"Band Aid Special / Rock "Now" 12 Hits !" - Various Artists

Compilation Album

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Full Track Listing:

  • Do They Know it’s Christmas? (12” Mix) – Band Aid
  • In a Big Country – Big Country
  • Calling Your Name – Marilyn
  • Marguerita Time – Status Quo
  • Tonight – The Boomtown Rats
  • That’s All – Genesis
  • Do They Know it’s Christmas? – Band Aid
  • Runaway – Bon Jovi
  • Sad Songs (Say So Much) – Elton John
  • The Look of Love – ABC
  • Mother’s Talk – Tears for Fears
  • Feed the World – Band Aid

Background Information

In Japan, in 1985, a special album was compiled by Mercury Records on vinyl and CD titled either “Rock ‘Now’ 12 Hits!” or “Band Aid Special”. Each contained the same tracks, and contained a similar cover in yellow, with the album title in a similar font and the band names written the same way. The two albums did have separate catalog numbers, with “Band Aid Special” being released as 32PD-27 (CD) and “Rock ‘Now’ 12 Hits!” being released as 32PD-116 (CD). The initial release of this album was in March 1985, a few months after “Do They Know it’s Christmas?” had originally been released, and this compilation contains all three tracks released on that single, “Do They Know it’s Christmas?”, the 12” Remix, and “Feed the World.” This is the only release at this time that contained all three of these songs on CD. The other songs on the album were taken from artists on the Mercury label that were involved with the recording of the Band Aid track, as well as a few other songs with no relation, thrown in to fill out the album.

It is thought that “Band Aid Special” was the initial release in 1985 being released on March 31, 1985, and that “Rock ‘Now” 12 Hits!” was a re-release on December 2, 1985 under a new title that focused less on the Band Aid tracks contained on the album. The album was released with a lyrics insert that includes the lyrics for only two songs, “Do They Know it’s Christmas?” and “Feed the World”. It was released in a regular jewel case, with an OBI strip on the outside of the package.

It was November 25th, 1984 when a group of artists concerned about the famine in Ethiopia joined together to form the Band Aid project. Unable to take part, producer Trevor Horn gave his Sarm West Studios in London for the recording of this song, and the song was recorded over 24 hours in that studio. Horn would later help out with the production of the song, and also doing a remix for release on the 12” version. Bono and Adam Clayton were both part of the group of musicians that made up Band Aid, and both feature on the recording of this song. The single would be released only a few days later on radio and would go on to be a number one single throughout Europe that Christmas. All proceeds from the song were promised to charity and Geldof had a stand off with the British government over the collection of the VAT tax on the single. Eventually the goverment agreed that even the tax made from the purchase of the single would be donated.

As the single states, “this record features the cream of pop music talent” and included both Bono and Adam Clayton along with the following: Phil Collins; Bob Geldof, Simon Crowe, Peter Briquette, Johnny Fingers (Boomtown Rats); Steve Norman, Tony Hadley, Martin Kemp, John Keeble, Gary Kemp (Spandau Ballet); Midge Ure, Chriss Cross (Ultravox); Paul Young; John Taylor, Simon Le Bon, Roger Taylor, Andy Taylor, Nick Rhodes (Duran Duran); Glenn Gregory, Martin Ware (Heaven 17); Marilyn; Jody Watley; Keren, Sarah, Siobhan (Bananarama); Paul Weller; Peter Blake; James Taylor; Robert Bell, Dennis Thomas (Kool and the Gang); George Michael (Wham); Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt (Status Quo); David Bowie; Paul McCartney; Holly Johnson (Frankie Goes to Hollywood); Sting; Jon Moss, Boy George (Culture Club).

One song was recorded by the assembled musicians. This song was “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”. The b-side was the instrumental track of the main song, with wishes of holiday greetings from many of the participants, including Bono and was called “Feed the World”. A remix of the track by Trevor Horn appeared on the 12” single. One year after the initial release, the single was re-released on 7” in many regions, and on this version “Feed the World” had been replaced by “One Year Later (Feed the World)” which was a written piece by Geldof and Ure discussing the situation in Africa.

Liner Notes

Do They Know it’s Christmas? (Single Version):
Written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure. Produced by Midge Ure and Trevor Horn. Engineered by Steve Lipsom.

Do They Know it’s Christmas? (12” Mix):
Written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure. Remixed by Trevor Horn. Produced by Midge Ure and Trevor Horn. Engineered by Steve Lipsom.

Feed the World:
Written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure. Produced by Midge Ure and Trevor Horn. Engineered by Steve Lipsom.

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