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Will this do, Haiti?

3 Feb 10 | Re: Half-baked charity effort

This Haiti charity single is just a catalogue of errors from start to finish. For one thing it’s completely out of step with the times. Normal adults who want to give money will have donated already so the song has to be aimed at teenagers, in other words people who would no sooner buy a CD single than a penny-farthing, so how is it going to raise any money? Downloads? 79p for a download is an insulting amount to give to any charity, so even if the single sells a few hundred thousand copies the total amount will be tiny compared to what is being given through other channels. Plus it’s been played on radio loads of times but isn’t even available until next Monday - in other words, they’ve got it ready but they refuse to sell it to anyone because they are still in the mid-1990s and so can’t release a single without a couple of weeks of hype beforehand. Result: lots of people who might want to purchase the song and give actual money to the cause are not allowed to do so. The earthquake was weeks ago now!

Compare that with the American effort. They held a concert with a host of performances by top names, which got a massive TV audience, and then capitalised by making all the performances available on iTunes immediately afterwards. In other words, they acted as though it was 2010 and not still 1983. The album is at number 1 right now and has raised many times more than this British effort will manage.

The Americans are doing a single too (We Are the World), which I’m a little sceptical about, but at least they chose a song with a bit of life in it, and at least all the singers actually turned up to sing it together instead of having their voices digitally assembled after they’d literally phoned it in. The lyrics to Everybody Hurts are really inappropriate as well. I don’t want to blame Simon Cowell as I’m sure he’s doing his best, but it’s very telling that he only did this after he was asked to. What made the original Band Aid work was Bob Geldof seeing the news reports and feeling that he absolutely had to do something, ringing everyone up that he possibly could and not taking no for an answer. Everybody Hurts is more the work of a coalition of the available.

It’s tempting to say that at least it will raise some money and awareness and so on, but for me the Sun’s involvement takes away even that. I don’t want to say a good word about anything linked to the execrable Sun, and the obvious will-this-do mediocrity of this enterprise just makes it easier.

Summary: CD singles are dead so there is no longer any point in charity records, and this would be a pretty poor specimen even if there were.

Posted by MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT at 18:56

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