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Last Updated: Monday, 15 November, 2004, 08:05 GMT
Geldof hails new Band Aid single
By Ian Youngs
BBC News website at Air Studios

Bob Geldof
Geldof said the main problem was fitting all the artists in the studio
Bob Geldof has said the recording of the new Band Aid charity single was "firing the starting pistol" to raise funds and awareness for Africa.

He was joined by about 40 leading names of the music scene for a fresh version of 1984's Do They Know it's Christmas?

U2's Bono flew in late on Sunday to add his famous line "Well, tonight thank God it's them instead of you".

Will Young, Jamelia and Joss Stone were among the stars to record parts at Air Studios in north London on Sunday.

Daniel Bedingfield, Busted, Katie Melua, Beverley Knight and Rachel Stevens were among those to lend their voices to a recording of the song's famous "Feed the world" chorus.

Will Young and Jamelia
There's no egos at all - everyone's realising we're doing such a fantastic thing
Jamelia (with Will Young)

But some stars have already recorded their contributions, with Sir Paul McCartney adding his bass guitar section on Friday.

Robbie Williams, Dido, Thom Yorke, Dizzee Rascal and Coldplay's Chris Martin had also already recorded their parts and were not in the chorus on Sunday.

A number of artists have recorded the "Well, tonight thank God it's them instead of you" line this time, including Justin Hawkins of The Darkness, and it still has not been decided which version will be used on the single.

The new version of the 1984 hit will raise money for famine relief in the Darfur region of Sudan. It will be released on 29 November.

Geldof told BBC News re-recording the single brought back memories.

WHY BAND AID IS HAPPENING AGAIN
1.6 million people dependent on food aid in Darfur, Sudan
Likely to rise to two million by next year
Almost 10 million people killed around the world every year through starvation
Hunger and malnutrition kill more people every year than Aids, malaria and tuberculosis combined
Source: United Nations World Food Programme
He said: "It takes me back to another nice morning 20 years ago. It doesn't feel the same because I didn't know what to anticipate before with all the mayhem and chaos.

"It would be nice to get the same amount of chaos but now people understand clearly what they're doing and I think that's the difference."

Boy band Busted urged their fans to buy the Band Aid single before "thinking of going out at Christmas to buy a Busted album".

Ms Dynamite gave a hint of how the record would sound, describing it as "totally different" from its predecessors.

Blur singer Damon Albarn served tea for the artists and crew - who have donated their time - but did not sing.

Musically it is very now - very current, I really like it
Ms Dynamite on the new single
Midge Ure, who helped organise the original record with Geldof, said there was still a need to raise funds and awareness, despite the good that the previous record had done.

"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," he said.

The song will be titled Band Aid 20 to mark the 20th anniversary of the original song, which featured stars such as George Michael, Duran Duran and Phil Collins.

It was organised by Geldof after he saw news footage of the starving in Ethiopia, and sold more than 3.5 million copies in the UK alone.

Sold on CD for 3.99 and also available as a download, the new version is hot favourite to be Christmas number one in the UK this year.

Retailers expect to sell about 500,000 copies in its first week.

Retailers Woolworths and Virgin Megastores will give their proceeds to the Band Aid Trust charity, while Chancellor Gordon Brown has decided not to charge VAT.

The Band Aid Trust spent more than $144m (77.5m) on famine relief in Africa between 1985 and the release of a Live Aid DVD earlier this month.

The Band Aid 20 line-up

  • Chris Martin
  • Sir Paul McCartney (bass guitar)
  • Bob Geldof
  • Midge Ure
  • Radiohead
  • Robbie Williams
  • Dido
  • Bono
  • Daniel Bedingfield
  • Natasha Bedingfield
  • Turin Brakes
  • The Thrills
  • Will Young
  • Katie Melua
  • Busted
  • Joss Stone
  • Lemar
  • Jamelia
  • Keane
  • Beverley Knight
  • The Darkness
  • Dizzee Rascal
  • Ms Dynamite
  • Snow Patrol
  • Sugababes
  • Travis
  • Danny Goffey (Supergrass, drums)
  • Rachel Stevens
  • Estelle
  • Feeder
  • The Divine Comedy
  • Moloko
  • Shaznay Lewis
  • Morcheeba
  • Ash
  • Damon Albarn (serving tea)



BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Sir Bob Geldof on the new recording



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