Hear n' Aid - "Stars" 12" Single
Heavy Metal 80's style

Release year: 1986
Reviewed by Jeff
Archive review

The Hear n' Aid project was heavy metal's answer to such pop music charities like Band Aid and USA For Africa; projects which gathered various musicians throughout the recording industry to participate in making songs that would help raise money for famine relief efforts in Africa and around the world.

Hear n' Aid was formed in 1985 by Ronnie James Dio, a long time contributor to many charity projects over the years. Hear n' Aid didn't get much media coverage and didn't achieve the blockbuster sales like Band Aid or USA for Africa, but did generate a respectable amount of revenue.

Ronnie James Dio (Dio/Black Sabbath/Rainbow/Elf), Jimmy Bain (Dio/Rainbow) and Vivian Campbell (Dio/Def Leppard) were responsible for writing "Stars", the originally penned single that would help generate revenues for the hunger relief cause. In addition to the single, an album with eight tracks (including live offerings from Accept, Dio, Kiss, Motörhead, Rush, and Scorpions, and two studio selections from Jimi Hendrix and Y&T) a video documentary on the making of the record and other products would also help raise money for famine relief efforts.

On May 20 and 21, 1985, Ronnie James Dio gathered 40 musicians from the hard rock/heavy metal world as Hear 'n Aid at A&M Records Studios and recorded "Stars." The song was arranged and produced by Dio himself. Since the song was written by 3/4 of Dio, it sounds like a Dio song, very close to that of "Rainbow In The Dark" both musically and lyrically. It's a heavy song with some great vocal performances, amazing fretboard guitar solos, and a chorus that will stick in your head like flies on shit.

The "Stars" 12" single contained a (7:20) full version on the A-side and a (5:10) edited version on the B-Side as well as "The 4 1/2 Minute News", a segment that contained interviews from those musicians who participated in the project. Never before in the hard rock/heavy metal industry had such a project been put together for a well worthy cause.

What makes the song "Stars" such a gem are the various artists who contributed to the album and how each plays their part in the song both on the vocal level and instrumental level. The highlight for me is the guitar solo, which is actually 13 solos , broken down into 6 parts. The following is a list of all of the musicians that contributed to the project:

Tommy Aldridge (Ozzy Osbourne/Whitesnake), David Alford (Rough Cutt), Carmine Appice (King Kobra), Vinny Appice (Dio), Jimmy Bain (Dio), Frankie Banali (Quiet Riot), Eric Bloom (Blue Oyster Cult), Mick Brown (Dokken), Vivian Campbell (Dio), Carlos Cavazo (Quiet Riot), Amir Derakh (Rough Cutt), Ronnie James Dio (Dio), Don Dokken (Dokken), Kevin DuBrow (Quiet Riot), Brad Gillis (Night Ranger), Craig Goldy (Dio/Guiffria), Chris Hager (Rough Cutt), Rob Halford (Judas Priest), Chris Holmes (W.A.S.P.), Blackie Lawless (W.A.S.P.), George Lynch (Dokken), Yngwie Malmsteen, Mick Mars (Motley Crue), Dave Meniketti (Y & T), Dave Murray (Iron Maiden), Vince Neil (Motely Crue), Ted Nugent, Eddie Ojeda (Twisted Sister), Jeff Pilson (Dokken), Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser (Blue Oyster Cult), David St. Hubbins (Spinal Tap), Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot), Claude Schnell (Dio), Neal Schon (Journey), Paul Shortino (Rough Cutt), Derek Smalls (Spinal Tap), Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden), Mark Stein (Vanilla Fudge), Geoff Tate (Queensryche), Matt Thorr (Rough Cutt).


The following is a breakdown of who sings where and who plays what:

Ronnie James Dio: "Who cries for the children? I do."

Dave Meniketti: "Some time in the night, when your're feeling the cold."

RJD: "Take a look at the sky above you."

Rob Halford: "Those are faces in the light, if the story were told."

RJD: "They are calling you, calling you."

RJD: "We are magic in the night."

Kevin Dubrow: "We are shadow we are light."

Dave Meniketti: "We are forever you and I."

CHORUS with vocal lead Rob Halford: "Were stars. Were stars."

Eric Bloom: "We can be strong, we are fire and stone."

Paul Shortino: "And we all want to touch a rainbow."

Geoff Tate: "But singers and songs will never change it alone, so we are calling you, calling you."

Don Dokken: "We're the beating of a heart. The beginning we're the start."

Paul Shortino: "Forever we will shine."

CHORUS with vocal leads by Shortino, Dokken, Dio and Tate: "We're Stars. We're Stars. We're Stars. We're Stars."

GUITAR SOLOS (12 Bars each)

1st solo: Craig Goldy/Eddie Ojeda

2nd solo: Vivian Campbell/Brad Gillis

3rd solo: Neal Schon/George Lynch

4th solo: Yngwie Malmsteen/Vivian Campbell

5th solo: George Lynch/Carlos Cavazo

6th solo: Brad Gillis, Craig Goldy, Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser

Kevin DuBrow: "We are magic in the night"

Rob Halford: "We are shadow, we are light"

Geoff Tate: "We are forever you and I"

CHORUS with vocal leads by Meniketti, Bloom, Halford, closing solo by Neil Schon: "We're stars. We're stars.". etc"

All guitar melody lines on choruses were played by Adrian Smith and Dave Murray

To this day, Ronnie James Dio continues as an active participant for various charity programs like "The Children of the Night", a charity whose mission is to rescue children from the ravages of street prostitution. There are also some rumors that another Hear n' Aid project is in the works.


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