to recreate a 'moment' in rock history is, even with the very best intentions, practically
impossible. Bands reform and, with the recent exception of Pixies, they stink. Think
carefully - do you really want to see The Stone Roses next summer with Ian Brown wearing
a pink shellsuit? If that's not evidence enough, cast your mind back to Live8. The
bands were better than the 1985 original, it was about 10 times bigger, and huge promises
were made about Africa. But in terms of the cultural impact, it was less. We've seen
it before. And of course, it was always better before you were born.
So when the idea was floated to do another 'Help' album, eyebrows were raised. Even a decade on, the original 'Help' is legendary. On Monday, September 4, 1995, at the high-water mark of Britpop, the then biggest bands in Britain went into studios and each recorded a track. The album was released the same week and went to Number One the following Sunday. It raised millions for children in war zones.
And what made 'Help' even better was that, unlike most charity records, the music was great. After the previous month's Battle Of Britpop, it united Damon Albarn and Noel Gallagher who both donated a track. It was the first time Manic Street Preachers recorded a song without missing guitarist Richey Edwards. And by putting 'Lucky' on the album, it hinted of huge things to come from Radiohead, who were contemplating the follow-up to 'The Bends'. This time around the stakes couldn't be much higher. So it's a good omen that 2005 is the only year this decade there's enough British bands to do the 'Help' legacy justice.
'Help: A Day In The Life' features the best bands from the original (Radiohead, Damon Albarn as Gorillaz), plus the new wave who've made this year their own. Any album that has new songs from Maximo Park, Bloc Party, The Magic Numbers, Razorlight, Elbow and Babyshambles, as well as the Kaisers covering Marvin Gaye, has to be worth the cash. Especially if the cash is going to a good home.
Words by Julian Marshall
Full article here http://www.nme.com/reviews/babyshambles/7783
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