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Do They Know It’s Christmas?

Performed by Band Aid 20, 2004

I heard this played for the first time on Radio One this morning and couldn’t believe it – I was so disappointed. Mathew Wright on The Wright Stuff (channel 5 morning talk show) and many others have been moaning about the fact that they shouldn’t have done it again. He was also moaning that he didn’t recognise half of the names of the singers involved. Well here’s the list:
Robbie Williams, Dido, Chris Martin (Coldplay), Sir Paul McCartney (bass guitar), Bob Geldof, Midge Ure, Radiohead, Bono, Daniel Bedingfield, Natasha Bedingfield, Turin Brakes, The Thrills, Will Young, Katie Melua, Busted, Joss Stone, Lemar, Jamelia, Keane, Beverley Knight, The Darkness, Dizzee Rascal, Ms Dynamite, Snow Patrol, Sugababes, Travis, Danny Goffey (Supergrass, drums), Rachel Stevens, Estelle, Feeder, The Divine Comedy, Moloko, Shaznay Lewis, Morcheeba, Ash, and Damon Albarn (serving tea).
And I’m pleased to say that the only one I didn’t know was Estelle. How did you do?! I’m not as out of touch as I thought I might be!
Anyway, I wanted to argue back at these negative people that it was a great single and if everyone buys it then they are helping out The Band Aid Trust for Africa. The problem is: it’s complete rubbish. I wasn’t sure when I heard it that it was a final thing – it sounded very rushed and badly produced (by Nigel Godrich), mainly because the music was far too loud and you couldn’t hear the voices clearly. They’ve unsuccessfully tried to modernise it with a more rocky sound, but with an awful bit of rap thrown in and it doesn’t work at all. The problem with these records with a large collaboration is that the different artists have many styles of music and to throw all of them into one song is just asking for a disaster. It’s a pop song – leave it as that. These people are meant to be professionals and they couldn’t work that out? If they couldn’t update it well, they should’ve kept it completely as it was originally written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in 1984 (the cd will also have that one), but with modern singers.
So as you can tell, I’m disappointed because I wanted a new classic Christmas track that I could perhaps say to my kids, “I bought that when it first came out as a single in 2004,” but I get the feeling there aren’t going to be many future Christmas compilation albums wanting to get this track on their list.
It’s also, of course, a shame that a lot of people would’ve bought it and that money would’ve gone to a good cause. I’m not so sure it’s going to be the guaranteed Christmas number one any more.

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