Band Aid Earns Third Christmas U.K. No. 1

Band Aid 20's "Do They Know It's Christmas" (Mercury) was confirmed as the U.K.'s Christmas No. 1 single yesterday (Dec. 19).

Band Aid 20's "Do They Know It's Christmas" (Mercury) was confirmed as the U.K.'s Christmas No. 1 single yesterday (Dec. 19). The Bob Geldof/Midge Ure-penned song for the Band Aid Trust tops the chart for the third week and also becomes the first three-time U.K. festive No. 1, following the 1984 original and the 1989 update, produced by the Stock-Aitken-Waterman hit making team.

Yesterday's new chart was generally agreed in the industry to be the Christmas edition, although another chart is published on Boxing Day (next Sunday, Dec. 26) and will reflect sales from Dec. 19-24.

The closest challenge to Band Aid 20 came from a new version on Polydor of the Cat Stevens song "Father and Son," on which Stevens, now known as Yusuf Islam, collaborates with Irish pop vocalist Ronan Keating. That entered at No. 2 while Keating's "10 Years of Hits" compilation climbed 6-5 on the U.K. album chart. It's the second time he's had a hit with the song, having also reached No. 2 with it as a member of boy band Boyzone at Christmas 1995.

New at No. 5 was the novelty double-header "I Got You Babe" and "Soda Pop" on BMG. The A-side Sonny & Cher cover is credited to Merrion/McCall/Kensit -- comic Avid Merrion, television presenter Davina McCall and actress Patsy Kensit, who had a top 10 U.K. hit in 1988 with "I'm Not Scared" as frontwoman of pop act Eighth Wonder. The other side features Merrion in his Bo' Selecta comic guise.

Morrissey's "I Have Forgiven Jesus" (Attack/Sanctuary), the latest single from his latest album, "You Are the Quarry," debuted at No. 10. Cliff Richard, a traditional contender for Christmas honors on the U.K. chart, had to be content with a No. 13 entry for "I Cannot Give You My Love" (Decca).

On the U.K. album chart, Robbie Williams' "Greatest Hits" (Chrysalis) leapfrogged U2's "How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" (Universal Island) to return to No. 1. The latter set fell to No. 3 as operatic pop outfit Il Dovo's self-titled album for Syco Music opened at No. 2.

There was little other significant movement on the survey, but Scissor Sisters' self-titled Polydor debut climbed back 11-7, "Hopes and Fears" by Keane (Universal Island) rebounded 10-8 and Westlife's "Allow Us To Be Frank" (S/BMG) rose 12-9.