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The Student News Site of Louisa County High School

The Lion's Roar

The Student News Site of Louisa County High School

The Lion's Roar

Documentary Review:The Greatest Night in Pop

Canva+image+made+to+show+that+we+are+together%2C+as+a+world.
Natalie Spencer
Canva image made to show that we are together, as a world.

Recently released on Netflix, “The Greatest Night in Pop” takes viewers behind the scenes of the song “We Are the World.” The documentary profiles artists and producers who made the song, while showing footage taken when the song was being recorded.

USA For Africa

In 1985, Harry Belafonte and Quincy Jones contacted R&B singer/songwriter Lionel Richie, with the idea of a song to raise money for the African famine relief. Belafonte explained that he wanted the song to be sung by the greatest pop artists of the time. Belafonte and his team started contacting artists to be a part of the song. While, Richie and Michael Jackson were busy writing the song. 

Both men spent a lot of their time at Jackson’s house to plan out the song. I noticed how Richie explained he was mesmerized by the way that Jackson wrote his songs. Richie said that Jackson hummed different tunes of the song to figure out which one he liked. 

The two men spent the first few days working on the melody of the song, then got to writing the actual piece. They only had a week to get the song written and ready for recording. Richie and Jackson finished the song the night before they were to record it.

 Before watching this documentary, I thought that this was a song that took a long time to plan and record like other songs. While I was watching it, seeing the time stamps they showed while making the song, I realized that it only took a few hours. They decided to record the song on the night of the AMA’s (American Music Awards) since all the celebrities they needed would be in one spot. After the AMA’s, the celebrities who were a part of the song met at the A&M recording studio. 

At around ten o’clock at night, they started to record the song’s chorus.. At first, having all of these celebrities together in one room was very awkward for them because of the competition they face in their careers. 

When they finished the chorus of the song at around one thirty in the morning, they started to set up the floor for the solos. These solos consisted of half a line for each artist who was assigned. They put tape down with the artists names on them and when they finished, they would be standing in a “U” shape. They arranged the artists with voices they felt blended together and were recognizable. 

USA For Africa

While their solos were being recorded, the artists started to bond with each other and the social atmosphere seemed less awkward. The celebrities like Tina Turner, Billy Joel, Ray Charles, and Steve Perry, forgot the competition they had with each other and enjoyed each other’s presence. Watching the groups of soloists harmonize was mesmerizing as each artist had their own distinct voice, and were able to harmonize with others seamlessly. 

After they finished the song at 5 o’clock AM, the producers started to work for weeks on editing the song for publishing. After publishing, it became an immediate hit and raised over eighty million dollars. “We Are the World ” brought forty-six music artists together to support the world.

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About the Contributor
Natalie Spencer, Reporter/Photographer
Natalie Spencer is a second year staff member of the Lion’s Roar. Her interests include cheerleading and spending time with family and friends. Natalie enjoys writing about current events in the community. 

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