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  • Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur
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Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur

90 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Featuring songs by the iconic John Lennon newly recorded by some of today's biggest as well as emerging music artists, Instant Karma: The Campaign To Save Darfur is the major benefit-album project of the year. The proceeds support Amnesty International and its campaign to focus attention and mobilize activism around the urgent catastrophe in Darfur, Sudan. Buy a CD, save a life.

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John Lennon would have turned 67 in 2007. If alive, he could well be at the forefront of bringing peace to Darfur, where more than half a million have died from violence and disease during four years of rebel discord. So to create awareness of the ongoing conflict, Amnesty International (with permission from Yoko Ono) has mined Lennon's solo work and rounded up nearly two dozen current artists to reinterpret the music, which spans the ex-Beatle's entire post-band catalog (plus a pair from while the Fab Four were still in business). As with any attempt to cover Beatles-related music, results are hit and miss, with kudos going to Snow Patrol and the Postal Service for capturing the starkness of "Isolation" and "Grow Old with Me," respectively, Mexican rock band Jaguares for uncovering the fear and fury in "Gimme Some Truth," and (surprise!) Christina Aguilera for nailing the complex composition and mood of "Mother." Other highlights include Jackson Browne's piano-led "Oh My Love," Green Day's louder straight take on "Working Class Hero," and the Black Eyed Peas turning "Power to the People" into a gospelly protest. Will resurrecting 30-to-40-year-old messages of peace and love be enough to help end the brutalities in Darfur? That remains to be seen. But selecting John Lennon as the author of those messages will make people listen and, with this collection, may keep them listening. --Scott Holter

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 12, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • ASIN: B000PMG9G2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,769 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Gary Gil on June 21, 2007
Format: Audio CD
If there is a "must have" album out for the summer of 2007, this is it. What could be better then getting some great tunes and serving a worthy cause at the same time. Yoko Ono donated the rights to John Lennon's entire catalog for this release, and I think it's something he would have been proud of.

John spoke in a interview once about going back are re-recording much of his material, because he was never quite happy with the productions. The recent remastering of his catalog gave us a taste of what that might have been like. Instant Karma takes it to another level.

These are some of the most beautiful songs ever written, and if there was ever a questions on whether John Lennon's solo work equaled or surpassed what he did with the Beatles, this album answers it with a resounding YES.

There are a few disappointment and a few pleasant surprises. U2's "Instant Karma" strays too far from the original by trying to replace the "wall of sound" piano with droning guitar. The Black Eyed Peas do a good enough version of "Power to the People", but I kept waiting for them to bust out with some of their brilliant ad-lib rap, but that never happens. Maybe they were just trying to respect the original song, but it left me wanting more.

Jacob Dylan and Dhani Harrison compliment each other as well as their fathers did on "Gimme Some Truth". Christina Aguilera captures the angst of "Mother" with haunting precision, and Los Lonely Boys provide some of the best guitar work on the album's version of "Whatever gets You Through the Night". Corinne Bailey Rae provides a beautiful minimalist version of "I'm Losing You", and Green Day hit a home run with their almost too perfect cover of "Working Class Hero".
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Finn Pickles on June 12, 2007
Format: Audio CD
With 22 songs on the disc, you can't expect a home run every time. But there are some excellent covers on this album. U2's Instant Karma is this first song on the disc for a reason. Easily the best track. R.E.M. makes Dream #9 sound like an R.E.M. song. Green Day, Jack Johnson also rock solid. Aerosmith's "Give Peace a Chance" is a disaster.
Overall, very worth the price, and its for a good cause.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Kcorn TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 28, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I haven't heard a better CD in a long time. I was a bit dubious, wondering how the various artists would cover these songs. But they all held true to the spirit, intensity and timeless messages of these songs. Listen to the samples here on Amazon. These are the types of songs we need now, the kind that urge people to act, to stop being indifferent, to IMAGINE (one of the songs) a world where things can be better. Plus, its for a good cause. Buy this one. It is that rare combination of good music created with purpose.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Lee Armstrong HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 16, 2007
Format: Audio CD
"Instant Karma, the Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur" is a good set of John Lennon covers. I believe John would have been proud of this effort to use his music to draw attention & bring relief to the people of this area. In musical terms, it's more successful than the "Working Class Hero" covers compilation that came out some years ago. Of the tracks, I have two favorites from each of the discs. Corinne Bailey Rae brings a new feel to "I'm Losing You" with a more piano-based arrangement in a live recording. Her powerhouse vocals are distinctive, "Here in the valley of indecision; I don't know what to do; I feel you slipping away." Jakob Dylan featuring Dhani Harrison do a great job on "Gimme Some Truth" with Harrison's guitar bleeding during the instrumental break & Jakob's voice sounding world weary, "No short haired yellow bellied son of Tricky Dicky is going to Mother Hubbard soft soap me with just a pocket full of hope." On the second disc my favorites include the whimsical Postal Service's version of "Grow Old with Me," "Face the setting sun when the day is done, God bless our love." Jack's Mannequin featuring Mick Fleetwood does a great job on Lennon's "God," not the easiest track to cover with its complex lyric, "God is a concept by which we measure our pain." Other tracks on the disc are also excellent. I like R.E.M.'s "#9 Dream," Jackson Brown's take on "Oh, My Love," Green Day's "Working Class Hero" & Jack Johnson's simplified "Imagine." Only two tracks have me want to move along on the disc: Lenny Kravitz's take on "Cold Turkey" & the Flaming Lips' "(Just Like) Starting Over." This is a strong set with some excellent standouts. It's nice to hear John's music echoing forward on behalf of an important cause. Enjoy!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By binsk222 on June 14, 2007
Format: Audio CD
First of all...great project for Darfur.

Now, the music. I was (and probably still am) an obsessed Lennon fanatic, and I am VERY picky about covers. So when I first listened to this, I thought, okay, not too bad, but probably won't listen to this much....

It's absolutely true that many of these artists can't, and probably never could, get close to the quality of Lennon's originals. This is especaily evident when you hear the tiny snippets of orginals that have been included...at the end of Working Class Hero, for instance, the end of John's version comes on, and, as good as Green Day's cover is (in fact, it's a GREAT cover), the haunting intensity of those few seconds of the orginal takes away some of my enthusiasm for this new version. Probably would have been better to leave that off.

Bottom line, this is a benefit album. One can only speculate why certain artists were included...why some donated their time and talents and why others didn't. But the music is very good. And now that I've lived with it a couple of days, I think there are moments that are not just good, but great.

I absolutely love Aerosmith's Give Peace a Chance. It's full of energy and passion and LOVE the reggae take on it. Corinne Bailey Rae's I'm Losing You is exquisite (as anything she sings is). Jakob Dylan singing Gimme Some Truth, although solid, lacks a lot of the passion of the orginal (but then, who could be as angry as John Lennon was in the early 70s?). But OH MY GOD totally worth a few listens for Dhani Harrison's guitar playing; he's definitely channeling his father, while still making it all his own. Big and Rich's take on Nobody Told Me adds some finishing touches on a song John never really got to fully polish.
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Duran Duran
Actually there are 60+ songs recorded for this project, only 23 of which are being released via CD. (the rest are via iTunes) Therefore there is more than one recording of many songs. Versions of "Imagine," for example, are recorded by Avril Lavigne, Me'Shel Ndegeocello, Afroreggae,... Read More
Jun 10, 2007 by Michael Banino |  See all 5 posts
Where's the track by a-ha?
From the post I just put up in the "Duran Duran" thread...

Actually there are 60+ songs recorded for this project, only 23 of which are being released via CD. (the rest are via iTunes) Therefore there is more than one recording of many songs. Versions of "Imagine," for... Read More
Jun 10, 2007 by Michael Banino |  See all 6 posts
Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Dar
Josh Groban covered Imagine, which is on the extra 6-track CD that you recieve when you buy it using an AmEx card through the website http://www.instantkarma.org/imagine/. It's also available through iTunes.

The other tracks on the extra CD are: Happy Xmas (War is Over) by Maroon 5, Woman... Read More
Jun 14, 2007 by A customer |  See all 2 posts
I'm actually waiting for someone to whine about Avril covering Imagine.
If you have any intelligence at all and did your research, you would know Lennon kicked heroin in 1969, which is what the song Cold Turkey is about. Your comment reflects a person who opened his mouth without knowing a damn what you talking about. Lennon did not write the song on heroin and the... Read More
Jun 12, 2007 by David Cooper |  See all 37 posts
How come no one mentions disc 3?
The album comes in a variety of different promotional editions. Mine has two "hidden" tracks: "Imagine" performed by Willie Nelson and "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)" performed by Maroon 5.
Jun 23, 2007 by Thomas E. Davis |  See all 4 posts
my order never arrived Be the first to reply
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