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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Songs of My Life #49 - Hear 'n Aid - Stars - 1986

Songs of My Life #49 - Hear 'n Aid - Stars - 1986

Following on from “Do They Know It’s Christmas” with the biggest UK pop artists in 1984, and then “We Are the World” with the biggest US pop artists in 1985, Jimmy Bain and Vivian Campbell from Dio came up with an idea to have a similar type of benefit song, recorded by musicians from the heavy metal genre. When they proposed this to band leader Ronnie James Dio, they wrote the song together, and put together the project that was entitled ‘Hear ’n Aid’ which went forward and recorded the song entitled “Stars”. It was recorded on May 20 and 21, 1985, but unfortunately problems between the artists many varied record companies meant tit could not be released until early 1986, negating the impact it had. Not that it stopped me – I still bought the 12” vinyl single on its release and played it to death.

The song not only gives many of the best metal vocalists of the time the chance to showcase their wares – names like Eric Bloom from Blue Oyster Cult, Don Dokken, Kevin DuBrow from Quiet Riot, Rob Halford, Dave Meniketti from Y&T, Paul Shortino from Rough Cutt, Geoff Tate from Queensryche and Dio himself, it was unique from the other projects in that it gave the guitarists of the metal industry space to show what they were made of, and it is this section that really makes the song what it is. Carlos Cavazo from Quiet Riot, Donald Roeser from Blue Oyster Cult, Brad Gillis from Night Ranger, George Lynch and Yngwie Malmsteen, Eddie Ojeda from Twister Sister, Neal Schon from Journey, Craig Goldy (soon to be in Dio) and Vivian Campbell. Along with this the kings of melodic guitar Dave Murray and Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden provided the rhythm melody throughout. Backing them all is the choir, with even more greats from the era lending their vocal support for the chorus of the song.

It might be a bit cheesy, but as a collection of great metal artists at the time, it was brilliant. I still love it, just to see and hear them all again in their pomp.

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