Revamped Hear ‘n Aid Lineup to Record New Song for Anniversary Reissue
Thirty years ago, some of hard rock and metal's biggest names united to record "Stars," a charity single for famine relief released under the Hear 'n Aid banner. Now, plans are in the works for a long-delayed reissue — and it could be accompanied by a new song from a 2015 Hear 'n Aid lineup.
Word of the project comes from Wendy Dio, whose late husband Ronnie James Dio was a spearheading force behind the original release. Saying she's "in talks right now with a couple of record labels" to reissue the original recording, Dio told Eddie Trunk that proceeds from the release will go toward the Stand Up and Shout cancer fund established in Ronnie's name.
"We have so much stuff that was never released before, behind-the-scenes stuff that was shot during the whole time. We have photos galore of everybody that was involved in it, and I think it’ll be fantastic," she explained. "We just have to work on it. It may not come out this year, because I want everything to be perfect, as Ronnie would want it to be, but I am in talks about it and that will be coming out."
Asked about a new all-star song, she revealed, "That’s something we’re working on as well. We wanna make something really special for the fans and to raise money, of course, for the cancer fund."
As veteran metal fans will no doubt recall, the Hear 'n Aid project got its start when Dio members Vivian Campbell and Jimmy Bain, perturbed by a lack of hard-rock involvement in the wave of charity music projects raising money for various causes at the time, pitched the idea to Ronnie. The three co-wrote "Stars" together, and ended up enlisting a roster of performers that included members of Quiet Riot, Dokken, Judas Priest, Queensrÿche and Y&T, among many others.
Release of the "Stars" single — as well as a Hear 'n Aid album, which added songs from Kiss, Rush, Motörhead and others — was plagued by label difficulties that delayed its arrival until January 1986, which hampered publicity efforts and chart performance, although it was a Top 40 hit in the U.K. and also spun off a video documentary, Hear 'n Aid - The Sessions.
Exciting as this prospect might be for fans who've hoped for a proper CD release for the project, it's worth noting that this is something Wendy Dio has been working toward for some time — as far back as 2011, she told Rolling Stone that it was in the works — so it could be quite awhile before it actually arrives in stores.
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