The band may be taking a well-deserved break from touring and recording, but U2 fans still have a new album to relish just in time for Thanksgiving.
Ǎhk-Toong Bāy-Bi Covered features cover versions of U2's famed 1991 album Achtung Baby featuring renditions by Snow Patrol, The Fray, Patti Smith, Damien Rice, Depeche Mode, Jack White, The Killers and others.
And all proceeds from the album's sales will go to help some of the estimated 13.3 million Africans suffering through the worst drought and famine in 60 years.
The covers album, which went on sale via iTunes in the United States on Tuesday, benefits Concern Worldwide's relief work in East Africa. Beginning in mid-July 2011, the Horn of Africa — East African nations including Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya — has been stricken by a severe drought and subsequent food crisis. The famine is the first declared by the United Nations in 30 years.
The drought and famine have forced millions of refugees from parts of southern Somalia to flee to camps in Ethiopia and Kenya where severe overcrowding, disease and security problems have led to thousands of deaths — including an estimated 30,000 children who have perished from hunger-related ailments in three months.
Concern, an international relief organization dedicated to fighting hunger and poverty worldwide, has more than 25 years of experience on the ground in East Africa. Already Concern has reached more than 680,000 people in the Horn of Africa with clean drinking water, food and other nutritional assistance.
"This crisis in east Africa is still very much an emergency and Concern is delighted that all of the parties involved are making this hugely significant contribution to our work in the region," Concern's CEO Tom Arnold said. "It is disappointing that such a major ongoing humanitarian situation has largely disappeared from the media headlines. Offering the proceeds from Ǎhk-Toong Bāy-Bi Covered to Concern’s East Africa appeal also provides a timely reminder that alleviation of the hunger and wider health crisis in the region must not be forgotten and should remain a global priority."
Ǎhk-Toong Bāy-Bi Covered was conceived for Q Magazine to mark their 25th Anniversary issue, as well as to conincide with the 20th Anniversary re-release of Achtung Baby. The CD is available with Q Magazine’s December 2011 issue and the download will be available on iTunes in the UK on November 28.
Here is the playlist for Ǎhk-Toong Bāy-Bi Covered:
- Zoo Station by Nine Inch Nails
- Even Better Than the Real Thing by U2
- One by Damien Rice
- Unti the End of the World by Patti Smith
- Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses by Garbage
- So Cruel by Depeche Mode
- The Fly by Gavin Friday
- Mysterious Ways by Snow Patrol
- Tryin' to Throw Your Arms Around the World by The Fray
- Ultra Violet (Light My Way) by The Killers
- Acrobat by Glasvegas
- Love Is Blindness by Jack White
Here's a taste from Ǎhk-Toong Bāy-Bi Covered — Snow Patrol performing "Mysterious Ways"
Cathleen Falsani is Web Editor and Director of New Media for Sojourners. Her latest book, BELIEBER!: Fame, Faith and the Heart of Justin Bieber, was released last month.