"Songs Around the World" - Playing for Change

Compilation Album

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Original Track Listing:

  • Stand By Me – Various (05:11)
  • One Love – Various (05:00)
  • War / No More Trouble – Various (04:33)
  • Biko – Various (04:47)
  • Don’t Worry – Various (03:24)
  • Talkin’ About a Revolution – Afro Fiesta (03:46)
  • Better Man – Keb’ Mo’ (05:21)
  • Chanda Mama – Various (03:29)
  • Love Rescue Me – Omagh Community Youth Choir

Alternate Tracks

  • War / No More Trouble – Various (04:59)
  • Lean on Me – Various (04:11)
  • Pemba Laka – Various (03:37)
  • All You Need is Love – Various (03:58)

Background Information

The “Playing for Change” project got its start when the creators of the project, Mark Johnson and Enzo Bouno traveled the world with a mobile recording studio, and recording local musicians performing the same song, each in their own style. The duo visited New Orleans, Barcelona, South Africa, India, the Middle East, and Ireland among others. The recorded music was then mixed together to create songs, with each recording artist singing a few lines. The collective group of artists are known as “Playing for Change” and the album title is Songs Around the World.

The duo were first introduced to Bono through a mutual friend, Norman Lear, who had sent Bono a DVD with some of the music the duo had recorded around the world. He was interested in contributing to the project, and the “Playing for Change” group recorded him and filmed him performing “War / No More Trouble”. Bono was recorded in Dublin. Bono appears to have been performing in the Hannover Quay studio in Dublin in the video that was filmed. Other musicians involved in this song were recorded in various parts of the world including the Congo, India, Jamaica, Northern Ireland, United States, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Israel. The producers of the song also make use of footage of Bob Marley in Jamaica, and mix it into the song. The backing choir on the song is from Northern Ireland, and is called the Omagh Community Youth Choir, who formed in the wake of the bombing of Omagh in August 1998. The choir also perform a cover of U2’s “Love Rescue Me” on the original release of the album.

The CD was released in most regions with a DVD that featured video footage and videos of the songs. Included is the video for “War / No More Trouble” which features video of Bono performing the song as it was being recorded. The song on the DVD released in 2009 was the longer version of “War / No More Trouble” but it was only available on the DVD. Digital releases, as well as the CD had the shortened version of the song.

In 2019 a 10th anniversary version of the album was announced, with pre-orders being taken for the release. For the first time the release would be issued on vinyl, in this case, gold vinyl. Delays in producing the vinyl meant that orders went unfulfilled until 2020. This 10th anniversary edition features a new cover, and is listed as being “Remixed and Remastered” on the cover of the vinyl. The album features a different track listing than the original as well. Three new tracks have been added, “Lean On Me”, “Pemba Laka”, and “All You Need is Love” are added to the track listing. Three songs have been removed from this new version, “Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution”, “A Change is Gonna Come” and the cover of U2’s “Love Rescue Me” are not on the 10th anniversary version of the album.

There are two different versions of the 10th anniversary release. The gold vinyl version includes the shorter version of “War / No More Trouble” which had been present on the original CD and digital releases in 2009. The new digital version includes the longer version of “War / No More Trouble” which had been present on the original DVD.

Liner Notes

War / No More Trouble:
Written by Carleton Barrett / Allen Cole / Bob Marley.
Rocky Dawuni: vocals (Ghana). Bono: vocals (Ireland). Mermans Kenkosenki: vocals (Congo). Jason Tamba: Vocals, guitar (Congo). Vinaya, Saindhavi and Krithikaa: Vocals (India). Bob Marley: Vocals (Jamaica). The Omagh Community Youth Choir: Vocals (Northern Ireland). Daryl J. Simpson: Choir Director (Northern Ireland). Kevin Moore II: Drums (USA). Tshotsho Fikisi: Congas (Congo). Biziko: Djembe (Congo). Cathy Jordan: Bodhran (Ireland). David Broza: Guitar (Israel). Louis Mhlanga: Guitar (Zimbabwe). Jimi Indi Phiri: Electric Bass (South Africa). Saroja: Dilruba (India). Venkat: Tablas and shaker (India).

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