B-Unique - 2002 - 66 minutes
1995's 'Help' album, which featured the likes of Radiohead, Oasis, Massive Attack and the Boo Radleys raised £1.5m for the War Child charity. Seven years on, that cause is just as urgent and the cast just as stellar, but the music between the two is average.
This time 'round, all the artists have chosen to record a Number One hit from the past 50 years, but while the choices are intriguing, their execution often comes across as routine, the highlights those who think bigger than the songs they're covering.
The prospect of Feeder doing Frankie Goes to Hollywood's 'The Power of Love' may seem like a major non-event, but their version resonates with an eerieness and bravery that the majority of the album lacks. Indeed, their only competition for best song comes from Jimmy Eat World, whose take on The Prodigy's 'Firestarter' is a six-minutes of atmospherics with only a lyrical resemblance to the original.
Elsewhere, the talent are far either too faithful to what has gone before or should have thought a bit more about the songs they picked. Faithless and Dido's 'Dub Be Good To Me' needed only Dido and a piano, Badly Drawn Boy's 'Come on Eileen' would've been better with no Jools Holland & Co behind it and Muse should never have been allowed to maul 'The House of the Rising Sun'.
A letdown, but one that matters little when you remember where the proceeds are going.
Tracklisting: Starsailor: All or Nothing - Feeder: The Power of Love - Sugababes: Killer - Muse: House of the Rising Sun - Stereophonics: Nothing Compares 2 U - Faithless & Dido: Dub Be Good to Me - Oasis: Merry Xmas Everybody - Elbow: Something in the Air - The Reelists feat Ms Dynamite: Back to Life - Manic Street Preachers: Out of Time - Badly Drawn Boy feat Jools Holland & his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra: Come on Eileen - Prodigy: Ghost Town - Jimmy Eat World: Firestarter - Darius: Pretty Flamingo – More Fire Crew feat Gabrielle: Dreams - McAlmont & Butler: Back for Good