WarChild

This is an archived post from Wishes on Eyelashes, a previous incarnation of this site.

Recorded in a single day on September 9th, this is much more than a charity record.

Back in 1995 the concept was easy: Get together a bunch of rare / live songs from the era’s most popular artists, put them together in one compilation and keep all the profits for WarChild. This time around the method is different but the result very much the same.

The challenge was to compile an album from as many of today’s great artists as possible, recorded, mixed and distributed all in 24 hours. With today’s technology and the power of the Internet this was of course much easier than it sounds.

Gorrilaz started early, recording their track in Hong Kong before most people were even awake. Studios through the country saw Elbow, Maximo Park, Keane and others all hurriedly finishing their songs. The big bands chipped in too, with Coldplay, Manics and Razorlight chipping in songs that they had written for albums but kept back especially for WarChild.

Musically the album is just as fantastic as its production. In no other place will you find such a varied collection of rare tracks and incredible covers by the nation’s best bands. ‘How You See The World’ is Coldplay through and through but still pulls all the right chords. Radiohead’s haunting ‘I Want None of This’ is not to be missed. Similarly the Manic’s ‘Leviathan’ sees a return to the rawness that has been missing in too much of their recent work.

As covers go Kaiser Chiefs ‘Through the Grapevine’ is originally brilliant, and much the same must be said of Keane’s electronic-filled ‘Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road’.

It’s not often you can listen to a compilation album and truly enjoy every track, but the magic of WarChild makes that happen. Ten years ago a novel idea did its job for charity. In 2005 it has done its bit for music too.

Quite simply go out and buy it, it’ll make your day. And hey, it’s for charity.