It's hard to believe that it's nearly 15 years since War Child assembled the "Help" compilation, which had some brilliant moments, like Suede's cover of Elvis Costello's "Shipbuilding" and the Smokin' Mojo Filters version of "Come Together." The record was also the first time we heard Radiohead's "Lucky," which later appeared on "OK Computer."
The Filters were a one-off supergroup with Pauls McCartney and Weller, Noel Gallagher, Steve Craddock of Ocean Colour Scene and Young Disciples' Carleen Anderson.
War Child -- an organization that aids kids affected by war -- now dishes up an,a rguably, even better record in "Heroes" (Astralwerks), which takes a bass-ackward approach to the covers album.
Instead of bands picking songs to cover, 16 artists chose current artists to cover a song of their own.
So, while it's fun to hear Beck's version of "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat" and TV on the Radio's take on "Heroes," it's even more interesting to know that Dylan and Bowie believed these guys could do justice to these songs.
It's especially fun to see that the "old guys" are obviously smitten by their youthful disciples. Who among us hasn't noted The Kooks' penchant for The Kinks and The Hold Steady's passion for The Boss? Looks like Ray Davies and Bruce Springsteen noticed, too.
Heck, Mick Jones even guests on Lily Allen's cover of The Clash's "Straight to Hell."
Some of the more engaging moments:
- Hot Chip's quirky electro-pop cover of Joy Division's "Transmission."
- Duffy's over-the-top pseudo-gospel version of "Live and Let Die" with some flamboyant Bassey-isms.
- Peaches' buzzy reading of Iggy Pop's "Search and Destroy."
- Elbow's tender, spacey re-make of U2's "Running to Stand Still."
Some other artists on the record include Franz Ferdinand, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Rufus Wainwright and Scissor Sisters.
The record is for a good cause and in it we likely already have the best comp of the year.
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