NEW YORK (Top40 Charts/ Mercury Records UK) - Band Aid
co-founder Bob Geldof says rerecording the benefit single "Do They Know It's Christmas?
" reminded him of when he first embarked on the project 20 years ago to help with famine relief in Africa. He and Band Aid
partner Midge Ure assembled a new group of stars for a remake the classic single to, as Geldof tells BBC News, quote, "fire the starting pistol" in another effort to raise money and awareness of the suffering in Africa.
Midge says that the cause is still very relevant, noting, quote, "Whether it's hunger or AIDS or Third World debt, it doesn't really matter - it's a continent that needs help and the help still isn't there yet."
More than 30 artists took part in the project. While some contributors pre-recorded their parts, most of the performers got together in a studio in London for the recording yesterday.
Coldplay's Chris Martin, members of Radiohead and The Darkness, and U2's Bono - who's the only person from the original Band Aid recording to contribute to the new version - are among those featured on the song.
Blur's Damon Albarn also participated in the session, but not musically. He served tea to the singers, musicians, and crew who volunteered their time for the cause.
According to Mercury Records (www.mercuryrecords.co.uk): "Marking the first, and fastest, rush-release of the digital download era, Band Aid 20's "Do They Know It's Christmas?" was recorded on Sunday (14) afternoon, the label copy and artwork finalised on Monday, and the track digitally delivered to retail on Tuesday.
The result is available for music fans to buy as a download NOW.
This record-breaking turnaround by Universal Music's Mercury Records has only been made possible by the co-operation of artists and retailers, just as it was twenty years ago with the original Band Aid release.
The Band Aid 20 track can be downloaded for 1.49, and the "B side" - the 1984 recording - can be downloaded for 0.99. A special bundle of the two tracks can be bought online for 1.99."
The final line-up of artists on Band Aid 20 is:
Keane, Paul McCartney, The Sugababes, Skye (Morcheeba), Robbie Williams, Dido, Bono, Jamelia, Justin Hawkins (Darkness), Chris Martin (Coldplay), Fran Healy (Travis), Beverley Knight, Busted, Ms Dynamite, Danny Goffey (Supergrass), Katie Melua, Will Young, Natasha Bedingfield, Snow Patrol, Shaznay Lewis, Joss Stone, Daniel Bedingfield, Rachel Stevens, The Thrills, Roisin Murphy (Moloko), Lemar, Estelle, Neil Hannon (Divine Comedy), Feeder and Dizzee Rascal.
No U.S. release date has been set for Band Aid 20's "Do They Know It's Christmas?," but the single will be available from online retailers in the UK on November 29th. In addition, the four-disc DVD set of the 1985 Live Aid concerts is in North American stores now.