July 1985: Live Aid Attempts to Feed the World Through the Power of Music

Live Aid

37 years ago, the global jukebox came alive in London and Philadelphia as the epic charity concert known as Live Aid took place. Its goal: to feed the world.

Hey, go big or go home, right?

The story of Live Aid begins with the recording of the charity holiday single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” in November 1984. Co-written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, the intent was to raise money for the famine that was then sweeping Ethiopia, and its tremendous success – it was the fastest-selling single in UK chart history at that time – inspired Geldof to further the cause by putting on a charity concert as well.

The lineup was insane, the attendance at the shows was tremendous, and the viewership was downright mindboggling: it was estimated that 1.9 billion viewers in 150 nations tuned into the live broadcast.

If you’d like to revisit this musical extravaganza, all you need to do is head over to Live Aid’s official YouTube channel, which gives you an opportunity to see the best quality versions of the performances from that day. Until then, though, here are several of our favorite moments – six from London, six from Philadelphia – which took place on that wonderful July day in 1985...

The Boomtown Rats, “I Don’t Like Mondays”

 

Spandau Ballet, “Only When You Leave”

 

U2, “Sunday Bloody Sunday”

 

Dire Straits with Sting, “Money for Nothing”

 

Queen, “We Are the Champions”

 

David Bowie, “Heroes”


Black Sabbath, “Paranoid”

 

Madonna, “Holiday”

 

The Cars, “Drive”

 

Eric Clapton, “Layla”

 

Phil Collins, “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)”

 

Duran Duran, “The Reflex”

 

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