The Full Video for the 'We Are the World' Remake
by Kona Gallagher, posted Feb 13th 2010 4:02PM
The original 'We Are the World' was recorded almost exactly 25 years ago to benefit the charity, USA for Africa. Recently, 80 stars got together, including co-writer Lionel Richie and producer Quincy Jones, to remake the classic song to help with Haiti relief efforts. The video was supposed to debut last night during the Olympic opening ceremonies, but they just showed an excerpt. We have the full video here.
It's nice to see some of the same people involved in making the first video in the remake, but this version is populated by mostly new faces including Jennifer Hudson, Josh Groban, Wyclef Jean, and Kanye West, among many others. In fact, there were so many artists featured in this video, that I didn't even recognize them all. The new version is about a full minute longer than the original, and the real question is, how does it stack up?
One of the great things about the original video is how simple and unpretentious it is. Diana Ross is wearing a sweatshirt, for Pete's sake. Do you think Diana Ross has worn a sweatshirt a day in her life either before or since? The new video, on the other hand, is all Gucci sunglasses and lip gloss. It's much more image-conscious now, and it kind of detracts from the message. It's difficult to watch scenes of people giving out food in Haiti inter-cut with someone wearing a jacket that would probably cost an average person's paycheck.
The other notable thing about this video is that Michael Jackson makes an appearance. His vocals and video from the 1985 version are used, and he ends up doing a split-screen duet with his sister, Janet. Some people have been of the opinion that this is a little creepy, and while I would usually agree, in this situation it seems fitting. Jackson co-wrote this song, and it was always something that was very near and dear to his heart. If he were still alive, he would be the first person to try to get this remake together, so it's nice that they were able to pay tribute to him.
It's no secret that the original song was kind of cheesy, and they definitely tried to modernize it. However, I'm not sure that the heavy use of Auto Tune was really the way to go. Yes, T-Pain is hugely popular right now, but having his robot voice in the middle of the song is slightly distracting. I probably shouldn't be breaking into hysterical giggles in the middle of 'We Are the World.' It just seems wrong.
I'm really interested to hear all of your opinions on the new song, so here's the full video below. I've also included the original after it, so you can compare and contrast. How do you think they did?
To donate to Haitian relief efforts, you can go to www.world25.org, or text WORLD to 50555 to donate $10.
The new version: