Northern Ireland: Snow Patrol headline new human rights album

Eagerly anticipated Instant Karma, a compilation CD of classic John Lennon songs recorded by an array of best-selling artists will be released by Warner Brothers in conjunction with Amnesty International on June 12th. The album will include Northern Ireland’s own Snow Patrol, who contribute a rendition of Lennon’s 'Isolation'. Other artists will include Green Day, Christina Aguilera, Jack Johnson and Corinne Bailey Rae.

Rock band R.E.M will release a cover version of the John Lennon classic ‘#9 Dream’ for Amnesty International today (Tuesday 13). R.E.M recorded ‘#9 Dream’ with their original line-up. With drummer Bill Berry back on drums for this one recording, it marks the first time the four original R.E.M members have been in the studio together since Berry retired from the band in 1997. The song’s release coincides with REM’s induction into the ‘Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’ and will be available for sale as a digital download from tomorrow (13 March) by visiting www.amnesty.org/noise or other download services.

The Instant Karma collection aims to raise money for Amnesty International and awareness of the organisation’s global campaigning, with a particular focus on the current crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol said:

"Today in Darfur, widespread atrocities based on prejudice, hate and injustice are taking place out of the public eye. We want people to take action urgently with Amnesty International to help save lives through the UN.

We support Amnesty because we have lived our whole lives in freedom - music is a good way of bringing awareness to people without ramming it down their throats because it is something everyone can relate to."

Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland Programme Director said:

"We're thrilled to be using John Lennon's songs in our human rights work and to have Snow Patrol as part of the package. We hope this music will bring an awareness of human rights to a new generation. After all, human rights are what make music possible - we wouldn't be able to create music, listen to it or dance to it without freedom of speech, expression, and association."

Yoko Ono, who has generously donated all music publishing royalties, said:

“It’s wonderful that, through this campaign, music which is so familiar to many people of my era will now be embraced by a whole new generation. John’s music set out to inspire change, and in standing up for human rights, we really can make the world a better place.”

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