The Band Aid project is exactly what it says on the tin. A sticking plaster and oh so partial solution to what could potentially become a global epidemic (no I’m not scaremongering, just stating a point of fact). It was the same with the songs previous incarnations and will be so in the future whenever Sir Bob, or whomever takes the reigns, deems it necessary to once again assemble the Pop music Avengers.
Call it pompous, call it big headed, call it profile raising, call it ego massaging, call it a Jesus complex, the intention and goals of Band Aid as a project should not be questioned. No tax is being taken, no costs are being recouped and many of the artists involved have postponed lucrative projects to be involved. Indeed, when the songs creator-in-chief says “I don’t care if the songs crap buy it anyway” the end game is there for all to see. So why then, are there reviews of the song available via some blinkered but very well known websites?
Surely the authors of such diatribe must realise that, regardless of the charitable intentions of 99.9% of the earths consumers there will always be the few that are positively, or negatively influenced by any such prose and, therefore, may or may not purchase a song created to convey a message and help people less fortunate then ourselves. Should I be seeing comments online of people saying they bought the song because they ‘liked it’? Should the cause be at the forefront of their reasons for buying the song? Or is the fact that they bought it in the first place enough?
I have listened to people suggesting that the cause and the song be separated and that we should be looking into other ways of utilising the brand. Making the most of the brand should be a given but is suggesting any kind of dilution of said brands biggest draw lunacy? It is one of the most identifiable songs in music history and is the one thing that more than one generation of consumer can identify with. I would have thought however, that recruiting YouTube stars Alfie Deyes, Zoella and Joe Sugg (12 million subscribers between them) to sing the iconic reprise is a stroke of marketing genius and a superb way to connect with a younger audience.
To those of you who have actually seen fit to critique the song, most of the buying public don’t know any of the verses word for word (me included) or the intricacies of what is being said. We support the cause and of course we wish that the release of such music, the original cause of which is still an issue, wasn’t deemed necessary in the first place but we do know two things. The easy to recite hook and that our money is being shunted towards a great cause. Do we really need to know anything else?
Yet I am the same man who preaches to all who bless me by perusing my musings, the power of the message that is being (and can be) carried through music. So negatively portraying Africa exclusively as some kind of undernourished society desperate for all the money it can get is obviously wrong and should be corrected. Those that are portraying it some kind of new world paragon of industrial might are also wide of the mark. It does house many of the worlds fastest growing economies but the wealth has yet to be shared as it should be. But who in their right mind thinks that any of this crossed the minds of the folks that chose to take part in something that they wanted to do simply for a good cause?
Artists work hard for their varying fames and fortunes and are in a privileged position of because of it. Their influence is far reaching and for better or worse, the actions of millions around the world are based on the fruits of their labours. The very nature of their business demands a critiquing of their endeavours but isn’t Band Aid 30 and other charitable songs of this nature beyond such analytical positioning? Surely the consumers choice on such matters should come down to their belief in the cause, and not the chorus…. right?
originally posted at Moon Project on 17.11.2014