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Band Aid II - Do They Know It's Christmas? (1989)

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  • 80's Score80's Score 80's score: 1.58
  • Find this song on: Music Stack

"Do They Know It's Christmas?" is a song written in 1984 by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in reaction to television reports of the ...

"Do They Know It's Christmas?" is a song written in 1984 by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in reaction to television reports of the 1983–1985 famine in Ethiopia.

A second version of "Do They Know It's Christmas?" was recorded under the name of Band Aid II in 1989, overseen by the most successful British production team of the late 1980s, Stock Aitken Waterman. Geldof had telephoned Pete Waterman to ask him to produce a new version of the song to aid the ongoing situation in Ethiopia, and within 24 hours the recording session had been arranged at Stock Aitken Waterman's studios on London's South Bank. The recording took place over the weekend of 2 and 3 December, and featured several artists who had already been produced by SAW, including Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Bananarama, Sonia, and Cliff Richard, as well as other artists who had big hits in 1989, such as Lisa Stansfield, Jimmy Somerville, Wet Wet Wet and Bros. Bananarama's Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward became the only artists to appear on both the 1984 and 1989 versions of the record. Siobhan Fahey, who had been part of Bananarama's line-up at the time the first recording of the song was released, had left the group in 1988.

The lyrics were rearranged for a more traditional 'verse and chorus' structure, with the opening verse being split in two with a short repeat of the ending chorus being played at the end of both, followed by the "here's to you" section and a final lengthened version of the closing chorus (with commentary by Michael Buerk played over the outro in the music video).

Released on 11 December 1989, the Band Aid II version spent three weeks at number one in the UK, becoming the Christmas number one single and the last number one single of the 1980s, and ended the year as the ninth biggest selling single of 1989.


Bananarama, Big Fun, Bros, Cathy Dennis, D Mob, Jason Donovan, Kevin Godley, Glen Goldsmith, Kylie Minogue, The Pasadenas, Chris Rea, Cliff Richard, Jimmy Somerville, Sonia, Lisa Stansfield, Technotronic and Wet Wet Wet.

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