By Jaap Kooijman
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Additional info for Fabricating the Absolute Fake: America in Contemporary Pop Culture - Revised Edition
The preference for “God Bless America” over “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the official national anthem, suggests that not so much the nation-state USA but “America” was perceived to be under attack and in need of defending by rearticulating the values of freedom and democracy that “America” self-evidently embodied. American pop culture responded to 9/11 in two distinctively different, yet related ways. On the one hand, American pop culture took on the tough patriotic stance of the “Angry American” who was going to teach those terrorists a lesson, a masculine rhetoric strongly present on the Fox News Network and arguably initiated by President George W.
Back in 1969, as part of the marketing strategy of their record label Motown, Ross was announced to be the one who had discovered the young Michael Jackson and his brothers, the Jackson 5. 15 During the mid-1980s, the powerful image of Michael Jackson and Diana Ross together was synonymous with black achievement. 16 The second USA for Africa singer that stands out is American rock star Bruce Springsteen. While Jackson is the first to sing the song’s chorus as solo, Springsteen is the second. Producer Quincy Jones had asked Springsteen to sing his solo as if he was “a cheerleader of the chorus,” notes David Breskin, who, as reporter of Life magazine, attended the recording session.
As Marcus writes: As pop music, “We Are the World” says less about Ethiopia than it does about Pepsi – and the true result will likely be less that certain Ethiopian individuals will live, or anyway live a little bit longer than they otherwise would have, than that Pepsi will get the catchphrase of its advertising campaign sung for free by Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, and the rest. But that is only the short-term, subliminal way of looking at it. ” As the behind-the-scenes documentary We Are the World: The Story Behind the Song shows, the line was changed during the recording of the demo version.