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ProgAID - All Around The World

ProgAID - All Around The WorldCharity singles featuring a multitude of artistes are not to everyone's taste musically speaking, and the cynics among us wonder if the participants are only taking part to raise publicity to resurrect a flagging career.  One cannot deny that such singles have succeeded in raising vast sums for those in need but I would personally rather donate£10 not to hear Do They Know It's Christmas than £5 for the CD.

I have always wondered why the prog community had never released a charity single and came to the conclusion that such a single would struggle to get airplay, as does any prog, and it's appeal (if you pardon the pun) would be limited to that narrow band of folk who really appreciate good music.

Well, thanks to Rob Reed, Matthew Cohen, Magenta and F2 Music, the ProgAID project was launched with the intention of raising money for the Boxing day 2005 Tsunami disaster fund.  Musicians from the UK, Europe and across the pond including Anthony Phillips, Neal Morse, Roine Stolt, Glass Hammer's Fred, Steve, Walter and Susie, IQ, Jadis, Magenta, Mostly Autumn and many others volunteered their services for the cause.

All Around The World is an old Cyan song (ProgAID producer Rob Reed and participant Nigel Voyle were in Cyan) which magically fulfils the demands of the hard to please prog fan yet has enough elements of commercialism to appeal to a wider audience.  The five mixes ranging from 5 minutes to 12 minutes (the Definitive Mix!) include an instrumental only version but, thankfully, no garage or hip hop mix.  One thing that struck me when I first heard this single was the quality of the vocals;  many prog vocals can be an acquired taste but the chaps and chapesses here can deliver the goods.  The song and the arrangement makes All Around The World very listenable and, believe it or not, enjoyable.  The sixth track is a Quicktime video taken at the recording sessions (see Hairless Heart Herald's Danny Mayo play with his maracas!) showing everyone in good mood and enjoying themselves.

It may not raise anywhere near as much cash as non-prog charity singles have done but the only beneficiaries of All Around The World will be the Tsunami Disaster Fund and those who buy and enjoy the single.  It may not be the 'done thing' to congratulate all those who donated their voices and skills to ProgAID but since when has prog been conventional?  And I know that many other musicians who volunteered their services had to be turned down due to limitations on numbers, so a big thanks goes to them also.

All Around The World is available from the ProgAID website (see link below) for £5 including worldwide postage and packing.

Jem Jedrzejewski

ProgAID

 

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