I just caught the premier telecast of We Are The World 25, a remake of the 1985 chart-topper. This 25th anniversary version and features artists such as Kanye West, Pink, Jennifer Hudson, Barbra Streissand, Celine Dion and a host of others. It was remade for Haiti and the victims of the recent earthquake.
It brings back memories of course. We Are the World came out 1985. It was the brainchild of Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson and produced by USA for Africa.
It was one of the most heavily played songs on the radio. Anyone you ran into could sing it.
There was a stretch of time that its music video was aired on television daily. The video is very simple - just the stars singing in a studio. But I liked watching it because I had fun trying to identify the artists. Lionel Richie - Kenny Rogers - Michael Jackson - Diana Ross - Bruce Springsteen - Cyndi Lauper - Stevie Wonder.
It was also heavily covered - at least here. It was done from noontime shows to bars. My mom used to sneak us into bars when we were kids and I got to watch showband versions of We Are the World.
I suppose that the concept of gathering together big celebrities in a big production for a cause was novel then that it was emulated. Soon after there was Live Aid's Feed the World, and even a cast of local artists doing the national anthem in a similar style.
At the 25th year since it's release, the devastating earthquake came around and Lionel Richie came up with the idea of recreating We Are The World. I think the original is still better though; this new one for some reason sounds a bit less polished. Nice try that hiphop and reggae elements were put in, but I found it too sloppy.
I think it was sweet that Michael Jackson was spliced in from the original footage. But it was totally creepy.