Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” was written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in 1984 to raise money for relief of the 1983–85 famine in Ethiopia. The original version was produced by Midge Ure and released by Band Aid on November 28 1984. Geldof put together a group called Band Aid, consisting of 37 of the leading British and Irish musicians at the time.
The 1984 original became the biggest selling single in UK Singles Chart history, selling a million copies in the first week alone, and passing three million sales on the last day of 1984. It stayed at Number 1 for five weeks, becoming Christmas number one, and has sold 3.7 million copies domestically. Worldwide, the single had sold 11.8 million copies by 1989.
Following the release of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” in December 1984 and record sales in aid of famine relief, Geldof then set his sights on staging a huge concert, 1985’s Live Aid, to raise further funds. The song was re-recorded in 1989 by Band Aid II and in 2004 by Band Aid 20, again raising funds for famine relief. The 2004 version of the song sold 1.17 million copies. The song was again re-recorded in 2014 by Band Aid 30, to raise funds for the 2014 Ebola crisis.
Check out the infographic marking the 30th anniversary of the original recording and illustrates the movers and shakers that made this monumental milestone in pop history possible.