[So having devoted an entire column to a single record, it seemed wrong to ignore the rest of the chart. But there could only be one Chart Commentary piece online at once on Launch. My compromise was to pen a midweek edition, erasing the Band Aid piece with a Thursday morning roundup of all the other hits on the chart that week].
Just as a curiosity, this week I looked up the Top 40 for December 15th 1984, the week of the release of the original Band Aid track. Five other singles entered the Top 40 that week (about average for the time), amongst them Wham's Last Christmas which would go on to become as much a Christmas perennial as the single that beat it to the top. Back in the present day and no less than 11 other new singles sold enough to register Top 40 places this week, five of them landing inside the Top 10 - proving at least that Do They Know It's Christmas wasn't the only record to inspire consumers.
Far and away the biggest is You Can Do It by former NWA frontman Ice Cube, ably assisted by Mack 10 and Ms Toi. The track is actually no less than five years old, having first been recorded back in 1999. Indeed the track is such a part of the Ice Cube canon that it appeared as one of the tracks on his 2001 Greatest Hits collection. This long overdue chart appearance comes thanks to a tidy new remix which turns the track into a genuine cannot fail party smash, and in the process it gives the rapper his first Top 40 single in over ten years - his first in fact since Bop Gun (One Nation) hit Number 22 in August 1994, a chart position which until today was his highest ever. You Can Do It also featured on the soundtrack of the 2001 movie Save The Last Dance, coincidentally sitting alongside Fatman Scoop's Be Faithful which of course was a Number One single last year, once again several years after it was first recorded.
At Number 5 are Green Day with the second single from their acclaimed American Idiot album. Boulevard Of Broken Dreams follows the title track into the Top 5 and gives the group back to back Top 10 hits for the first time in their 10 year career. Boulevard Of Broken Dreams is the title of a famous painting by Gottfried Helnwein which pictured Marilyn Monroe, Humphrey Bogart, James Dean and Elvis Presley sitting in a classic American diner late at night. Such is the iconography of the picture that other artists have used it as a song title in the past, although the only others to chart in the UK are the Beatmasters who reached Number 62 in late 1991 with a club track of the same name.
Fourth biggest new hit of the week goes to Natasha Bedingfield who is, of course, following up her own Number One hit These Words with new single Unwritten. She is also one of the acts featured in the chorus of Do They Know It's Christmas and thus can claim to have contributed to two of this week's new entries. Such a feat duplicates that of George Michael in 1984 who had the honour of singing on the weeks Top 2 singles when the original Band Aid track entered at the top and Last Christmas entered at Number 2. In 1989 the Band Aid II track was the only Top 10 new entry in the week it was released but it was joined in the Top 10 at the time by Jason Donovan's When You Come Back To Me, the Australian star also singing on Do They Know It's Christmas.
At Number 8 is a single which at the start of the sales week was actually challenging for a Top 3 slot but which fell back towards the end of the week. Killamanjaro is the first single release from Libertines singer Pete Doherty's new outfit Babyshambles, formed as a kind of F You to his former bandmates who decided his drugs habit made him impossible to work with earlier in the year. Babyshambles was, of course, the title of the solo track that Doherty released earlier in the year and which limped to Number 32. The appearance of this track actually makes Doherty one of the most ubiquitous artists of the year for as well as appearing solo and with two different groups he of course also appeared alongside Wolfman on For Lovers which hit Number 7 back in April. Sadly for Wolfman, he appears to be a forgotten passenger as devoid of his superstar collaborator his new single Napoleon lands at a mere Number 44 this week.
Rounding off the Top 10 is another rap single in the shape of Snoop Dogg's Drop It Like It's Hot. Part of the appeal of the track is a guest appearance by Pharrell Williams. This is the first direct credit for the Neptunes man since February this year when he was one of the multitude of artists appearing alongside Lenny Kravitz on Show Me Your Soul. Aside from his production work, Williams' most successful performing collaboration was arguably his appearance on Britney Spears' Boys which hit Number 7 in August 2002.
Just one other single enters the Top 20 this week, namely Razorlight's Rip It Up. The song actually plays a crucial part in the history of the band for it was the lead track on the original demo that got them signed to Vertigo records. A new recording of the track, produced by Steve Lillywhite became their second commercial single, hitting Number 42 in November 2003 whilst the original demo version appeared on the b-side of Stumble And Fall, their first chart single proper which hit Number 27 back in February. This new single is thus the third version of the track to chart and is the version of the song that appears on their debut album Up All Night. It duly becomes their third Top 40 hit of the year and the third in a row to make the Top 20.
The most bizarre new hit of the week is down at Number 27. Transsexual Nadia became the surprise winner of this year's Big Brother TV series and after pondering all her options has elected to try to become a pop singer - with no less a label than EMI records electing to release the single. Its promotion has been made all the more bizarre by the apparently genuine belief by Nadia that she can become a hugely successful pop star, despite the fact that the record somehow manages to make the Cheeky Girls look sophisticated in comparison. So bad it really has to be heard to be believed and for that, we must offer profound thanks to the few thousand misguided souls who bought enough copies to propel it into the Top 30. Nadia is the second Big Brother winner to chart a hit single, following in the footsteps of original series winner Craig Phillips. His single was preceded by a tongue in cheek announcement that he had been signed to a multi-album deal (which shockingly everyone believed for a while) but in actual fact, his Christmas hit At This Time Of Year was a one-off release in aid of the Downs charity he had donated his series winnings to. Thanks to the wonders of Autotune the single actually wasn't that terrible and hit Number 14 in December 2000. Nadia wishes she had been that lucky.
Finally to bring up the rear is a handful of singles by artists who will probably be ruing having hit the charts in the same week as Band Aid. Joss Stone follows up the Top 10 hit You Had Me with Right To Be Wrong which lands at Number 29 to give her her smallest chart hit to date. As a small consolation, she does have a leading role on the Band Aid track. Not so Mike Skinner who sees the Streets end the year on a whimper rather than a bang. His fourth single of the year Could Well Be In can only land at Number 30 to give him his smallest hit since Let's Push Things Forward also only made Number 30 back in 2002. Finally, though there is Bryan Adams who for all his 1990s success cannot buy a hit at the moment it seems. Following up the Number 21 hit Open Road is new single Flying which belies its title by limping in at Number 39. December has been unkind to him in the past though as 1999 single The Best Of Me could only reach Number 47 when released in this very same month.