Earth Love Fund was founded in 1989 by three individuals from the music world, with the aim of enlisting the support of musicians and artists around the world for rainforest conservation.
The founders of the Fund were Vic Coppersmith-Heaven, record producer and composer; Nick Glennie-Smith, musician and composer specialising in film music; and Kenny Young, composer and record producer, whose songs include "Under The Boardwalk." They recorded their first environmental album, Transmissions, in 1987 under the name Gentlemen Without Weapons. No musical instruments were used; instead, natural sounds were used to form a musical backdrop for environmental lyrics. The album was adopted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as a theme for their environmental conferences, and as a result, the founders of ELF together with partners in the music industry were invited to speak at the United Nations about the innovative project. By 1989, their success had inspired the band members to establish the Earth Love Fund as a UK registered charity.
ELF's first action was to recruit major music stars to sing on a special rainforest track entitled "Spirit of the Forest," which was written by Kenny Young. The track used the natural sounds backdrop recorded for the Transmissions project. More than fifty top artists participated, including Bonnie Raitt, LL Cool J, Ringo Starr, Pink Floyd, B52s, Lennie Kravitz, Joni Mitchell and Belinda Carlisle.
With the success of Spirit of the Forest, the founders of ELF decided to put together a benefit album. Artists including U2, REM, Paul McCartney, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon donated the rights for their tracks to ELF for Earthrise: The Rainforest Album. It was released by Polygram in 1992 to coincide with the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and raised the first substantial income for ELF, reaching number one in the UK charts in the first week of release and achieving total sales of over 400,000 units.
The money raised enabled Earth Love Fund to give out a first round of grants for rainforest community conservation projects in 1992. In order to ensure the best use of funds, the trustees persuaded leading members of top environmental organisations to form an Advisory Council. The Council meets once or twice a year to discuss the allocation of further funding for forest conservation.
Following the success of Earthrise: The Rainforest Album, ELF has produced five more benefit albums. Earthrise II: Artists for the Environment was released in 1995 and featured more tracks by many of the artists who contributed to Earthrise. Earthtrance (1996) is a compilation of previously unreleased tracks and mixes from the world's leading trance music artists such as Eat Static and Banco de Gaia. Rock The Planet (1996) is a special double album compilation of tracks from Earthrise I and II. Gift to the Earth (1998) was commissioned by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to raise funds and awareness for WWF's Living Planet Campaign to help preserve endangered ecosystems around the world for the next millennium. Planet Electrica (1998) features new mixes by top underground alternative bands including Roni Size, Massive Attack and Underworld.
Funds have also been raised by supporters through art exhibitions and concerts. Through a special arrangement with PRS, individual musicians can donate a small percentage of royalties on an ongoing basis.
The generosity of participating musicians and other artists has allowed Earth Love Fund to give over 120 grants to key conservation projects in 37 countries around the world.
The Performing Right Society (PRS) are working together with Earth Love Fund to enable its members to divert a small percentage of quarterly PRS royalties to rainforest conservation. Please write to Earth Love Fund for an application form.
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