BILLBOARD #1 HITS: #566: ‘WE ARE THE WORLD ‘- USA FOR AFRICA

An album cover with "We Are the World" spelled out across the left and bottom in papier-mâché-style. To the top right of the cover is "USA for Africa" in blue text, under which names are listed against a white background

Billboard #1 Hits: #566: ‘We Are The World’- USA For Africa. April 13, 1985. #1 for 4 weeks in Billboard Hot 100.

  • Single: ‘We Are The World’- USA For Africa
  • Record Company- Columbia
  • Genre: Pop
  • Written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie
  • Time: 6:22
  • B-side: ‘Grace’
  • Album- We Are The World
  • Grade: B
  • Peaked at #1 4 weeks in Billboard Hot 100. #1 in UK Singles Chart, #1 in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

The famous charity single is one of the top 10 best selling singles -as far as physical copies ever- with over 20 million copies. Written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie who at the time were at the top of their game. Co-produced by Quincy Jones. When I think of the song I think of how many times I must have seen it on MTV- it seemed like that was the only video they played for months. As far as charity singles go- I will take ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ over this every day of the week. The original idea for this- a single to benefit Africa – was Harry Belafonte’s- who by the way is still alive- at 94. In watching the video again- my favorite performances- Ray Charles and Cyndi Lauper. Comments- Bob Dylan sure looks out of place- and why is Dan Aykroyd doing there? Where was Paul McCartney?

4 responses to “BILLBOARD #1 HITS: #566: ‘WE ARE THE WORLD ‘- USA FOR AFRICA

  1. Many think song is crappy & sappy, but I’ve always loved it. Is it great songwriting? No way, but just the fact that nearly every important artist of the day (with the exception of a few notables like Prince, Madonna, McCartney, George Michael, Eurythmics and Tears For Fears) was there gives me chills every time I hear it.

    • One thing I noticed watching it this time- MJ a co-writer but he certainly didn’t attempt to dominate the recording.

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