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Instant Karma: Save Darfur - John Lennon Tribute (2CD) [Compilation]

Various Artists - Warner Bros. , Various Artists Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 27.37 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Disc: 1
1. Instant Karma -- U2
2. #9 Dream -- R.E.M.
3. Mother -- Christina Aguilera
4. Give Peace A Chance -- Aerosmith with Sierra Leone Refuge All-Stars
5. Cold Turkey -- Lenny Kravitz
6. Whatever Gets You Through the Night -- Los Lonely Boys
7. I'm Losing You -- Corinne Bailey Rae
8. Gimme Some Truth -- Jakob Dylan Feat. Dhani Harrison
9. Oh, My Love -- Jackson Browne
10. Imagine -- Avril Lavigne
See all 12 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Working Class Hero -- Green Day
2. Power to the People -- Black Eyed Peas
3. Imagine -- Jack Johnson
4. Beautiful Boy -- Ben Harper
5. Isolation -- Snow Patrol
6. Watching the Wheels -- Matisyahu
7. Grow Old With Me -- Postal Service
8. Gimme Me Some Truth -- Jaguares
9. (Just Like) Starting Over -- The Flaming Lips
10. God -- Jack's Mannequin feat. Mick Fleetwood
See all 11 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Amazon.ca

John Lennon would have turned 67 in 2007. If alive, he could well be at the forefront of bringing peace to Darfur, where more than half a million have died from violence and disease during four years of rebel discord. So to create awareness of the ongoing conflict, Amnesty International (with permission from Yoko Ono) has mined Lennon's solo work and rounded up nearly two dozen current artists to reinterpret the music, which spans the ex-Beatle's entire post-band catalog (plus a pair from while the Fab Four were still in business). As with any attempt to cover Beatles-related music, results are hit and miss, with kudos going to Snow Patrol and the Postal Service for capturing the starkness of "Isolation" and "Grow Old with Me," respectively, Mexican rock band Jaguares for uncovering the fear and fury in "Gimme Some Truth," and (surprise!) Christina Aguilera for nailing the complex composition and mood of "Mother." Other highlights include Jackson Browne's piano-led "Oh My Love," Green Day's louder straight take on "Working Class Hero," and the Black Eyed Peas turning "Power to the People” into a gospelly protest. Will resurrecting 30-to-40-year-old messages of peace and love be enough to help end the brutalities in Darfur? That remains to be seen. But selecting John Lennon as the author of those messages will make people listen and, with this collection, may keep them listening. --Scott Holter

Product Description

V/A ~ Instant Karma: The Campaign To Save

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly worthy. Jan. 29 2008
Format:Audio CD
These charity albums are usually a risky proposition - the cause might be good, but the music is often horrible.
Here, the cause is certainly a worthy one, but thankfully, the music is also quite palatable.
REM's take on "#9 Dream" and Matisyahu's "Watching the Wheels" stand out as the best covers here, but there are plenty of other good moments. There are also some virtually unlistenable songs, of course, such as Aerosmith's collaboration with Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars and The Black-Eyed Peas' "Power to the People".
All in all, though, as a purely musical endeavor, this is pleasantly, surprisingly worthy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  90 reviews
43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Instant Karma Got Me! June 21 2007
By Gary Gil - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
If there is a "must have" album out for the summer of 2007, this is it. What could be better then getting some great tunes and serving a worthy cause at the same time. Yoko Ono donated the rights to John Lennon's entire catalog for this release, and I think it's something he would have been proud of.

John spoke in a interview once about going back are re-recording much of his material, because he was never quite happy with the productions. The recent remastering of his catalog gave us a taste of what that might have been like. Instant Karma takes it to another level.

These are some of the most beautiful songs ever written, and if there was ever a questions on whether John Lennon's solo work equaled or surpassed what he did with the Beatles, this album answers it with a resounding YES.

There are a few disappointment and a few pleasant surprises. U2's "Instant Karma" strays too far from the original by trying to replace the "wall of sound" piano with droning guitar. The Black Eyed Peas do a good enough version of "Power to the People", but I kept waiting for them to bust out with some of their brilliant ad-lib rap, but that never happens. Maybe they were just trying to respect the original song, but it left me wanting more.

Jacob Dylan and Dhani Harrison compliment each other as well as their fathers did on "Gimme Some Truth". Christina Aguilera captures the angst of "Mother" with haunting precision, and Los Lonely Boys provide some of the best guitar work on the album's version of "Whatever gets You Through the Night". Corinne Bailey Rae provides a beautiful minimalist version of "I'm Losing You", and Green Day hit a home run with their almost too perfect cover of "Working Class Hero".

One further point of contention: given the strength of Lennon's work, and the size of this two disk set. There was no reason to repeat any songs, yet we are given two versions of "Imagine" and two versions of "Gimme Some Truth". Yes, they are both great songs, but I would have preferred it if each artist did a different song. Someone out there should have come out with a post-metal, post-grunge version of John Lennon's "Meat City" which is one of the most powerful rockers of the 70's, bar-none. In fact nothing from the Mind Games album is represented here, leaving out some great songs.

That all said, it is great to see these songs alive and well in the 21st century, where their message of hope and love have never been needed more.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A few gems, and a couple misses June 12 2007
By Finn Pickles - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
With 22 songs on the disc, you can't expect a home run every time. But there are some excellent covers on this album. U2's Instant Karma is this first song on the disc for a reason. Easily the best track. R.E.M. makes Dream #9 sound like an R.E.M. song. Green Day, Jack Johnson also rock solid. Aerosmith's "Give Peace a Chance" is a disaster.
Overall, very worth the price, and its for a good cause.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ONE CD you have to get this summer! June 28 2007
By K. Corn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I haven't heard a better CD in a long time. I was a bit dubious, wondering how the various artists would cover these songs. But they all held true to the spirit, intensity and timeless messages of these songs. Listen to the samples here on Amazon. These are the types of songs we need now, the kind that urge people to act, to stop being indifferent, to IMAGINE (one of the songs) a world where things can be better. Plus, its for a good cause. Buy this one. It is that rare combination of good music created with purpose.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Pocket Full of Hope June 16 2007
By Lee Armstrong - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
"Instant Karma, the Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur" is a good set of John Lennon covers. I believe John would have been proud of this effort to use his music to draw attention & bring relief to the people of this area. In musical terms, it's more successful than the "Working Class Hero" covers compilation that came out some years ago. Of the tracks, I have two favorites from each of the discs. Corinne Bailey Rae brings a new feel to "I'm Losing You" with a more piano-based arrangement in a live recording. Her powerhouse vocals are distinctive, "Here in the valley of indecision; I don't know what to do; I feel you slipping away." Jakob Dylan featuring Dhani Harrison do a great job on "Gimme Some Truth" with Harrison's guitar bleeding during the instrumental break & Jakob's voice sounding world weary, "No short haired yellow bellied son of Tricky Dicky is going to Mother Hubbard soft soap me with just a pocket full of hope." On the second disc my favorites include the whimsical Postal Service's version of "Grow Old with Me," "Face the setting sun when the day is done, God bless our love." Jack's Mannequin featuring Mick Fleetwood does a great job on Lennon's "God," not the easiest track to cover with its complex lyric, "God is a concept by which we measure our pain." Other tracks on the disc are also excellent. I like R.E.M.'s "#9 Dream," Jackson Brown's take on "Oh, My Love," Green Day's "Working Class Hero" & Jack Johnson's simplified "Imagine." Only two tracks have me want to move along on the disc: Lenny Kravitz's take on "Cold Turkey" & the Flaming Lips' "(Just Like) Starting Over." This is a strong set with some excellent standouts. It's nice to hear John's music echoing forward on behalf of an important cause. Enjoy!
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gets better after a few listens June 14 2007
By binsk222 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
First of all...great project for Darfur.

Now, the music. I was (and probably still am) an obsessed Lennon fanatic, and I am VERY picky about covers. So when I first listened to this, I thought, okay, not too bad, but probably won't listen to this much....

It's absolutely true that many of these artists can't, and probably never could, get close to the quality of Lennon's originals. This is especaily evident when you hear the tiny snippets of orginals that have been included...at the end of Working Class Hero, for instance, the end of John's version comes on, and, as good as Green Day's cover is (in fact, it's a GREAT cover), the haunting intensity of those few seconds of the orginal takes away some of my enthusiasm for this new version. Probably would have been better to leave that off.

Bottom line, this is a benefit album. One can only speculate why certain artists were included...why some donated their time and talents and why others didn't. But the music is very good. And now that I've lived with it a couple of days, I think there are moments that are not just good, but great.

I absolutely love Aerosmith's Give Peace a Chance. It's full of energy and passion and LOVE the reggae take on it. Corinne Bailey Rae's I'm Losing You is exquisite (as anything she sings is). Jakob Dylan singing Gimme Some Truth, although solid, lacks a lot of the passion of the orginal (but then, who could be as angry as John Lennon was in the early 70s?). But OH MY GOD totally worth a few listens for Dhani Harrison's guitar playing; he's definitely channeling his father, while still making it all his own. Big and Rich's take on Nobody Told Me adds some finishing touches on a song John never really got to fully polish. And you gotta love Youssou N'Dour's Jealous Guy, which he sings partly in what I'm guessing is a West African language.
On disk 2, stand outs include Green Day's Working Class Hero, Black Eyed Peas' Power to the People and Regina Spektor's Real Love, another unfinished Lennon song that warrants some revisiting.

(PS One of the other customer reviews mentioned Ozzie covering How?, which I do not seem to have on my copy of this album, but I would love to hear it! It doesn't seem to be included on the list of itunes extra tracks, either... Was it a stand-alone single? Here I am, flaunting my ignorance in public...).
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