Avril Lavigne, Black Eyed Peas, Sum 41, the Deftones and Duran Duran are among the artists recording John Lennon songs to raise funds for human rights organization Amnesty International. The recordings, which will be released as downloads through amnesty.org, will be part of Amnesty's new youth-oriented music campaign that begins in January.
Three years ago, Yoko Ono donated the rights to her late husband's solo tracks to Amnesty for use in its Imagine campaign, which asked children around the world to sing the 1971 peace anthem. (December 8th is the twenty-fifth anniversary of Lennon's death.) For the new campaign, Lavigne recorded "Imagine," with accompaniment by pianist Chantal Kreviazuk and production by Butch Walker. Lavigne stayed faithful to the original. "I did a mellow version," she says.
I'm reminded of the old SNL sketch where Paul Simon sells his soul to the devil so he can write great songs (and get rid of the oboe), then is trapped for eternity in an elevator that plays muzak versions of his songs. I'm just saying.