This is sad....I remember 1984, University finishing, this song blaring from every stereo across the land. Was a great song for the time and should be left alone I think..Thoughts? :icon_mad:
Clashing egos have marred the re-recording of the charity anthem Do They Know It's Christmas?
. Twenty years after the original Band Aid, a new choir met in London on Sunday to re-record the song to help those suffering in the Darfur region of Sudan.
But a hissyfit has erupted between Justin Hawkins of the Darkness and U2 frontman Bono over who gets to sing a pivotal line, with the elder statesman winning out over the "young upstart".
The weekend recording session included Coldplay's Chris Martin, Jamelia, Ms Dynamite, Will Young, Rachel Stevens and members of the bands Busted and Sugababes. Bono, Paul McCartney
, Dido and Robbie Williams making their contributions ahead of time to the new version, dubbed Band Aid 20 after the original superstar project. On Sunday Hawkins got to sing the most famous line from the charity hit: "And tonight thank God it's them instead of you".
Then he boasted that his version was superior to Bono's in the original.
"We both recorded the same line," Hawkins was quoted as saying. "I did it better than him but his management kicked up a stink."
Not to be outdone, Bono flew into London late Sunday night to re-record the line himself, and producer Midge Ure decided his is the one that will be used.
Bono, a high-profile development rights campaigner, said he sang the line "more like a whisper" - in contrast to the original which he likened to "Bruce Springsteen
sitting on the toilet".
Hawkins's comments have cast a shadow over the do-good single, attracting widespread media coverage in the British press on the day it debuts on the radio.
"The day was supposed to be about pop stars giving their time and talent to help Africa's starving. Sadly, no one seemed to have told Justin Hawkins" wrote Matt Born in the Daily Telegraph.
Malcolm Mackenzie, staff writer at Top of the Pops
magazine said: "It's ridiculous. You cannot compare Justin Hawkins and Bono. One's a rock star, the other's a pretender, a karaoke singer. Bono had to sing the line. Geldof had to give it to his friend. I think the record's going to do really well but I don't think it's going to be as good as the original because that captured the moment."
Reviews of the single have been mixed. Alexis Petridis wrote in the Guardian
: "The cumulative effect is nobody's idea of a great record, but provides a neat end of year review, in much the same way as the original, heavy on the tinny synthesizers and booming stadium rock drums, summed up the sound of pop music in 1984."
Music journalist Robin Eggar told the Guardian
: "The second time I heard it on the radio this morning, it reduced me to tears... The original had a lot of electronic pop and with the bells it was almost a deliberate cod Christmas record. On this one you can really hear the musicians actually playing. There are also many more women involved. Joss Stone's voice at the end really cuts through."
The 1984 Band Aid session - which also included Boy George, George Michael, Sting, Phil Collins and the members of Duran Duran, Bananarama and Spandau Ballet - was "a chaotic event imbued with optimism, naivety and spontaneity", Sean O'Neill noted in the Times
. This time around, Bob Geldof wanted the young singers to understand "the political significance of the song". He showed them TV footage from 1984 of the Ethiopian famine, introduced them to a woman who survived the disaster and stressed that "art and culture could have a political impact."
But Jim White, in the Daily Telegraph
, thought that the new Band Aid ensemble could have benefited from "another Geldof" at the helm.
"There is no one else out there chivvying their friends, writing a new anthem, slamming their fist on the desk and telling viewers to send in their effing money," he complained. In 1984, Geldof "hoped he was going to change the world". In 2004, "the force of that original effort" cannot be matched.
Joan Smith, in the Independent
, despaired that "one of the worst songs ever written and performed" had been revived. Singing about Christmas "in the context of famine" was inappropriate in 1984 and is even more insensitive now, she argued, because Darfur is "notorious as the site of a savage religious and ethnic conflict, prosecuted against the Christian ... population by the Janjaweed (Muslim) militia."
The song is due out November 29.