Music has played an important role in the Occupy movement since the first few tents were set up in Zuccotti Park.There were the camp’s endless drum circles; famous visitors like Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco; and the massive May Day concert in New York’s Union Square. Now the movement also has its own album, out tomorrow.
Created by Music for Occupy, it’s appropriately titled Occupy This Album, and is “a compilation of music by, for and inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement and the 99%.” The digital compilation features 99 tracks (plus one hidden, bonus track for you one-percenters), and 78 songs on the four-disc physical release (which you can buy here for–you guessed it–$9.99). Proceeds from the album will go directly toward sustaining the Occupy movement.
The album has plenty of familiar names, including Yoko Ono, Third Eye Blind, Debbie Harry, Tom Morello (who led May Day’s music festivities), Yo La Tengo, Ani DiFranco, Willie Nelson, David Crosby & Graham Nash, Thievery Corporation, Immortal Technique (who also performed at May Day), and even Michael Moore covering a Bob Dylan song.
There are also many artists that listeners may be unfamiliar with, a point that Music for Occupy acknowledge on their website:
“We look to give voices and opportunities to artists who support our vision; specifically artists who most have never been heard before, and have many troubles making it in today’s industry because their message is just not “Pop” enough. We look to team up socially conscious known and accomplished artists, with other artists that could use a light shined on them by those same artists.”
In looking to produce music that “makes one think, and inspires change,” have they neglected to bring about a song that can also be catch enough to band together and unite its supporters? “The four-disc compilation is one part “Who’s who” and one-part “Who’s that?” But there are some gems within this encampment,” the Associated Press writes. The album is garnering some mixed reviews, with the consensus being that while it isn’t necessarily cohesive or focused, it does contain a few standout tracks.
Now, how about a single or two? A 99-track manifesto is one thing, Occupiers — but the masses want something we can dance to.