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Band Aid
Band aid peter blake cover do they know its christmas
Background information
Recorded 25 November 1984
Released 3 December 1984
Genre Pop
Producer Bob Geldof
Midge Ure
featuring Duran Duran

Band Aid was a British and Irish charity supergroup, founded in 1984 by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in order to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia by releasing the record "Do They Know It's Christmas?" for the Christmas market. The single featured Duran Duran and surpassed the hopes of the producers to become the Christmas number one. The charity would go on to produce Live Aid, and subsequent live performances of Do They Know It's Christmas?.

Two subsequent re-recordings of the song to raise further money for charity also topped the charts.

Original Band Aid[]

Bob Geldof, after watching a BBC television news report by Michael Buerk from famine-stricken Ethiopia, October 23rd 1984, was so moved by the plight of starving children that he decided to try and raise money using his contacts in pop music.

"After I saw the TV broadcast, I call Paula [Yates, his wife] who was working up at The Tube in Newcastle. I knew Midge was up there, Midge Ure from Ultravox who was a mate of mine; and [he took the phone] and I said "Did you see that thing on TV?", and he said "Yeah", and I said "Well I want to make a record" and he said "well that's a good idea". Then I rang Sting, and he said straight away "I'm in." So then I rang Simon Le Bon, and he said "Brilliant". And on the way home, I passed this antique shop, with Gary Kemp in there pointing at something to the owner. So I rushed in [yelling and swearing] and he said "Wait till we're back from Japan, because we want in on this". Then Midge sent me down this tape... with the Doo do-do-do DOO do-do Do Do on it. And was going over and over it; and I phoned him up and said "That's Z Cars, or it's Dam Busters or something". So I went to visit a mate who was ill; and on the way over I wrote 'Its Christmas Time, and there's no need to be afraid'. --The Band Aid Story, 2004

The recording studio gave Band Aid no more than 24 free hours to record and mix the record. On 25 November 1984 the recording took place between 11am and 7pm, and was filmed by director Nigel Dick to be released as the pop video though some basic tracks had been recorded the day before at Midge Ure's home studio. A host of singers arrived for the event, which was surrounded by the media. The first track to be put down was drums by Phil Collins including the memorable opening African drum beat. Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet was the first to record his vocal while a section sung by Status Quo was deemed unusable and replaced with the Paul Weller/Sting/Glenn Gregory section. Paul Young said in a documentary that he knew his opening lines were written for David Bowie, who was not able to make the recording but made a contribution to the B-side. Tony, Paul and Simon sang over the rough demo track, which included Midge Ure singing the song. Simon did not get on well with Midges vocals, and eventually asked for them to be removed from his earphone playback. Later that day, Phil Collins, John Taylor, and Midge Ure got together to record the final backing track. Boy George arrived last at 6:00pm after Geldof woke him up by phone to have him flown over from New York on Concorde to record his solo part. He was the final voice to be added live before mixing.

The record was released on 3 December and went straight to No. 1 in the UK singles chart, outselling all the other records in the chart put together. It became the fastest-selling single of all time in the UK, selling a million copies in the first week alone. It stayed at No. 1 for five weeks, selling over three million copies and becoming easily the biggest-selling single of all time in the UK, as of 1984.

After Live Aid, "Do They Know It's Christmas?" was re-released in late 1985 in a set that included a special-edition 'picture disc' version, modeled after the Live Aid logo with 'Band' in place of 'Live'.


The original Band Aid ensemble consisted of (in sleeve order):


  • John Taylor (Duran Duran) - bass
  • Phil Collins - drums
  • Midge Ure - keyboards
  • Jens Langhorn - additional drums
  • Adam Clayton (U2) - bass

The sleeve artist, Peter Blake, was also credited on the sleeve.

Band Aid II[]

This version, released in 1989, was produced by British songwriting and production team Stock Aitken Waterman. It stayed at number one for three weeks in the UK charts. Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward of Bananarama were the only artists from the original Band Aid that were featured again on this version.

Band Aid 20[]

The Band Aid 20 released on 29 November, 2004, with all money raised going toward famine relief in the Darfur region of Sudan. Bono, Paul McCartney and George Michael were the only artists from the original Band Aid who had been asked back to lend their voices to Band Aid 20.

External links[]

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