Come the disaster, come the charity record. Bob Geldof started it all in 1984 with Band Aid and the horrible 'Feed the World (Do they know it's Christmas?)' When catastrophes - natural or otherwise - happen, our inclination is to help our fellow humans. And this is a wonderful thing, even if this means buying 'Everybody Hurts', the fundraising song released on 7 February for victims of the devastating Haiti earthquake. Assembled by Pop Idol impresario Simon Cowell and including Susan Boyle, Robbie Williams, Mika, Kylie and Rod Stewart in its line-up, it'll probably sell shedloads and raise masses. But whoever thought of using this song - a cover of an old REM hit, allegedly about suicide - has either a feeling for vicarious misery or a mordant humour. (At least the Jam's 'Going Underground' or Tori Amos' 'Little Earthquakes' have not been offered up as sequels.) Oh, and if REM isn't your bag, then there's the Billboard-topping Hope for Haiti album (Madonna, Jay-Z, U2 among the rosta); Quincy Jones' re-recording of 1985's 'We Are The World' written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie; or an auction of rock-related things organized by the guys who bring you the Glastonbury Fesival.
Amongst the glitz of giving, Cumbancha Records' and the Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars response stands out as a breath of fresh air. The band is donating all of the proceeds of 'Global Threat', a song from its from the forthcoming album Rise & Shine, due in March, to the International Rescue Committee for their Haitian earthquake relief efforts.
Get the song for a minimum donation of US$1.00 from all the usual outlets or go directly to the band's page - there's a button to press to donate and download: