The Greatest Night in Pop has more star power per second than any other 2024 movie

This preliminary report on The Greatest Night in Pop comes from our workforce following the premieres on the 2024 Sundance Movie Pageant. We’ll replace this piece when there’s more details about the movie’s launch.


On Jan. 28, 1985, more than 40 of the US’ most well-known musicians, from Michael Jackson and Diana Ross to Paul Simon and Billy Joel, gathered in secret to file a charity tune. “We Are the World” was supposed as a fundraiser for famine aid in Africa. The Greatest Night in Pop, a documentary coming to Netflix quickly, is about how that tune received recorded in only one evening.


“We Are the World” is among the bestselling, hottest singles of all time, that includes maybe essentially the most star-studded lineup to ever file collectively. Bao Nguyen’s movie runs by means of the making of the tune, from the preliminary concept to the writing to getting expertise on board to the recording itself.

Nguyen presents all of this by means of archival footage from when the recording session was initially filmed, in addition to talking-head interviews with a few of the musicians concerned, together with Lionel Richie, Cyndi Lauper, Bruce Springsteen, and Kenny Loggins.

What’s The Greatest Night in Pop making an attempt to do?

In addition to simply documenting one of the vital necessary moments in Twentieth-century popular culture, The Greatest Night in Pop additionally tries to speak the sheer star power that got here collectively in A&M Studios on that evening in 1985. It was a who’s who of essentially the most well-known musicians on the planet, which meant that there was each a clashing of egos and an easiness that got here from shared ranges of fame: These superstars have been in the one room in the world the place the general public round them really understood what life was like at that stage of superstar.

Does The Greatest Night in Pop reside as much as its premise?

The Greatest Night in Pop is after a more relaxed and celebratory model of the harried power that director D.A. Pennebaker captured in Unique Solid Album: Firm, his filming of that album’s all-night recording session. Largely, Nguyen will get it there. His doc is ethereal and enjoyable, and whereas it narrativizes the evening properly, thanks in massive half to Richie’s improbable narration, it largely has the nice sense to get out of the best way of the personalities that have been truly in the room. This method holds it again from being a really nice documentary: It not often provides a lot context to the footage we’re seeing, past the backstory, and it pointedly avoids any controversy, or any criticism of even essentially the most troublesome superstar individuals. However the footage-forward method does make the entire thing tremendously enjoyable to look at.

Seeing Bob Dylan look uncomfortable in a sea of well-known faces, Stevie Marvel joking round with Ray Charles, or Huey Lewis nervously understanding a concord is as near unguarded as most of those stars have ever been on movie. It’s a captivating doc. And the best way each second of that footage continues to be fascinating almost 40 years later is a testomony to the uncooked, all-encompassing, completely magnetic star power that everybody in that room has.

Picture: Netflix

The quote that claims all of it

Because the movie itself factors out, crucial facet of the entire evening was when producer Quincy Jones posted an indication contained in the recording studio that stated “Check your ego at the door.” That’s what makes The Greatest Night in Pop really feel particular: It lets us contained in the room the place all-time nice musicians merely felt like they have been amongst associates and equals.

Most memeable second

There are a variety of unimaginable moments, like Waylon Jennings strolling out of the recording studio whereas muttering “Ain’t no good ol’ boy ever sung in Swahili,” or Cyndi Lauper realizing that her huge necklaces have been making a lot noise that the microphones have been selecting them up alongside her voice. But when something from this movie goes to be a meme, it’s Bob Dylan’s awkward grimace, proper smack in the center of essentially the most well-known faces in music, as he desperately tries to determine how you can sing in refrain with them. It’s unimaginable, and as Bob Dylan as something may very well be.

Is The Greatest Night in Pop good?

Completely. It doesn’t fairly attain the heights of documentary classics, falling wanting the perception into the tortured circumstances and annoyed manufacturing of Unique Solid Album: Firm, or the pure musical excellence of Monterey Pop. However there’s one thing particular about seeing these stars mingle that makes this movie a captivating doc on fame and the folks behind it.

When can we see it?

The Greatest Night in Pop will likely be launched on Netflix on Jan. 29.

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