WE ARE THE WORLD

VARIOUS ARTISTS – “WE ARE THE WORLD” LP (1985)

My band has a satellite radio in our tour van, price because my keyboard player loves to listen to Howard Stern every day, psychiatrist which is fine by me. After Stern’s show, discount we check out some of the music channels, and a few days ago we happened upon one of the most banal, shitty songs I’m glad I’d forgotten about: “Heart and Soul” by Huey Lewis And The News. What really got me was the soul-crushingly awful refrain of “Hot lovin’ every night!” that Huey throws in at the end of the chorus.

What a moronic lyrical idea. Just think about it.

I did. Repeatedly. That fucking song was stuck in my head for a week straight, at the least, no thanks to that one miserable line.

I remember once trying to listen to Huey and the gang’s “Sports” album from ’82, and not being able to stomach even one full album side.

This sudden re-entry of Huey into my brain hasn’t led me to track down any of their records, mercifully, but I did for kicks check out a few tribute sites, just to see what sour delight the band’s “fans” could possibly be taking out of the music. On one, there was a discography page, and I noticed that Huey Lewis and The News contributed a track to the also well-forgotten, once-huge “We Are The World” compilation.

I used to have this one on cassette somewhere, and the only thing I could remember about it, while thinking about it here in the present, was that not only did it have the title track, but it also had the Canadian version of the same kind of charity tribute song, called “Tears Are Not Enough”, which more than likely had Geddy Lee shoved somewhere in the chorus.

I just listened to the whole record, which featured “exclusive” tracks by people like Chicago, Steve Perry and Huey, for the first time since childhood — and ho-lordy, is it milquetoast. It’s puke on pasta. Can you honestly, actually say you Kenny Rogers or the Pointer Sisters? For real, and not in some lemming-like trucker-hat-and-thrift-store-vinyl way?

I have no idea why I’m even posting this. I guess it’s for the rare Prince track halfway through.

In addition to having the cassette of the album as a youngster, my parents had also taped the HBO “making of” special that ran on cable at the time of the album’s release. For some reason I used to watch it a bunch as a kid, and my favorite part was when, deep into the middle-of-the-night recording session for the title track, after having been there for many hours, the gaggle of celebrities gathered to sing were asked for their fast-food takeout orders, to which Tina Turner replied “Fish burger! Fish burger! I wanna fish burger!”, and proceeded to mug for the cameras, doing a little dance and making up on the spot a strange robotic ditty about wanting a fried fish sandwich. This moment only lasts seconds in the documentary, but it haunted me for years.

Various Artists – “We Are The World” LP (ZIP file)

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668 Responses to WE ARE THE WORLD

  1. James says:

    The Prince tune, “4 the Tears In Your Eyes,” is included on his -The Hits/The B-Sides- collection, so it’s not that rare any longer (though this version is subtitled “video version” – I have no idea how it’s different from the one on the WATW album).

  2. ilan katin says:

    Poor misguided soul that I was at the time I had this on vinyl. I used to listen to it and think ‘how can this be cool’?

    It wasn’t.

    Still giving this post an ‘A’ rating because I think it brings out some interesting images and I am always interested in what gets stuck in peoples minds and stays there. The Tina Turner bit is definitely the cherry of the pie.

  3. No, Seriously says:

    Blame the singer, not the song. There are good versions of “Heart and Soul” out there…including one by the Bus Boys. Otherwise, thanks for sharing even the unhip.

  4. Maury says:

    Hilarious.

  5. Brendan says:

    Glad I am not the only one who has been thinking about the whole “fish burger” thing for 20 years.

  6. Jim Donato says:

    Damn! Huey Lewis! I had mercifully forgotten about that ubiquitous mediocrity until now. I remember when their first album came out the sleeve was a ripoff (homage?) of the cover of the infinitely superior “Tonic For The Troops” by The Boomtown Rats. I didn’t actually hear Herr Lewis until his ascendency on MTV a few years later. He always struck me as an archetypical “Hip” uncle of yours who played on a bar band on weekends when he wasn’t selling auto parts. Except that he had platinum selling records for what seemed like a long, long time. Sometimes, when Satan spins the wheel of fame, you get more than the minimal year at the top. Such was the case with HLATN.

  7. Rob says:

    The whole post reminds me of Culturcide, who basically played records and sung their own lyrics on top.

    They aren’t the world – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeGVObZgVbs

    They also do a Huey Lewis cover – “The heart of rock’n’roll is the profit”

    The album was called “Tacky souvenirs of pre-revolutionary America”, although this is very hard to find due to legal action from CBS.

    Cheers, Rob