Quincy Jones Needs A Time Out
Now that time has settled and everyone has had a chance to digest the latest reenactment of the 1985 classic, “We Are The World.” It must be said that both versions were recorded for great purposes, 1985’s for African famine relief and 2010‘s for the devastating Haitian earthquake. The thought was there. The execution, however, that’s another story.
The newest version which boasts stars such as Justin Bieber, Lil Wayne, Usher, Kanye West, Barbra Streisand and others, wasn’t a bad song. It actually turned out better than I expected. It just wasn’t 1985’s. Think about the stats which the former boasted; Fastest selling American pop single of ALL TIME. First single to be certified platinum, Three Grammys & As of last year, over 20 million units sold and over $60M in humanitarian aid.
When you think about it like that, it’s hard to keep one’s head above water. Another reason many have reservations regarding the new record is because of Michael Jackson’s influence. I’m of the belief no one should ever attempt to recreate Jacko’s material. It just shouldn’t be done. That is no disrespect to any artists currently making music today, but it’d take 10 iconic careers to even tug at the coattails of the King of Pop’s. Another person who happens to agree with this sentiment is a megastar who chose not to take part in the 2010 remake, Jay-Z.
“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.”
Lastly, using autotune with so many talented artists on one right record seems pointless. It’s almost like lowering the rim at the NBA All Star Game. Will.i.am has created hit after hit for Black Eyed Peas, was it too much to hand him a pen and pad and have him write a new record? Again, I understand the motive. I’m just of the belief some stuff shouldn’t be recreated. Regardless of how impressive this record would/could have been, it would have always suffered from the iconic presence of its predecessor.