I suppose that it’s some kind of instant karma that Amnesty International is using covers of John Lennon songs in its campaign to end the genocide in Darfur. As Yoko Ono says in her liner notes, John would’ve been proud of this album. You can imagine that he’d be in the forefront of this campaign if an assassin’s bullet hadn’t silenced him on December 8, 1980.
In the years before the end, Lennon had been at the forefront of the peace movement and a campaigner for human rights. Yoko Ono donated the rights and royalties to Lennon’s songs to Amnesty International and proceeds from the sale of this album and digital sales will go to the organization to support the Darfur campaign.
It’s also fitting that the first song on this two-disc set is ‘Instant Karma’ by U2, whose lead singer Bono has seemingly taken up the mantle of Lennon in such causes. There’s a cornucopia of artists that do Lennon covers, including Green Day (‘Working Class Hero’), Aerosmith (‘Give Peace a Chance’), R.E.M. (‘#9 Dream’), and a host of others. The only Lennon song that’s repeated is ‘Imagine,’ which is performed by Avril Lavigne and Jack Johnson separately.
I’ve always enjoyed Lennon’s songs and it’s nice to hear covers for the artists of his most popular as well of some that I’d forgotten about. Go buy it, you’re helping out a good cause and you’ll get some good tunes.