The song was the catalyst for the Live Aid concerts the following year
Band Aid “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” was released on this day in 1984
During the 1980’s Christmas songs made by modern Pop music artists reached a new level when on December 3rd the single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Band Aid was released. Written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, the song featured several of the 1980’s Pop and Rock artists including Bono, Phil Collins, Bananarama, Boy George, Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran, Sting, members of Status Quo and George Michael among others. The B-Side of the single featured spoken messages by David Bowie, Paul McCartney Holly Johnson and Big Country, the artists who were unable to participate in the recording session for the song. “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” was composed in reaction to television reports of the 1983–85 famine in Ethiopia. It was first recorded in a single day on 25 November 1984 and released little over a week later; it entered the UK Singles Chart at number one and stayed there for five weeks, becoming the Christmas number one of 1984. The record became the fastest selling single in UK chart history, selling a million copies in the first week alone and passing 3 million on the last day of 1984. The song was also a major success around the world, reaching number one in thirteen other countries outside the UK. In the US, the single fell short of the top ten in the Billboard Hot 100 due to a lack of airplay, but it had sold an estimated 2.5 million copies in the US by January 1985. Geldof’s cautious hope was that the single would raise £70,000 for Ethiopia, but in the event “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” raised £8 million within twelve months of release. The single’s worldwide success in raising awareness and financial relief for the victims of the Ethiopian famine led the recording of several other charity singles in the UK and in other countries, such as “We Are the World” by USA for Africa. The success of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” was the catalyst for the Live Aid concerts that took place the following year in 1985.
Look back at the 1984 music video for “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Band Aid
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