【SONG 】The Classical Song －We Are The World 天下本一家
This was a benefit single for victims of famine in Africa. It raised over $60 Million, which was distributed to Ethiopia, Sudan, and other impoverished countries.
Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie wrote this song. It was produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Omartian. Jones produced Jackson’s Thriller album, and Omartian had worked on many hit songs, including Sailing and “She Works Hard For The Money.”
The USA For Africa project was inspired by Band Aid, the British group Bob Geldof put together the year before to record “Do They Know It’s Christmas.” Members of Band Aid included Bono, Phil Collins, David Bowie, Paul McCartney, and Sting. The single raised about $8 Million for famine relief.
The project began as an idea Calypso singer Harry Belafonte had for a benefit concert featuring black musicians. Lionel Richie’s manager, Ken Kragen, liked the idea of releasing a single and contacted Richie about the project, who agreed to help. After Belafonte and Richie, Stevie Wonder was the first star to agree to the project. From there, word got out and many members of the music industry signed on to help.
This was recorded on January 28, 1985, the day of the American Music Awards. Since the artists were all in town for the awards, it was much easier to get them together to record the single.
The stars who sang solos were, in order, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Kenny Rogers, James Ingram, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson, Al Jurreau, Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Logins, Steve Perry, Daryl Hall, Michael Jackson (again), Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, and Kim Carnes. Bob Dylan and Ray Charles ad-libbed some vocals that made it on. Singers in the chorus who did not get solos include Belafonte, Bette Midler, Smokey Robinson, The Pointer Sisters, LaToya Jackson, Billy Joel, Bob Geldof, Sheila E., and Waylon Jennings.
Prince was asked to join the project, be he declined on the grounds that he does not record with other acts. Instead, he donated an exclusive track called “4 The Tears In Your Eyes” to the follow-up benefit album, which was also called “We Are The World.”
Taping was stopped when musicians complained about Cyndi Lauper making an “annoying noise” – her bracelets were rattling next to the microphone as she was singing. (thanks, Brad Wind – Miami, FL)
Quincy Jones was responsible for managing the egos of all the stars. It went very smoothly considering some very famous people did not get to sing a line. Most of the singers knew Jones personally and respected his wishes that they check their egos at the door.
Before the session began, Jones decided where everyone would stand. He put tape on the floor with each singer’s name on it.
Dan Aykroyd was in the chorus. He was a singer in the fictional band The Blues Brothers, but was invited to represent the movie industry.
This won Grammys for Song Of The Year and Record Of The Year.
The single exceeded expectations in terms of sales. 800,000 copies were originally shipped, and they sold out the first weekend.
The recording session took 12 hours. Many of the artists exchanged autographs.
As the music world came together in the spirit of giving, Bob Geldof organized Live Aid later that year. Live Aid was a benefit concert held simultaneously in Philadelphia and London. At the Philadelphia concert, Lionel Richie came out and led a performance of this as the last song of the show.
Billy Joel (from Rolling Stone magazine, December 15, 2005): “Most of us who were there didn’t like the song, but nobody would say so. I think Cyndi Lauper leaned over to me and said, ‘It sounds like a Pepsi commercial.’ And I didn’t disagree.”
John Oates said of his memories of recording this song: “It was really interesting and unique. Who knows, it may never happen again in history. You have some of the world’s greatest singers in one room. We ran the song down once. The next thing you knew they ran the tape back and it was goosebump time. It was an amazing experience.”
In his verse Willie Nelson misquotes the bible when he sings “As God has shown us by turning stones to bread.” Matthew 4 tells us that the devil tried to get Jesus to turn some stones into bread, but the Son of God refused, saying, “Man does not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.”
Huey Lewis was supposed to be just part of the chorus, but he got his line because Prince didn’t show up. Describing his good fortune to be part of the project, Lewis said, “I was a lucky son of a bitch to be there. Thank God I had a lot of hit records, because I wouldn’t have been there any other way.”Lewis spent most of the session next to Michael Jackson, whose line came before Huey’s. Lewis recalls that Quincy Jones called Jackson “Smelly” because he was always so clean.
On January 12, 2010, Haiti was struck by a earthquake, which devastated the country and resulted in a death toll of approximately 200,000. A new version of the song was recorded on February 1, 2010 to raise funds for the stricken Haitians.
１９８４年，英國歌手菲爾柯林斯（Phil Collins）看到新聞中非洲依索匹亞等地區的人民，長期處於飢荒與營養不良而死亡，遂在聖誕節之前提出構想，由鮑伯蓋朵夫（Bob Geldof）擔任召集人，由數十位當紅藝人以「Band Aid」為名共同灌錄單曲義賣，將義賣所得援助非洲饑民，單曲「他們知道現在是聖誕節嗎？」（Do they know it’s Christmas ?）於焉誕生。這張單曲推出後，立即在全世界引起迴響，光是英美兩地就賣出約三百廿萬張。
英國歌壇的此項義舉，美國歌唱界自然不落人後，由黑人歌手哈利貝拉方提（Harry Belafonte）提出建議，之後獲得眾大牌歌手的鼎力支持，由昆西瓊斯（Quincy Jones）擔任製作人，在１９８５年２月２８日，４５位當紅歌星雲集洛杉磯的錄音室，灌錄了We are the world這首義賣單曲。
We are the world這首歌是由萊納李奇和麥可傑克森合寫，兩人費了四天的時間寫曲，萊納先完成一部分，麥可看到後靈感大發，一夜之間就把全曲寫好。之後他們又花了兩個半小時作詞，為了普遍推廣此曲，歌詞也力求簡單易學。單曲完成後推出問世，受到的歡迎難以想像，短短數週便賣出八百萬張單曲，更勝英國藝人的「他們知道現在是聖誕節嗎？」。
有了前例可循，後來流行音樂界主動出擊義唱的例子也越來越多。包括由威利尼爾森（Willie Nelson）召集美國鄉村歌手援助農民的「Farm Aid」；布魯斯史賓斯汀（Bruce Springsteen）領軍、抗議南非白人政府種族歧視的「Sun City」演唱計劃。
1985年，麥可·傑克遜和萊昂納爾·里奇共同譜寫，由美國45位歌星聯合演唱，昆西·瓊斯負責製作了，為求援非洲饑民而義賣的唱片《天下一家》(We Are The World)。
WE ARE THE WORLD
JACKSON, MICHAEL JOE / RICHIE, LIONEL B., JR. / RICHIE, LIONEL B., JR.
There comes a time when we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And its time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all
We can’t go on pretending day by day
That someone, somehow will soon make a change
We are all a part of Gods great big family
And the truth, you know,
Love is all we need
We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So lets start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
Its true we’ll make a better day
Just you and me
Send them your heart so they’ll know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stones to bread
So we all must lend a helping hand
When you’re down and out, there seems no hope at all
But if you just believe there’s no way we can fall
Let us realize that a change can only come
When we stand together as one