In a move reminiscent of the Band Aid/"We Are the World" projects of the mid-1980s, top bands from the chart-busting British pop music scene are joining forces to record an album for Bosnia charity War Child.
The album, called "Help," will feature tracks from Blur, Oasis' Noel Gallagher, Portishead, Suede, the Stone Roses and Manic Street Preachers, among others. About 20 acts are expected to participate in the project.
Blur and Oasis have the top two singles in the United Kingdom, having just concluded a highly publicized chart battle that was likened to the glory days of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
Organizers said the project not only is taking its name from a John Lennon song but also is patterning its release schedule after Lennon's speedy work on "Instant Karma," in which he recorded and released the record within a week.
All songs for the "Help" album will be recorded within a 24-hour period on Sept. 4 at studios across London and elsewhere in the United Kingdom. Masters will be cut the next day with 300,000 copies of the record manufactured on Sept. 6.
"Help" will be delivered to stores across Britain on Sept. 8 and go on sale the next morning. The album will be released by PolyGram's Go! Discs label, which like all the artists involved is waiving royalties.
There are no specific deals for a U.S. release, but plans are being made.
Funds raised will immediately go toward War Child's relief program for the young victims of the war in the former Yugoslavia. Among the patrons of the War Child charity are Brian Eno and David Bowie.