Written by on February 9, 2024

For those that are old enough to remember the 1980s there were many shows and movies that showed it was the decade of money and power. Getting rich was a big deal and it was so reflected in almost everything. One place it wasn’t as reflected. Music. It was mostly about love and partying and just having a good life. It isn’t surprising then that there were a handful of songs that were born to simply make no one famous person money. Bob Geldof started it with the Christmas anthem “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” where a choir of the biggest European singers in Pop Music got together and belted out a song where all the money went to charity. All the money raised from the sale of that song went to famine relief in Africa. Harry Belafonte thought that American singers should do the same thing. So, he suggested to Qunicy Jones that they get their own supergroup together to do their part. They got Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson, two of the best singers and songwriters at the time if not all time to come up with a song. Their goal was also to get all these superstar singers into a recording studio at once and record the song in one night. How did they do this? It wasn’t as easy as most of us thought it was.

We Are The World was an absolute inspiration to everyone. Almost every station in America, regardless of genre played the song at the same time the day it was released. It was a way to show that if we all pulled together we could make a change in the world. After it came out, I had such admiration for all those artists that were a part of it. They out a lot aside to make this happen. I and basically everyone else outside of that studio and no idea what it took to put this on. It wasn’t easy and that’s an understatement. This documentary delves into the struggle that some of the most powerful musicians had dealing with their contemporaries in just one night. This documentary really focusses on the night because they had almost no time to get things together. It wasn’t a year in the making or a build up of years. This came together in a span of a few months. The great thing is that not only were they recording the song that evening they were also recording the video which made for a TON of behind-the-scenes footage available as well as audio from the recording session. You get the narration from the documentary quickly backed up by the audio or video. And not everything went super smooth nor was everyone involved happy with the way things went. You get to see one artist walk off the set and another talk about feeling a bit used being invited to participate. This truly was the greatest night that pop music ever produced and the inspiration it produced around the world was simply immeasurable. You really need to watch this documentary and share it with your kids because they will never see something like this in their lifetime. Sure, there was a remake a few years ago, with the funds going to Haiti but it really didn’t have the same impact nor did it feel as sincere as the original. If they did it today it would most likely have more country artists involved since there are more actual singers with distinctive voices as opposed to the Pop genre. Add in the fact that more songs are about money and being rich and it’s hard to believe those artists would get together and understand that they get nothing from the song. I thoroughly enjoyed this documentary and I have to wonder if we’ll get one for “Hands Across America”. I really hope so!

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