On September 4th 1995 some of the best bands and musicians in Britain entered studios all over Europe. Their intention was that by the end of the day they would each have recorded a track for this album, with the aim of raising money for and focusing, attention on, the children caught up in the war in former Yugoslavia. This album was a result of everyone’s HELP.
Released on 9 September 1995, less than one week after more than twenty groups entered the studios to record their contributions, this album - the brainchild of Tony Crean and Andy McDonald of Go! Discs - had raised enough money to enable War Child to carry out aid projects in Bosnia Hercegovina: HELP went straight into the charts at No 1 after one days sales! This sets a virtually unbeatable record for the fastest-selling Number One album.
HELP notched up sales of more than 71,000 on its first day in the shops. It is the fastest recorded studio album as well as being the fastest Number One, taking a mere six days from when recording began on Monday to reaching the top of the charts the following Saturday.
In its first three days in the shops, album sales raised nearly two million pounds, which was used to provide humanitarian aid for young victims of the war in Bosnia
Paul McCartney, Paul Weller and Noel Gallagher of Oasis recorded a version of 'Come Together'. Noel Gallagher said in a Radio 1 interview "When you see innocent children getting bombed, it switches on something in your mind and made me want to do it. I think that it is a war nobody is ever going to win".
Portishead have recorded a new track 'Mourning Air' a track they have played live but never before committed to tape. Beth Gibbons said "We feel invigorated and empowered to be permitted to contribute to this project. We are as guilty the next for allowing ourselves to become so immune to the casualties of distant wars that seemingly sanction the sacrifice of children. Can we really ignore our responsibilities by condoning this ritual which masquerades as politics and is no better than a human slaughterhouse".
The Boo Radleys have recorded a completely new track, 'Oh Brother', written specifically for 'Help'. "It's pretty obvious from what I've seen in the newspapers and on TV that something had to be done. It's not often that you get a chance to do something like this. I mean, I'm not going to go over there and drive a tank!" said Martin Carr
The Levellers record 'Searchlights', a cover of a Rev Hammond song. Said Mark Chadwick "We've contributed to this in order to express our concern at the betrayal of the Bosnian/Muslim people by the west".
Brian Eno is collaborating with Massive Attack on a special song: Fake the Aroma .
The Charlatans with The Chemical Brothers do 'Time For Loving'. Tim Burgess, simger with the Charlatans said, "I'm still quite unsure about what's going on but I'm pro-living and people are losing their lives, so if there's anything I can do I want to do it".
Suede have recorded Robert Wyatt's Falklands anthem, 'Shipbuilding'. "My family were in Yugoslavia about a year the war started and they weren't aware of any ethnic rivalries. It's like a war breaking out in France", said bass player Matt Osman.
Stereo MCs have recorded 'Sweetest Truth'.
Manic Street Preachers have recorded a version of Burt Bacharach's 'Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head'.
Terrorvision have recorded 'Tom Petty Loves Veruca Salt'
Radiohead have recorded a new song, 'Lucky', which they're writing in the studio. They changed their travel plans (USA tour with REM starts this week) to record the track. Guitarist Ed O'Brien said, "We get asked to donate a lot of tracks to charity records, but in this case the music is actually going to be heard by people over there. It's very easy to be cynical about music, but I think it is one of those things that actually unites people".