These days, labels are coming up with all sorts of ways to reinvigorate their back catalogs for profit-making, but here’s a novel concept: putting them to work for peace. 25 years after the death of John Lennon, Yoko Ono has contributed the entire Lennon songbook (including “Imagine”) to Amnesty International, to help attract new supporters to the cause of international human rights. The immediate call to action: seeking a global Arms Trade Tready to help prevent gun violence. Artists involved include Black Eyed Peas, Snow Patrol, The Cure, and The Postal Service. (Shown below: Snow Patrol in the studio.)
The CD release Saturday December 10 coincides with International Human Rights Day. Certainly, there are few worthier organizations for such an undertaking; Amnesty is a powerful global grassroots organization with stringent guidelines to maintain their focus on fairness in demanding human rights standards worldwide. (I got the chance to work firsthand with Amnesty on a campaign to defend environmental activists; they’re an extraordinary organization.) Video, downloadable music, calls to action, and other information at the official Amnesty site:
Make Some Noise [Amnesty International]
It’s great to see high-profile acts getting involved, but many other musicians are singing a human rights message in their music, too; see our previous story on Afrobeat music for Sudan. The interesting question here is whether the Web will make these efforts reach a broader audience.