Tuesday, February 16, 2010

We Are the World - New Version

Okay, I was so not in to this song the first time around and I am even LESS of a fan this time.

Have you seen the video or heard the new version of "We Are the World"? The first version was groundbreaking...a song to aid with issues in Africa. The artists who participated were relevant to the current music scene and the song and video were done and done tastefully. The new version? Well, it's just weird.

Issue number one: Did we NEED to leave the Michael Jackson solos in? Really? I think that these people are cashing in on Michael Jackson's name to make more money for themselves and promote themselves rather than have this be a total humanitarian effort. In the video, the first scene we see of Michael is with a split screen of his sister Janet lip syncing. It looks odd and a little creepy. There are plenty of people out there with beautiful voices that are ALIVE that could have sung his part - maybe even Janet herself rather than just mouthing the words in a video that she clearly didn't participate in!

Issue number two: Who CHOSE these artists? There is no rhyme or reason to them. I have to admit, I shut the video off about mid-way through because it was painful to see AND hear. You had popular CURRENT artists like Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Hudson and Pink and then, for some reason, you saw (and heard) Barbara Streisand and Celine Dion. I know that these two women have AMAZING voices but they are completely out of place in this venue. Then, as if that wasn't enough to annoy me, when the camera panned the group, somewhere floating around were some of the Beach Boys and Heart! REALLY?? Was no one at the door to stop this?

Back when the first version was done - and this is just completely random - there was some controversy because Prince was not invited to participate. He was rather ticked off because of it, too. Well, Saturday Night Live (in it's awkward few seasons after the original cast left) did a skit mocking this. Billy Crystal was Prince and Jim Belushi starred as Hulk Hogan. Prince was in his weird "Purple Rain" period with his freaky trio of girls around him and in the skit he sang "I am ALSO the World..." It was HYSTERICAL! My point here is that they wouldn't let someone who was vocally talented and relevant like Prince in on the recording but the current one let a Beach Boy in? Why?

Issue number three: Did Jamie Foxx really have to sing like Ray Charles? I mean, I know he PLAYED Ray Charles in the movie but if he was allowed in there to sing, couldn't he sing as just himself and NOT do the impersonation?

At that point, I was just disgusted and turned it off. I tried to find the SNL skit but it has been removed from the internet - supposedly by Prince. I thought it was funny. Apparently Prince doesn't have a great sense of humor about it. All I can say is that it is songs like this that make me glad that I don't listen to the radio anymore. I am sure this is being played to death!


Lola said...

I am totally with you on this. Why is Randy Jackson (American Idol judge) in the new version? He isn't even a singer!

I haven't seen the video, but I've seen more clips of it than I care to. The dead Michael singing reminds me of Natalie Cole's duet with her dead father. Just cashing in on Nat King Cole's talent.

Janiss said...

EEEK! I had no idea they redid that awful, awful song! (Even when I was doing rock journalism 24-7, I paid no attention to mainstream music. I'm even more clueless now.) I think they could have raised more money by promising NOT to do "We Are the World" again - I certainly would have kicked in a few extra dollars!

Jen said...

I remember when the first one came out and there was all that controversy about who was in it and who wasn't. I don't think this version is much different. Michael wrote the song didn't he? Lionel Ritchie was the only person in both (alive anyway). I couldn't identify most of the musicians in the new one but I was a teen when the first one came out so that explains a lot. i don't mind this one but I like the first one better, I suspect the kids of this generation, who are buying it, will like this one much better since they have no idea who Huey Lewis or Kim Carnes is, just to name a few. I don't care for the rap and whatever else they call that stuff that Wyclef Jean is doing.
Funny my word verification is MUTIE

Lin said...

Oh thank god somebody hates this too--I thought I was the only one. The blogs are filled with "I LOVE the new version" ---ugh.

Okay, so we start with that lame little girl, Justin Beiber (?). Really? And then we through in some chest-thumping thugs and then Babs. Weird. Add some more screamy thugs and then some weird zulu screaming. Really? Quincy Jones is a wienie--he is the pimp of the world.