Monday, 5 December 2011

The Alternative TOTP Christmas Canon: Band Aid - Do They Know It's Christmas?

Christmas songs, performances from Christmas shows and general festive cheer all this week, starting with the notorious 1984 Christmas show run-through of the song that may well have changed everything. Nearly everyone involved was on the show anyway but with playback miming in force and that crucial word 'nearly', see the incapacitated George Michael replaced by a Sting who clearly isn't concentrating, and at 1:22 that pretty conclusively isn't Bono. Not to mention Black Lace among others getting onto the end of the group chorus and that, even though Culture Club were on the show, Boy George clearly isn't ready to join in with the onstage frivolity along with everyone else. No wonder Bob looks bashful. Two questions arising near the end: who is that holding a bass as the credits start, and what do you suppose Odile Dicks-Mireaux did with their days?



(better but unembeddable quality here)

8 comments:

London Screenwriter13 said...

The bass player is Jim Lea from Slade. Dave Hill from Slade also can be seen with a guitar. I presume Slade played earlier on the programme.

Regularjoe said...

But tonight, thank god it's them instead of you.


There's no reason to celebrate a song with such an utterly odious lyric.

Mr Ironic said...

So much for irony.

The Man said...

Agree there, Regularjoe. And that it was Bono who sang it is ironic. And remember at Live Aid, he said "springtime is coming" in July! Of course it was Africa in the southern hemisphere (sort of) but how was a 9 yr old supposed to know that? Subsequently I was never into U2...

Anonymous said...

how much did artists like queen and U2 whose careers were revitalised by live aid (and whose coffers were no doubt swelled considerably as a result of their back-catalogues charting in its wake) contribute to the cause?

Arthur Nibble said...

I remember Adam Ant scoring an own goal at Wembley by being given time for one song and deciding to plug his current single 'Vive Le Rock' instead of one of his big hits. The single stiffed big time.

Maybe even worse, Elvis Costello's one-song slot was neither a classic like "Oliver's Army" nor even anything from his back catalogue - he chose to perform "All You Need Is Love", which he introduced as a Northern love song. Seeing as Bob Geldof wanted our fecking money, I think the Rutles' title "All You Need Is Cash" would have been more appropriate.

Old Applejack said...

That's definitely Dave Hill on screen as the credits roll.

But thanks for posting as it lets me vent how much I hate hate HATE this clip. I have no strong opinion of the song or its sentiments or the morality of those taking part. But priorities, here! The wrong people miming of course; the likes of Slade, Thompson Twins and several hundred other hangers-on giving it some like they were ever involved; Black bloody Lace; The shoddy editing. People singing 'let them know it's Christmas time' when it hasn't kicked in yet (real bugbear of mine, that).

Yeah, I don't like it.

Erithian said...

A bit harsh on Bono on a couple of counts. Firstly, Bono did challenge Geldof about That Line and whether it was the right thing to be saying, only for Geldof to insist that that was exactly what he wanted to say, as a way of posing an awkward question about guilt and how lucky we feel. Secondly, springtime is often used as a metaphor for when things appear to be getting better: the Prague Spring lasted from January to August, the Arab Spring began in January, and the phrase “the winter is yours but the spring will be ours” was coined by the Solidarity movement during Poland’s martial law. In that context “springtime is coming”, however corny, makes sense.

For one of the best discussions we’ve ever had on Popular, see http://freakytrigger.co.uk/ft/2009/09/band-aid-do-they-know-its-christmas/?cp=0

And for a very entertaining take on the Band Aid phenomenon, see http://freakytrigger.co.uk/ft/2004/11/the-secret-history-of-band-aid/