The Help Album
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The Help Album is a 1995 charity album to raise funds for the War Child charity, which provided aid to war-stricken areas, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina. All the songs were recorded in a single day. The album features British and Irish artists including Paul McCartney, Paul Weller, Radiohead, Oasis, Blur and the Manic Street Preachers. It was followed by 1 Love (2002), Hope (2003), Help!: A Day in the Life (2005) and War Child Presents Heroes (2009).
|The Help Album|
|Studio album by|
|Released||9 September 1995|
|Recorded||4 September 1995|
|War Child charity albums chronology|
The album's recording was inspired by the concept behind John Lennon's "Instant Karma!" – records, like newspapers, should be released as soon as they are recorded. Help was recorded on Monday, 4 September 1995, mixed on Tuesday the fifth, and was in shops on Saturday the ninth. The original version release did not include any tracklist attached to the sleeve notes; the tracklisting was instead printed as a full page ad in the NME. Notable tracks include:
- A version of The Beatles' song "Come Together", by new supergroup the Smokin' Mojo Filters: Paul McCartney, Paul Weller, Noel Gallagher, Steve Cradock, Steve White, and Carleen Anderson.
- A cover of "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head", which marked Manic Street Preachers' return to recording after the disappearance of Richey Edwards.
- The first appearance of the Radiohead song "Lucky", later included on the 1997 album OK Computer.
- Suede's cover of Elvis Costello's "Shipbuilding".
- The first new recording from Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty (better known as The KLF, but performing here as 'One World Orchestra') in over 2 years, "The Magnificent": a drum and bass version of the theme tune from the film The Magnificent Seven, with vocal samples from DJ Fleka of Serbian radio station B92.
- A version of Bobbie Gentry's "Ode to Billy Joe" by Sinéad O'Connor. As the makers of the album were putting the final touches to the album, a courier arrived with a tape of O'Connor's contribution. In theory, the song had arrived too late for inclusion in the album, but the producers were so impressed with her haunting rendition that they felt they had to include the song.
- An early appearance by Kate Moss with her then boyfriend Johnny Depp on the Oasis contribution, "Fade Away".
- A re-recording of "Love Spreads" by The Stone Roses; this is the only studio recording by the band that features drummer Robbie Maddix and keyboard player Nigel Ippinson.
The album's sleeve notes included a contribution from former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, as well as artwork by John Squire and Massive Attack's 3-D. It reached number one on the UK albums compilation charts, and would have reached number one on the UK albums chart had the UK chart compilers not refused to accept it as a single artist album (Go! Discs had attempted to get around the chart restriction on various artists albums by declaring that all contributors were members of a one-off supergroup called War Child). In his book A Year with Swollen Appendices, Brian Eno writes bitterly about this decision, claiming that it cost the charity thousands of pounds in lost sales. Nevertheless, the album raised more than £1.25 million for War Child.
The full track listing is not given in the booklet as it was not known at the time of printing.
- Oasis and Friends – "Fade Away"
- The Boo Radleys – "Oh Brother"
- The Stone Roses – "Love Spreads"
- Radiohead – "Lucky"
- Orbital – "Adnan"
- Portishead – "Mourning Air"
- Massive Attack – "Fake the Aroma" (alternate version of "Karmacoma")
- Suede – "Shipbuilding"
- The Charlatans vs. The Chemical Brothers – "Time For Livin'"
- Stereo MCs – "Sweetest Truth (Show No Fear)"
- Sinéad O'Connor – "Ode to Billie Joe"
- The Levellers – "Searchlights"
- Manic Street Preachers – "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head"
- Terrorvision – "Tom Petty Loves Veruca Salt"
- The One World Orchestra featuring The Massed Pipes and Drums of the Children's Free Revolutionary Volunteer Guards (aka The KLF) – "The Magnificent"
- Planet 4 Folk Quartet – "Message to Crommie"
- Terry Hall and Salad – "Dream a Little Dream of Me"
- Neneh Cherry and Trout – "1, 2, 3, 4, 5 "
- Blur – "Eine kleine Lift Musik"
- The Smokin' Mojo Filters – "Come Together"
The Help EPEdit
"Come Together" singleEdit
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
- Sutherland, Steve (16 September 1995). "Infant Karma". NME. p. 46.
- Irvin, Jim (July 1997), "Thom Yorke tells Jim Irvin how OK Computer was done", Mojo
- Lowe, Steve (December 1999), "Back to Save the Universe", Select
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 510. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.