The classic “We Are The World” one-off song for African famine relief. The iconic music video of every contributing artist recording the song in the studio with the humongous choir shot at the end has been parodied countless times on many sitcoms and cartoons.
The song is officially done by the one-off super group named USA For Africa, which includes the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Huey Lewis, Bob Dylan, Dan Aykroyd (yes, that Dan Aykroyd) Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Lindsey Buckingham, Harry Belafonte, Ray Charles, Hall & Oates, Waylon Jennings, Billy Joel, Cyndi Lauper, Kenny Loggins, Bette Midler, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Steve Perry, Lionel Ritchie, Smokey Robinson, Kenny Rogers, Diana Ross, and Tina Turner.
The song is one of the highest selling singles in history, one of fewer than 30 singles to sell more than 10 million copies worldwide. In total the single has sold more than 20 million copies. It was pressed as a 7″ and a 12″. The 7″ version has multiple pressings, with a U.S., general European, UK, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Australian, New Zealand, Japanese, Canadian and Jamaican pressing. The artwork (for the copies that come in a picture sleeve) and track listing is the same for all the 7″ pressings. The Jamaican pressing is the only one without a picture sleeve and a large center hole. The b-side is a Quincy Jones song entitled “Grace.”
The 12″ version has multiple pressings as well, some are maxi singles and some aren’t. All the 12″ pressings have the same artwork, which is different from the artwork for the 7″ pressings. The 12″ artwork is a drawing of African children stretching off into the horizon with the sun starting to rise above the children in the back of the drawing. The b-side of all the 12″ pressings is the same, and the same as the b-side on the 7″ pressings; Quincy Jones’ “Grace.” There is a U.S., general European, UK, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Japanese Australian, Canadian, Brazilian and Hong Kong pressing. The Japanese pressing has an obi-strip in order to indicate what the release is in Japanese.
All pressings were released by either Columbia or CBS Records. If the pressing was released on Columbia it will have the stock Columbia center labels, which are red. If the pressing was released on CBS it will have the stock CBS center labels, which are orange and yellow.