europeans & how we live

Colin Woore & The IHR Project


IHR logo





In 1991, europeans & how we live guitarist Colin Woore recorded a song called 'If You Really Love Me' for the 'International Hostage Release' Project.  This is the only solo track by Colin that has been released (so far!), so I thought I'd do a special page about it!  A few years back, a guy called Bob Lambert got in touch via the site.  He had been involved in the project in the early 1990s, and was also the 'model' in the photo on the front cover of the album!  The majority of the info on this page is taken from articles sent by Bob.




During the 1979-91 Lebanese Civil War, a number of Westerners had been abducted and imprisoned by militant groups.  By May 1989 there were 17 abductees, nine Americans, four Iranians, three British and one Irish.  One of the British was Terry Waite, the Archbishop of Canterbury's envoy.  He was sent to attempt the peaceful liberation of the hostages, but this ultimately led to a forceful end to his own liberty in 1987.  The Irish hostage Brian Keenan and a British journalist, John McCarthy were imprisoned together... The 2004 film 'Blind Flight' dramatises the relationship between these two extraordinary men whilst in capture.

(Right: Still from 'Blind Flight' 2004)

Ian Hart as Brian Keenan & Linus Roache as John McCarthy in 'Blind Fight'


Mark Powell & Judith Weaver

The Project

In February 1989, Jill Morrell (John McCarthy's girlfriend) made a deeply emotional TV appearance campaigning for the release of John.  Two Bristol- based music Journalists, Mark Powell and Judith Weaver were moved by this plea, and decided to help out.  They created 'International Hostage Release.' a project aimed to generate public awareness and funds toward the release of all hostages held in the Lebanon, by the sale of an album containing tracks donated by international recording artists.  Proceeds from album sales would split three ways: to fund peaceful and apolitical groups representing hostages and their families' rights... Make donations to hostages families... and offer rehabilitation, counselling and financial help to any released hostages.

(Left: Mark Powell and Judith Weaver)


Critical of the government's inertia in their attitude towards the hostage crisis, music seemed a very immediate way of getting the message across to people who would otherwise not be concerned.  Mark and Judith discussed their plans with europeans producer David Lord (head of Bath's famous Crescent Studios) who put his (and ex-europeans) manager Mark Thompson in the picture.  In turn, Thompson called in 'Band Aid' accountant Phillip Rusted and leading advertising executive Bill Backle whose clients included ' UNICEF' and ' Friends of the Earth.'


The Album

The list of artists on the album was very impressive: Pete Townshend, Dire Straits, Tina Turner, Simple Minds, Peter Gabriel & Kate Bush, Stevie Winwood, Chris Read, Clannad, Mike Oldfield, All About Eve, Barclay James Harvest and of course, Colin Woore. The album was released in 1991 as 'Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime' on FM / Revolver records WKFM 155.  The song of the same name by The Korgis was the lead track, and a re-recorded version of the song was released as a single (FM 12 VHF 65).  The public launch of the project took place in the Adelphi Suite of the Waldorf Hotel, London on 6th August 1990.

Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime


Colin Woore

Colin Woore's Involvement

'If You Really Love Me' was an original Colin Woore composition and appears as track 6 on the album.  It has a very similar 'sound' to the How We Live album, with the use of drum machine and brooding synths.  The guitar is unmistakeably 'Woore' and the solo is particularly good.  It is also interesting to hear Colin singing solo (His only other solo vocal was on europeans' 'Climb the Wall' but this is much more pure!)  It is also worth noting that his singing style and phrasing sounds very similar to Steve Hogarth's !  Colin has been kind enough to answer a few questions here about his involvement:



How did you get involved in the INTERNATIONAL HOSTAGE RELEASE Project ?


The europeans' old manager, Mark Thompson, happened to mention to me that there was an album being put together by someone for the benefit of the hostages.  I called up the coordinators and told them that I'd written a song about John McCarthy.  They asked me to send them the demo and said that if it was suitable, a couple of the big names that were getting involved were looking for a new song.  A few days later, I met Judith Weaver and Mark Powell, the project co-coordinators, for a drink in a pub in London.  They said that they liked the song the way it was and wanted me to record it for the album.  I was very happy to do that and glad to be part of the project.


Was the song written especially for the project?

Back in 1989, around the peak of the hostage crisis, John McCarthy's girlfriend, Jill, was appearing regularly on the news with passionate appeals for the government to do something to gain the release of her boyfriend who'd already been held for about three years.  Their situation and her frustration inspired me to write the song.  This was before the IHR project came to light, but I did a rough demo of the song anyway.


Tell us about the recording of the song?  Do you play everything on it?

I brought in Pete Vetesse (ex-Annie Lennox and Jethro Tull) to produce the song with me.  He is a keyboard player and added some really nice sound touches of his.  Otherwise I played everything on it.  We had a couple of days in Wessex Studios, then down to Bath for a long weekend at Peter Gabriel's studio, Real World, to record all the overdubs and vocals. It was mixed at Nomis Studios.


You wrote the lyrics and sing lead vocals on the track.  How did you find this, having worked almost exclusively with Steve for the previous 5 years ?


Although I had written lyrics and sung lead vocals in the past, this was shortly after Steve and I went our separate ways.  In fact, this was the first song that I wrote after that, so now I had to wear both hats. Apart from the fact that I wrote this song on keyboard rather than guitar, everything else was as normal.


Did you record any other material around this time ?


I wrote and recorded some other songs around then, one of which I later recorded with Curt Smith in New York for his solo album 'Soul on Board'.



Mr Woore again


John McCarthy

Hostage Release

On the 8th August 1991, John McCarthy, Britain's longest-held hostage in Lebanon was set free after more than five years in captivity.  Speaking at a news conference in Damascus, Syria where he was flown after his release, he  thanked those who had campaigned on his behalf and he urged them to carry on working for the release of those still in captivity. McCarthy's release was the first in a series in 1991 which resulted in freedom for nearly all the Westerners (including Brian Keenan and Terry Waite) held captive in Lebanon.  Public expectations of a re-kindling of the romance between John McCarthy and former fiancée Jill Morrell who had campaigned for his release were high. The couple wrote a book together about Mr McCarthy's ordeal but they separated amicably in 1994.

(Left: John McCarthy)


The Project's Success ?

The primary aim of 'International Hostage Release' was to raise awareness of those in captivity, and to secure their freedom.  With all the Lebanese hostages being released in the early 1990s, I can only suggest that the project was successful.  I haven't been able to trace how financially successful the project was, or what influence it may have had on the government's outlook, although I can't imagine it raised a massive total. The IHR certainly had a a less famous brand name as the 'Band Aid' project or the 'Greenpeace' album, but nevertheless hopefully highlighted the hostage situation.


MP3 Song Download



If You Really Love Me (5:03 min)



Song Details


Download MP3 : 2.01 MB


Please make a donation if you download the song

Click on the logo below to make an online donation.



IHR Project Picture Scans

Album Cover

The Front Cover with Bob Lambert as 'hostage'

(Click picture for larger version)

Back Cover

The Back Cover

(Click picture for larger version)

launch letter

Invitation letter to IHR Project launch

(Click picture for larger version)


Tim Glasswell 

17 April 2004

With thanks to Bob (David) Lambert, Paul Norris & Colin Woore


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