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Band Aid 30’s ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ Opens at No. 1 in U.K. With Huge Sales

One Direction's "Four" has debut at the summit of the U.K. album survey.

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.

In an all-new singles top three, “Real Love” (Atlantic/Warner Music) by Clean Bandit featuring Jessica Glynne debuted at No. 2. Not to be confused with the John Lennon song of the same name which climbed 21-7 last week on Columbia/Sony for Tom Odell (and now falls back to No. 14), the new entry is the follow-up to Clean Bandit’s previous chart-topping collaboration with Glynne, “Rather Be.” Meanwhile, English pop favorite Olly Murs debuted at No. 3 with his sixth top ten hit “Wrapped Up” (Epic/Sony), which features Travie McCoy of Gym Class Heroes and is the lead single from Murs’ forthcoming fourth album “Never Been Better.”

Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” (Asylum/Warner Music) fell 2-4 on the new singles chart, as “Dangerous” (Parlophone/Warner) by David Guetta featuring Sam Martin came in at No. 5. Gareth Malone’s All-Star Choir, who debuted at No. 1 last week with “Wake Me Up” (Decca/Universal), fell to No. 7; rapper Wretch 32’s fifth U.K. top ten single “6 Words” (Ministry of Sound) came in at No. 8 and Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” (EMI/Universal) climbed 11-9.

One Direction’s opening album sales of 142,000 put them more than 90,000 ahead of Sheeran’s X, which moved back 3-2. 

Four is the follow-up to 1D’s Midnight Memories, the U.K.’s bestselling artist album of 2013. Sam Smith’s In The Lonely Hour (Capitol/Universal) climbed 4-3 as Pink Floyd’s The Endless River (Rhino/Warner Music) fell to No. 4 after arriving at the top last week.

Bette Midler’s new tribute to favorite female artists, It’s The Girls (East West/Warner) started at No. 6, David Bowie’s career retrospective Nothing Has Change (Rhino/Warner) is at No. 9 and classical crossover star Katherine Jenkins is at No. 10 with “Home Sweet Home” (Decca/Universal). BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge 2014” (Sony Music CG/UMTV/WMTV) leads the compilation chart for a fourth week.