Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Who Sings It Better?

"We Are The World" was originally recorded in 1985 to help earn money to fight the famine and disease in Africa.  Written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, it sold over 20 million copies, earned three Grammy awards, one American Music Award, and a People's Choice Award.

video

Soloists (in order of appearance)
Lionel Richie
Stevie Wonder
Paul Simon
Kenny Rogers
James Ingram
Tina Turner
Billy Joel
Michael Jackson
Diana Ross
Dionne Warwick
Willie Nelson
Al Jarreau
Bruce Springsteen
Kenny Loggins
Steve Perry
Daryl Hall
Huey Lewis
Cyndi Lauper
Kim Carnes
Bob Dylan
Ray Charles

Backup singers
Dan Aykroyd
Harry Belafonte
Lindsey Buckingham
The News
Sheila E.
Bob Geldof
Jackie Jackson
LaToya Jackson
Marlon Jackson
Randy Jackson
Tito Jackson
Waylon Jennings
Bette Midler
John Oates
Jeffrey Osborne
The Pointer Sisters
Smokey Robinson

Now, I recognize the majority of these singers, both soloists and chorus:  having Dan Aykroyd in there was weird, but whatever.  These are all (for the most part) extrememly talented, and famous musicians who are still popular 25 years later.

"We Are The World 25 for Haiti" was recorded in February of 2010 after the horrible earthquake killed so many people in Haiti the month before. 


video


Which version do I prefer?  Do you even have to ask that question?!!

I understand that both songs are for charity, and wonderful causes, but the 2010 version is the most awful thing I've ever heard!  The original had heart.  All the artists were right there sharing microphones and you could feel that they were humble.  The atmosphere in the room was inspiring, and brought tears to my eyes; those artists weren't there to better their careers.

There are SO MANY PEOPLE in the 2010 version that it's just stupid.  I also understand that they wanted a more "updated" version with artists from today, but WHO ARE HALF THE PEOPLE IN THIS VIDEO?!?  The sheer volume of people in the Chorus alone is almost 3 times the amount of the original recording; way too many people.  (And don't even get me started on the names I don't recognize in the Chorus!)  They changed the lyrics, and WHY did they add the HORRIBLE rap in; it that just takes away from the beautiful message?  The whole recording just looked like it was all for show.

Soloists (in order of appearance)
Justin Bieber  - Seriously, you choose this baby to start the song?
Nicole Scherzinger  - only know who she is because of Dancing With The Stars!
Jennifer Hudson
Jennifer Nettles - Who is this?
Josh Groban - He could've sang the whole song and I would've been very happy
Tony Bennett - Why did they pick "older" singers if they wanted an updated version?
Mary J. Blige
Michael Jackson - Soooo glad they left his parts in
Janet Jackson
Barbra Streisand
Miley Cyrus  - was she even alive when this song was first made?!
Enrique Iglesias
Jamie Foxx
Wyclef Jean - I suppose this thief was there to "represent" Haiti, but come on!
Adam Levine  - who is this?
Pink (P!nk)
BeBe Winans  - never heard of this person
Michael Jackson
Usher
Celine Dion
Fergie
Nick Jonas (Jonas Brothers)
Toni Braxton
Mary Mary - who?
Isaac Slade  - huh?
Lil Wayne
Carlos Santana (solo with a guitar)
Akon
T-Pain  - ????
LL Cool J
Will.i.am
Snoop Dogg
BBusta Rhymes - ???
Swizz Beatz  - ???
Iyaz  - who?
Kanye West

Chorus (in Alphabetical Order)
Patti Austin
Philip Bailey
Fonzworth Bentley
Bizzy Bone
Ethan Bortnick
Jeff Bridges
Zac Brown
Brandy
Kristian Bush
Natalie Cole
Harry Connick Jr.
Nikka Costa
Kid Cudi
Faith Evans
Melanie Fiona
Sean Garrett
Tyrese Gibson
Anthony Hamilton
Keith Harris
Rick Hendrix
Keri Hilson
Julianne Hough
Nipsey Hussle
Il Trio
India.Arie
Randy Jackson
Taj Jackson
Taryll Jackson
TJ Jackson
Al Jardine
Jimmy Jean-Louis
Ralph Johnson
Joe Jonas
Kevin Jonas
Jones
Gladys Knight
Benji Madden
Harlow Madden
Joel Madden
Katharine McPhee
Jason Mraz
Mýa
Plain Pat
Freda Payne
A. R. Rahman
RedOne
Nicole Richie
Raphael Saadiq
Trey Songz
Musiq Soulchild
Jordin Sparks
Robin Thicke
Rob Thomas
Vince Vaughn
Verdine White
Ann Wilson
Brian Wilson
Nancy Wilson

Here's what I think should have been done:  instead of messing with perfection, just write another song for Haiti.  They changed lyrics of the song anyway, and added the awful rap, why not just write a completely different song?

"We Are the World 25 for Haiti" received generally negative reviews by contemporary music critics, with criticism focused on the song's new musical additions, as well as the choice of artists who appear on the track.

One side note:  as I was searching YouTube for these videos to download, the 1985 version didn't have people put the names of the artists who sing on the song; the 2010 had many versions like that.  Just goes to show that the artists from 1985 are TIMELESS!!

So, which do you prefer?  And I'll still love you if you like the 2010 version better!


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