I had the good fortune (or misfortune depending on your point of view) to see the 2010 version of We Are The World on the blog Booker Rising, which this time was directed to earthquake relief in Haiti. I felt this version of the song was trying to reinvent itself too much (ie the autotunes and the addition of rap for starters). The current edition of We Are The World lacked the magic (and I will use the word magic) that the original had. I am not against remakes of any art, but like everybody else want it to be done right. I will give credit to Pink, Josh Groban and Celine Dion (people who understand it’s about the music not the image) shined the brightest. Even with Jame Foxx (channeling the late great Ray Charles voice) gets a pass. Fellow Canadian teen Justin Beiber, in my opinion should not have been given the part to sing the introductory lyrics which Lionel Ritchie did in the original (in which HE sang in a far commanding authority than 15 going on 16 Justin). Wycliff Jean, whom I respect could have did some hollering and preaching at a church (which I might enjoy) but not in We Are The World (well he did,anyway). Also this time around, I didn’t see many country stars (the original had good old Kenny Rogers and Willie Nelson and that was good as it gets with country). Taylor Swift had scheduling conflicts and were was my main man Toby Keith (when he’s not behaving like U.S. Senator Harry Reid) –he was nowhere to be found. I would even like to see a remake of Tears Are Not Enough, which was a Canadian answer to We Are The World which was also made in 1985. Again, nothing against remakes but they need to do it right!
Well, here is one story of a remake, which in my opinion was done right. The proceeds are also going to earthquake relief in Haiti. The good old REM song “Everybody Hurts” was remade and it was arranged by none other than American Idol’s Simon Cowell. I would say that Simon Cowell is the Stephen Harper of the music business: a tough hardass who gets the job done. The names of people who participated in this project were:
I can find no “official” video but listening to this I felt there was no need to reinvent the song and they stuck to the fundamentals (something that The We Are The World 25 could have learned). This might anger some, but I say tough, sometimes the British do it better. Without further adieu you can view for yourself the 2010 remake of We Are The World and Everybody Hurts.