Band Aid 30’s updated “Do They Know It’s Christmas” (EMI/Universal) has become the U.K.’s fastest-selling single of the year to date, selling 312,000 downloads to go straight to No. 1. Sunday's (Nov. 23) new Official Charts Company data also saw One Direction debut atop the album survey with Four (Syco Music/Sony Music), selling 142,000 units.
The Band Aid 30 line-up on the new version of the single, which is raising funds to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa, includes such stars as Bono, One Direction, Rita Ora, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding, Emeli Sandé, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Seal, Sinead O’Connor and Roger Taylor of Queen. “Do They Know It’s Christmas” has now topped the U.K. chart in all four of its incarnations, including the multi-million-selling first version at Christmas 1984 and subsequent anniversary editions in 1989 and 2004.
The new rendition of Bob Geldof and Midge Ure’s song outsold the rest of this week’s top five singles combined, all the more remarkable as it is not available to stream, and its physical release is not until next month. Its 312,000 total is the best weekly sales figure since X Factor winner James Arthur’s “Impossible” sold 489,000 two years ago. The latest version of “Do They Know” also outdid the Band Aid 20 version of a decade ago, which opened on 297,000 sales. The 1984 original re-charted yesterday at No. 61.