Billy Joel Shares A Very Underrated But Memorable Moment Recording “We Are The World”

Billy Joel Shares A Very Underrated But Memorable Moment Recording “We Are The World” | I Love Classic Rock Videos

via Billy Joel - One Final Serenade / Youtube

Billy Joel has shared insights into the 1985 recording sessions for the charity single “We Are The World,” highlighting a memorable moment involving Stevie Wonder and Bob Dylan.

A Look Back at Billy Joel’s “We Are The World” Experience

Speaking on The Howard Stern Show, Joel reminisced about his involvement in the “We Are The World” project, which coincided with his existing commitments in Los Angeles for the Grammys and other events. Reflecting on his decision to participate, Joel remarked,

“‘What the hell, this could be fun.”

Despite the excitement, Joel and his fellow musicians were initially unaware of the purpose of the recording. Standing alongside Cyndi Lauper during the session, Joel recalled Lauper’s observation that the song sounded like a Pepsi commercial, adding a touch of humor to the proceedings.

“I’m standing next to Cyndi Lauper. Now we’re all being filmed while this is going on. And she’s leaning over to me, going ‘This song sounds like a Pepsi commercial’”.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Madison Square Garden (@thegarden)

Stevie Wonder’s Coaching Session with Bob Dylan

One particularly amusing moment occurred when Bob Dylan expressed hesitation about singing his part. Stevie Wonder stepped in to offer guidance, coaching Dylan on how to sing like himself. Joel described the scene, stating,

“Stevie Wonder teaching Bob Dylan to sing like Bob Dylan was a moment.”

In another lighthearted anecdote, Joel shared how he and Bruce Springsteen would occasionally step away from the chorus to enjoy deli sandwiches and beer during breaks in recording.

“When everybody’s singing together, sometimes Bruce and I are in the chorus and sometimes we’re not because there was a big pile of deli sandwiches on the other side of the room and we kept going over to get a beer and a sandwich.”

The Global Impact of “We Are The World”

“We Are The World” achieved immense success, topping charts worldwide and becoming the ninth best-selling single of all time. Recorded under the name USA for Africa, the song featured an impressive lineup of artists including Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Cyndi Lauper, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, and more.

In addition to these renowned artists, the chorus of the song included Belafonte, the Pointer Sisters, Bette Midler, the Jackson 5, Waylon Jennings, Smokey Robinson, and Bob Geldof.

The impact and legacy of “We Are The World” are explored in Netflix’s documentary, “The Greatest Night In Pop,” available for streaming exclusively on the platform.