Band Aid ‎– Do They Know It's Christmas?

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"Do They Know It's Christmas?" is a song written in 1984 by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in reaction to television reports of the 1983–1985 famine in Ethiopia.
It was first recorded in a single day on 25 November 1984.
The record became the fastest selling single in UK chart history, selling a million copies in the first week alone and passing 3 million on the last day of 1984. The song was also a major success around the world, reaching number one in thirteen other countries outside the UK.

Versions (87)

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
FEED 112 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(12", Single, Orl) Phonogram FEED 112 UK 1984 Sell This Version
880 502-7 Band Aid 'Do They Know It's Christmas?'(7", Single) Mercury 880 502-7 France 1984 Sell This Version
MER-24-739, FEED-1, 880 502-7 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas? (7", Single) Mercury, Mercury, Mercury MER-24-739, FEED-1, 880 502-7 Philippines 1984 Sell This Version
MIX 3074 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas? = Sabrán Ellos Que Estamos En Navidad?(12", Single) Mercury MIX 3074 Mexico 1984 Sell This Version
880 502-1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(12") Mercury 880 502-1 Italy 1984 Sell This Version
FEED 112 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(12") Phonogram FEED 112 Japan 1984 Sell This Version
880 502-1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(12", EP) Mercury 880 502-1 Netherlands 1984 Sell This Version
880 502-1, 880 502-1 Q Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(12", Maxi) Mercury, Mercury 880 502-1, 880 502-1 Q Germany 1984 Sell This Version
880 502-1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(12", Maxi) Mercury 880 502-1 US 1984 Sell This Version
880 502-1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(12", Maxi) Mercury 880 502-1 Belgium 1984 Sell This Version
FEED 112, 880 502-1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(12", Maxi) Mercury, Mercury FEED 112, 880 502-1 Germany 1984 Sell This Version
880 502-1, 880 502-1 Q Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(12", Maxi) Mercury, Mercury 880 502-1, 880 502-1 Q Germany 1984 Sell This Version
880 502-1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(12", Maxi, Ext) Mercury, Phonogram Ltd. (London) 880 502-1 Philippines 1984 Sell This Version
FEED 112 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(12", Single) Mercury FEED 112 Australasia 1984 Sell This Version
12CXP-05157, 12CXP 05157 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(12", Single) Columbia, Columbia 12CXP-05157, 12CXP 05157 Canada 1984 Sell This Version
FEED 112 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(12", Single) Mercury FEED 112 New Zealand 1984 Sell This Version
44 05157, 44-05157 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(12", Single) Columbia, Columbia 44 05157, 44-05157 US 1984 Sell This Version
12CXP-05157, 12CXP 05157 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(12", Single) Columbia, Columbia 12CXP-05157, 12CXP 05157 Canada 1984 Sell This Version
880 502-1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(12", Single) Mercury 880 502-1 France 1984 Sell This Version
FEED 112 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(12", Single, PRS) Phonogram FEED 112 UK 1984 Sell This Version
44-05157 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(12", Single, Promo) Columbia 44-05157 US 1984 Sell This Version
880 502-7 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7") Mercury 880 502-7 Belgium 1984 Sell This Version
FEED 1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Sil) Mercury, Phonogram FEED 1 UK 1984 Sell This Version
880 502-7 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single) Mercury, Phonogram 880 502-7 France 1984 Sell This Version
880 502-7 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single) Mercury 880 502-7 Netherlands 1984 Sell This Version
880 502-7 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single) Polydor, Mercury 880 502-7 Europe 1984 Sell This Version
38-04749 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single) Columbia 38-04749 Canada 1984 Sell This Version
880 502-7 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single) Mercury 880 502-7 Italy 1984 Sell This Version
880 502-7 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single) Mercury 880 502-7 Brazil 1984 Sell This Version
880 502-7, 880 502-7Q Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single) Mercury, Mercury 880 502-7, 880 502-7Q Germany 1984 Sell This Version
FEED 1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single) Mercury, Phonogram FEED 1 Australasia 1984 Sell This Version
880 502-7 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single) Mercury 880 502-7 France 1984 Sell This Version
FEED 1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single) Mercury, Phonogram FEED 1 Australasia 1984 Sell This Version
880502-7 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single) Mercury, PolyGram 880502-7 Greece 1984 Sell This Version
FEED 1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single) Mercury, Phonogram FEED 1 New Zealand 1984 Sell This Version
FEED 1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single) Phonogram FEED 1 UK 1984 Sell This Version
880 502-7 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single) Phonogram, Mercury 880 502-7 Netherlands 1984 Sell This Version
FEED 1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single) Phonogram FEED 1 Ireland 1984 Sell This Version
38-04749 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single) Columbia 38-04749 US 1984 Sell This Version
880 502-7Q, 880 502-7 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single) Mercury, Mercury 880 502-7Q, 880 502-7 Germany 1984 Sell This Version
FEED 1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single) Mercury FEED 1 South Africa 1984 Sell This Version
880 502-7 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single) Mercury 880 502-7 1984 Sell This Version
FEED 1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single, Bla) Phonogram FEED 1 UK 1984 Sell This Version
FEED 1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single, Blu) Mercury FEED 1 UK 1984 Sell This Version
FEED 1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single, Blu) Phonogram, Mercury FEED 1 UK 1984 Sell This Version
880 502-7 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single, Int) Mercury 880 502-7 1984 Sell This Version
FEED 1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single, MPO) Phonogram FEED 1 UK 1984 Sell This Version
FEED 1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single, Pap) Phonogram FEED 1 Philippines 1984 Sell This Version
FEED 1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single, Pap) Phonogram FEED 1 UK 1984 Sell This Version
FEED 1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single, Pin) Mercury, Phonogram FEED 1 New Zealand 1984 Sell This Version
38-04749 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single, Promo) Columbia 38-04749 US 1984 Sell This Version
FEED 1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single, Sil) Phonogram, Mercury FEED 1 UK 1984 Sell This Version
FEED 1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single, Sil) Mercury FEED 1 UK 1984 Sell This Version
FEED 1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single, Sil) Phonogram, Mercury FEED 1 UK 1984 Sell This Version
FEED 1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single, Sil) Mercury, Phonogram FEED 1 UK 1984 Sell This Version
FEED 1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single, Sil) Mercury, Phonogram FEED 1 UK 1984 Sell This Version
FEED 1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single, Sil) Mercury FEED 1 UK 1984 Sell This Version
FEED 1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single, Sil) Mercury, Phonogram FEED 1 UK 1984 Sell This Version
FEED 1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single, Sil) Mercury FEED 1 UK 1984 Sell This Version
FEED 1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single, Sil) Mercury, Phonogram FEED 1 UK 1984 Sell This Version
880 502-7 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single, Sol) Mercury 880 502-7 UK 1984 Sell This Version
880 502-7 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single, Sol) Mercury 880 502-7 Netherlands 1984 Sell This Version
FEED 1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single, Whi) Phonogram FEED 1 UK 1984 Sell This Version
VB0995 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(Beta, Ltd, S/Edition) Phonogram Ltd. VB0995 UK 1984 Sell This Version
041 121 2 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(VHS) PolyGram Music Video 041 121 2 UK 1984 Sell This Version
884-369-7 Band Aid Do they know it's christmas time ?(7", Single) Mercury 884-369-7 France 1984 Sell This Version
A-10.653, VIC-207 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas? = ¿Saben Ellos Que Es Navidad?(7", Single) Victoria, Victoria A-10.653, VIC-207 Spain 1985 Sell This Version
B-20.653, VIC-208, 20.653 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas? =¿Saben Ellos Que Es Navidad?(12", Maxi) Victoria, Victoria, Victoria B-20.653, VIC-208, 20.653 Spain 1985 Sell This Version
FEED 1, 884 369-7 Band Aid, Bob Geldof / Midge Ure Band Aid, Bob Geldof / Midge Ure - Do They Know It's Christmas? b/w One Year On(7", Single, Sil) Mercury, Mercury FEED 1, 884 369-7 UK 1985 Sell This Version
884 369-1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(12") Mercury 884 369-1 Netherlands 1985 Sell This Version
884 369-1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(12") Mercury 884 369-1 France 1985 Sell This Version
880 502-1, SEL-RP 653 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(12") Mercury, Mercury 880 502-1, SEL-RP 653 South Korea 1985 Sell This Version
884 369-1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(12", Maxi) Mercury 884 369-1 Greece 1985 Sell This Version
884 369-1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(12", Maxi, TP, W/Lbl) Mercury 884 369-1 Greece 1985 Sell This Version
FEED 112 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(12", RE) Phonogram, Mercury FEED 112 UK 1985 Sell This Version
FEEDP1, FEED P1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Shape, Single, Ltd, Pic) Phonogram, Phonogram FEEDP1, FEED P1 UK 1985 Sell This Version
FEEDP1, FEED P1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Shape, Single, Ltd, Pic, Unc) Phonogram, Phonogram FEEDP1, FEED P1 UK 1985 Sell This Version
884 369-7 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single) Mercury 884 369-7 Netherlands 1985 Sell This Version
884 369-7 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single) Mercury, Phonogram 884 369-7 Germany 1985 Sell This Version
884 369-7 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single) Mercury 884 369-7 Italy 1985 Sell This Version
880 502-7 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single) Mercury 880 502-7 Portugal 1985 Sell This Version
FEED 1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single, Blu) Mercury, Phonogram FEED 1 UK 1985 Sell This Version
FEED 1 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single, Bro) Mercury, Phonogram FEED 1 UK 1985 Sell This Version
FEED 1, 884 369-7 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single, Sil) Mercury, Phonogram FEED 1, 884 369-7 UK 1985 Sell This Version
880 502-7 Band Aid Saben Que Es Navidad? = Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single) Mercury 880 502-7 Argentina 1985 Sell This Version
880 502-7 Band Aid Saben Que Es Navidad? = Do They Know It's Christmas?(7", Single, Promo) Mercury 880 502-7 Argentina 1985 Sell This Version
PHDR-902 Band Aid = バンド・エイド* Band Aid = バンド・エイド* - Do They Know It's Christmas? = ドゥ・ゼイ・ノウ・イッツ・クリスマス ?(CD, Mini, Single, RE) Mercury PHDR-902 Japan 1997 Sell This Version

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lubizianrecord

lubizianrecord

August 24, 2018
referencing Do They Know It's Christmas?, 12", Single, Orl, FEED 112
great album cover ..so sad and real .. !
xyladecor

xyladecor

June 24, 2018
referencing Do They Know It's Christmas?, VHS, 041 121 2
Anybody maybe know the running time of the documenary on this VHS?
Pheel242

Pheel242

June 23, 2018
referencing Do They Know It's Christmas?, 12", FEED 112
Labels are white. My copy includes a double-sided insert. Circular sticker is on upper right corner.
puffketeer

puffketeer

March 11, 2017
referencing Do They Know It's Christmas?, 7", Single, 38-04749

the first shot fired in a seemingly unending international glut of noxiously self-aggrandizing "whitey cares" anthems about the mid-80's famine in ethiopia, "do they know..." is remarkably short-sighted in its depiction of the african continent; apparently, one country located within the horn of africa counts as all of africa, and "no rain or rivers flow" through the entire continent (the nile? what's that?) the song also conveniently glosses over how the famine was partly instigated by human rights abuses perpetrated by the ruling government, because that doesn't make white people buying number one pop single du jour for charity feel smug about themselves, now does it.

and let's not even get into the irony of celebrity musicians with millions of dollars to their name telling you, the listener, that you're lucky not to be in the same situation as those poor so-and-sos. the patronizing, arrogant, naive and self-centered attitude towards africa this song helped to perpetrate is nothing short of appalling. africa is a continent with a massive array of diverse cultures and fascinating history, but the people who wrote, recorded and bought this record in late 1984 certainly didn't care about all that. throw the fact that this song was the brainchild of the second most insufferable irish rock musician on earth into the mix, and you have quite a recipe for pain here. i'll take "fairytale of new york" as my go-to irish christmas anthem any day over this tripe.

random aside: when I bought a totally unrelated record from my wantlist through discogs, the copy of this single i own was thrown in for free, unannounced, by the seller. had to get rid of it somehow, i guess.
djrichmatthews

djrichmatthews

January 17, 2005
edited over 14 years ago
referencing Do They Know It's Christmas?, 12", Single, Orl, FEED 112

While the song itself may not be the most catchy, its a testament to the love & compassion one man (Geldof) can have to come up with a way to help people he's never met (the starving citizens of Ethiopia) and to convince other people of incredible power (the members of Band Aid) to come together to use their collective power to help people on the other side of the world (so to speak) simply because they know that there's need for help and they can do something to help that would otherwise take years to come to fruition. Top it off with the fact that ultimately it captured the sound of the 'cutting edge British pop' scene of the day and even more important it gave rise to other equally monumental acts of compassion such as USA for Africa, Geldof's own Live AID and Mellencamp's similarly styled Farm AID, Hands Across America, the AIDS Walks both in America and other nations around the globe.

People saw this trend as just a fad, due primarily to the hoopla (positive and subsequently negative) hoopla around America's sister effort, "We Are The World." The bad press was a result of the way the American top 40 charts were calculated at the time; unfortunately because of the size of the American population at the time, a different formula had to be used to keep the data accurate, which also meant there was a lag time between actual sales and airplay and the result appearing in Billboard or Cashbox. This allowed "We Are The World" to sell 2 million copies before even debuting on the top 100, even then at #3, not #1. It did move to #1 for a couple weeks and then dropped off the charts entirely a few weeks after for the same aforementioned reasons. Ultimately it was a success, but the song's short run was the primary catalyst for Billboard and the now defunct Cashbox to search for a better method to calculate the charts so that they would be more accurate and not misrepresent what was actually happening in the American music markets, which "We Are The World," when compared to "Do They Know It's Christmas?," helped to expose the gross misrepresentation.

Even given that "We Are The World" and the subsequent benefit records and events that came and went in the following years became fewer and fewer, to this day they still are recorded - a trend (not fad) that Geldof and Band Aid initiated.

And the best part of all it? Even in America, "Do They Know...?" has become a modern holiday standard that gets played on almost every top 40 station in the US, like Lennon's "Give Peace A Chance," McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime," or anything off the first "A Very Special Christmas" album... and every time you hear it you remember there are others less fortunate than you, no matter how bad off you are, and that you have another opportunity to do something to help them.

Thank you Bob.