COVID-19 Roundup: Queen Release ‘You Are the Champions’ Single
Queen + Adam Lambert released their new version of the classic song “We Are the Champions” with its coronavirus-inspired title “You Are the Champions,” and dedicated it to healthcare workers worldwide.
The trio unveiled the home-based recording last week, but it’s been modified for its official release, with a video that includes lockdown scenes from across the planet.
“Collaborating via Instagram between London, Cornwall and Los Angeles, Brian May, Roger Taylor and Adam Lambert, in their respective homes, recorded a spontaneous new version of Queen’s classic anthem with some subtle changes,” a statement explained. “The result, now finished off, mixed and mastered, is being released under a new title - all proceeds going toward COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization.”
“Just like we sent our young men and women into two world wars to fight, these young men and women are now fighting for us and risking their lives every day," guitarist May told Rolling Stone. "That’s what this song has become about. It’s for everyone who is out there working and putting their life at risk.” You can watch the new version below.
Meanwhile, Dave Grohl wrote an email of thanks to the BBC after the release of an all-star version of the Foo Fighters classic “Times Like These.” The fundraising single has reached No.2 in the U.K.
“To all those amazing artists who took the time to learn and sing the words that I scribbled on a bit of hotel stationery nearly 20 years ago – I am beyond humbled,” Grohl wrote in the message that was delivered to all BBC staff. “You have no idea. I hope this new version of the song helps lift people’s spirits a little, and that the proceeds we’re donating to Comic Relief and Children In Need reach as many people affected by COVID-19 as possible. Thanks again, for giving me the chance to be a part of something so much bigger. I look forward to the day that we’ll all be back in a muddy field again, singing our hearts out together. It’s times like these we learn to live again.”
Eddie Vedder offered Pearl Jam fans the chance to attend a soundcheck at a concert, help choose the show's set list, assist him with guitars and wine during the performance and have the audience sing “Happy Birthday” to them, even if it’s not their birthday. The prize is part of the All in Challenge that raises funds for charities that provide food for the needy. You can watch Vedder’s full explanation below.
King Crimson leader Robert Fripp announced the launch of a weekly release series titled Music for Quiet Moments, which includes a new soundscape every Friday for 50 weeks. The program is described as “something to nourish us, and help us through these uncertain times.”
“Quiet moments are when we put time aside to be quiet," Fripp explained. "Sometimes quiet moments find us. Quiet may be experienced with sound, and also through sound - in a place we hold to be sacred, or maybe on a crowded subway train hurtling toward Piccadilly or Times Square. Quiet Moments of my musical life, expressed in soundscapes, are deeply personal, yet utterly impersonal. They address the concerns we share within our common humanity.” You can listen to the first track, “Pastorale (Mendoza 3rd Jun 2007),” below.
Wheatus assembled a fan-powered version of their hit “Teenage Dirtbag,” re-titled “Quaranteenage Dirtbag,” which featuring 106 fans who contributed video clips from 16 countries.
You can watch the result below.
Record Store Day announced three separate “drop” events to replace the single annual day that was postponed from April. The RSD Drops take place on Aug. 29, Sept. 26 and Oct. 24.
“In 2020, that world is different, so Record Store Day will be too,” organizers explained. “Supporting indie record stores may be more important than ever. We don't know what sort of rules will be in place, or what sort of gatherings people will be in the mood for this year, so we're focusing on the music and getting the really great titles on the RSD official list this year into the stores and into your hands, in the most financially and socially responsible way.”
You can find out more at its website.