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Armenian projects update

There are two new developments in Gillan’s Armenian projects.

First, the Who Cares did get into the studio and recorded a song. There is a brief report on Tony Iommi’s website. Caramba! also reports that bass duties will be handled by Jason Newsted, who could not make it to the studio in London and will record his part separately.

Rock Aid Armenia SOTW single 2010; image courtesy of Thompson MusicSecond, the remix of Smoke on the Water done back in 1989 by the all-star lineup is due to be released on October 26.

I still remember it clearly. I was woken by a phone call from Washington asking me to get footage out of the Armenian earthquake zone. It was December 7, 1988, and at 11:41 A.M. local time a magnitude 6.9 earthquake had shaken northwestern Armenia. Tens of thousands of people were killed and hundreds of thousands were made homeless.

The footage I got out of Armenia was truly awful. Whole communities had been wiped off the map. The streets were lined with people wailing over dead family members. Schools had collapsed and many children had died. The saddest images were of people carrying tiny coffins filled with babies. The disaster zone was a cold and totally desperate place.

Having seen the footage, I felt I had to do something. After deciding to remake ‘Smoke on the Water’, the first person I called was David Gilmour from Pink Floyd. He agreed to participate and said I could use his name. That made it a lot easier to recruit the others. I would like to acknowledge the help of Ian Gillan and his manager Phil Banfield in this recruitment process. They were unbelievably helpful.

By the time the recording was complete, artists from Pink Floyd, Queen, Rush, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Yes, Iron Maiden and others had all joined forces to create the track. The heavy metal bible Kerrang called it “the greatest array of hard rock talent ever assembled”. We ended up with a top 40 UK hit.

Two years ago, Ara Tadevosyan gave me a briefing about the earthquake zone. Life is still very tough for people over there and we found a children’s music school in Gyumri that still hadn’t been rebuilt. That’s why we decided to re-release the project. Every cent of the money that we raise will go towards rebuilding that school.

Updates on the school and photos from the original recordings are available at RockAidArmenia.com . Please check it out. On behalf of the school and the Do Something team, I’d like to thank you buying this CD and DVD. We really appreciate your help.

Founder of Rock Aid Armenia
Founder & Chairman of Do Something!

The release will be a double digipack containing a CD single and a bonus DVD. The single will include:

  1. Smoke On The Water (2010 Wermut & Dee Remix)
  2. Smoke On The Water (1989 Original Mix)
  3. Smoke On The Water (1990 Radio Mix)
  4. Smoke On The Water (1989 Ian Gillan Vocal Session)

The bonus DVD will include a 40 minute documentary featuring studio footage of the Rock Aid Armenia sessions and a promo video clip of Smoke on the Water.

This release will be distributed by Edel, so it should be widely available.

4 Comments to “Armenian projects update”:

  1. 1
    AndreA says:

    I feel a bit of disappointment..
    only one new song,4 SOTW…
    this “band” could only give us a big surprise, but ….maybe it was a utopia.



  2. 2
    Crimson Ghost says:

    It will be nice to see the documentary officially released, the rest too… there are two SOTW clips btw… one stunning color version and the more widely known b/w version, both are essentially different in video footage as well, equally interesting.

  3. 3
    George says:

    DEEP PURPLE + BLACK SABBATH + METALLICA + IRON MAIDEN – this is the BEST supergroup in the history of ROCK

  4. 4
    dale says:

    Why the rest of the guys from DP did not record a new song with Gillan for that record 4 versions of SOTW in not adding anything exciting.

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