Three decades ago, a room full of musicians made a lot of money for charity.
According to The Sun, Bob Geldof will lead a reboot of the Do they Know it’s Christmas single – which was also reprised in 1989 for Band Aid II and in 2004 to mark its 20th anniversary – with the pop five-piece speculatively enlisted alongside Adele, Florence Welch, Ben Howard, Alt-J, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith.
The original recording of the track in 1984 featured a long list of the biggest artists of the 80s; the likes of Bono, Paul McCartney, Boy George, Bananarama, Paul Weller and Wham!, managing to raise £8m for anti-poverty efforts in Ethiopia. But Band Aid II was less of a commercial success, even if it featured Kylie and Cliff Richard, and the 2004 version – with Justin Hawkins of the Darkness, Dizzee Rascal, Travis’ Fran Healy and Chris Martin staring sincerely into the camera – sold 1.17 million copies and was described by the Guardian’s Alexis Petridis as encompassing “virtually every current mainstream rock trend. The slower tempo, portentous piano introduction and vocals from Chris Martin and Keane’s Tom Chaplin embody the vogue for elegiac-yet-epic middle-of-the-road rock balladry.”
If the reports are true, the all-new line up (and, let’s face it, probably, Bono) will enter the studio this month in order to record the track in time for the Christmas singles chart, vying against competition from Tom Odell’s John Lennon cover, and the annual X Factor single. In addition to the aforementioned artists, it’s likely the most commercially popular acts will be roped in to shift the biggest amount of sales – after all, charity is the central focus here rather than illuminating musical innovation.
But in the spirit of cynicism, we’d like to know who you’d like to see singing in a supergroup line-up to prevent it from becoming just a recast of the BBC’s God Only Knows advert. Would Sleaford Mods make a delightful addition alongside Morrissey, who once said of the original single: “one can have a great concern for the people of Ethiopia, but it’s another thing to inflict daily torture on the people of England”? Maybe Mark E Smith could just sing every verse. Let us know in the comments below.
This article was written by Guardian music, for theguardian.com on Friday 7th November 2014 12.55 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010