Imagine getting a Christmas present from not only Bono and Coldplay’s Chris Martin, but also Adele, One Direction, and Ed Sheeran.
The best thing about the deal? That would be the fact that the gift in question is the kind that’s going to enable you to do some giving of your own. Or, to put things in less cryptic and decidedly more seasonal terms, there’s a new Band Aid single on the horizon.
Those who remember a time when vinyl was the only format that mattered at local record stores will recall the first Band Aid single, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, being recorded by a who’s who of stars in 1984. Artists who showed up for the recording of the song, written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, included Boy George, Simon Le Bon, Sting, Paul McCartney, David Bowie, and George Michael.
Proceeds of one of the best-selling songs of all time went to famine relief in Ethiopia, Geldof having been spurred to take action after catching a report on the tragedy on the BBC.
In an interview with Rolling Stone this past September, the iconic singer stated that he’s well aware “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” becomes inescapable as soon as the holiday season rolls around.
"I associate it with the meat counter at my local supermarket,” he told Rolling Stone. “Every time I arrive to buy the fucking turkey, I hear [mockingly hums the song's intro]. The butcher looks at me with a little smile and I go, 'Yeah, yeah. Give me the fucking turkey, dude.'"
This week, however, Geldof revealed that’s he’s ready to launch Band Aid 30, which will gather the top stars of today to record a new verion of the single 30 years after the original. The cause this time is the ebola crisis in Africa. Artists who will contribute to the new version of the song include Martin of Coldplay, Adele, One Direction, Ellie Goulding, Sheeran, and Bono, who was also there for the first Band Aid.
Where your grandparents had to head to a bricks and mortar store to buy “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” on vinyl, the song will surface on iTunes three weeks from now. Feel free to actually purchase it, as opposed to downloading it from Pirate Bay, as proceeds will be used to fund agencies doing charitable work in Africa.
Ure told Rolling Stone that another goal of Band Aid 30 is to spur governments across the globe to do something about the reality that people are suffering and dying in Africa on a daily basis. “You get people in the entertainment industry to start rattling cages and it's media-worthy,” he said. “It embarrasses politicians to think that masses of people can be moved into action because of a bunch of pop stars.”
Here's the original version of "Do They Know It's Christmas?". Watch for the hairstyles, as well as the faces, to change for Band Aid 30.