Published Oct 27, 2009A benefit compilation CD featuring the likes of Arcade Fire, the National, Grizzly Bear, Bon Iver, Ben Gibbard and Feist has raised almost $700,000 for HIV/AIDS in the first half of 2009.
Dark Was the Night, a double-disc compilation released earlier this year by 4AD, was the reason why Martin Mills, chairman of the Beggars Group (who own 4AD), recently presented a cheque for $668,358 U.S. to the Red Hot Organization, which raises money for AIDS charities around the world.
"The current economic crisis has put many worthy AIDS charities at great risk, so this money could not have come at a better time," said John Carlin, Red Hot's founder, in a press release. "With a few carefully targeted grants, we will be able to save the life of charitable organizations that help save the lives of people around the world affected by AIDS and HIV. Dark Was the Night encapsulated the spirit and creativity of a new generation of musicians whose work struck a chord and got people to actually purchase the album and raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight AIDS."
The cheque represented the profits on sales of the album in the first half of the year, but doesn't include sales since the summer or the money raised at a huge benefit show at New York's Radio City Music Hall. The show featured Feist, Dirty Projectors, Bon Iver, the National, David Byrne, TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, and My Brightest Diamond, among others.
Anyone who bought alt-rock albums in the '90s remembers the benefit compilation album No Alternative. Well, Red Hot was behind that one too. In fact, the group has produced a series of compilations in the past 20 years, as we told you in our March issue.
Dark Was the Night, released in February, is the 20th album in the Red Hot series and was produced by Aaron and Bryce Dessner of the National. It's still available in music shops everywhere.