Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Band Aid vs USA For Africa

Which is better? It depends if you want Brit cool or American glitz. Although nobody could ever call Marilyn cool. Or Status Quo.

I love Band Aid as much as the next girl. I had the poster on my wall and thought the whole thing was amazing. On the other hand, USA For Africa had Michael Jackson.

I feel a pro and con list coming on...

Band Aid pros:

  • The sheer pastiness of them all and how they had obviously rolled out of bed and rocked up. You'd never get that now.
  • George Michael
  • Fab Macca Thumbs Aloft
  • Duran Duran and special mention to Simon Le Bon's hair.
  • Bono's line. I can forgive Bono a lot for the way he sings that line.
  • Every single person's hair.
  • Jon Moss and his maracas.
  • Paula Yates and her baby. Makes me feel sad and old.
  • The innocence of it - so English and lovely.

Band Aid cons:

  • Why the hell was Paul Young allowed to open it? He was never any good. Then he gets more lines. WHY?
  • The sheer state of Boy George. Rough.
  • Bananarama. USA For Africa give us Bette Midler and we get sodding Bananarama.

USA for Africa pros:

  • It was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and produced by Quincy Jones. Sorry Midge Ure but you didn't stand a chance.
  • The cast list. This is a song that opens with Lionel and Stevie Wonder and then goes to Paul Simon. Not Paul Young.
  • Then Kenny Rogers! KENNY ROGERS!
  • Tina Turner actually pushes James Ingram out of the way to sing her line. Love it. Tina Turner by the way - not Bananarama.
  • Billy Joel.
  • Michael Jackson's wardrobe. He looks like a pop star for goodness sake. He's wearing a white sparkly glove.
  • Dionne Warwick. Yes. Indeed.
  • Bruce Springsteen. He bellows it out as only Brucie can.
  • Kenny Loggins. I'm all about the Kennys.
  • The way Cyndi Lauper sings her line - proper laugh out loud.
  • I hate Bob Dylan but nobody can deny he is a legend.
  • Ray Charles. Ray Charles.
  • The only song where you get a duet between Stevie Wonder and Bruce Springsteen. And it works.

USA For Africa cons:

  • OK, we get the superstars but there are some duds too. Huey Lewis? Al Jarreau? Fair enough they were stars at the time but Bette Midler doesn't get a solo line and they do?
  • No Madonna.
  • The lyrics are far too preachy and religious for me.
  • It's a bit over indulgent and goes on for too long.

Weighing it up, I have to say I prefer We Are The World. It's simply a better song with bigger stars and proper show business razz. If I could only take one with me to a desert island, I'd pick that one. Having said that, I do still love Do They Know It's Christmas because I have such fond memories of it and reading Smash Hits avidly.

We really did know how to do this sort of thing in the 80s.


  1. Harry Belafonte. Willie Nelson. Two GREAT things about USA for Africa. And it was Belafonte's baby as such!

    Do They Know It's Christmas? couldn't be more British. We Are The World couldn't be more American.

  2. It's all about Do They Know It's Christmas? for me. I find We Are the World a bit meh, granted it has some great music bods in it but I never find myself humming the tune come Christmas time whereas I am often asked to stop singing along to the Band Aid song (not becasue I can't sing, I hasten to add!)

  3. We all know you have the voice of an angel


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