MUSIC VIDEO: “We Are The World” – 1985 Flash Back

MUSIC VIDEO: “We Are The World” – Flash Back

USA For Africa – We Are The World [30th Anniversary] [HD with Names]

This historic recording was released on April 23, 1985 and came about on the heels of Bob Geldof’s U.K. project, “Do They Know It’s Christmas” [December 1984], both directed to help famine relief in Africa.

Produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Omartian, recording began on January 22, 1985 with Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson at Kenny Rogers’ Lion’s Share Recording studio in Beverly Hills. The song, written by Richie and Jackson, was worked out with a demo track in one night, using the 6th take as the final before sending out tapes to the artists involved.     

By January 28th, 1985 (just 5 days later) those stars piled into A&M Studios in Hollywood to begin recording the track you now know.

Prince was involved originally but was cut after Geldof called him a ‘creep’. Prince, however, did submit a single for the album instead. the album is also noted as the first available release of Springsteen’s live track, “Trapped” (written by Jimmy Cliff). tha album also featured a contribution by the band, Chicago (for which no band members did not appear on the “We Are The World” project either as vocalists or musicians).

Also notable is Country legend, Waylon Jennings left the sessions over lyric disputes.

Music Personnel: Michael Jackson & Lionel Richie – Lead Vocals (Demos and varied verses) // Stevie Wonder – Lead Piano // Michael Boddicker – Synthesizers, Programming // Paulinho da Costa – Percussion // Louis Johnson – Bass //  Michael Omartian – Keyboards // Greg Phillinganes – Keyboards // John Robinson – Drums — All music personnel were commonly known for their work on Michael Jackson’s Thriller album and many Quincy Jones productions (except drummer John Robinson, who did work on Jackson’s Off The Wall album, on the single, “Rock With You”)

Appeared but but not present in video or recording: Bob Geldof.

Sorry about not labeling Smokey Robinson in the video but he appears at 3:41 before I labeled Randy and LaToya Jackson. Smokey is standing to the left of Bruce Springsteen.

April 2015 marks the 30th anniversary of it’s initial worldwide release. The song hit #1 in 20 countries, hitting #2 in  Germany and Austria and even got a spot on the Billboard Country Charts at #79 (notably for Willie Nelson and Kenny Rogers’ participation – arguably possibly for Ray Charles participation, as well) and even more unexpected was that it hit #27 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock charts at #27 (possibly for Springsteen, Perry and Dylan’s appearances).

The record sold over 20 million copies, won a Grammy for Song of the Year, is still noted as the biggest single of the 80’s and was certified 4x Platinum.

Visit to still help contribute to the cause of famine relief worldwide. And visit my video for Band Aid’s “Do They Know Its Christmas” at…

Music in this video

  • Song
  • We Are The World
  • Artist
  • U.S.A. For Africa
  • Album
  • We Are The World
  • Writers
  • Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie

Licensed to YouTube by : The Orchard Music (on behalf of USA for Africa); AMRA, Kobalt Music Publishing, UNIAO BRASILEIRA DE EDITORAS DE MUSICA – UBEM, LatinAutor, Rumblefish (Publishing), MijacCatalog, ASCAP, SOLAR Music Rights Management, PEDL, and 18 Music Rights Societies

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