Hear ‘n Aid was a one-off project of the heavy metal/hard rock scene of the 1980s to raise money for famine relief in Africa. According to Ronnie James Dio’s MySpace profile, the project raised $1 million within a year.
The song was recorded on May 20 and 21 1985 at the A&M Records Studio in Hollywood, California. The project included contributions from Ted Nugent, Yngwie Malmsteen, Tommy Aldridge and members of Dio, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Quiet Riot, Dokken, Mötley Crüe, Twisted Sister, Queensrÿche, Blue Öyster Cult, Vanilla Fudge, Y&T, Rough Cutt, Giuffria, Journey, W.A.S.P. and Night Ranger as well as the parody band Spinal Tap. Lead vocals were shared between Ronnie James Dio, Rob Halford, Kevin DuBrow, Eric Bloom, Geoff Tate, Dave Meniketti, Don Dokken and Paul Shortino. Vivian Campbell, Carlos Cavazo, Buck Dharma, Brad Gillis, Craig Goldy, George Lynch, Yngwie Malmsteen, Eddie Ojeda and Neal Schon all added guitar solos. Iron Maiden’s Dave Murray and Adrian Smith were in the middle of their ‘World Slavery Tour’ at the time and flew in to attend the main session. A documentary was shot of the recording process and released simultaneously.