This collection of classic hits from the 1980s has been rejuvenated with re-imagined and updated versions by contemporary artists in The Time Is Now, a compilation album created specifically to benefit amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. The 14-track album will be released on October 7th by Republic Records and Mass Appeal and is available for pre-order today. Pre-order here.
Among the notable covers featured in The Time Is Now is the album’s first single: a soulful rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” by singer-songwriter Aloe Blacc. Those who pre-order the album receive a copy of the track instantly. Check out the song here.
The album will also include a rendition of New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle” performed by Sugar for Sugar, consisting of Scarlett Johansson, Julia Haltigan, Holly Miranda and Kendra Morris. In addition, the band Lower Dens provides their updated version of Hall & Oates’ “Maneater”, while the pop rock group DNCE puts its stamp on Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got to Do With It.” Dita Von Teese and Sebastien Tellier revamp “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” by Culture Club, while the songwriting duo Marian Hill performs Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me).”
The artwork for the album cover was designed exclusively for amfAR by the talented and generous British artist Tracey Emin.
The Time is Now is the brainchild and labor of love of executive producers Michelangelo Lacqua, internationally acclaimed music curator, Andy Boose, longtime producer of many of amfAR’s events, and Peter Bittenbender, CEO of Mass Appeal.
“The 1980s was a decade of revolutionary changes in the music scene, with an explosion of new sounds and rhythms, the ascendance of MTV, and the emergence of new musical movements on both sides of the Atlantic,” said Bittenbender. “Music also provided the soundtrack to people’s daily lives and was a source of inspiration and solace with the advent of HIV/AIDS. This album is a tribute to that extraordinary time,” said Lacqua. “The Time Is Now is a music-driven call to action in support of amfAR’s push to end HIV/AIDS in our lifetime,” said Boose.
Since the beginning of the epidemic, musicians have supported the fight against AIDS in countless ways, raising awareness and funds through benefit concerts, donated royalties and proceeds, and other contributions. Throughout its history, amfAR has enjoyed the steadfast and generous support of the music industry. In 1985, Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder recorded a collaborative rendition of the song, “That’s What Friends Are For,” to raise money for amfAR. The song was Billboard’s number one single for 1986 and raised millions of dollars for AIDS research.
“The Time Is Now is a great example of our longstanding relationship with the music industry, and we are deeply grateful to the artists who graciously donated their time and talents to the making of this album,” said amfAR Chief Executive Officer Kevin Robert Frost. “With continued support for HIV research, we are confident that we will ultimately find a cure for the millions of people living with HIV/AIDS today.”
To mark the occasion of The Time is Now, Soho House held a multi-city record listening event at Soho Houses in London, New York and Los Angeles on September 8, which included special performances and appearances by the artists featured on the album, including Brazilian Girls, Lower Dens and Theophilus London. See photos from the events here.
“Check out The Making Of ‘The Time Is Now” here https://youtu.be/tuRzqeum1Po
The full track listing for The Time Is Now is:
“Take Me Home” (Phil Collins), Performer: Phantogram
“Bizarre Love Triangle” (New Order), Performer: Sugar for Sugar
“Under the Milky Way” (The Church), Performer: Metric
“Whip It” (Devo), Performer: Brazilian Girls
“Rio” (Duran Duran), Performer: Bebel Gilberto
“What’s Love Got to Do With It” (Tina Turner), Performer: DNCE
“Billie Jean”(Michael Jackson), Performer: Aloe Blacc
“Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” (Culture Club), Performer: Dita Von Teese and Sebastien Tellier
“Maneater” (Hall & Oates), Performer: Lower Dens
“Genius of Love” (Tom Tom Club), Performer: Chaos Chaos
“I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” (Whitney Houston), Performer: Marian Hill
“Pride (In the Name of Love)” (U2), Performer: LP
“Lovesong” (The Cure), Performer: Yuna
“Dance Hall Days” (Wang Chung), Performer: Theophilus London