Tuesday, November 16, 2004

More is Less

At the risk of being a scrooge, I've just heard the new Band Aid song, and I don't like it. Band Aid, for the people who lived in a cocoon in the eighties was a collection of pop stars who made a record called 'Do they know it's Christmas' to raise money for starving people in Ethiopia. And it was all very successful. Twenty years later, the musical world has taken it upon themselves to re-record it and raise more money. Which is a good thing. Except that the record itself is now rubbish. Lots of pop stars trying to sound passionate (which, I guess they are), but it all sounds a little trite. It's one of those times where the sum of the parts is a lot less than the whole. The only fun in listening is trying to work out who is who, and wondering how Bono managed to take his original line from the eighties version and make it sound like he's had a few down at his local and decided that 'Hey, I can sing!, here, listen to this'. The Dizzee Rascal part, however, I quite like.

I'm not trying to piss on it too much - I like what they're trying to do, but sometimes the ends and means should be a little closer together. And I'm not just picking on the pop stars of today because I'm a boring old eighties rock man. On of my favourite live albums is The Band's 'The Last Waltz', where the Band got together with a whole bunch of seventies music icons such as Neil Young, Muddy Waters, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Dr. John, Van Morrison and Ronnie Wood. The individuals sing great songs by themselves, but when they get together at the end to all sing 'I shall be redeemed', it just sounds altogether too self-indulgent and, frankly, bloody awful.

You can tell I've been here a while when songs become 'records'.


Matt said...

hear what you're saying even if i haven't heard the record yet. (by the way, the video is to be broadcast similtaneously on all 5 main channels at 6.05pm on Thurs). i think we probably should buy it anyway whilst recognising that it's no substitute for real involvement - there's the challenge. this is the line that Rich Johnson takes (see www.richjohnson.blogspot.com)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, this lot are rubbish. Glow in the dark one hit wonders. How many of them will we know in 20 year's time? Not like Paul Young, Bananarama and those pastie faced people from that boy band. Or was it a girl band? It was hard to tell back then. Not like now. Oh no. You can tell what they are straight away because they're not wearing any clothes while they sing. They're just standing there in their underwear. And some of them aren't just standing there. Don't get me started.

Apparently Joss Stone wasn't alive when Band Aid was recorded.

Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.