Hope - For the children of Iraq

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For the children of Iraq

Eighteen of the world’s top music stars -- among them Sir Paul McCartney, Avril Lavigne, David Bowie, New Order, Ronan Keating, Blue’s Lee Ryan, Travis and George Michael -- have contributed exclusive new tracks to Hope, a special CD rush-released on Monday 21st April to help the child victims of the war in Iraq.

All profits from Hope -- released in association with the Daily Mirror -- will be donated to the War Child charity for their specific work in Iraq. War Child’s field workers are right now on the Iraq-Kuwait border preparing an emergency response to the devastating effects of the current conflict.

“Whatever the politics, whatever the rights and wrongs of war, children are always the innocent victims so I am delighted to be able to make this small contribution to a magnificent project that I hope goes a long way to alleviating some of the pain and suffering,” says Sir Paul McCartney.

All the acts are giving their services for free while London Records has agreed to produce and distribute the album without taking a profit. Hope was recorded around the world in 25 days. The track listing -- and running order -- is:

1. Travis, who have recorded a new song called The Beautiful Occupation

2. Avril Lavigne, who has contributed a version of Bob Dylan’s Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door. Avril recorded the song in London, just before her final show at the Brixton Academy last week

3. Sir Paul McCartney with a new version of Calico Skies, one of the top tunes from his 2000 album, Flaming Pie. To ensure his new version was delivered in time to meet the Hope deadline, Sir Paul recorded it live at the rehearsals for his current tour

Hope @ www.contactmusic.com
Hope @ www.contactmusic.com
Hope @ www.contactmusic.com

4. David Bowie with a new remix of Everyone Says Hi, one of the stand-out tracks from his much-acclaimed 2002 album, Heathen

5. George Michael, who has covered Don McLean’s 1971 protest song, The Grave

6. Ronan Keating with Elvis’s 1969 megahit, In the Ghetto. Ronan’s version was recorded live at the BBC’s Top of the Pops studio earlier this month

7. Blue’s Lee Ryan, who makes a one off solo outing especially for War Child with a self penned song called Stand Up as People

8. Beverley Knight, who has updated Stevie Wonder’s Love’s In Need of Love Today, one of the classic songs from his groundbreaking 1976 album, Songs in the Key of Life

9. Moby, with a new song called Nearer

10. New Order with an update of reggae supremo Jimmy Cliff’s 1970 single, Vietnam -- a tune once described by Bob Dylan as the “best protest song” he had ever heard

11. Basement Jaxx and the Jamaican dancehall legend Yellowman with a new song called Love is the Answer

12. Spiritualized with a new song called Hold On

13. The Charlatans, who have recorded their own version of soul legend Curtis Mayfield’s impassioned 1972 single, We Got To Have Peace

14. Beth Orton, who has covered The 5 Stairsteps’ soul classic O-O-H Child, a U.S. Top 10 hit in 1970

15. BRITS and Mercury Music Prize-nominated Tom McRae with a brand-new composition called Border Song

16. Billy Bragg with a newly-written song called The Wolf Covers Its Tracks

17. Yusuf Islam -- the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens -- with a new version of his 1971 classic, Peace Train. Recorded in Johannesburg with the South African choir, Incwenga, this is Yusuf’s first English-language music release in 25 years

* * *

War Child was founded in 1993 in response to the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. The charity was responsible for the 1995 Help album -- recorded by 20 top bands and artists -- which raised more 1.25 million for the children of Bosnia. War Child has since expanded its fieldwork to conflicts around the world.

Whatever our individual views about the justification for the war, the suffering of children is something none of us can ignore. Hope is not a political album; the plight of children transcends politics. These songs are a plea for hope, without which the children of Iraq have nothing at all. WAR CHILD

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