1/  Knockin on Heaven's Door                        (Dylan)                  2.52
        Avril Lavigne
  2/  I Know                                          (Knowles)                3.50
        Destiny's Child and
  3/  By Your Side                                    (Nelson,TM,KD,WM,JY)     4.19
        Timbaland, Kiley Dean and Utada
  4/  Universal Prayer                                (JD,TM,TEH,MSE,TF)       4.04
        Tiziano Ferro and Jamelia 
  5/  A Thousand Years                                (Kipper,Sting,Lima)      5.03
        Sting and Mariza
  6/  All The Way                                     (BH,Faussart,Faussart)   3.57
        Beres Hammond and Les Nubians
  7/  Issues                                          (SD,RS,Rami,SimpsonJS,CB)3.42
        Mr. G
  8/  Love Together                                   (Wooton,Saadiq)          4.41
        Earth Wind & Fire and Roots Manuva
  9/  Eyes On The Prize                               (McVey,Evans,VC,NC,SM)   4.13
        Wayne Wonder and Neneh Cherry
  10/ We Want Peace                                   (Kravitz,Al Sahir)       3.54
        Lenny Kravitz and Kadim Al Sahir
  11/ Oh Yeah                                         (Gray,Elizondo)          3.54
        Macy Gray and Keziah Jones
  12/ MKLVFKWR                                        (Hall,Ridenhour,Drayton) 3.23
        Moby and Public Enemy
  13/ Stand                                           (AC,Xzibit,BB,Boston)    4.00
        Alice Cooper and Xzibit 
  14/ Everlasting                                     (Mami,Bouffard)          4.15
        Herbert Groenemeyer, Cheb Mami and George Dalaras
  15/ Still Standing                                  (Eno,Hillage,Skin,Taha)  4.28
        Brian Eno, Skin and Rachid Taha
  16/ Pass The Flame: The Official Torch Relay Theme  (Horn)                   4.13
        Trevor Horn, Yiannis Kotsiras and Tarkan

          Original tracks recorded at Il Palagio, Italy and Mega Studios, Paris
          Overdubs recorded at Right Track and Avatar, New York
          Track 5 mix translation by Bill Laswell at Orange Sound Studios, West
            Orange, New Jersey
          Engineer on track 5 (remix): Bob Musso
          Track 5 produced by Bill Laswell
          Executive Producer - Emmanuel de Buretel 
(5) Sting: vocals, bass, guitar; Mariza: vocals; Dave Hartley: string arranger, conductor; Manu Katche: drums; Dominic Miller: guitars; Gavyn Wright: string leader; Graham Haynes: flugelhorn (remix); Karsh Kale: drums and tabla (remix); Bill Laswell: bass (remix).

Orchestral contractor in London: Isobel Griffiths
Vocal contractor in New York: Jessica Pendarvis.

          2004 - EMI (Germany), 7243 4 73070 2 7 (CD)


This is one of three compilations assembled to commemorate the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, the others being a classical collection (Harmony) and an all-Greek one (Phos). The idea for this pop album seems to have been to combine musicians from different countries and different musical styles, although in practice world pop music has become so homogeneous that much of this disc simply sounds like business as usual for the performers. For example, Sting has incorporated so many elements of the music of other cultures into his sound, dating back to the Police, that having him collaborate with Mariza just makes for another of his typical hybrids. And there have been so many recordings in recent years in which pop artists combined with rappers and toasters that the ones here often sound positively conventional. That said, there are some entertaining performances that could certainly be hits, given the appropriate promotion, among them the amusing "Issues" by Mr. G, Joss Stone, and Crissey Blur; "We Want Peace" by Lenny Kravitz and Kadim Al Sahir; and the danceable "Oh Yeah" by Macy Gray and Keziah Jones. Often, the artists have responded to the Olympics theme by writing political or otherwise inspirational lyrics, and some work better than others. Wayne Wonder and Neneh Cherry's "Eyes on the Prize," for example, is a more considered effort than Alice Cooper and Xzibit's "Stand," with its clichéd chorus, "If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything."

William Ruhlmann (courtesy of the website)


This album was a pleasant surprise. It enlists a variety of musicians to provide an upbeat assortment of tracks to accompany the theme of unity promoted by the Olympics events. The album starts with Avril Lavigne's cover of Knocking on Heaven's Door, a mellow, pleasant track. Then a few R&B tracks by current popular artists get things revved up, following by a revitalized Sting tune. Dancehall reggae, hip-hop, rock, and world music rhythms all get thrown into the proceeding mix with artists such as Beres Hammond, Mr. G, Lenny Kravitz, Moby, Alice Cooper, Public Enemy, Macy Gray, Brian Eno, Cheb Mami, and others adding their talents. The Moby/P.E. track picks up where Fight The Power left off, saying Power To The People... the People Want Peace. Alice Cooper & Xzibit make a solid collaboration, reminding the listener to Stand up for something or you'll fall for anything. All in all this is a very groove-oriented album that plays on anti-war sentiments. It has some new material from the contributing artists and seems rather club-oriented instead of relying on pop ballads for radio hits like prior Olympics compilations have.

Jed Shlackman (courtesy of the website)