[align=center]*** This is a LONG post! If want to get the gist, skip to the links at the bottom! ***[/align] You are no doubt all aware of 'The Soldiers' album of cover versions which was released on Monday 26th Oct and looks to be a surefire entry in the album charts on Sunday. You may also be aware of Mark Knopfler's single Remembrance Day which is raising funds for the RBL Poppy Appeal. Those of you who's finger is really on the pulse of the music world (or live on Facebook) may also be aware that the Athletes have just announced that their single, Black Swan Song, is also to raise funds for the Poppy Appeal. Each of these 3 tracks has received extensive media coverage including support from the charities in question. Two of them are released by Warner and one by Polydor. What you may not be aware of is the fact that 3 unsigned bands are also releasing singles in aid of H4H, the Poppy Appeal, the ABF, SOS and Erskine Military Hospice. These 3 bands contacted the charities months ago and were greeted with glee by all involved and gratitude for the planned fundraising efforts. In the interim period since the initial contact, the approval of logo use, wording on sleeve notes etc 2 of the acts have been unceremoniously dropped, or snubbed I think is the more suitable term. One of the charities has refused any requests for webspace or support of any kind due to the fact they have now signed an agreement with a Major Label, another has simlpy stopped responding to any form of contact. While it is understandable that a charity wants to make as much money as possible, and will therefore back something like The Soldiers, in order to maximise their profits, surely these charities would benefit from monies received from any and all of the efforts? And the charities aren't the only ones! The responses from the media have been, to say the least, quite churlish! Many of these releases benefit more than one charity, most of them including H4H. As a result of this the releases not backed by Warner are not receiving any support as "...that's the Sun's charity, we don't cover that...". And when it comes to radio it's no different. No-one's expecting the national stations to give massive airplay to unsigned, unkown, bands other than on the unsigned/introducing shows they run. BFBS, on the other hand, you would expect to support anything that helps the Forces. Wouldn't you? Nope! "We only support one charity single this year and that's Mark Knopfler's Remembrance Day". Each of the 3 unsigned bands in question have funded everything themselves, the recording, the production, the manufacture, the PR and are giving a large percentage of the profits to the charities in question. The 3 unsigned releases in question are: 1. The Soulweavers - Remembrance Day (Not the same song as Knopfler!) 2. TNS - The Fallen and 3. Morpheus Rising - Fighting Man Surely they deserve as much support (from us, if not the industry) as the releases backed by the major labels? When you consider the following: - The Soldiers album is retailing at Â£8.68 on Amazon and 25p is being donated to each of the 3 charities in question per sale (less than 10% in my reckoning) - The release by Morpheus Rising is Â£3.89 on Amazon, of which the band will recieve about Â£1.30 and they are giving 70p of that to the charities (over 50% by my reckoning).* - Soulweaver's release is 'Pay What You Want' and ALL proceeds are going to the charities. (Er... that's 100% I think!) *According to a recent interview all personal royalties of the serving member are also being donated to Honour Our Troops a charity planning a Live Aid style concert for the Army, Navy and Air Force Benevolent Funds. When you add to the mix that Warner footed the bill for The Soldiers and Mark Knopfler's albums, their publicity and everything else while TNS, Morpheus Rising and the Soulweavers have had to pay for any recording costs as well as PR etc, and Morpheus Rising (the only unsigned band to have a physical CD just now) have also had to pay for the manufacture, who's the most benevolent? Mercenary tactics? Personally I think it's downright shocking! If you want to find out any more about any of the releases, or the charities, the links are provided below: The Soldiers - Coming Home - Video The Soulweavers - Remembrance Day - Video TNS - The Fallen Mark Knopfler - Remembrance Day Athlete - Black Swan Song - Video Morpheus Rising - Fighting Man - Video HELP for HEROES Army Benevolent Fund RBL Poppy Appeal Support Our Soldiers Erskine Honour Our Troops At the end of the day, they're all supporting us, and they'll appeal to different people, so they should all get our support. Please take the time to visit them all and make up your own minds.