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Charity record

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A charity record (also known as a charity single) is a release of a song for a specific charitable cause. Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas? began the revolution of the charity record, which would be popularised throughout the 1980s. In the United States, charity records reached their peak with We are the World in 1985, but then essentially died out afterwards. In the United Kingdom, however, charity singles (especially Comic Relief), have become yearly #1 hits.

Contents

Notable charity singles

1980s

Release Date
Title
Artists
Charity/Cause
Highest Chart Position
December 1984
"Do They Know It's Christmas?"
Band Aid
famine in Ethiopia
1 (UK), 1 (Australia)
December 1984
"Last Christmas"/"Everything She Wants"
Wham!
Ethiopian famine appeal (not originally a charity record, but George Michael acceded to give royalties to Band Aid)
2 (UK)
April 1985
"We Are the World"
USA for Africa
famine in Ethiopia
1 (US), 1 (UK), 1 (Australia)
June 1985
"You'll Never Walk Alone"
The Crowd
Bradford City disaster
1 (UK)
November 1985
"That's What Friends Are For"
Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and Elton John
American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR)
1 (US), 16 (UK), 1 (Australia)
April 1986
"Living Doll"
Cliff Richard and the cast of The Young Ones
Comic Relief
1 (UK), 1 (Australia)
May 1986
"Everybody Wants to Run the World"
Tears For Fears
Sport Aid
5 (UK)
March 1987
"Let it Be"
Ferry Aid
Herald of Free Enterprise disaster at Zeebrugge
1 (UK)
December 1987
"Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree"
Mel & Kim (Mel Smith and Kim Wilde)
Comic Relief
3 (UK)
May 1988
"With a Little Help from My Friends"
Wet Wet Wet
ChildLine
1 (UK)
August 1988
"Running All Over The World"
Status Quo
Sport Aid
17 (UK)
April 1989
"Ferry 'Cross the Mersey"
The Christians, Holly Johnson, Paul McCartney, Gerry Marsden, Stock Aitken Waterman
Hillsborough disaster
1 (UK)
February 1989
"Help!"
Bananarama & La Na Nee Nee Noo Noo (French and Saunders with Kathy Burke)
Comic Relief
4 (UK)
December 1989
"Do They Know It's Christmas?"
Band Aid II
famine in Ethiopia
1 (UK)

1990s

Release Date
Title
Artists
Charity/Cause
Highest Chart Position
April 1990
"Use it Up and Wear it Out"
Pat and Mick
Help a London Child
22 (UK)
June 1990
"You've Got a Friend"
Big Fun, Sonia, featuring Gary Barnacle on saxophone
ChildLine
14 (UK)
March 1991
"The Stonk"
Hale and Pace (backing band includes David Gilmour)
Comic Relief
1 (UK)
April 1992
"(I Want To Be) Elected"
Smear Campaign (Bruce Dickinson, Rowan Atkinson, Angus Deayton)
Comic Relief
9 (UK)
September 1992
"Suicide is Painless"
Manic Street Preachers
The Spastics Society (now SCOPE)
7 (UK)
February 1993
"Stick It Out"
Right Said Fred and friends
Comic Relief
4 (UK)
May 1994
"Absolutely Fabulous"
Pet Shop Boys with Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley (of the television series Absolutely Fabulous)
Comic Relief
6 (UK), 2 (Australia)
March 1995
"Love Can Build A Bridge"
Cher, Chrissie Hynde, Neneh Cherry and Eric Clapton
Comic Relief
1 (UK)
March 1997
"Mama"/"Who Do You Think You Are"
The Spice Girls
Comic Relief
1 (UK), 13 (Australia)
September 1997
"Candle in the Wind 1997"/"Something About The Way You Look Tonight"
Elton John
Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund
1 (US), 1 (UK), 1 (Australia)
November 1997
"Perfect Day"
Various Artists, see specific article for full list
Children in Need
1 (UK)
March 1999
"When The Going Gets Tough"
Boyzone
Comic Relief
1 (UK)

2000s

Release Date
Title
Artists
Charity/Cause
Highest Chart Position
March 2001
"Uptown Girl"
Westlife
Comic Relief
1 (UK), 6 (Australia)
October 2001
"What's Going On"
All Star Tribute
Artists Against AIDS Worldwide and 9/11 victims
27 (US), 6 (UK), 38 (Australia)
March 2003
"Spirit In The Sky"
Gareth Gates and the Kumars
Comic Relief
1 (UK)
November 2003
"I'm Your Man"
Shane Richie
Children in Need
2 (UK)
July 2004
"Some Girls"
Rachel Stevens
Sport Relief
2 (UK)
November 2004
"I'll Stand By You"
Girls Aloud
Children in Need
1 (UK)
November 2004
"Do They Know It's Christmas?"
Band Aid 20
famine in Ethiopia
1 (UK), 9 (Australia)
December 2004
"Twelve Days of Christmas"
Dreamtime Christmas All-Stars
Starlight Foundation and Youth Off the Streets
26 (Australia)
December 2004
"Father And Son"
Ronan Keating featuring Yusuf Islam
Band Aid Foundation
2 (UK)
December 2004
"Come On Aussie, Come On"
Shannon Noll
Australian Red Cross' Good Start Breakfast Club
2 (Australia)
February 2005
"Grief Never Grows Old"
One World Project
2004 Asian Tsunami relief
4 (UK)
February 2005
"Evie Parts 1, 2 and 3"
The Wrights
Stevie Wright, The Salvation Army and 2004 Asian Tsunami relief
2 (Australia)
March 2005
"All About You"/"You've Got A Friend"
McFly
Comic Relief
1 (UK)
March 2005
"Is This the Way to Amarillo?"
Tony Christie featuring Peter Kay
Comic Relief
1 (UK)
November 2005
"A Night To Remember"
Liberty X
Children in Need
6 (UK)


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