Band Aid was a group formed by Bob Geldof (Boomtown Rats, “Pink” in Pink Floyd The Wall) and Midge Ure (Ultravox) to raise money for food relief in Africa. The song featured a who’s who of popular British musicians and became the “Christmas number one” in England. It has since inspired re-recordings in 1989 and 2004, along with other similar efforts including the U.S. “We Are the World”.

Do They Know It’s Christmas” was written by Geldof and Ure, and recorded on November 25, 1984. The single was issued just four days later and immediately hit number one, selling a million copies in the first week. It has sold over 3 million copies, the largest number in Britain until Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind” in 1997.

The participation was largely based on the popular New Wave groups of the day, including members of The Police, U2, Duran Duran, Culture Club, Wham!, Bananarama, Heaven 17, Spandau Ballet, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and Big Country. Solo artists within that genre included Paul Young and Paul Weller. A notable exception to the genre was Phil Collins who played drums on the track.