Ladies and gentlemen, I give you perhaps the single most embarrassing "benefit" song to sweep through our culture in the churning wake of the UK's "Do They Know It's Christmas" and the USA's "We Are The World"... the insipid "Tears Are Not Enough", by a veritable smorgasbord of Canadian recording artists going by the group name (ugh) Northern Lights. You have to hear - and see - this thing to believe how awful it is...
Proof positive that the very ripest cheese in the world is produced right here in the New World!
The amazing paradox of "Tears Are Not Enough" is, of course, the fact that the individual talents who took part in it include some of the most critically acclaimed singers and songwriters ever to dent vinyl. This is underscored by the coincidence that arguably the most talented individuals included provide the most cringe-worthy moments (I'm looking at you, Neil and Joni!).
What is it about "cause" music that makes it so fucking awful? Is it because these songs are so mired in the historical moment that they're bound to seem dated in fairly short order? I'm guessing that must at least play some part in it. Although, on the other hand, none of the performers here were producing their best work in 1985.
Yes, you won't find too many people claiming 1985 as an artistic high-water mark in any of the arts. It was a miserable year, creatively speaking, wherever you turned. The movies sucked, TV sucked, the music sucked... in the mainstream, in particular. Hell, even superhero comic books began a long slide towards mercenary mediocrity - a long, hard drop from an early-80's boom - 'round about that time.
So yes, the mid-80's sucked. But "Tears Are Not Enough" sucked so hard, those of us upon whom MuchMusic used to inflict it used to wonder whether it actually caused more harm than good. Like, maybe someone was planning on giving money to help starving Africans, but then they saw this video, and said: "Fuck it."
We can only pray to God that this is not, in fact, what took place.