Decryption/The Greatest Night in Pop | We Are The World, as if you were there

Everyone knows the song, but few people know the (fascinating) underside. Landed on Netflix this week, the documentary The Greatest Night in Pop details, in an almost immersive manner, the recording of We Are The World, from the USA for Africa collective, made up of the biggest stars. Pre-reading warning: you’ll have this stuck in your head for hours.

Nostalgia for an era

Lasting 90 minutes, The Greatest Night in Pop takes us back to 1985, more precisely to the night of January 25 to 26, when around forty American superstars, including Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, Huey Lewis, Smokey Robinson, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Simon and Billy Joel joined forces to record We Are The World, a ballad aimed at raising money to fight against famine in Africa. Rich in never-before-seen images taken in the studio, the documentary directed by Bao Nguyen (Be Water, Live from New York!) is full of juicy moments (Bob Dylan who is really, really not in his right mind), touching (the artists exchange their autographs like groupies), uncomfortable (the singer Al Jarreau, visibly drunk, who constantly forgets his words ), daunting (Michael Jackson lost his snake) and stressful (a race against time to finish on time).


Michael Jackson and Bob Dylan in the studio

In an interview, Danick Trottier, professor of musicology at the University of Quebec in Montreal, talks about a “well-scripted” film tailor-made to tickle the nostalgic fiber of the public. “We revisit the second half of the 20th century a lote century. We did it a lot around the big events of the 1960s and 1970s, and in recent years, we have become very interested in the 1980s.”


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