Safe to say this comes as no surprise if you know me personally, you are probably aware that I have a song attached to h every single important moment, whether it be a hallmark, or a simple track that puts me in mind of someone,
Through the good, the bad, and the ugly, everything has this song attached and when it comes to Christmas this number is no exception to the rule. But not only did it play a big part in my life, but played even a bigger role, saving the lives of thousands.
This is the story told through my eyes along side my personal attachment when I was living in London at this specific time.
Life as I knew It
people, Places & Things serve a big part of song attachment be it. annually belting it out with best friends every same time of the year, but this specific moment in time when this was happening, myself, and my and family were having a bit of a bumpy path that led to the course having myself and my mother and sister living distraught at my Uncle Robert and auntie Rita's, home sharing their flat alongside my 2 cousins Tony and Lisa and Chelsea London England for some time, to whom I'm forever indebted for taking us in and making it home.. The Housing Scheme is nestled along the banks of the Themes River at Worlds End, Kings Road,, Chelsea , London.
The scheme is a beast of manor, Seven tower blocks interlinked by "streets in the sky" providing 750 ample-sized and comfortable homes with access to decent local facilities to over 2,500 residents, many of whom have come to love and cherish the estate. it is a micro society unlike anything I've ever seen also located 2 miles from Notting Hill, where the track was being recorded , and just 7 miles down the road to Wembley Stadium where the Live Aid Concert was held. I was witnessing a 1st glimpse of the power of artists in music, first hand and it was real.
You see , at the time , man was going through a very dark chapter, you wouldn't have known it living in the western world (if it wasn't for the artist that decided) to make change and help , but for an Ethiopian , it was literally hell on earth.
The 1980s Ethiopia famine was one of the worst humanitarian events of the 20th century, galvanizing the world's attention to end widespread starvation and save lives. Ethiopia's food shortages and hunger crisis from 1983 to 1985 led to an estimated 1 million famine deaths, according to the United Nations.
A widespread famine affected Ethiopia from 1983 to 1985.[ The worst famine to hit the country in a century, it affected 7.75 million people (out of Ethiopia's 38–40 million) and left approximately 300,000 to 1.2 million dead. 2.5 million people were internally displaced whereas 400,000 refugees left Ethiopia. Almost 200,000 children were orphaned..
At the height of the famine along with the efforts from other world leaders , governments and the United Nations, or there for lack of two artist , Bob Geldof of The Boomtown Rats and Midge Ure of His band Ultravox decided to unite all of the top selling artists of the day to record a track to raise funds and awareness to the cause to help Ethiopia in there time of famine.
Geldof and Ure's biggest challenge was to write a song that could be recorded and released in time for Christmas. They realized that they would have to write one themselves and not record a cover version; otherwise, they would have to pay royalties which would have to be subtracted from the amount raised for charity.
On the Monday afternoon Ure came up with the outline of what he felt sounded a Christmas-like melody on a portable keyboard, which he recorded onto a tape and sent to Geldof, who sarcastically told him that the tune sounded like the theme to
It was lucky in a way, because I had already written this song, which I had provisionally called 'It's My World', and I knew it would be suitable if I just changed the words a bit and called it 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' Midge, reliable as ever, sent down this tune which is the sort of Christmassy bit at the end and we married the two together”
Geldof asked Trevor Horn to produce the song; Horn was an in-demand producer, having produced three number-one singles that year for Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Although Horn was receptive, he said he needed at least six weeks to produce the song, which would make it impossible to release by Christmas. However, he allowed the team to use his studios, Sarm West Studios in Notting Hill, London, free for 24 hours on 25 November.
Released in the US on 10 December 1984 on Columbia Records,"Do They Know It's Christmas?" sold 1.9 million copies in its first eleven days on release. Due to the time constraints of releasing the single as quickly as possible, the promotional video for the song simply featured footage from the recording session.
David Bowie, who had been Geldof's original choice to sing the song's opening line but who had been unable to attend the recording, flew into England from Switzerland to record a short introduction for the video to be played on the BBC's flagship television
A 30-minute video titled 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' – The Story of the Official Band Aid Video was released in the UK on 15 December 1984 .The video featured documentary footage shot at the recording session and interviews with Geldof and Ure, as well as the completed promotional video.
But three things the Britt's are known for is their passion for music, a controversial challenge when money and taxes are involved , and more so , music notoriety,
so despite the efforts and success , the project did not go without a bit of questioning
Reception, Criticism & Money Raised
The reception in December 1984 to the original single from the UK music press was mixed. Under a caption of "TURKEY" (a double meaning referring both to the traditional Christmas dinner and an artistic failure),
The biggest selling music paper NME dismissed the song with the single line, "Millions of Dead Stars write and perform rotten record for the right reasons"
"Do They Know It's Christmas?" was highly successful worldwide.
It sold over two million copies around the globe and raised more than $24 million (USD). Band Aid and Live Aid combined raised about $150 million (USD) for the famine relief effort in Ethiopia.
If you have never seen the Live Aid concert, and are a music lover , it is definitely one to watch over the holiday season.
Live Aid, benefit concert held simultaneously at Wembley Stadium in London and JFK Stadium in Philadelphia on July 13, 1985. Organized by Boomtown Rats front man Bob Geldof and Ultravox vocalist Midge Ure, the event drew an estimated 1.5 billion television viewers and raised millions of dollars for famine relief in Ethiopia.
More than 75 acts performed at the two Live Aid concerts, with the UK line-up including Madonna, Eric Clapton, Duran Duran, Mick Jagger, Paul Simon, Led Zeppelin and Tom Petty. Meanwhile Phil Collins managed to play in both London and Philadelphia after he performed at Wembley and promptly hopped on Concorde to fly to
The concert hosted some of the artists on the track , and an amazing line up of other new joiners for the cause.
Perhaps the most noteworthy performances of the day belonged to a pair of arena rock giants—U2 and Queen—with each excelling in its respective idiom. U2 devoted 12 minutes of its allotted time to its anthem “Bad,” and lead singer Bono spent much of that time directly interacting with the Wembley crowd. An hour and a half later, lead singer Freddie Mercury powered through a condensed set of Queen’s greatest hits that was just incredible.
Everyone has their opinion I suppose, but while musically the song was flawed due to the timing to put it together for the holidays and make the concept succeed, its intentions were admirable, the money raised for the cause was amazing.
To everyone that was involved with that recording , hats off
and to anyone reading this article.......
From our home to yours
Wishing you all the best of love, luck, and health
over your Christmas or Holiday Break
May Good juju find you
All the best
Official Video Here