Feb 23, 2010

We Are the World- Amazing Version

I reiterate from my previous post- when someone creates something with sincerity, honesty and that tiny 'it' factor you get magic.

The kids in the following video are all extremely talented and made an amazing effort that blew the 'celebrity' version out of the water. It doesn't actually matter that a few had some flat notes or were not as polished as the rest- they all put their hearts into it and made a great version. Shout out to my favorite (and previously blogged about) Nick Pitera at approx 4:15.

Feb 15, 2010

Jay-Z weighs in on 'We Are the World' Part Deux

Perez posted this up on his site and I am glad that someone other than random bloggers (meaning, someone actually in the music industry) has come out against the remake:

The new version of We Are The World finally debuted on Friday during the opening ceremonies at the Olympics.

And although everyone's intentions to remake it were good, the new song has gotten some mixed reviews, with many thinking the original should have remained untouched.

One of those is Jay-Z, who admitted:

"I know everybody is gonna take this wrong: 'We Are the World,' I love it, and I understand the point and think it's great. But I think 'We Are the World' is like [Michael Jackson's] 'Thriller' to me. I don't ever wanna see it touched.

I'm a fan of music. I know the plight and everything that's going on in Haiti. I applaud the efforts: [Millions have been raised] through text [donations] to Haiti. So I appreciate the efforts and everything, but 'We Are The World' is [musically] untouchable like 'Thriller' is untouchable. Some things are just untouchable. It was a valiant effort, but for me, it's gonna be untouchable."

And the critics agree, with many of them tearing the song apart.

Seriously, who's idea was it to add Lil' Wayne to the remake??? Jay-Z added:

"I think it's time for us to make a new [song]. I tried to do that with 'Stranded,' [the song Jay, Rihanna and U2's Bono and the Edge premiered at the 'Hope for Haiti Now' telethon]. I didn't try to make 'We Are the World,' but I tried to make our take on how we felt."

Feb 14, 2010


This is what all those celebrities were missing when they redid the song- emotion and heart.
Kudos to these kids for making a great version.

Thank You.

Feb 13, 2010

We Are the World vs. Everybody Hurts

I've already made it pretty clear just how much of a let down the new version of We Are the World is. I watched it a few more times tonight and honestly, it truly seems like they woke up one day and decided to record it and then did it the next day. I read somewhere that Lionel Richie and Quincy Jones had already planned on redoing it for the 25th Anniversary, so this is supremely disappointing.

I can't remember where I read this, but I read that Simon Cowell predicted that his Haiti song, a cover of 'Everybody Hurts' will outsell this new 'We Are the World' in raising money for Haiti. I am inclined to agree- take a listen for yourself:

(Here is We Are the World on Hulu- http://www.hulu.com/watch/127910/we-are-the-world-25-for-haiti-we-are-the-world---25-for-haiti-official-video)

Everybody Hurts

There is another version I saw somewhere with a lot less people involved, but I like this one- here is the list and lyrics of who sang what:
Various Artists sing a cover of Everybody Hurts for charity

Leona Lewis
When the day is long and the night, the night is yours alone,

Rod Stewart
When youre sure youve had enough of this life, well hang on

Mariah Carey
Dont let yourself go, cause everybody cries and everybody hurts

Cheryl Cole
Sometimes.... sometimes everything is wrong.

Now its time to sing along

Michael Buble
When your day is night alone,

Joe McElderry
(hold on, hold on)

Miley Cyrus
If you feel like letting go

James Blunt
If you think youve had too much of this life, well hang on..

Gary Barlow
Cause everybody hurts..

Mark Owen
Take Comfort in your friends

Jon Bon Jovi
Dont throw your hand, oh no

James Morrison
Dont throw your hand.
If you feel like youre alone, no, no, no, you are not alone

Susan Boyle
If youre on your own in this life, the days and nights are long,

Aston Merrygold
When you think youve had too much of this life to...

Marvin Humes
...hang on

Shane Filan
Everybody hurts, sometimes,

Mark Feehily
Everybody cries

Kylie Minogue
And everybody hurts... sometimes

Robbie Williams
And everybody hurts... sometimes, so hold on, hold on

Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, repeat to fade

Feb 12, 2010

We Are the World II = Disaster

I listened with an open mind. I watched it twice. I even shed a tear(how can Michael Jackson STILL make me cry?) but at the end I realized that dull empty feeling in the pit of my stomach was complete disapointment. The only part that was gratifying was that they actually did include Michael Jackson's vocals from the original and some of the footage of him. They should have done a much better job adding Janet Jackson into the video and she should have sung alone in a duet with him (it looked like she was mouthing the words).

http://perezhilton.com/2010-02-13-we-are-the-world-25 - there is a complete list of everyone who sang on this version if you copy and paste this link.

After I watched the new version I thought about what it was that was lacking, and I realized it is exactly what I had worried about before they recorded it. You just can't take a song that was so successful and repurpose it. There is emotion that we all feel when we listen to or watch the original. We all know when Cindi is going to sing her line and when Ray Charles does his thing. I wait for Bob Dylan's famous lines and most of all get the chills when Michael has his solo. There is nostalgia and years of admiration that is attributed to that song.

Watching the new version a few people stood out, as expected- Celine Dion, Adam Levine, Pink, Miley Cyrus...I know, that one surprised me too, but she was good. I did not like the LL Cool J/Will.i.am freestyle thing and if you're going to sing with a voice box T-pain, Lil Wayne and Akon, you may as well have stayed home- this was not about YOUR sound, it was about lending your voices to a cause. Oh, and Jaime Fox- don't think I didn't catch your Ray Charles impression that you threw in there. We all know you did an amazing job playing him but that was years ago, you need to get over it- once again- this was NOT ABOUT YOU.

I can keep going, Justin Bieber, you are adorable and if I was 12 I'd probably want to marry you but you know you were only included to appeal to the tween demographic, right? I mean, your songs are catchy but you do not yet possess the vocal acumen or the platinum records to have been included. Kanye- how much did you have to pay to get in? You think this will clean up your image after the p.o.s stunts you keep pulling? Stop seeking publicity and actually put your money where your mouth is- i didn't see you down in Haiti lending a hand. Hey, Nick Jonas- remember you bragged on Kimmel that they gave you Bob Dylan's solo to 'sing' and you made a snide comment about how Dylan didn't sing it in the first place? Well, I checked, seems like you may not have done such a bang up job yourself because aside from a millisecond shot of you in a group shot I didn't hear a peep outta you. Santana, mad props on the guitar as usual. Snoop Dog, your voice is so recognizable, why didn't they give you a line? Biggest travesty inmy opinion (besides the obvious ones) ROBIN THICKE DIDN'T GET A SOLO! Um, who was directing this thing- oh yeah, the same people who did it the first time- MINUS MICHAEL JACKSON- so now we all know who really infused the original with it's magic.

It actually pains me to be so critical since most of these people are musical heroes of mine. I grew up loving Celine(she did a great job regardless), Streisand, and countless others, but where was the art? Where was the effort and the commitment that Michael Jackson put into the original?

All that talent in a room and you couldn't write an original song??? I think that is the thing that irks me the most. Instead of doing it the right way and putting in the time and effort, you all relied on a song that already proved itself and resang it and added some background noise. The original touched people because it was authentic, this was churned out without the love and desire that is so obvious in the original.

You can go to the website here for all the info- www.world25.org
It has links to watch the video, donate and there are more pictures of everyone recording, plus a complete list of all the people involved (the perez link above is only partial).

Feb 11, 2010

We Are the World - Part II

I really should have posted when I thought of the idea, but I procrastinated and now there's a news article about it so I can't point and say 'Look, I thought of it first'...oh well.

As you know if you read my very long post about this song earlier, I love the song. When I heard they were doing a remake, with all new vocals, a part of me was ok with it, but mostly I felt like it was just ripping off a song everyone knew had already been a hit and reusing it for chairty. The only redeeming factor was that it is for charity, but I still think taking a song from one charity and rededicating it to another is crass.

My biggest issue was simply this- Michael Jackson wrote the song. He breathed the life into it that made it what it was and there was no way a new version should be released without some sort of nod to that (and preferably his vocals).
So, you can understand why I was happy to read the following article during one of my insomniac news crawls...

Jackson’s vocals in ‘We Are the World’ remake

LOS ANGELES - The late Michael Jackson will appear in the 25th anniversary remake of “We Are The World,” Access Hollywood has learned.

Lionel Richie and Quincy Jones, who, along with Jackson, masterminded the original version in 1985, told Access’s Shaun Robinson on Wednesday that the King of Pop’s original vocals and footage would be used in the song and video. Michael will appear posthumously in a split-screen with sister Janet Jackson joining him. “To have Michael’s presence singing his part is the best gift we could ever get,” Richie said. “His original image and him seeing his part.” Richie called the duet with Janet Jackson “magical.” “She’s singing with Mike,” Richie said. “It was all put together with fabulous choreography. It’s magical.” The request came straight from Katherine Jackson, Michael’s mother, herself, the pair told Access.

Jackson is the only star to appear on both versions. The rest of the dozens of singers (not to mention rappers and actors) involved will be a new group — for a new generation.

“My daughter Sophie — (when she was) 5 years old, 6 years old — she came to me and said, ‘Dad, we learned a new song in school, ‘We Are The World,’ and I found out you wrote it with Michael Jackson,” Richie explained. “How do we give it to the next generation? And (my daughter) Nicole (Richie), with her kid — she was 4 years old. And now she’s in this one holding Harlow.” “And my two daughters,” Jones added. “They were all babies together.”

Other performers involved in the remake range from young stars such as Justin Bieber and the Jonas Brothers to Barbra Streisand and Tony Bennett.

“When you say you’re going to redo, it conjures up al kinds of terrible images of what could go wrong. Everything could go wrong!” Richie said. “Once we got there, we realized, who do we give the power to? A totally new group. And we put the icons in, of course — Tony Bennett, Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion — because that’s the ground floor of what will make the excitement come from the newer people, to stand next to those people.” And Richie added that the good vibes were flowing in the studio.

“Snoop was having the best time of his life, just standing there next to Tony Bennett and Barbra Streisand. “It was just a wonderful group of people together.”

Money raised from the single, due shortly, will go toward Haiti relief.

And there you have it. I am happy.
If only that cocky Jonas Brother wasn't such a smartass- kid actually insulted Bob Dylan's singing! Maybe Dylan can't carry a tune, but he sounds great doing so, so shut your mouth, get a college degree and get your license you preschooler! It should hve been such an honor to be involved in such a phenomenal project that any celebrity bashing would have been the last thing on your mind. So ungrateful.