In a musical sense, at least, the charity album is usually a pretty underwhelming affair — while the idea of releasing music to raise money for a good cause is a laudable one, a lot of charity records end up as hand-wringingly sappy affairs involving a) all-star bands that are less than the sum of their parts and/or b) Bono. Happily, though, this isn’t always the case. With the release of the Blonde Redhead-curated We Are the Works in Progress compilation
this week on February 6 — a 13-track collection of unreleased tracks that the band are putting out via their own label to raise money for Japanese earthquake relief — we thought we’d take a look at some other charity records, old and new, that are totally worth investing in. As ever, let us know (nicely) if we’ve missed anything.
We Are the Works in Progress (2012)
We’d be pretty excited about this compilation even if it weren’t for a good cause — the killer inclusion is a new song from Karin Dreijer Andersson (even if it’s basically an outtake from the Red Riding Hood soundtrack), but there’s also songs by John Maus, Deerhunter, Liars plus Blonde Redhead, Four Tet, and, intriguingly, Pantha Du Prince doing a song called “Bird on a Wire.” Surely it’s not the Leonard Cohen song… is it?