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Stand By Me - Playing for Change

Buskers of the world unite. I normally would never countenance a new version of such a brilliant original such as Ben E King's greatest hit, but this is so different and original, it gets me every time.

Also, I would normally, if asked, say don't bother watching the you tube film, just turn the volume up and LISTEN. But in this case (as in the film clip from "Subway" in the last entry) it is important you watch to get the idea of what's going on.

The idea for "Playing for Change" came about when sound engineer Mark Johnson was walking to work when he heard busker Roger Ridley singing "Stand By Me" on the streets and it crossed his mind that in his day job he was often being paid to record people who weren't as good as this. So he thought of the "Playing for change" concept - to record buskers from all over the world singing and the same song to an overlaid backing track of Roger and edit and mix them together - and this track was born. and they filmed it too.

Subsequently, they recorded other tracks, and the PFT bands regularly tour internationally, raising money for music projects for children from deprived areas all around the world. But none of the other tracks has the magic and excitement of this, the first, or the series of thrills that shimmer up and down your spine as each voice comes in, especially the moment when the sublime Clarence Bekker from Amsterdam first sings.

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