Band Aid 20 (band)

Band Aid 20 was the 2004 incarnation of the charity group Band Aid. The group, consisting of such luminaries as Chris Martin of Coldplay and Bono of U2, re-recorded the 1984 song "Do They Know It's Christmas?", written by Band Aid organizers Bob Geldof and Midge Ure. Band Aid 20's efforts suffered some criticism as the new generation of singers, who differed greatly from those that appeared on the 1984 original, endeavored to fit their talents into a 20 year old template. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/4015337.stm] Joss Stone, born 2 years after the release of the original single, wasn't initially aware who Bob Geldof was. [http://www.cduk.com/music_interviews_template1.php?section=3&subsection=2&id=267&currItem=3] The media reported that she repeatedly referred to him as Bob Gandalf. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/totp/news/top5/2005/05/10/19220.shtml] This was perceived as highlighting his irrelevance to a younger audience. [http://www.pressureworks.org/frontline/features/LIVE8_2.html] It was recorded on 14 November 2004, to benefit Sudan's troubled Darfur region, and was released that same month. The single became the UK's biggest seller of 2004 as well as the Christmas Number 1. [http://www.everyhit.co.uk/searchsec.php]

The Band Aid 20 single was actually doubled when it was first played simultaneously on the "The Chris Moyles Show" (on BBC Radio One) and the breakfast shows on Virgin and Capital radio, at 8am on 16 November, 2004. The video was first broadcast in the UK simultaneously over multiple channels, including the five UK terrestrial channels, at 5.55pm on 18 November, 2004, with an introduction by Madonna.

British artist Damien Hirst designed an intimidating cover for the Band Aid 20 single, featuring the grim reaper and a starving African child. However, this was later dropped after fears that it might scare children. The single was released on 29 November, 2004, with all money raised going toward famine relief in the Darfur region of Sudan.

One of the new ways to buy the song, by downloading it from the internet, hit a problem when Apple Computer's iTunes Music Store initially refused to supply it, due to their fixed-pricing policy. A partial solution was reached after a few days, enabling UK users to download the song at the standard iTunes price, with Apple donating an extra amount (equivalent to the price difference) to the Band Aid Trust.

The CD version sold over 200,000 copies in the first week, and became the fastest-selling single of the year.

Participants

Organisers and producers:
*Midge Ure – organizer
*Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Travis) and Bob Geldof – producers.

Instruments:
*Danny Goffey (Supergrass) – (drums)
*Thom Yorke – (piano) and Jonny Greenwood – (guitar) – (Radiohead)
*Sir Paul McCartney – bass guitar
*Francis Healy (Travis) – guitar
*Justin Hawkins (The Darkness) – guitar
*Dan Hawkins (The Darkness) – guitar
*Charlie Simpson (Guitar) – guitar

Vocals:
*Bono (U2)
*Daniel Bedingfield
*Natasha Bedingfield
*Vishal Das
*Busted
*Chris Martin (Coldplay)
*Dido – performed separately from a studio in Melbourne
*Dizzee Rascal – the only artist to add lyrics to the song
*Ms Dynamite
*Skye Edwards (Morcheeba)
*Estelle
*Neil Hannon (The Divine Comedy)
*Jamelia
*Tom Chaplin (Keane)
*Tim Rice-Oxley (Keane)
*Beverley Knight
*Lemar
*Shaznay Lewis (formerly of All Saints)
*Katie Melua
*Róisín Murphy (Moloko)
*Feeder
*Snow Patrol
*Rachel Stevens
*Joss Stone
*Sugababes
*The Thrills
*Turin Brakes
*Robbie Williams – performed separately from a studio in Los Angeles
*Will Young

Bono, Paul McCartney and George Michael were the only artists from the original Band Aid who had been asked back to lend their voices to Band Aid 20. There was a reported dispute over the line 'Tonight thank God it's them, instead of you', which Bono sang on the original version. Justin Hawkins, of The Darkness, laid down a version of the line, but Bono insisted on re-recording his version, which was eventually used on the record.

Strangely, although he wasn't invited, Blur's frontman and songwriter Damon Albarn appeared at the sessions, wanting to somehow assist the recording process of the charity single. He wasn't allowed to sing, but Bono advised him as to how to be most useful for the singers. 'I asked him to make the tea,' the U2 frontman explained to Xfm, 'I saw him on Thursday night. He said "I don't know what to do." I said, "Make tea." He said "You really think so?" I said, "Yeah, make tea!"' Albarn quite happily responded, and thus served biscuits and tea for the participants, as well as appearing briefly in the video, at which Bono 'fatherly' commented: 'Good on him. I always knew that boy would turn out good in the end.'

The single sold 72,000 copies in the first 24 hours when it was released on 29 November, 2004, and went straight in at No. 1 in the UK charts on 5 December 2004. It stayed at No. 1 for Christmas and the week after, all in all holding onto the top spot for four weeks, just one week shorter than the original had done in 1984.

A special documentary titled "Band Aid 20: Justice, Not Charity" which went behind-the-scenes of the new recording was broadcast by BBC One on 6 December 2004

Who sings what on each version


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