GUSWORLD
Single Of The Week 19/12/96

Single Of The Week is where I review a single I'm particularly enamoured of at the moment. It might be a brand spanking new release, or a classic from decades past that I just feel like going on about.

DO THEY KNOW IT'S CHRISTMAS?
Band Aid
FEED 1

If I hear one more half-trained pre-pubescent musician murdering 'Silent Night' on the trumpet as I struggle through the pre-Christmas shopping crowds, I may scream. There's only one song I want to hear around Christmas time, and it's been the same for the past thirteeen Yules: Band Aid's 'Do They Know It's Christmas?'.

As the sleeve of the single proclaims, "This record features the cream of pop music talent, performing free to help the victims of the famine in Ethiopia". And indeed it does. Wham!, Culture Club, Duran Duran, Bananarama, Spandau Ballet . . . it's a who's who of the people who mattered then (and at Gusworld, still matter now) in pop music. What a cast! What a single! What a performance!

Despite two inferior subsequent cover versions (by Band Aid II and [shudder] Dance Aid), this is the definitive Christmas charity record. With sales of three million copies, it's the best-selling single of all time in Britain, a peak from which it is hopefully unlikely to ever fall. I'm sorry, I'm turning into a blithering idiot here. But great records do that to you.


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