Thirty years ago, Band Aid, a charity-minded supergroup comprised of the creme de la creme of British pop (Boy George, Sting, Bono, George Michael, Simon Le Bon, to name just a few) met in a London studio to collaborate on a single to raise funds for the decimating famine in Ethiopia. “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, which was the brainchild of musicians Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, became the best-selling British single of all time, a record it held for 13 years, and raised over a million dollars for famine relief. The venerable single was re-recorded in 1989 and 2004, again as a fund-raiser for famine. Cut to 2014 and much of the world is petrified of the Ebola virus so the now Sir Bob Geldof and Midge Ure called up the latest batch of hot new British chart-toppers (members of One Direction, Chris Martin, Sam Smith, Rita Ora…Adele was a surprising no-show) and the ever-present Bono to record an update on the classic anthem and combat the deadly virus in Africa. While it’s unfair to compare the two since everyone involved donated their time for a good cause, we can’t help but feel this new breed of singers is lacking in both energy (wake up, Sam Smith!) and charisma compared to the magic achieved the first time out.
So watch and listen to both versions below, but, more importantly, be sure to donate here.
Here’s the 2014 version.
Here’s the original from 1984.