We Are The World: Part II


Was talking with the wife this morning about the new We Are The World. Told her that while I enjoyed the updated version, it clearly lacks the superstar oomph of the original. She disagreed, saying, “In 1985 Hall & Oates weren’t much.” This was a low blow, because she knows I consider Hall & Oates to be the Beatles of 80s puff pop.

Alas, I digress. Out of boredom, I’ve decided to rank the We Are The World participants in order of legacy/body of work/greatness at the time of performance (meaning the originals will be rated on their status in 1985; the newbies will be rated on 2010 status).

Let the debating begin …

1. Michael Jackson (1985)—Unparalleled in greatness and weirdness. RIP.

2. Bob Dylan (1985)—Hurricane an underrated classic.

3. Ray Charles (1985)—Just being honest, the film made me appreciate his splendor.

4. Stevie Wonder (1985)—Creator of the best wedding song ever.

5. Bruce Springsteen (1985)—His duet with Stevie makes the original classic.

6. Paul Simon (1985)—Always better solo.

7. LL Cool J (2010)—Now more of an actor, but in the running for best all-time rapper.

8. Diana Ross (1985)—Annoys me to no end … but no arguing the career.

9. Celine Dion (2010)—Material to kill cats, but a voice of the Gods.

10. Snoop Dogg (2010)—Once asked by Craig Kilborn to name his favorite Hostess treat. His response:  “Ho. Hos.”

11. Tina Turner (1985)—Oozes soul. I dare you to find a better one than this.

12. Kenny Rogers (1985)—Mmmm—wood-roasted chicken.

13. Billy Joel (1985)—Tremendous output; needs to stop DWM (Drinking while marrying)

14. Smokey Robinson (1985)—Tears of the Clown holds up. Suspiciously, so has his face.

15. Lionel Richie (1985)—Excellent with the Commodores, so-so as a cheesy solo artist.

16. Tony Bennett (2010)—Sounds terrible in the new version, but no arguing the career.

17. Willie Nelson (1985)—Looks like he has to poop in the 1985 video. Really, watch.

18. Mary J. Blige (2010)—I love her.

19. Bette Midler (1985)—My wife says she belongs here (Blame it on Beaches).

20. Barbra Streisand (2010)—Celine Dion, only significantly more grating.

21. Kanye West (2010)—Cocky as all hell, but backs it up.

22. Harry Belafonte (1985)—Dude’s bananas.

23. Usher (2010)—Seriously, please stop wearing sunglasses inside. Please.

24. Kenny Loggins (1985)—The Footloose crap killed him.

25. Busta Rhymes (2010)—Wanna hear Busta at his best? Click here.

26. Janet Jackson (2010)—Not what she was.

27. Carlos Santana (2010)—Will never lose his cool, even after a duet with Michelle Branch.

28. Lindsey Buckingham (1985)—The brain behind Fleetwood.

29. Pink (2010)—Better than I thought. And how the f*** did she do this?

30. Fergie (2010)—Great voice burdened by a cheesy group.

31. Dionne Warwick (1985)—Whitney’s aunt once busted in airport for pot.

32. Lil Wayne (2010)—Is reading this from jail.

33. Daryl Hall (1985)—Should be No. 1, save for this.

34. Josh Groban (2010)—Not my thing, but the ladies like him.

35. Miley Cyrus (2010)—She’ll likely be doing Atlantic City by 2015, but this song works for me.

36. Akon (2010)—Nothing about him interests me.

37. Cindy Lauper (1985)—The key line in the 1985 song. Has had a solid career.

38. Nick Jonas (2010)—Please vanish.

39. Will.i.am (2010)—A poor man’s Wyclef, but oddly popular.

40. Steve Perry (1985)—This is the worst video ever. But the song is terrific.

41. James Ingram (1985)—Lotta fluff.

42. Wyclef Jean (2010)—Butchers the 2010 version by thinking he can sing.

43. Jennifer Hudson (2010)—Great voice, wonderful actress. Need to see more.

44. Huey Lewis (1985)—When my brother and I were kids, Mom wouldn’t let us listen to this song.

45. Jeffrey Osborne (1985)—A good friend of mine had a crush on his bass player.

46. T-Pain (2010)—One hit song does not a We Are The World rapper make.

47. The Pointer Sisters (1985)—Yawn.

48. Waylon Jennings (1985)—Was he even there? First I knew of it.

49. Justin Bieber (2010)—I am training my son to one day beat this kid’s ass with a pipe.

50. Nicole Scherzinger (2010)—Shockingly, wearing clothes in the video.

51. Bob Geldof (1985)—Organized Live Aid. But can anyone name a song? Just one?

52. Toni Braxton (2010)—Long over … and blew all her dough.

53. Al Jarreau (1985)—Guy was super-smooth.

54. Enrique Iglesias (2010)—Removed his mole. Why? (Like this tune, though)

55. Kim Carnes (1985)—Scratchy voice.

56. John Oates (1985)—The Man (when it comes to mustaches).

57. LaToya Jackson (1985)—Ha.

58. Jamie Foxx (2010)—Great actor, dime-a-dozen singer.

59. Adam Levine (2010)—Dick In a Box is classic.

60. Sheila E. (1985)—Bandleader on Magic Johnson’s talk show. Hence, she belongs here.

61. Jennifer Nettles (2010)—Never looked right in a Padres uniform.

62. BeBe Winans (2010)—If more than 10 people cared about gospel singers …

63. Mary Mary (2010)—As a Jew, I can’t endorse their satanic messages.

64. Tito Jackson (1985)—Only invited because his name is Tito.

65. Randy Jackson (1985)—The one with a famous brother.

66. Marlon Jackson (1985)—Were he to sit in front of me and say, “I’m Marlon Jackson,” I still wouldn’t recognize him.

67. Jackie Jackson (1985)—Ditto.

68. lyaz (2010)—I don’t even know what to say.

69. David Paich (1985)—He was apparently a member of Toto.

70. Isaac Slade (2010)—Lead singer of The Fray, a good group that sounds an awful lot like Fastball.

71. Steve Porcaro (1985)—He was apparently a member of Toto.

72. Swizz Beatz (2010)—No, no, no.

73. Dan Aykroyd (1985)—Just because one sings in a movie doesn’t mean he belongs.

74. Jeff Bridges (2010)—Just because one sings in a movie doesn’t mean he belongs.

75. Vince Vaughn (2010)—With no smart-ass lines available, he turns to music. Inexplicably.

76. Randy Jackson (2010)—The one still throwing out 2001 hip-hop lingo on American Idol.

21 thoughts on “We Are The World: Part II”

  1. Funny how you rated Will.i.am, the so-called poor man’s Wyclef, three spots above, who else, Wyclef.

    Miley Cyrus should be 74th. She has bigger teeth than Mike Madano and should already be in Atlantic City.

    Toni Braxton is too low.

    14 and 15 are at least 10 spots too high.

    And Lil Wayne, 32nd? Seriously? Cool J has nothing on Wayne. Top 5 rappers of all-time:
    1) Biggy Smalls
    2) Tu-Pac
    3) Lil Wayne
    4) Eminem
    5) Not LL Cool J

    “Misunderstood ain’t gotta be explained.But you don’t understand me so let me explain.
    Stood in the heat, the flames, the snow. Please slow down hurricane. The wind blow, my dreads swang. He had hair like wool, like wayne. Dropping ashes in the bible. I shake em out and they fall on the rifle
    Scary, hail mary no tale fairy
    All real very, extraordinary
    Perry mason facing, the barrel if he tattle. My God is my judge, no gown no gavel.
    I’m a rebel, down to battle
    Now or never, I would never?
    F**king fantastic, f**k if you agree. But I don’t give a f**k if you see me.”

  2. So off in saying that LL Cool J is in the running of Best Rapper of all time.
    Also, having Lil’ Wayne as the 3rd best rapper is just as bad.
    Rakim? Jay-Z? Nas? All better.

    Also depresses me that Bruce is 5th. He should be no lower than #3, but his prime was definitely the 70s, not the 80s.

    I also think Wyclef gets marked below Will.i.am (who is a joke) because of how, more than anyone else, he sticks out for sucking so bad in this video.

  3. I’d have Bruce first. But then again, I always have Bruce first unless the Beatles are involved.

    As for Geldof, name a song? How about “I Don’t Like Mondays”????

  4. Hall and Oates should be higher. They had six No. 1 hits at the time of the recording, 5 of them in the previous four years. Don’t let your wife downgrade them.

  5. BRIAN WILSON!!!!!!!!!!!! Not the Giants reliever. The one who is on the Mt. Rushmore of pop music composers. Should be a top five on this list. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame refers to Wilson as “One of the few undisputed geniuses in popular music.” Possibly could also challenge Michael Jackson for #1 in weirdness.

  6. Wow – tough to rank them all but I will say that ’85 destroys ’10. My own personal preferences would be to move Springsteen higher – even to #1 and that Huey Lewis is too low.

  7. 2010 list dissed country stars. I’m not a huge country fan, but c’mon. Kenny Chesney? Garth Brooks? Taylor Swift?

    1985 had Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson and Ray Charles.

    2010 had 17 rappers that all sounded the same.

  8. I’m I the only person who watched the 2010 video looking for Dan Akyroyd? Guess he couldn’t sneak in this time. I’m pretty sure I did see Jeremy Piven in the video which is odd.

  9. MJ had talent.
    I’ll give someone 5 crotch grabs.
    After that they drop one spot for every other 5.
    There was a rumor his nose had fallen off, what was he checking?
    Your list could be twice as long enough and MJ would still fall to the bottom.
    He had talent, but not as much as many on the list.
    Diana Ross WOW you had to have heard the Supremes when they were fresh. Awesome.
    I would put Ray Charles at the top, where did I put that CD? I need to listen to “Busted”, glad 2009 is gone.
    Santana down at 27?! Few play the guitar as well. That should move him up.
    Cindi Lauper, didn’t she drop out for awhile to raise her child? Just going by memory. Wish more would do the same.
    Kenny Rogers – DRY wood-roasted chicken.
    Heard he went into the chicken business because he wasn’t POP enough for country stations. No one would play anything he did that was new. Rumor?
    Fun List.

  10. Jamie Foxx still channelling his “inner Ray Charles” almost five years after Kanye’s release of “Gold Digger” (and six years after “Ray”)is a atrocious. Mr. Foxx, who’s the real gold digger here?
    I assume the kid “singing” at the onset of the 2010 version is the Bieber kid? Upon hearing him utter the opening three words I coughed up an onion ring… I haven’t eaten onion rings in 20 years.
    Jeff, one thing we disagree on: The song “Playing With the Boys” from Top Gun killed Kenny Loggins, Footloose just maimed him.

  11. Footloose was the jab. Playing with the Boys was the roundhouse right (He stayed on his feet because of “Danger Zone”)

    “Meet Me Halfway” from Over the Top was the end. You could almost hear Gaiden saying, “FINISH HIM!” in the track.

    And Tina Turner is a goddess sent down from Olympus. She makes Celine Dion look like a piece of pig crap.

  12. the talent on the 85 video blows the 2010 video away. too many rappers, not enough singers!!! vocaly 2010 sux !!!! as far as your rankings, steve perry is one of the best vocalist ever!!!! i don’t think your ranking talent just what kind of music you like, steve perry in the middle of the pack???? no way!! most people i know that read your rankings, said,the same thing steve perry as far as vocaly, he is better than anyone on your list. steve pery # 40 ??? what a joke!!! he is #1 as far as a vocalist!!

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