“Stars”, the 1985 charity single for famine relief released under the HEAR ‘N AID banner, will be re-recorded with a new cast of musicians and included with the original version of the song on the upcoming reissue of the “Stars” single and video documentary on the making of the HEAR ‘N AID record.
On May 20 and May 21, 1985, 40 artists from the metal community gathered at A&M Records Studios in Hollywood, California to participate in the making of a record called “Stars” as a part of a very special fundraising project spearheaded by Ronnie James Dio known as HEAR ‘N AID. The “Stars” single and a video documentary on the making of the record was used to raise money for famine relief efforts in Africa and around the world. These 40 artists — including members of MÖTLEY CRÜE, JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN, QUIET RIOT, TWISTED SISTER, BLUE ÖYSTER CULT and even SPINAL TAP — along with hundreds of other volunteers, donated their time and talent over four months to make HEAR ‘N AID a reality. “Stars” was a plea for unity in the fight against world hunger.
Due to contract differences with the labels, the “Stars” song and album weren’t released until New Year’s Day, 1986, and were only ever made available on vinyl and cassette. But Wendy Dio (pictured) is continuing her efforts to correct that.
“We want to do that, but, of course, you know, it’s a lot of work,” she said during an October 31 appearance on “Trunk Nation”, Eddie Trunk‘s new show on SiriusXM channel Volume (106). “So we did the [Ronnie James Dio ‘This Is Your Life’] tribute record [in 2014], and that was very successful. We’ve received about two hundred thousand so far on that record from Warner Brothers, which is fantastic. We want to do it, but it’s a lot of work, so it probably won’t come out until 2018, ’cause if we work on it next year, then 2018, we could possibly bring it out. But I think it’s a great project, I think everybody wants to do it, and I think it’s time.”
Wendy confirmed that both the new version and the old version of “Stars” will be included on the reissue package. “Because the old version was only ever on, I think, vinyl and cassette; it was never on a DVD or on CD,” she explained. “And we also have a lot of stuff that was behind the scenes that wasn’t heard or seen, which is kind of fun. There’s loads of photos we have. I think we have about a hundred signed posters by everyone, and a lot of those people are not alive now. But I just feel we wanna update it a little bit. So instead of just bringing the old stuff up as a reissue, let’s update it with a bonus of some kind.”
Wendy previously revealed that one of the reasons the HEAR ‘N AID reissue was taking so long to come out was the “legal stuff” that needed to be taken care of. “You can always get the bands to do something, but it’s the legal licensing of talking with the record labels they’re on and the management and so on, to get something off the ground,” she said. “So we’re hoping to do that.”