Rock Moment: Hear N’ Aid, 1985
In the mid-1980s, everyone was in tune to the plight of Africans starving to death during a famine. It all started with Band Aid in England, which put out the Christmas single “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” then with USA For Africa artists doing “We Are The World.” There was very little representation among metal artists, so two members of Ronnie James Dio‘s band approached their boss with the idea to do a metal song for famine relief.
The result was “Stars,” written by Dio with Jimmy Bain (of Rainbow and Dio) and Vivian Campbell (Dio, but later Whitesnake and Def Leppard). Forty artists from the metal genre gathered to record the single in Hollywood. Among the artists appearing were members of such bands as Dio, Quiet Riot, Iron Maiden, Twisted Sister, Night Ranger, Judas Priest, Mötley Crüe, Blue Öyster Cult, Journey, Dokken and others.
“Stars” came out as a single, and it appeared on the Hear N’ Aid album with a bunch of live songs from bands like Kiss, Mötorhead and others. Due to delays with record label red tape, the single and album didn’t appear until 1986 – still, it made about $1 million for famine relief.
Click on the lyric sheet at right to see who sings and plays on the track.