Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Do They Know It's Christmas Time?

About 20 years ago Bob Geldof went to Ethiopia. Seeing all the poverty and famine, something struck his chord. He decided to do a charity. He wrote a song together with Midge Ure and then asked pop/rock stars to help sing/play in it. The result: a single called Do They Know It's Christmas Time? with lines sung by Bono, Sting, Simon Le Bon, George Michael, Boy George and Bananarama among others (Phil Collins was playing the drums). It became an instant Christmas hit which you can still hear in department stores around the world during christmas time. Geldof continued this with Live Aid. On the other side of the pond, Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie penned We Are The World. All in all the generated ton loads of money and helped relief the famine and poverty in Ethiopia.

Cue back to now - twenty years later. There's famine and hunger in Sudan and Geldof thought of renewing his single together with releasing a DVD of Live Aid as part of the 20th anniversary. Since Bananarama and Phil Collins aren't available anymore, Geldof asked current popstars. The result: an eclectic mix of 'stars' doing a remake of Do They Know It's Christmas Time?.

On the current single, only Bono and Paul McCartney are the remaining ones from twenty years ago. The rest have been replaced by the likes of Dido, Jamelia, Justin Hawkins from The Darkness, Joss Stone, Sugababes, Robbie Williams, Busted (!?!) and that bloke from Snow Patrol. Some of these popstars weren't even born yet when the single first came out twenty years ago.

The result: It's shit! Honestly, it's shit. I always liked Do They Know It's Christmas Time, especially when George Michael starts singing, continued by Simon Le Bon, Sting and then Bono. Can't beat that. And it's not just the popstars, it's also the arrangement. What's up with the double guitar solo in the middle? Somehow I prefer Phil Collins drum ruffle. It's a bit weird coming from a track produced by Nigel Godrich.

Oh well, I bought the single so I have done my deed by donating a few cents to Darfur.

"Well tonight thank God it's them instead of you"


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