Saturday, December 20, 2014

Song of the Day - Do They Know It's Christmas? - The Various Incarnations of Band Aid

I'd recently heard about the newest incarnation of the classic Christmas tune Do They Know It's Christmas?, conceived by Boomtown Rats frontman and activist Bob Geldof and sung by a myriad of pop stars way back in 1984, but I didn't know that there were two other versions of the song.  Yes, originally I was going to post the new one next to the original, but in doing my search for the videos I came upon the those other two.  

Like with most things, the original is usually the best, and that is no doubt the case with this tune. However, music is very subjective and not everyone may agree with me.  All four versions of Do They Know It's Christmas? feature top artists of the day when they were recorded and if any of those times were your time, then you might think that One Direction or Emile Sandé being involved make this year's recording better or likewise with Natasha Bedingfield and Joss Stone in 2004.  

Anyway, I don't expect anyone to listen to all four versions fully, but it is kind of fun to check out the different artists singing the lyrics made so famous 30 years's history in some form. In any case, if you'd like to plead a case for any one of the versions being better, by all means do so in the comment section.  In the meantime, please check out at least one of them...

Band Aid 30

The newest incarnation of Do They Know It's Christmas? was recorded on November 15th, and the proceeds from the single are meant to lend aid to the current Ebola crisis currently happening in West Africa and around the world.  The 30th anniversar edition features some of today's hottest British and Irish acts, including Coldplay's Chris Martin, Sam Smith and Ellie Goulding, and the lyrics were tweaked to fit the current aim of the group.  Check it out...

Band Aid 30 Participants

Bono                                     Clean Bandit                       Paloma Faith                 Guy Garvey (Elbow)
Ellie Goulding                      Angélique Kidjo                  Chris Martin                  Olly Murs
Sinéad O'Connor                  One Direction                     Rita Ora                         Emile Sandé
Seal                                       Ed Sheeran                         Dan Smith (Bastille)       Sam Smith
Underworld                          Jessie Ware

Band Aid 20

The 20-year anniversary edition of the song was recorded to benefit those stricken by the humanitarian crisis in Sudan's Darfur region and wasn't as well received as the original...

Band Aid 20 Participants

Tim Wheeler (Ash)                Daniel Bedingfield                Natasha Bedingfield          Bono
Busted                                   McFly                                    Chris Martin                      Dido
Dizzee Rascal                       Ms. Dynamite                        Skye Edwards (Morcheeba)
Estelle                                   Neil Hannon (The Divine Comedy)                                 
Justin Hawkins (The Darkness)                                          Jamelia                              
Tom Chaplain (Keane)        Tim Rice-Oxley (Keane)        Beverley Knight                 Lemar
Shaznay Lewis (All Saints)  Katie Melua                           Róisín Murphy (Moloko)   Feeder
Snow Patrol                         Rachel Stevens                       Joss Stone                          Sugababes
The Thrills                           Turin Brakes                          Robbie Williams                Will Young
Weird Al Yankovic               Russell Mael (Sparks)           Fran Healy (Travis)           Fraser Stone
George Cave                        Fraser Aitken                        Felix Pivcevic

Band Aid II

The second version of Bob Geldof's brainchild was recorded just five years after the original, in 1989, and was produced by the then hot production trio Stock, Aitken and Waterman.  Proceeds from the single added to what had been raised since the first and this version became the last number one hit of the year in Britain.  Check it out...

Band Aid II Participants

Bananarama                    Big Fun                              Bros                       Cathy Dennis
D-Mob                             Jason Donavan                  Kevin Godley         Glen Goldsmith
Kylie Minogue                Pasadenas                          Chris Rea                Cliff Richard
Jimmy Somerville           Sonia                                  Lisa Stansfield         Technotronic
Wet We Wet

Band Aid - The Original

Who can forget images of this, the very first incarnation of the now-classic Christmas tune?  This was the first such exposure many of us ever got of the day's top musical acts getting together to perform for a cause (remember USA for Africa?).  With the likes of Duran Duran, Cyndi Lauper, Phil Collins, The Pointer Sisters, Sting, Paul McCartney, Boy George and many more, this one etched itself into the Christmas songbook for all time.  Enjoy...

Band Aid Participants

Adam Clayton (U2)                 Phil Collins                   Bob Geldof              Spandau Ballet
Chris Cross (Ultravox)           Duran Duran                Paul Young              Heaven 17
The Boomtown Rats                Marilyn                         Bananarama            Jody Watley
Bono                                        Paul Weller                  Kool & the Gang      Sting
George Michael                      Midge Ure                    Francis Rossi             Boy George
Rick Parfitt                              Holly Johnson (Frankie Goes to Hollywood)
Paul McCartney                      David Bowie                Big Country

Well, I hope you've enjoyed this trip down Christmastime memory lane with me.  Have an awesome Saturday and stay tuned for more...

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