Slide Show: Lesser-Known Live Aid Albums
Monday is the 24th anniversary of Live Aid, the globally televised fundraiser for African famine relief organized by Boomtown Rats frontman Bob Geldof (now Sir Bob Geldof) that revolutionized everything from satellite communication to concert promotion to the relationship between performers and charitable organizations. Live Aid turned U2 into superstars, almost broke up Duran Duran and the Rolling Stones, reminded the world of Freddy Mercury's onstage genius and featured entirely too much Phil Collins -- he played with Sting in London before hopping a Concord to Philadelphia to perform solo and with Eric Clapton and the surviving members of Led Zeppelin. But inevitably, several Live Aid performers are all but forgotten in 2009. Step into Rocks Off's time machine and see who they might be, and whatever became of them...
Status Quo Who? A boogie-rock band formed in London in the late '60s. Biggest Hits: "Rockin' All Over the World," "Pictures of Matchstick Men" (later covered, with much success, by Camper Van Beethoven) What Happened: Despite numerous, sometimes acrimonious, lineup changes, the band is still together and plays at the Glastonbury Abbey Extravaganza next month.
Ultravox Who? British New Wave / New Romantic band best known for having so many lineup changes they had two longtime frontmen: John Foxx and Midge Ure. Biggest Hits: "All Stood Still," "Vienna" What Happened: Split up in 1988, reformed in 1992 with only one original member, split up again in 1996, then reformed again in 2008 for a still-pending reunion tour.
The Hooters Who? A rock/folk/ska band who opened the Philadelphia leg of Live Aid. Well, kind of... they did follow Joan Baez, who didn't play any of her songs but instead gave a speech and sang "Amazing Grace" and "We Are the World." Biggest Hits: "And We Danced," "Day By Day" What Happened: Responsible for most of the songwriting and playing on Joan Osborne's 1995 breakthrough, Relish. Disbanded in 1995, got back together in 2001. Still tour.
Paul Young Who? English pop musician who used to be in bands such as Streetband, The Q-Tips and Kat Kool and the Kool Kats. So it's definitely for the best he eventually decided to go with his own name. Biggest Hits: His cover of Daryl Hall's "Everytime You Go Away hit No. 1 in the U.S. in 1985. Also sang the opening lines of Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?" What Happened: Experimented with a Tex-Mex group called Los Pacaminos, did several '80s revival tours from 2001-2008, won Gordon Ramsey's Celebrity Masterchef in 2006.
Nik Kershaw Who? English jazz-funk guitarist, '80s teen idol (in England) Biggest Hits: "The Riddle," "Wouldn't It Be Good." Also wrote "The One and Only" for Chesney Hawkes, which enjoyed a No. 1 chart position in the U.S. What Happened: Still releasing solo material and collaborating with artists such as Elton John, Michael W. Smith and Imogen Heap. Wait... no, that's correct, Imogen Heap.
The Style Council Who? Synth-heavy English pop duo consisting of Paul Weller (formerly of the Jam) and Mick Talbot that experimented with several different styles. Biggest Hits: "Speak Like a Child", "Walls Come Tumbling Down" What Happened: Released a greatest-hits album, changed name to King Truman and split in 1989. Weller went on to a successful (in England) solo career, winning the 2009 Brit Award for "Best Male Solo Artist." Mick Talbot formed a band called the Players, who haven't released an album since 2005.
Rick Springfield Who? Also known as Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital, he picked up a guitar and scored a huge hit in 1981. Biggest Hits: "Jessie's Girl", and... that's pretty much it. He did win a Grammy for it, though. Maybe "Affair of the Heart." What Happened: Injured in an ATV accident in 1988, recovered, released a few more solo albums. Played Houston's House of Blues last year, and appeared on Wayne Brady's game show Don't Forget the Lyrics! earlier this year singing -- what else? -- "Jessie's Girl."
Ashford & Simpson Who? Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson are probably the biggest soul and funk singer-songwriters you've never heard of. They wrote songs like "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" for Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)" for Diana Ross and "I'm Every Woman" for Chaka Khan before venturing out on their own. Biggest Hits: As performers, their biggest hits were "Found a Cure," "Street Corner" and "Solid." What Happened: They're still married -- awww! -- and opened up a live entertainment venue in New York City called the Sugar Bar. They wrote the song "Tears Dry On Their Own" for Amy Winehouse's 2007 album Back In Black, and continue writing and scoring music today.
Avtograf a.k.a. Autograph Who? A Soviet prog-rock band who helped pave the way for all those other Soviet prog-rock bands. Actually, they did play at the first Soviet-government-sanctioned rock festival in 1980, so that's not bad. Biggest Hits: "Nam Nuzhen Mir" a.k.a. "We Need Peace" What Happened: Broke up in 1990, then got back together in 2004 for a series of concerts across Russia.
Uncanny X-Men Who? We decided on the outset not to include any of the bands from the loosely-Live Aid-related Oz For Africa because, aside from Men At Work and INXS, none of them were ever remotely popular in the U.S. We had to include these guys, however, because a) they somehow never got sued for their wildly copyright-infringing name; and b) they came damn close to having a No. 1 single in their homeland. Biggest Hits: "The Party," "I Am" and their biggest, "50 Years," which made it all the way to No. 3 in Australia. What Happened: Broke up in 1987 and then, if you can believe it, got back together in 1998 for the world's all-time least-anticipated reunion. One of them is said to be playing in various pub-rock bands and, we assume, fighting Magneto while dodging Sentinels.