Several Artists, Including Bono and Sam Smith, Join Together to Fight Ebola
Thirty years ago, Band Aid -- a supergroup made of some of the biggest artists of the time -- recorded ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ at the Sarm West recording studios in Notting Hill, London to help raise money and awareness for famine relief in Ethiopa. Now, in 2014, new (and familiar) faces have joined together in the same studio to re-record the song. Listen to the new track in the video above.
This time, though, their focus is to raise money and awareness to help fight Ebola in west Africa. One Direction, U2’s Bono, Rita Ora, Sam Smith, Bastille’s Dan Smith and Sinead O’Connor are just a handful of the artists who joined Bob Geldof to sing the ‘Band Aid 30’ version of the song today (Nov. 15).
The 2014 rendition of 'Do They Know Its Christmas?' isn't the first time the song has been reimagined; 1989’s ‘Band Aid II’ topped the U.K. Singles chart for three weeks and ‘Band Aid 20’ -- recorded to help Darfur in 2004 -- sold 72,000 copies in just 24 hours. The original 1984 track raised more than $20 million.
Including the new performance, Bono has appeared on three of the four versions of the Band Aid song. But as the BBC reports, he doesn’t want to have to be a part of the ongoing supergroup. “We’ve been trying to make this event a thing of the past ... we want to make Band Aid history ... There will come a time when we won’t [have to do this]. And it will be great not to see the same old faces.”
According to the Guardian, some of the lyrics have been changed from the original song, for example: “There’s a world outside your window and it’s a world of dread and fear / Where a kiss of love can kill you and there’s death in every tear / And the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging chimes of doom / Well tonight we’re reaching out and touching you.”
'Band Aid 30' will be broadcast on ‘The X Factor’ and released for purchase on Monday Nov. 17, available digitally and on CD. In addition, donations are being accepted to help Medecins sans Frontieres, a charity working with Ebola-infected patients in Africa. Get details here.
Take a trip back to 1984 and listen to the original (and compare it to 'Band Aid 30' above):