Bad Trends In Music, Part Four: Charity Singles

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CHARITY SINGLES

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Support your favorite cause, please. But turn your back on ego-stroking one-offs like "Do They Know It's Christmas" and "We Are the World," and more recent updates like the late Michael Jackson's "What More Can I Give," recorded in the wake of 9/11, and the Simon Cowell-orchestrated "Everybody Hurts" cover for Haiti relief.

Why can't I get behind the concept?

This wiki entry on the "We Are the World" answers everything:

“The dispute started when Stevie Wonder announced that he would like to substitute a line in Swahili. After a few rehearsals, a full-fledged creative conflict broke out. Geldof pointed out that Ethiopians do not speak Swahili. Michael Jackson then proposed to keep his original line “Sha-lim sha-lingay” but after a few rehearsals, it too ran into opposition, because it does not have a meaning. Eventually Al Jarreau cried, “We can make a meaning” and came up with “One World, our word” which was changed one last time in “One world, our children.”

Need a more sordid look behind the scenes of your favorite charity recording session? Check out the A.V. Club's "We Care A Lot,", which chronicles the "self-congratulatory, celebrity-bozo circle-jerk" behind Artists Against AIDS Worldwide's "What's Going On," Hear N' Aid's "Stars," the West Coast Rap All-Stars's "We're All In The Same Gang," and more.

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