In the Name of Love

My article on the U2 Tribute album, In the Name of Love, posted on last week. I say “my” article, but it took some heavy hits in the editing department. Maybe 3/4 of it is mine. So if you don’t like it, it must be the other 1/4.

My favorite axed quote helped to establish just how involved Bono is in humanitarian efforts: U2’s guitarist the Edge recently joked that they could finish the next album if “Bono can just tear himself away from saving the world for long enough to finish the lyrics.” (Telegraph, reported in @U2).

While I’ve interviewed a handful of the artists involved and written about In the Name of Love, I still haven’t reviewed the album. I’m waiting to get a full copy (I’ve only heard half of it), though the biggest complaint I’ve heard is just how much of a charity the project is or isn’t.

I’ve heard reports that only 50 cents of every album will be donated to charity, which sounds pretty weak. Maybe that’s standard charity album proceeds, but on a $12 CD someone’s still making money. I’ve heard reports of different Christian bookstores and Sparrow records chipping in cash to the effort, but it still seems odd that such a measley portion of the CD would go to charity. One artist I interviewed even seemed to think they recorded their song for free, though that wasn’t true. The publicist involved told me all the artists were being paid as they normally would, so it’s not much of a charity case on the part of the artists (unless they decide to donate their income).

The project seemed like such a great idea whose time had come, but I’m not so sure now. The execution of that idea might be killing it.

6 thoughts on “In the Name of Love”

  1. You stole my blog idea ;-) but that’s ok. You wrote a much better entry than my rant.

    So I think I’m starting to figure this out…

    Sparrow and it’s partners give $50k to World Vision. Then they make a CD that will sell like hot cakes and give 50 cents per CD to World Vision (some retailers are donating on top of that 50 cents).

    Call me cynical, but here’s how I see it:

    Everybody gets a big tax break… then makes a ton of money off a CD that “benefits” Africa – but… not through it’s sales?

    Something smells foul in this… IMHO.

  2. You do kinda have to wonder what the deal is. The publisher of _Get Up Off Your Knees: Preaching the U2 Catalog_ has been pretty strict about our not overemphasizing the charity nature of the book, or depicting it as “for” AIDS in Africa, since “all” that is going to TASO in Uganda is 100% of the royalties for every single person who wrote for us. Well, uh…that’s got to be more than 50 cents a book…

  3. I’ll admit that it I’m a cynic (I’m working on it). Especially when the marketing machine makes it sound like a big deal… but the delivery is lacking. I was honestly shocked to see such a low amount on the CD jacket. But I digress, something is more than nothing and many lives will be saved through this venture.

    Here’s a solution:
    Donate $20 to World Vision and get the CD free. Way more than 50 cents goes to africa ;-)

    Of course, you could always just donate $20 to World Vision becasue people are dying…

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