Monday, June 05, 2006

80's Video Blast of the Week III

In 1985, famine in Ethiopia was a hot button topic. Inspired by the success of Band-Aids "Do They Know It's Christmas," Harry Belafonte gathered a group of performers never before gathered for one project. On January 29, 1985 21 soloists and more than 20 other contributing vocalists from all parts of the music industry "checked their egos at the door" (as requested by organizer Quincy Jones) and recorded the Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie-penned "We Are The World".

The single went on sale March 7, 1985 and was an instant smash. It went on to sell 7.5 million copies in the U.S and was #1 on the Billboard charts for 4 weeks. It also won Grammies for Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group.

Cindy Lauper's jangly earrings caused some momentarily disruption in the recording process (close, Masses of Everything!) and a hasty rewrite of the lyric, "there's a choice we're making / we're taking our own lives" to the less suicidal-sounding, "there's a choice we're making / we're saving our own lives". What didn't make the final edit was adjustment to the line "as God has shown us / by turning stone to bread", which is an error because the devil tempted Jesus to turn stones to bread but he never did.

Congratulations Rex Wilder for guessing it in one!

A list of performers follows the clip. Enjoy :)


* Lionel Richie
* Stevie Wonder
* Paul Simon
* Kenny Rogers
* James Ingram
* Tina Turner
* Billy Joel
* Michael Jackson
* Diana Ross
* Dionne Warwick
* Willie Nelson
* Al Jarreau
* Bruce Springsteen
* Kenny Loggins
* Steve Perry
* Daryl Hall
* Huey Lewis
* Cyndi Lauper
* Kim Carnes
* Bob Dylan
* Ray Charles

Contributing vocalists

* Brian Elsenbeck
* Dan Aykroyd
* Harry Belafonte
* Lindsey Buckingham
* Sheila E.
* Bob Geldof
* Jermaine Jackson
* Jackie Jackson
* LaToya Jackson
* Marlon Jackson
* Randy Jackson
* Tito Jackson
* Waylon Jennings
* Bette Midler
* the News (of Huey Lewis & the News)
* John Oates
* Jeffrey Osborne
* The Pointer Sisters
* Smokey Robinson

(Sources: Wikipedia and MSNBC)

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