Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cole Porter Tribute – Red Hot + Blue

   When eighties were about to end with total collapse of Soviet bloc and with huge disgrace and infamy of republican establishment in US, there was one sure thing for any citizen – no politics, government or business was interested in relief to people struggling with AIDS epidemic but the people. Red Hot Organization established in 1989 in New York is one of first international institutions dedicated to raise donations for fighting with AIDS. The motto of the organization is to fight against AIDS through pop culture, especially by publishing compilation albums for AIDS relief and awareness. In next two decades they released more than dozen of compilation albums.
   The first compilation of Red Hot Organization became their greatest success. Along with Amnesty International, Greenpeace and few others, it was one of most famous compilations of these years. The secret can be the one source of all songs. Double LP album published by Chrysalis was compilation of songs written by one and only American author of songs who was author of lyrics and music. He can also be the patron of the modern LGBT movement. Many of his songs are versatile in gender attitude. And this compilation makes such promotion is an accomplished fact. It’s interesting most of the songs (18 out of 20) were promoted as music videos in television and opening song I’ve Got You Under My Skin by Neneh Cherry directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino became hit video in MTV and the SP was noted as 25 number in UK Singles Chart.

Cole Porter Tribute – Red Hot + Blue (1990)

   There are few performances aiming the historic style of old Cole Porter’s songs. Glamorous interpretation of Down in the Depths by Lisa Stansfield, cool and distant Annie Lennox singing Everytime We Say Goodbye or Sinead O’Connor interpreting You Are Something To Me. Also great rendition of So in Love by K. D. Lang is an old fashionable and sensitive performance of Cole Porter’s classic tune. In this group probably most stylish is After You Who performed by Jody Watley, but some are arranged in new style while still faithful to original intention. This is what one can say about Tom Waits’ rendition of It’s All Right With Me or about In the Still of the Night performed by The Neville Brothers.
   The different direction is affirmative and joyous, rocking and energizing like David Byrne’s performance of Don’t Fence Me In, or I Love Paris performed by Les Negresses Vertes. Some disco-like versions of Too Darn Hot made by Erasure, or even more disco version of From This Moment On executed by Jimmy Somerville, pop rock version of Night and Day by U2, rap version of I Got a Kick by The Jungle Brothers are just popular and easy to dance or listening. This variety gave the album position of meaningful and significant contribution in AIDS relief. With many videos in television, and good idea success was guaranteed. Some videos were made by famous directors, for example Tom Waits video was directed by Jim Jarmush, U2 by Wim Wenders, and David Byrne who directed his song himself. All were broadcasted by ABC as special feature. In effect album was sold in over a million copies giving the best possible start for Red Hot Organization. Three and a half star for good music and performance.

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