Retrocon 2024

10 Facts You Might Not Know About Band Aid's 'Do They Know It's Christmas'

It's November 25, 1984 and 48 music artists have come together in the name of Ethopian famine relief to record a Christmas song. Musicians Bob Geldof and Midge Ure have initiated the effort to form the supergroup Band Aid after watching a news documentary on BBC television a month earlier. The results of the collaboration would prove to be platinum, setting a record for millions in sales and consequently raising millions of charitable dollars.

As we approach the Christmas season and the anniversary of the single's initial success, here are 10 facts you might not know about Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas"...

Only 4 Americans Were Included In The Original Recording Ensemble
 - James "J.T." Taylor, Robert "Kool" Bell, & Dennis Thomas of Kool & The Gang and Jody Whatley were the four who traveled accrossed the pond.

The First Singing Part Was Intended For David Bowie
 - It was instead sung by Paul Young on the record. However, Bowie did contribute a voice track to the extended 12" version 'Feed The World' and also sang the part during the 1985 Live Aid concert.

The Backing Drum Rhythm Includes A Sample Of Tears For Fears
 - Phil Collins brought his entire drum kit to the recording studio and played them over an African rhythm track that samples a slowed-down version of Tears For Fears "The Hurting."

The Cover Was Designed By The Same Person Who Did Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
 - Peter Blake has also designed album covers for The Who and Oasis.

Held The Record For The Best Selling UK Single For 13 Years
 - It was finally surpassed by Elton John's "Candle In The Wind 1997" that was released after the death of Princess Diana.

Boy George Was The Last To Arrive For The Recording
- Culture Club was in the middle of a US Tour when Bob Geldof phoned Boy George in New York City and flew him to London to record his part.

Bananarama and Bono Are The Only Two Original Artists To Appear In Cover Versions
- Bananarama appeared with Band Aid II in 1989 and Bono contributed to Band Aid 20 in 2004.

Midge Try To Changed Bono's Line The Day Of The Recording
 - The famous line "Tonight, thank God it's them instead of you" was changed to "Only fate decides it's them instead of you." Bob didn't want a philosophical message, but something more straight forward and made sure the original lyrics were kept.

Wham! Donated All Royalties Earned By "Last Christmas" To Ethopian Famine Relief
 - The jesture by George Michael, who was a a member of Band Aid, showed no hard feelings over his single peaking at #2. 'Last Christmas' would go on to be the most successful selling UK single never to reach #1.

The British Pop Singer Marilyn Crashed The Recording
 - A good friend of Boy George, Marilyn was not initally invited but showed up to record anyway.

Image Credits: Songfacts,
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