Rhetorical questions aside, it’s hard to contemplate today just what an achievement Band Aid was in 1984. Now that we’re so used to ultra-sincere celebrity crusades, it’s easy to forget just how much was at stake when Bob Geldof and Midge Ure began calling up various musicians to request that they come and spend a day recording a charity single.
And come they did: the eventual line-up included Sting, Bono and Duran Duran. Boy George, upon being awoken from his slumber in a New York hotel room and being told the roll call of artists in attendance, immediately jumped on the next Concorde back to London.
Sure, it’s easy to malign – Africa isn’t a country, guys – but the eventual record went straight to No. 1 and stayed there for five weeks, becoming a Christmas staple record in the process.