Various - Help 2xLP
To mark the 30th anniversary of War Child and celebrate National Album Day’s theme of the 90’s, War Child Records are reissuing the iconic 1995 charity album HELP on red and black smoke vinyl limited to 2,000 copies exclusively for National Album Day. Originally mastered by Brian Eno with artwork by John Squire and featuring images from the original recording sessions shot by Lawrence Watson at Abbey Road Studios.
The album is the perfect snapshot of a golden time for British music in the 90’s with indie and underground acts taking over the mainstream. The 1995 album features tracks from Oasis and Friends, The Boo Radleys, The Stone Roses, Radiohead, Orbital,
Portishead, Massive Attack, Suede, The Charlatans vs. The Chemical Brothers, Stereo MCs, Sinéad O’Connor, The Levellers,
Manic Street Preachers, Terrorvision, The One World Orchestra (Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty), Planet 4 Folk Quartet
(Andrew Weatherall and David Harrow), Terry Hall and Salad, Neneh Cherry and Trout, Blur and The Smokin’ Mojo Filters (Paul
McCartney, Paul Weller and Noel Gallagher).
The HELP album was recorded in a single day and released less than a week later, in a time before WeTransfer, iPhone and email. It raised over £1.25 million enabling War Child to bring emergency support to thousands of children in the Bosnian conflict. No charity album before or since has managed to achieve what HELP achieved and attract such a credible and stellar line-up to create such a relevant, respected and cool album – described by Q magazine as “the best charity album ever made.”
The HELP album is a phenomenal achievement made possible by an exceptional collaborative spirit. At a time when the charts were dominated by the infamous race for number one between Blur and Oasis, even they were willing to come together to support War Child – “We’ll put aside our differences for the cause – and it’s the only time you’ll see the two of us agreeing on anything” Noel Gallagher said at the time in an interview.
At the time the situation in Bosnia was drastically deteriorating. Hundreds of thousands had lost their lives, and the fighting had displaced millions from their homes. War Child looked to the music industry to raise much needed emergency funds to help support as many children as possible. A music industry collective led by Go! Discs Tony Crean, The Stone Roses and Manic Street Preachers publicist Terri Hall, Black Grape publicist Anton Brookes and legendary music PR Rob Partridge took immediate action opening their contact books and pulling together an unbelievable line-up of artists and support from the music industry.
The album included several pivotal and poignant moments. Radiohead’s Lucky was a preview of what would eventually become OK Computer, the Manic Street Preachers first studio track since the disappearance of Richey Edwards, Oasis and Friends just weeks before releasing What’s The Story Morning Glory and the one-off creation of the supergroup The Smokin’ Mojo Filters – made up of Paul McCartney, Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller.
In November 1995 – and a more than fitting tribute for its impact – Tony Blair attended the Q Awards to present a specially
created award to the album saying, “At a time when there was a danger of the West turning its back on the war in Bosnia, it
helped put it back in the headlines and reactivate public interest. It helped us be aware of our responsibilities to other people."
The original ambition had been to try and raise £200,000 – but the album went on to make over six times that amount, enabling War Child to support thousands of children affected by the war in Bosnia. Today, the challenge is bigger than ever. Across the world, 1 in 6 children are affected by armed conflict. All proceeds from this release will go directly to War Child to fund their mission to protect, educate and stand up for the right of children living through conflict.