Monday, August 29, 2011

Youtubing at 3:30am

It’s just after 3:30am here and I’ve been having a bit of a Youtube concert with myself, playing some of my old favourites and stumbling across some stuff I had forgotten – mostly doing a bit of an 80’s rock revival thing.  Some of the original video clips are great, some are freaking weird.  Lyndsey Buckingham’s Holiday Road video clip would be a good example of the latter, what the hell is that all about??

I decided to play one of my favourite songs, the original USA for Africa We Are The World track – fantastic song.  The best part of it for me is listening with my eyes closed, just picking out the famous voices – they’re so distinctive, they just leap out at you.  They’re voices I’ve been listening to for decades and they evoke so many memories, and even though it’s weird, Cyndi Lauper and Huey Lewis actually go pretty damn well together.  And Dan Akroyd looks seriously dorky up there at the back of the chorus.  Dude, seriously - haircut.

Then I found the remake version.  The We Are the World 25 for Haiti version.

Fuck. Me.

I actually had to look it up on wikipedia to see the "artist" list, and you've never seen such a monotonous list of self-styled, self aggrandising, utterly talentless fuckwits in your life.  With rare exceptions, the whole lot of them are a shambolic mix of "harmony", out of time ebonics mumbling and incoherent attempts at lyrics.  How the hell anyone could possibly regard any of it as being anything you'd possibly want to listen to defeats me, and mixing it all together is akin to churning vomit, dog shit and slime mould up - the individual ingredients aren't anything you want to deal with to start with, and the combination can only be described as truly vile.

You wouldn't read about it, but Celine Dion is actually the star of the track - she's basically doing Bruce Springsteen's bit from the original, and the vocal attack she's got going is both impressive and totally different to her regular genre.  Pink can genuinely sing too, as can Usher, but I have no idea what Tony Bennett is doing there - was he picked for comic relief,or because he was walking past at the time or something?

I suppose what struck me most about the whole experience is precisely how manufactured, synthetic, and unmemorable the whole lot of lackwits are.  In the original, you can pick out Kenny Rogers, Springsteen, Steve Perry, Dylan, Ray Charles, Dionne Warwick etc instantly.  Their voices are clear and distinctive, they're full of character, timbre and power.  The modern remake... is about as memorable as a McDonald's plastic cheeseburger. The "artists" will be forgotten in a few years as just another corporate manufactured wannabe who churned out a few tracks for the inbetweenies market and were then cast on the pile.  And as for the "gangstas" [c]rap artists... just sad.

Oh yeah, one last thing - who the FUCK let Babs Streisand sing?  That's bad.

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