The other day, news surfaced that David Bowie was back in Berlin working on new material. At the end of our news article, we stressed that if the aforementioned information is false, we will have to stick to listening to Bowie sing back up for TV on the Radio. Well, TV on the Radio has responded to our post (not actually) by covering the quintessential Berlin-era Bowie track “Heroes” for an upcoming charity compilation. The song is exactly how TV on the Radio covering Bowie should sound. A blend of everything from trip hop, to drum and bass, with female backing vocals from someone who bears striking resemblance to Régine Chassagne of Arcade Fire.
The song is part of another contender for best charity compilation ever, along with the forthcoming Dark Was The Night. The comp, appropriately titled Heroes, features 16 artists covering 16 other artists.The charity of choice is War Child, an organization that aids in helping children affected by war. With a stellar list of covers, the bands’ song choices seem very fitting. Of course, this is not without reason. War Child knows what they are doing and mentioned this about how the songs were picked:
We asked 15 ultimate icons to select a favourite song from their classic back catalogue and to nominate the new act they most trust to create a unique interpretation of that hand-picked track. This album is the result: 15 exclusive and breath-taking cover versions. (via Stereogum)
What an interesting, practical, and awesome concept. Among the selections are The Hold Steady covering Bruce’s “Atlantic City”, Beck’s take on Dylan’s “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat”, and Hot Chip trying out Joy Division’s “Transmission”.
Additionally, the latter has been released for your listening pleasure over at the War Child website. In the same vein as TVOTR’s cover sounded just how you’d think a TVOTR cover of Bowie would sound, Hot Chip’s Joy Division cover makes the more depressing post-punk original a little more danceable and upbeat, without compromising the song’s distinctive qualities. Doesn’t touch the original, but it’s still pretty cool.
The full tracklisting for the release follows:
01. Beck (Bob Dylan: “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat”)
02. The Kooks (The Kinks: “Victoria”)
03. The Hold Steady (Bruce Springsteen: “Atlantic City”)
04. Hot Chip (Joy Division: “Transmission”)
05. Lily Allen (The Clash: “Straight To Hell”)
06. Yeah Yeah Yeahs (The Ramones: “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker”)
07. Franz Ferdinand (Blondie: “Call Me”)
08. Duffy (Paul McCartney: “Live And Let Die”)
09. Estelle (Stevie Wonder: “Superstition”)
10. Rufus Wainwright (Brian Wilson: “Wonderful/ Song For Children”)
11. Scissor Sisters (Roxy Music: “Do The Strand”)
12. Peaches (Iggy Pop and The Stooges: “Search And Destroy”)
13. Adam Cohen (Leonard Cohen: “Take This Waltz”)
14. Elbow (U2: “Running To Stand Still”)
15. The Like (Elvis Costello: “You Belong To Me”)
16. TV On The Radio (David Bowie: “‘Heroes'”)
Exciting stuff. The disc will be available February 16th in the states via EMI. Like Dark Was The Night has been doing, War Child will continue to “tease” us with tracks over here, with adequate information about each track’s history and how it came to be covered for the release. Who knew that 2009 would be the year of awesome charity comps?