In the 80’s, the mainstream had charity songs like “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” and “We Are The World,” where the biggest names in pop sang together to raise awareness and money for famine relief in Africa. The metal community, though, had Hear N’ Aid’s “Stars.”
Launched by Ronnie James Dio and then Dio members Jimmy Bain and Vivian Campbell in 1985, though not released until New Years Day of 1986 due to contract issues, Hear N’ Aid made many 80s metalhead’s dreams come true. Members of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Queensryche, Quiet Riot, Dokken, Dio, Spinal Tap (yes, even them), Blue Oyster Cult and many others came together for a good cause. And what resulted was the epic charity single “Stars.” However, the recording has only been released on vinyl and cassette. But if Wendy Dio (Ronnie’s widow and longtime manager) has her way, a new generation of fans will get exposed to the charity single.
Wendy told Rolling Stone in a recent interview that “I’m going to re-release [“Stars”] because it only ever came out on vinyl and cassette. So it’ll come out on DVD and CD. I have loads of outtakes for the video.” At the moment, it’s unclear whether the song will be released as a single or if the entire Hear N’ Aid album (which also included live tracks from Accept, Motörhead, Rush, KISS and others) will be re-released. It’s also uncertain whether sales from the re-release will once again benefit famine relief in Africa or a new cause, but it might be assumed that if there was a new charity, it would be the Stand Up & Shout Cancer Fund.
While we may not know when it’ll be re-released, we can at least still enjoy the music video to “Stars” (which you can watch after the jump). Shot in the same vein as “We Are The World,” the video may come off as pretty cheesy (especially the group chorus shots where everyone’s singing “We’re Stars!” together). But you have to remember that at the time, it was a major deal to see all of these big names in metal and rock in the same video and heard singing and shredding on the same track. It’s basically 2 minutes of singing, 5 minutes of guitar soloing, and even has about fifteen seconds of drum solos.
So if you haven’t seen it yet, or just want to walk down memory lane, watch the music video to “Stars” after the jump and witness the glory known as Hear N’ Aid. Also, be on the lookout for Blackie Lawless, Kevin DuBrow, and Ted Nugent’s goofy facial expressions in the group chorus shots (they’re as loud as the guitar solos).