As Philly awaits Monday’s lineup announcement for Jay-Z’s Made in America concert, ?uestlove is apparently involved in a deep personal struggle to restrain from leaking the list to the public. After he compared the schedule to the lineup from Philly’s ’85 Live Aid show, we started our own guessing game. Here, the present-day musical equivalents of those who made that ’80s powerhouse show.
Katy Perry = Madonna. Madonna released her self-titled debut album two years before Live Aid took place. Madonna produced three hit singles and cracked the Billboard top 10. She followed it up with Like a Virgin, an album that catapulted her to superstardom. It topped the charts and sold 21 million copies. Her personal life made headlines in ’85 because she married Sean Penn. Katy Perry released One of the Boys in ’08 with “I Kissed a Girl,” “Hot N Cold,” and “Waking Up in Vegas.” Her next album Teenage Dream offered five number ones and topped the Billboard chart, and her personal life made headlines because she divorced Russell Brand.
Kings of Leon = Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Petty and the Heartbreakers were a southern rock group that cracked the top 40 with their second album. Their third album put them on the map six years before Live Aid when it went platinum on the back of three singles, including “Don’t Do Me Like That.” Kings of Leon’s second album peaked at 55 in 2004. In 2008, they released Only by the Night and all hell broke loose following the success of singles like “Sex on Fire” and “Use Somebody.”
John Mayer = Eric Clapton. People hate on John Mayer for getting his career started with a mom-rock track and for being emo when he breaks up with an A-list actress. The fact is, though, he’s one of the best blues guitarists around. Also, he and Clapton have both played “Crossroads” (together, even), and all of their best songs are about women. Clapton has “Layla” and “Wonderful Tonight” written for Pattie Boyd, and John Mayer has every over-dramatic song on each of his albums written to his high school sweetheart or Jennifer Aniston or Taylor Swift or Jessica Simpson or Jennifer Love Hewitt or Minka Kelly.
The Roots = Hall & Oates. It’s a bit of a genre stretch, but they’re both from Philly. Hall & Oates had been around for a while when Live Aid came about, and their set consisted of three of their hits and three throwback Temptations songs with Eddie Kendricks and David Ruffin. Who wouldn’t love to see ?uestlove and company come out and play “Seed 2.0,” “Break You Off,” and “Game Theory” before breaking into three throwback covers. An awesome parallel would be to have the two remaining Beastie Boys come out and perform with The Roots on “No Sleep Till Brooklyn,” “Fight for Your Right,” and “Intergalactic.”
Coldplay = A Slightly Better Duran Duran. Both bands are British. By ’85, Duran Duran had released four albums. Coldplay has released five. Duran Duran, to date, has 14 songs that have cracked the top 10. Coldplay has 12. Pop culture has ridiculed men for listening to both bands. In “Grade 9″, the Barenaked Ladies joke that they shouldn’t have told their football team that they liked Duran Duran. In the 40-Year-Old Virgin, Paul Rudd’s character says, “You know how I know you’re gay? You listen to Coldplay.”
Oasis = Led Zeppelin. Okay, I realize that Oasis won’t be at Made in America because they’re beefin’ with Jay-Z (and that Oasis isn’t nearly as influential or as historically relevant as Led Zeppelin). But, the comparison makes sense. When Live Aid ’85 rolled around, Zeppelin had been around for two decades. They had released all of their nine albums, seven of which reached number one in the UK. Oasis has released seven albums, all of which reached number one in the UK. Both bands were derailed by heavy alcohol abuse. Led Zeppelin reunited for Live Aid and, according to most accounts, the set was a disaster. Oasis is currently broken up and, by all estimates, a reunion in 2012 would be a complete atrocity because of all of the personal problems.
Jay-Z = Bob Dylan. Their music sounds nothing alike, but they’ve got more in common than you think. First of all, Dylan closed out Live Aid (except for the USA for Africa song, which doesn’t really count) and Jay-Z is headlining Made in America. Additionally, Dylan was one of the most recognizable names in music in ’85, and Jay-Z, clearly, is a household name today. Plus, he’s got 14 Grammys to Dylan’s 11.