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Archive for the tag “Lionel Richie”

30 Years Later Quirky T Revisits “We Are the World”

We are the World Album cover

Thirty years ago on January 28, 1985 a large group of musical superstars came together to record the charity single “We Are the World”. The song was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and produced by Quincy Jones. They were following the lead of Bob Geldof who gathered superstar musicians in the United Kingdom in 1984 to record the song “Do They Know It’s Christmas” to raise money to help relieve famine in Africa. “We Are the World” raised over $60 million for the charity. It also won four Grammy Awards including Song of the Year and Record of the Year.

Looking back at the artists who participated in “We Are the World”, it was quite an exceptional group. The stars of the 80’s are well represented and joined by legends such as Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Ray Charles, and Stevie Wonder. Maybe because Quincy Jones was producing this there was more diversity than would later perform at Live Aid. The only big stars from 1985 who were missing were Madonna, Whitney Houston, and Prince.

cu We are the World album cover

In researching this Guitar Train stop, I came upon various reasons why Prince did not participate. Regardless of what the real reason is, I am very happy with his replacement – Huey Lewis. Huey alone, without the News, sang the bridge part after Michael Jackson and before Cyndi Lauper and Kim Carnes. Kim Carnes was the only singer I did not recognize when I watched the DVD “The Story Behind the Song: 20th Anniversary Special”. For the music video, the artists lined up in a U-shape in the order they sang their lines. So Huey was positioned between Michael Jackson, in full King of Pop regalia, and Cyndi Lauper, wearing an abundance of jewelry. Had Prince been there instead, it would have been an 80’s overload of hair, jewelry, and brocade. Huey brought it down to earth and sang a line (which I can’t write here because of copyright issues) that I could imagine being in one of his songs. Cyndi then does her vocal thing, Kim Carnes adds her two words, and then Huey rejoins them. I think it’s cool that Huey was part of this momentous gathering. Incidentally, the News joined him later to sing in the chorus which also contained many famous musicians including another favorite of mine, The Pointer Sisters. It was nice to see other regular guys such as Billy Joel (whose line to me seems to be right from a Beatles song) and Bruce Springsteen.

In 2010, another group of musicians remade “We Are the World” to benefit Haiti which had experienced a devastating earthquake. I had heard about the remake at the time but I never bothered to listen to it because the only people I had been told were in it were Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus. I had no interest in listening to them along with a bunch of current musicians whom I wouldn’t know. When researching this Guitar Train stop, I decided to listen to the updated version. I was pleasantly surprised by the other big name (and talented) musicians who were involved such as Wyclef Jean, Jennifer Hudson, Barbra Streisand, and Tony Bennett. Interesting note – Usher sang Huey Lewis’ line in the remake.

We are the World back cover

Back to 1985, the “We Are the World” single was part of an album of the same name which contains songs by artists from the single as well as Prince and Chicago. Huey Lewis and the News contributed the song “Trouble in Paradise”. The album also contains a group of Canadian artists recording a song called “Tears are Not Enough” under the name Northern Lights.

 

To read more about the epic recording of the song “We Are the World”, check out this great article on the “Rolling Stone” website called “’We Are the World: A Minute-by-Minute Breakdown’ on Its 30th Anniversary”. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/we-are-the-world-a-minute-by-minute-breakdown-30th-anniversary-20150306  Also check out the website http://www.usaforafrica.org for much information about the song and other charities.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what did you think about “We Are the World” at the time and what do you think about it now, looking back 30 years later?

 

The Guitar Train is still in 1985 as the next stop takes us to another epic charity event from that year – Live Aid. So hop back aboard The Guitar Train to see this concert from the skewed point of view of my favorite musicians.

Quirky T’s Favorite Movie Soundtracks

To continue on The Guitar Train for Movie Soundtrack Month, this stop looks at Quirky T’s favorite movie soundtracks. At the last stop, I explored movie soundtracks by my favorite musicians – The Beatles, Gloria Estefan, Phil Collins, Huey Lewis and the News, and Jon Secada. This stop lists my favorite movie songs by musicians other than my favorites.

 

  1. “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” – The Proclaimers
  2. “Walking on Sunshine” – Katrina and the Waves
  3. “Sweet Freedom” – Michael McDonald
  4. “Say You, Say Me” – Lionel Ritchie
  5. “Footloose” – Kenny Loggins

 

I’ve already posted about my love of the 1993 movie “Benny and Joon” which contains the fun, upbeat song “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by The Proclaimers. https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/the-guitar-train-looks-at-the-20th-anniversary-of-benny-and-joon/  This song works perfectly in the fun movie starring my favorite actor, Aidan Quinn, and Johnny Depp.

I’ve also already posted about another fun, upbeat song, “Walking on Sunshine.” https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2014/11/20/do-i-want-to-hear-more-katrina-and-the-waves/   This song has been used in several movies but the one I identify it with is 1989’s “Look Who’s Talking” starring John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, and the voice of Bruce Willis.

 

Before the days of digital music and songs being available instantly for listening, I had to tape “Sweet Freedom” off of the radio so I could listen to it any time I wanted. I really liked this song and still do.   The 1986 movie it appears in “Running Scared” is a great, fun movie starring Billy Crystal and the late Gregory Hines.

 

My favorite Lionel Richie song is also one of my favorite movie soundtrack songs. “Say You, Say Me” is in the 1985 movie “White Nights” starring Mikhail Baryshnikov and the late Gregory Hines. Interesting how two of my favorite movie songs come from movies starring the great Gregory Hines. “White Nights” also contains a song by one of my favorite musicians, Phil Collins. He duets with Marilyn Martin on the bitter song “Separate Lives.” Both songs were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song with the Lionel Richie song winning the award.

 

Kenny Loggins is known for contributing songs to several movies. My favorite of his movie songs is “Footloose” from the original 1984 movie of the same name. The song is fun, upbeat and makes me want to dance so it is perfect for the movie.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what are your favorite songs from movies?

Concerts Quirky T Has Attended

Welcome to Concert Month on the Guitar Train. This month Quirky T looks at concerts she’s attended, concerts she wishes she had attended, Ticketmaster, and her favorite concert moments.

concert ticket stubs
I’m so fortunate to have seen all my favorites except The Beatles in concert. I have seen Paul McCartney three times, Genesis twice, Phil Collins (solo) three times, Gloria Estefan four times, Huey Lewis and The News twice, Jon Secada once, and Barry Manilow twice. I enjoyed all of these performances. There is nothing that can compare to hearing your favorite songs performed live. Since listening to music can be a solo activity, it always amazes me to be at a concert surrounded by thousands of fans who like the same music I do.

otherconcert tickets
 I have also been to concerts by musicians I like but not as much as my favorites. They were Elton John and Billy Joel together, Simon and Garfunkel, Steve Winwood, and Richard Marx and Matt Scannell together.

Lite FM ticket stub
I also went to a concert sponsored by radio station 106.7 Lite FM in 1999 that included separate performances by Gloria Estefan, Phil Collins, Lionel Richie, Mariah Carey, Edwin McCain, and I think 98 Degrees. (It was one of those boy bands that was popular at the time. I never paid any attention to them so I could never differentiate among them). So I guess that adds about 1/6 more of a concert to my totals for Gloria Estefan and Phil Collins.

Looking over all the artists I have seen in concert, I am grateful that I was able to see so many legends. The musicians I saw have been popular and touring for decades. In fact, over 10 years separated many of the concerts I saw by the same musicians. I first saw Paul McCartney in 1990 and last saw him in 2005. I first saw Gloria Estefan in 1990 and then last saw her in 2004. Fifteen years separated the first and last Genesis concerts I saw. It was fourteen years between the first Phil Collins concert I attended in 1990 and the last in 2004. Ten years separated the first and last Barry Manilow concerts I attended. Looking back, 1990 was the best year for me attending concerts as I was able to see my three all time favorites – Gloria Estefan, Paul McCartney, and Phil Collins all in the span of five months.

Starship T-shirt
The first concert I attended was Starship. It is the only concert I don’t have a ticket stub for but I think it was in 1986. (I couldn’t find the exact date, even with the help of the excellent website http://www.setlist.fm). The concert was at the then named Garden State Arts Center in New Jersey and the opening act was The Outfield. I remember being impressed with the lighting. I also enjoyed the music even though I didn’t know all the songs. I remember The Outfield playing their hit single “Your Love” from their album “Play Deep”. The Starship songs I liked were “We Built This City” and “Sara” from their 1985 album, “Knee Deep in the Hoopla”.

As I noted in my April 11, 2013 post, “The End of Live Concerts by My Favorites” https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/the-end-of-live-concerts-by-my-favorites/ my time for attending concerts by my favorites may be over. Or is it? Stay aboard the Guitar Train all this month to see if it really is the end.

Guitar Train passengers, have you been lucky enough to see your favorite musicians in concert? Who are they, when, and where did you see them?

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