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Joni Mitchell Both Sides Now Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970
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33 Years Later This Video Still Gives Us Chills

Thirty-three years after its release this video still gives us chills.

We Are the World” was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, and produced by Quincy Jones as a charity single.  It was released on this day in 1985. 

The lyrics are a hopeful call for humanity to take action and care for those who are suffering.  However, what really makes this recording so compelling is the amazing collection of artists – the supergroup United Support of Artists (USA) for Africa – who came together to perform it. Featured soloists include: Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Bob Dylan, Tina Turner and of course Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson.

This project was inspired by Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” project in the UK which was released on December 3, 1984. “We Are the World” sold over 20 million copies worldwide and along with the associated merchandise, raised over $63 million (roughly $145 million in today’s dollars) for humanitarian aid across Africa and in the US.

We have all changed a little since 1985 so, for those who are curious, here is a complete list of the artists who participated:

Soloists (in order of appearance)

  • 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

Chorus (alphabetically)

  • Dan Aykroyd
  • Harry Belafonte
  • Lindsey Buckingham
  • Mario Cipollina
  • Johnny Colla
  • Sheila E.
  • Bob Geldof
  • Bill Gibson
  • Chris Hayes
  • Sean Hopper
  • Jackie Jackson
  • La Toya Jackson
  • Marlon Jackson
  • Randy Jackson
  • Tito Jackson
  • Waylon Jennings
  • Bette Midler
  • John Oates
  • Jeffrey Osborne
  • The Pointer Sisters
  • Smokey Robinson

Instrumentalists

  • David Paich – synthesizers
  • Michael Boddicker – synthesizers, programming
  • Paulinho da Costa – percussion
  • Phil Collins  – percussion
  • Louis Johnson – synth bass
  • Michael Omartian – keyboards
  • Greg Phillinganes – keyboards
  • John Robinson – drums

 

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Joni Mitchell Both Sides Now Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970
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