In 1989, The Most Epic Collaboration Happened!

In 1989, The Most Epic Collaboration Happened! | I Love Classic Rock Videos

Pink Floyd's David Gilmour and Queen's Brian May in BTS stills for Rock Aid Armenia "Smoke on The Water" recording session - Rock Aid Armenia / Youtube

How Rock Aid Armenia Happened

The rock industry has seen its fair share of collaborations that made its mark in history. 1989 bore witness as one of the most unexpected crossovers happened. In December of 1988, Armenia was rocked by an intense earthquake that left over 50,000 in casualties and 130,000 people injured. The British music industry wanted to take part in humanitarian efforts, and Rock Aid Armenia was created. Headed by international charity campaigner Jon Dee, UK’s biggest rock bands were brought together for this recording for a cause.

The most ambitious crossover in Rock history

This super-collaboration was comprised by members of the bands Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Queen, Rush, Black Sabbath, Free, Yes, Iron Maiden, and some solo artists. On the guitars were legendary riff meisters David Gilmour, Brian May, Tony Iommi, Ritchie Blackmore, Alex Lifeson and Chris Squire. At the vocals were Ian Gillan, Bruce Dickinson, Paul Rogers and Bryan Adams.  Keith Emerson and Geoff Downes were in charge of the keyboards, and Roger Taylor drummed for the recording.

The collaboration recorded Deep Purple’s hit song, “Smoke on The Water“, with the vocalists assigned to a verse in the song. Each of them brought their own flavors to the song, their distinct singing styles emerging. The guitarists showcased their guitar prowess as well, from rhythm by Iommi, to the bass of Squire. The haunting organ parts were brought on by Emerson and Downes, with their own addition of flair. Queen’s Roger Taylor did the song justice by staying true to the original pattern.

This shows that the hard rock industry isn’t just all grit, and that behind every riff and roll is a heart that goes out to humanity. The proceeds helped the Armenian victims and even funded the building of a music school that teaches local children. Check the video out below for one of music’s most epic collaborations!