Song / Do They Know It's Christmas
Band Aid II / Do They Know It's Christmas
Band Aid was a charity supergroup featuring mainly British and Irish musicians and recording artists. It was founded in 1984 by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise money for anti-famine efforts in Ethiopia by releasing the song "Do They Know It's Christmas?" for the Christmas market that year. On 25 November 1984, the song was recorded at Sarm West Studios in Notting Hill, London, and was released in the UK on Monday 3 December. The single surpassed the hopes of the producers to become the Christmas number one on that release.
This version, released in 1989, was produced by British songwriting and production team Stock Aitken Waterman. The only artists from the original Band Aid to be featured again on this version were Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward of Bananarama.
On Friday 1 December 1989, Bob Geldof called Pete Waterman to ask if he would consider producing a new version of the song featuring the big stars from that time. He chose Stock Aitken Waterman as they were quite literally ruling the pop charts at the time. Waterman immediately postponed his wedding (planned for the same day) and began calling up the artists. With just two days' notice, on Sunday 3 December, recording took place at PWL Studios in South London. Present in the studio was Bob Geldof, wife Paula Yates and six-year-old daughter, Fifi Trixiebelle, who was eager to meet Jason Donovan.
Production continued through the Monday, and by Tuesday 5 December the song was broadcast for the first time on London's Capital Radio. Advance sales of the record reached 500,000. The song was released the following week on 11 December and spent three weeks at number one, becoming the ninth biggest-selling song of the year.