It’s been 30 years since the original Band Aid and as Ebola rips through West Africa, now seemed like a good time to redo “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” The new track has a decidedly younger spin, though.
Need proof today’s pop stars are just as caring and involved as the generation before? Look no further than the lineup for Band Aid 30. Of the 19 performers who took to the mic for featured vocals, only seven were old enough to truly remember Band Aid’s first recording 30 years ago. Coldplay’s Chris Martin is 37, plus Angélique Kidjo, Seal, Sinéad O’Connor, Elbow and Bono are, well, let’s just say they’ve been around a while. Paloma Faith is 33, but we hardly think she remembers the first version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” other than from hearing it on the radio as she got older, not from its original stint. Those numbers play even younger when you take a look at the risers during the chorus, where Bastille’s entire band is on hand.
The new recording is notable beyond its much younger-skewed performers. Band Aid layered in some of the biggest names and best singers in the business right now. Rita Ora came out of the gate strong and possibly with more feeling than many of the others. Both Sam Smith and Dan Smith (of Bastille, and not related to Sam) offered up their cool and unique voices to the mix. The Irish accents were also on full display thanks to Bono and O’Connor. Meanwhile, the backing music stayed mostly the same, just tweaked slightly to make it sound more crisp, digital and modern.
What’s it all for? The track is currently available for purchase in the iTunes store for $1.29, with all proceeds going to the Band Aid Charitable Trust. The original song, released in 1984, sold 3.7 million copies. Will today’s young music lovers and charitable hearts top that number? Who hope so! Check out the video, then go buy the single.