Various Artists/Various Blogs Festival: The Earthquake Album

Welcome back to the Various Artists/Various Blogs Festival! The festival runs December 1st-10th, across many blogs in the Community… Check out THIS PAGE at Bruce’s site for all the posts as we go along! And most importantly: our huge thanks to Bruce for getting the ball rolling on this, and for all his hard work in making it all happen!

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Here’s another oddity (to me). Y’all probably know all about this one, already.

Compiled by the British music industry for Rock Aid Armenia to aid those affected by the 1988 Armenian earthquake disaster, it was the first UK charity album to go gold. There were (apparently) a series of singles and compilations in the project.

I can see why. This edition I have here is a cool, if slightly weird, mix of amazing bands all in one place.

The first track merits further information for your edification… Deep Purple’s “Smoke On The Water ’90”:

The project is most remembered for a re-recording of Deep Purple’s famous hit song, “Smoke on the Water”, with different vocalists singing each verse. The single made it to the UK Top 40 Singles Chart. The track was recorded by an elite group of contemporary progressive rock, hard rock and heavy metal musicians who gathered at the historic Metropolis Studios in Chiswick, London. Recording began on July 8, 1989 and was completed over 5 different sessions.

The rock musicians involved in the recording of the song included Bryan Adams, Ritchie Blackmore, Bruce Dickinson, Geoff Downes, Keith Emerson, Ian Gillan, David Gilmour, Tony Iommi, Alex Lifeson, Brian May, Paul Rodgers, Chris Squire and Roger Taylor. John Paul Jones and Jon Lord were credited as “helping” behind the scenes with the track. The track’s producers were Gary Langan and Geoff Downes. Talent co-ordination for the record was overseen by Jon Dee, with David Gilmour being the first to join up after a call from Dee. Ian Gillan’s manager Phil Banfield also helped out with talent recruitment. “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath was used as a B-Side for the releases.

In 1990, the song was released again with an alternate mix, one example of which was released by Dino Music, which unlike the rest, had “Black Night” also by Deep Purple as a B-side and had Tony Iommi’s name incorrectly spelt on the front of it. (Wiki)

It was even a making-of video:

The recording sessions for the re-recording of “Smoke on the Water” were filmed and released in the same year on video as Rock Aid Armenia: The Making of Smoke on the Water, along with interviews and a video clip for the single. Film producer Paul Lovell produced and edited the final extended version of the documentary which was released on Laser Disc and VHS in Japan in 1991. (Wiki)

But the rest of the disc is cool too. Overall the mix is pretty damn consistent. Sabbath and Maiden are the heaviest here, but even they fit in alright, all of the tunes are on about the same wavelength. I say right on, good for everyone that this got made, and if it went gold that means (hopefully) that a lot of relief money got sent to those who needed it most. Mixes like this can sometimes be a weird listen, but this one contains a lot of great bands and does a pretty good job all the way through.

10 thoughts on “Various Artists/Various Blogs Festival: The Earthquake Album

  1. 1537 says:

    My mates and I always used to find this LP absolutely hilarious because some doofus had so little brain that they included ON AN EARTHQUAKE RELIEF ALBUM ‘Silent Running (on Dangerous Ground)’ and ‘Run To the Hills’. Well, it amused us anyway.

    Liked by 2 people

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