the remake police are on patrol

Still not sure how to feel about the We Are the World remake we’ll see tonight during the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics.

It’s probably the perfect confluence of circumstances — Michael Jackson’s death, the Haiti relief effort and the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony — to bring it back, but it just has the feel of a song that shouldn’t be touched. We’re entering an era where everything has already been done, so remakes in music, movies and TV are going to be an even bigger part of pop culture. We’ve seen it in for years starting to creep in, and it’s going to keep happening with far greater frequency. During that time, we’re going to have to fight to protect the originals that should stay original unless we want to end up every day thinking, “Don’t forget your booties, cuz it’s cold out there today!”

But is We Are the World one of those songs? Should we be in favor of the new version of We Are the World or not? Here’s the original to refresh your memory.


is it just me or is lionel richie not aging?

is it just me or is lionel richie not aging?

–It’s not that good a song. It was written in haste and seems like a 12-year-old crack baby could have written it. If I was Lionel Richie, I’d look back on it and cringe remembering I had a part in writing it. Then again, he’s the same guy who wrote Dancing on the Ceiling and he’s never apologized for that or its corresponding video, so maybe he just doesn’t have any shame. Who knows? But there is room for improvement. Whether Kanye is going to be an improvement or not is any one’s guess. Can we please keep Dan Aykroyd away from this one though? Great.

–It’s perfect timing. Let’s all agree that we’re sick of Michael Jackson tributes, OK? OK. That doesn’t make us monsters or disrespectful, but it seemed like the Grammys was the perfect place to put the whole Michael Jackson thing to bed for good, or at least until the death anniversaries start coming around. But if there had to be one more tribute, this seems like the perfect way to pay final respects to Jackson — with the $60 million charity song that never would have happened unless he got involved. After this, it’s over. For a while.

–It’s been long enough. Anyone under 20 couldn’t name more than 10 of the 40+ people that took part in it so it’s pretty irrelevant at this point. Even people who lived through it in the age range of 35-50 probably can name only about half of the people. Don’t lie. You couldn’t pick Sheila E. out of a police lineup, let alone in a room of almost 50 music superstars. And Dan Aykroyd. This generation can have a new version if they want it.


–It’s sacred. Band Aid came first, but this was the perfection of the “group charity song.” It’s been tried, but nothing else has ever come close to this, the only thing that rivaled it was Sending Our Love Down the Well. I can’t imagineanything will ever have the look, feel and immediacy of We Are the World — including tonight’s remake. So to remake it is for everyonetaking part in it to admit their inferiority. Each person doing it needs to know they will be compared to the original singer of the line, and I don’t think MileyCyrus wants to put herself up against Stevie Wonder. That’s a fight she’s not winning. Maybe she can request Darryl Hall’s line.

odds bruce shows up for this one: 1 trillion to 1

odds bruce shows up for this one: 1 trillion to 1

–What we saw in the video was the finished product. What we didn’t see was the infamous infighting between the spoiledbabiesover who’s singing what line — until the good ol’ Boss (according to Pop-Up Video) had to step up and put them all in their places. Is there going to be that kind of fighting again? And if there is, why bother? I can’t listen to the original now without getting angry at how ridiculous it must have sounded to hear these idiots pitching a fit over a Swahili line.

–It makes me feel old. Remakes are for stuff that happened when my parents were kids, not for stuff when I was a kid. Therefore, nothing post-70s should ever be remade, ever, or I come dangerously closer to just buying some black socks, tighty-whiteys and moving to a retirement village. Hard to believe no one was thinking of me when they decided to remake this, isn’t it?

I guess it’s OK to remake it, just don’t expect me to like it. Feel free to debate in the comments whether it should be remade or not, and what your favorite memory of the original is.

A couple extra links:

ah, memories

ah, memories

When the stranded-on-a-desert-island question turns to music, one of the first albums I’ll always count on is The Chronic, so it pains me that Dre isn’t getting paid for royalties on it and hasn’t for almost 15 years. Even though the album essentially killed good rap music forever, The Chronic was right in my wheelhouse, released during my senior year of high school and churning out hits in the magical summer between high school and college. Every party I went to that year, it was being played. We listened to it about 30 times during Senior Week at the Jersey shore. Nuthin’ But a G Thang was forever my on-call karaoke song just in case I ever got loaded enough to go on stage, including my brother Erik’s 21st birthday party when he couldn’t even stand up, but was able to perform Snoop’s lines somewhat coherently. The music business is hard enough these days without having people not being rightly paid for the work they did. Good luck, Dre.

Lots of summertime jockeying for box office position going on. Some for this year, some for next year. The really interesting one is the 2012 releases of the new Spider-Man and Star Trek 2 within a week of each other. Someone is blinking on that one, and I’m going with Spider-Man, which will end up being moved to May 3, 2013. Marvel already has the summer staked out with Avengers so it’s going to start looking to the future and there’s just too much riding on Spider-Man to take chances.

The only time I’ve ever relented and gone to see a chick flick on Valentine’s Day was Great Expectations in 1998. Suffice it to say, I will never be making that mistake again. So if you’re like me and looking for a different kind of Valentine’s Day movie, then this is a good list for you, filled with tons of great movies — none of which contain Drew Barrymore.

One last reminder to check out a live fitness chat at 12:30 today, where all your fitness and dieting questions will be answered.

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