During the end of tonight’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy, I was wondering why I recognized a familiar song with a familiar voice. But, I’d never heard the two together before. In fact, it was Joseph Arthur’s beautiful song “In the Sun,” performed by R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe and Coldplay’s Chris Martin. Arthur’s song is one of the best from a painfull underrated album he released in 2000, called Come to Where I’m From.
Anyway, I started doing some research as to why this song was being covered in 2006, and why it was being featured on Grey’s Anatomy. Via Billboard, this is what I found out:
R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe has recorded singer/songwriter Joseph Arthur’s “In the Sun” for a digital EP, proceeds from which will benefit Mercy Corps’ efforts to rebuild New Orleans neighborhoods devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
Six different versions of the track will be available via the iTunes Music Store on Monday (Feb. 6); Stipe’s duet with Coldplay frontman Chris Martin will premiere the previous evening on the ABC drama “Grey’s Anatomy.” The EP also features two versions of the song with Stipe and Arthur, a remix by Justin Timberlake and will.i.am’s JAW Breakers partnership, a take with just Stipe and a live recording with Coldplay from the PBS series “Austin City Limits.”
Other artists that contributed to the sessions were Fountains Of Wayne/Ivy principal Adam Schlesinger and former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha, who assisted Stipe at their own Stratosphere Sound studio in New York.
“In the Sun” was previously covered by Peter Gabriel for the 1997 tribute album “Diana, Princess of Wales.” “I guess it’s a song made for charity,” Arthur tells Billboard.com of the track, which originally appeared on his 2000 album “Come to Where I’m From.” “It must have a charitable heart in it.”