(This is my third attempt at posting this…Wordpress do not fail me AGAIN!)
Remember artist compilations? When artists would record songs for a certain themed album? I find that this doesn’t really exist as much anymore. I think the last really awesome one that I can remember was the America: A Tribute To Heroes compilation from 2001, where artists recorded songs to benefit relief efforts after September 11th. Of course there was also the compilation too for the Haiti relief effort as well, which was also quite good too.
For me, the best one that I always go back to was Red Hot + Blue which is from 1990 and featured artists singing the songs of Cole Porter. All proceeds from this went to AIDS research. This was also the first of a series of compilations (Red Hot + Dance, Red Hot + Country, Red Hot + Jazz) but Blue was the first one. I remember first hearing it over the holidays in 1990. I was a wee lad of 13 years old, and I remember my brother-in-law’s father (Hi, Dennis!) making a tape for it of the songs from the album that he loved the most (recorded I might add, on his CD player – probably one of the first people I ever knew who got one!). And there I was with my Walkman listening to Sinead O’Connor, The Neville Brothers, k.d.lang and Lisa Stansfield singing these beautiful songs. I was in love.
Still over the course of those holidays, I remember going into Sam The Record Man (R.I.P.) and pleading with my mother to buy me the tape. She did, and that was it.
I’ve been thinking about why I do love that album so much – in retrospect, it was kind of a trailblazer. AIDS awareness was beginning to get more serious and people were stepping up to the cause to raise their voice. Also, the collection of artists on this specific album is incredible – all in different stages of their careers. Some are still around, pumping out music still – and some are no longer. But their choice of songs and their interpretations are still so strong and memorable. I haven’t listened to this album in over 20 years now (still got it on tape, not CD) but I can still hear those songs in my head.
- “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” performed by Neneh Cherry
- “In the Still of the Night” performed by The Neville Brothers
- “You Do Something to Me” performed by Sinéad O’Connor
- “Begin the Beguine” performed by Salif Keita
- “Love for Sale” performed by Fine Young Cannibals
- “Well, Did You Evah!” performed by Deborah Harry + Iggy Pop
- “Miss Otis Regrets / Just One of Those Things” performed by The Pogues + Kirsty MacColl
- “Don’t Fence Me In” performed by David Byrne
- “It’s All Right with Me” performed by Tom Waits (
- “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye” performed by Annie Lennox
- “Night and Day” performed by U2
- “I Love Paris” performed by Les Negresses Vertes (video by Roger Pomphrey)
- “So in Love” performed by k.d. lang (video by Percy Adlon)
- “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” performed by Thompson Twins
- “Too Darn Hot” performed by Erasure
- “I Get a Kick” performed by The Jungle Brothers
- “Down in the Depths” performed by Lisa Stansfield
- “From This Moment On” performed by Jimmy Somerville
- “After You, Who?” performed by Jody Watley
- “Do I Love You?” performed by Aztec Camera
Someday I’ll have to get this sucker digitized.