Give Peace A Chance -- Aerosmith with Sierra Leone Refuge All-Stars
Cold Turkey -- Lenny Kravitz
Whatever Gets You Through the Night -- Los Lonely Boys
I'm Losing You -- Corinne Bailey Rae
Gimme Some Truth -- Jakob Dylan Feat. Dhani Harrison
Oh, My Love -- Jackson Browne
Imagine -- Avril Lavigne
Nobody Told Me -- Big & Rich
Jealous Guy -- Youssou N'Dour
Track Listings (11) - Disc #2
Working Class Hero -- Green Day
Power to the People -- Black Eyed Peas
Imagine -- Jack Johnson
Beautiful Boy -- Ben Harper
Isolation -- Snow Patrol
Watching the Wheels -- Matisyahu
Grow Old With Me -- Postal Service
Gimme Me Some Truth -- Jaguares
(Just Like) Starting Over -- The Flaming Lips
God -- Jack's Mannequin feat. Mick Fleetwood
Real Love -- Regina Spektor
Featuring songs by the iconic John Lennon newly recorded by some of today's biggest as well as emerging artists, Instant Karma: The Campaign to Save Darfur is a major benefit-album project. In an effort to mobilize acti... more »vism around this catastrophe, musicians unite to save lives. Some of the biggest artists in the world, along with today's emerging artists, all coming together for an unprecedented, brilliant collection of JOHN LENNON "covers." Proceeds from the campaign will go directly to support Amnesty International's urgent work on Darfur and other human rights crises worldwide.« less
Featuring songs by the iconic John Lennon newly recorded by some of today's biggest as well as emerging artists, Instant Karma: The Campaign to Save Darfur is a major benefit-album project. In an effort to mobilize activism around this catastrophe, musicians unite to save lives. Some of the biggest artists in the world, along with today's emerging artists, all coming together for an unprecedented, brilliant collection of JOHN LENNON "covers." Proceeds from the campaign will go directly to support Amnesty International's urgent work on Darfur and other human rights crises worldwide.
"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."
A Pocket Full of Hope
Lee Armstrong | Winterville, NC United States | 06/16/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
""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!"
A few gems, and a couple misses
Finn Pickles | Portland, OR USA | 06/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"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."
Gets better after a few listens
binsk222 | 06/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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...)."
The ONE CD you have to get this summer!
K. Corn | Indianapolis,, IN United States | 06/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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."