Today marks the 27th Anniversary of this overwrought Christmas charity effort, produced by Quincy Jones. (Was there a bunch of fanfare over the 25th?…oh yeah, there was the Benefit for Haiti!)
Even tho “WATW” is a tune I pretty much loathed from its inception, it did end up raising 45 million for African Famine Relief and — as The Globe and Mail’s music writer, Brad Wheeler writes: Today, response songs tend to be musical retorts from feuding, offended rappers, involving shows of disrespect. But one night, back in 1985, celebrated singers put their voices to something more significant – an American gospel-pop reaction to an earlier (and arguably much better) British benefit single, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”…resulting in not only a victory for music, charity and pop culture, but a better connotation to the term “Band-Aid solution”.
Its one saving grace (for me anyway) is that they included Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson & Ray Charles!