"Inner City Blues" - Various Artists

Compilation Album

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Full Track Listing:

  • Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) – Nona Gaye (5:34)
  • Save the Children – Bono (4:27)
  • Let’s Get it On – Boyz II Men (6:01)
  • I Want You – Madonna with Massive Attack (6:11)
  • Trouble Man – Nenah Cherry (3:56)
  • Just to Keep You Satisfied – Lisa Stansfield (4:40)
  • Stubborn Kind of Fellow – Stevie Wonder (3:00)
  • God is Love/Mercy Mercy Me – Sounds of Blackness (5:09)
  • Like Marvin Gaye Said (What’s Going On) – Speech (3:44)
  • Marvin, You’re the Man – Digable Planets (9:24)

Background Information

Marvin Gaye was an American singer-songwriter, who was killed in 1984. Gaye had recorded for the Motown Records label, and had a successful career that spanned over two decades. In 1994 the label was putting together a tribute album to Gaye, and Bono was asked to be involved. “After much prayer and fasting” as Bono said, he decided to cover Gaye’s song “Save the Children”. The song was recorded against a recording of Marvin Gaye’s spoken voice reciting the lyrics of the song. Bono recorded his version of the song at STS Studios in Dublin in late 1994. The song was produced by Nellee Hooper who also produced Madonna and Massive Attack performing “I Want You” on the same album.

The compilation album included a wide variety of artists, including Gaye’s own daughter Nona contributing the title song for which the album was named. The “Inner City Blues” album was released in October 1995.

There was footage filmed for a television show, including a video of Bono performing “Save the Children” as it is recorded here. Bono was filmed in New York City in a seedy Times Square, before the area was cleaned up, singing the song as the people of New York City (and actors) move past. Bono is filmed in a doorway, and is seen smoking in the video.

Liner Notes

Save the Children:
Written by Alfred Cleveland, Marvin Gaye, and Renaldo Benson. Produced by Bono & Nellee Hooper. Lead Vocals: Bono with Marvin Gaye speaking from original recording. Backing Vocals: Louise McCormick & Paul Barrett. Piano, Strings, Vibraphones: Paul Barrett. Programmer: Marius De Vries. Recorded by: Louise McCormick at STS Studios Dublin. Mix Engineer: Mark “Spike” Stent. Contains sample of “Udla Nge’nduku Zabaney” by Ladysmith Black Mambazo, taken from “The Best of Ladysmith Black Mambazo”.

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