Everybody Wants To Rule The World feat. Randy Brecker
EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD featuring Randy Brecker
Capturing the sociopolitical Zeitgeist of a time when Cold War tensions between the U.S. and Russia were at a fever pitch, Tears For Fears #1 1985 smash “Everybody Wants to Rule The World” – a song about the thirst for control and power and its consequences – became something of an anthem among young people growing up under the austerity of the Margaret Thatcher and Reagan era. Curt Smith, the song’s lead singer, said the themes were “quite serious – it’s about everybody wanting power, about warfare and the misery it causes.” The Russian President’s all-out military invasion of Ukraine and the devastating globally resonant effects of the war this year have brought the song back into the cultural conversation.
#1 Billboard charting artist Michael J Thomas’s decision to record his explosive new version happened long before the war and based more on being a child of the 80s and 90s and loving the music of that era than making any form of statement. Yet, following his years of success on the Billboard Smooth Jazz charts, the multi-talented saxophonist and vocalist’s prescient commitment to expanding beyond his home genre and tackling this classic has led to a vibrant crossover track whose sonic aesthetic and message perfectly meet our collective anxiety and fraught, challenging moment in world history.
Produced by Thomas and Carl Griffin, the track features Thomas’s unique dual talents (complementing his lead vocals with a prominent sax solo) and a powerhouse trumpet solo by the legendary Randy Brecker. Other highlights of this dynamic arrangement include crackling guitar work by Chris Blackwell and Vince Gill, Cheryl Rogers’ backing vocals, Trammell Starks’ hoppin’ contributions on keys, synths, strings, and percussion (including the song’s infectious instrumental hook), and the driving rhythm section of Sam Sims (bass) and Louis K. Newsom (drums).
Thomas and Griffin have created an emotionally impactful, newsreel-style video for the track that juxtaposes images of Ukrainians impacted by the war, speeches from Putin and Ukrainian President Zelensky, and hopeful messages of support from around the world, including many flying Ukrainian flags.
“Everybody Wants to Rule The World” is Thomas’ third lead single from his upcoming EP Outside the Door, following the holiday song “It’s Christmas” (a collaboration with Maysa) and “The OG Bounce,” which is currently a Top 15 hit on the Billboard Smooth Jazz Airplay chart. The EP’s other songs include a new take on Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish” and an original featuring Chieli Minucci.
Thomas has been a mainstay in the contemporary instrumental world since his 2017 hit Baby Coffee,” his first #1 on the Billboard Smooth Jazz Songs chart. It currently has over 2.6 million streams on Apple Music. Subsequent hits include his second #1 single, “I’ll Never Love Again” (an explosive reimagining of the Lady Gaga hit from “A Star is Born”), and “Sippin’ The Yak, which hit #2 on the charts, remained in the Top 5 for nine weeks and currently has over 1.4 million streams.
RELIEF FUND FOR UKRANIAN MUSICIANSDONATE
The Relief Fund for Ukrainian Musicians has been established at the Lisa Batiashvili Foundation in Germany. The fund provides urgent financial support to the musicians of Ukraine, with a primary focus on musicians from areas that have been most affected by the war. Many of these musicians had to flee their home cities, which have been utterly ruined by bombardment, and are desperate for income. We have so far helped over 80 Ukrainian musicians from the hard hit cities of Mariupol, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, and Severodonetsk, but there are hundreds more yet to receive assistance
The assistance we provide allows these families to replace an instrument that was left behind or destroyed, buy food, essential supplies, and pay for medical expenses. Additionally, the grant sum we provide is substantial enough to influence relocation planning, enabling them to make potentially life saving choices and get their families to greater safety.
Tax-deductible charitable giving in the US is enabled by KBFUS. Click on the donate button below to give online. For gifts by check: Write your check to KBFUS, write "Relief Fund for Ukrainian Musicians" in the memo section of the check, and send it to KBFUS, 10 Rockefeller Plaza, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10020.