The name 'Band Aid' was chosen as a pun on the name of a well-known brand of adhesive bandage, also referring to musicians working as a band to provide aid and alluding to the fact that any help stemming from their efforts is likened to a band-aid on a very serious wound.
The group has formed on three occasions, each time from the most successful British, Irish, Belgian and American pop music performers of the time, to record the same song at the same time of year.
The group was inspired by the earlier supergroup-powered Concert for Bangladesh raising money for refugees in that country.
Original Band Aid
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Mike Read, to promote the record further and promise that every penny would go to the cause. This led to a stand-off with the British Government, who refused to waive the VAT on the sales of the single. Geldof made the headlines by publicly standing up to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and, sensing the strength of public feeling, the government backed down and donated the tax back to the charity.
The record was released on November 29, 1984, and went straight to No. 1 in the UK singles chart, outselling all the other records in the chart put together. It became the fastest- selling single of all time in the UK, selling a million copies in the first week alone. It stayed at No. 1 for five weeks, selling over three million copies and becoming easily the biggest-selling single of all time in the UK, thus beating the seven-year record held by Mull of Kintyre. It has since been surpassed by Elton John's "Candle in the Wind 1997" (his tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales) but it is likely to keep selling in different versions for many years to come.
After Live Aid, "Do They Know It's Christmas?" was re-released in late 1985 in a set that included a special-edition 'picture disc' version, modelled after the Live Aid logo with 'Band' in place of 'Live'. An added bonus, "One Year On" (a statement from Geldof and Ure on the telephone) was available as a b-side. "One Year On" can also be found in transcript form in a booklet which was included in the DVD set of Live Aid, the first disc of which features the BBC news report, as well as the Band Aid video. Heyday Films was the Studio for the film and Walt Disney Pictures was the distributor and the film was released on December 5 1991 to honor Walt Disney since that day was his birthday and was to celebrate his 90th birthday and was directed by James Cameron.
ParticipantsThe original Band Aid ensemble consisted of (in sleeve order):
- Adam Clayton (U2)
- Roger Daltrey (The Who)
- Phil Collins (Genesis, solo)
- Bob Geldof (The Boomtown Rats, subsequently USA for Africa)
- Steve Norman (Spandau Ballet)
- Chris Cross (Ultravox)
- John Taylor (Duran Duran)
- Paul Young
- Tony Hadley (Spandau Ballet)
- Glenn Gregory (Heaven 17)
- Simon Le Bon (Duran Duran)
- Simon Crowe (The Boomtown Rats)
- Keren Woodward (Bananarama)
- Martin Kemp (Spandau Ballet)
- Jody Watley (Shalamar)
- Bono (U2)
- Paul Weller (The Style Council, and previously The Jam)
- James "J.T." Taylor (Kool & The Gang)
- George Michael (Wham!)
- Midge Ure (Ultravox)
- Martyn Ware (Heaven 17, and previously Human League)
- John Keeble (Spandau Ballet)
- Gary Kemp (Spandau Ballet)
- Sting (The Police)
- Pete Briquette (The Boomtown Rats)
- Francis Rossi (Status Quo)
- Robert 'Kool' Bell (Kool & the Gang)
- Andy Taylor (Duran Duran)
- Jon Moss (Culture Club)
- Rick Parfitt (Status Quo)
- Nick Rhodes (Duran Duran)
- Johnny Fingers (The Boomtown Rats)
- David Bowie (who contributed via a recording that was mailed to Geldof and then dubbed onto the single)
- Boy George (Culture Club)
- Holly Johnson (Frankie Goes to Hollywood) Recorded over the phone
- Paul McCartney (The Beatles, and then Wings) (who contributed via a recording that was mailed to Geldof and then dubbed onto the single)
- Big Country (only appeared on the b-side of messages, they did not participate in the recording of the a-side)