The mid-'80s charity trend in popular music even extended into the heavy metal and hard rock community. Veteran vocalist Ronnie James Dio formed the Hear 'n Aid project in 1985 to raise money for famine relief all over the world. It didn't get much media coverage and it didn't achieve blockbuster sales like Band Aid or USA for Africa, but Hear 'n Aid did generate a respectable amount of revenue. On May 20 and 21, 1985, 40 hard rock musicians joined together as Hear 'n Aid at A&M Records Studios and recorded "Stars." This dramatic epic features plenty of vocal gymnastics and guitar shredding. The participants included, among many others: Dio's Vinny Appice, Jimmy Bain, Vivian Campbell, Dio himself, and Claude Schnell; Iron Maiden's Dave Murray and Adrian Smith; Journey's Neal Schon; Judas Priest's Rob Halford; Yngwie Malmsteen; Ted Nugent; Spinal Tap's David St. Hubbins and Derek Smalls; and Twisted Sister's Eddie Ojeda. The other eight Hear 'n Aid tracks include live offerings from Accept, Dio, Kiss, Motörhead, Rush, and Scorpions, and two studio selections from Jimi Hendrix and Y&T.
AllMusic Review by Bret Adams