"Do They Know it's Christmas: The Story of the Official Band Aid Video" - Various Artists


U2 Related Content:

Full Track Listing:

  • The Making of Do They Know it’s Christmas? Video
  • Do They Know it’s Christmas? (Flexitone Version) Video

Background Information

In 1984 some of the best known artists in the world gathered together in November to record the single “Do They Know it’s Christmas?” in London England. The artists included both Bono and Adam Clayton from U2. During the day of recording the single in the studio, cameras were filming throughout the day and in December 1984 the single was not only released in 7-Inch and 12-Inch formats, but there was also a home video released titled “Do They Know It’s Christmas: The Story of the Official Band Aid Video.”

The video includes a documentary feature on the making of the single itself. And at the end of the video is the video for the song we are all familiar with. But curiously the video uses a different audio mix of the song than the final video and single does. The most noticeable difference in the audio mix happens early on in the video (six seconds in) where someone strikes a flexitone, and a odd loud “boing” noise is heard that isn’t present in the final mix. We actually see the instrument being struck in the video present here, while the final video replaced these scenes with scenes of artists showing up at the studio. This alternate audio track has not been released elsewhere that we are aware of.

The entire home video is just under 29 minutes in length which includes the video at the end and the logos and warnings at the start of the video. During the “Making Of” portion of the video you can see Bono being instructed in how to sing his line, and several scenes of his singing his line, both solo and with others. He can also be seen in a group scene singing the chorus “Let them know it’s Christmastime again” over and over with a backing track. There is also a short interview with Bono as part of the video.

The video was released in the USA by Vestron Video in Beta (VB0995) and VHS formats (VA0995). The video release in the USA featured the single cover surrounded by a red border. In Europe the video was released by Castle Music Video (CMV 1003) and later issued by PolyGram Music Video (041 121-2). In the UK the artwork features the single cover, but surrounded by a white border with red text. This is not the same as the video released in 1985 titled “Video Aid: The Feed the World Compilation”, that video contains very different contents.

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