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Sticking another Band Aid on the Christmas charts just won't cut it anymore

They're doing it again. This Saturday, a who's who of British and Irish pop stars and rock bands will come together to re-record Bob Geldof and Midge Ure's Do They Know It's Christmas?

Band Aid 30, they're calling it and it'll be the fourth time the song has been recorded since its initial release in 1984.

Back then, the aim was to put an end to famine in Ethiopia. Now, Geldof has the Ebola crisis in his sights.

Because nothing says 'Stop a killer disease!' like One Direction, U2 and Ed Sheeran joining forces for a jolly sing-song. And seriously, best of luck to them.

But if you'll allow us to be frank, why bother reheating the same song over and over again?

According to Geldof, it doesn't matter if we hate the track - he still urges us to download it when it's released next Monday. Why not come up with something new, then?

Could it be that the world's biggest artists have all but run out of ideas when it comes to crafting a memorable, near-magical Christmas tune? Maybe.

Think about it. Every year the likes of Slade, Wizzard and Wham! work their way back into our lives for the months of November and December.

But when was the last time you welcomed a brand new, genuinely fabulous festive ditty into your collection?

Somewhere along the way we've decided we've reached our quota - the Now! CD was full. No more sleigh bells, thank you very much.

Yuletide

The biggest problem? The artists stopped trying. See, it's no longer a major priority for pop stars to churn out a potential Yuletide favourite.

Gone are the days where a clause in their record contract would stipulate that, come August 1, they'd be ushered into a tinsel-decorated studio to produce a festive goodie for the holiday season.

Get it right, and that would be your pension sorted. The downside being that it might follow you to your grave.

Now, I'm sure that Noddy Holder has no problem with making more than half a million quid a year off of radio play for Merry Christmas Everybody, but you'd be hard pressed to find a contemporary act willing to put their 'serious' reputation on the line for a one-off festive smash.

So they phone it in and we get dreadful B-sides (remember Girls Aloud's Not Tonight Santa?, me neither), misjudged follow-ups (former Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows had a bash at The Snowman sequel soundtrack in 2012) and countless hipster releases (avoid the Zooey Deschanel Christmas album).

marketing

Sure, the big-hitters (think Rod Stewart, Justin Bieber and Mary J. Blige) still release cover-heavy Christmas albums but they are, for the most part, half-assed, money-making, marketing exercises.

The last original, and truly memorable, festive tune that has gone on to become part of the familiar Christmas song canon is The Darkness' Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End). And that was released in 2004.

Why did it work? Because it was big, bombastic, out-of-time and intentionally cheesy. And isn't that what you want?

A new song with traditional values and a sing-along hook?

Can you imagine if a team of songwriters put as much effort into crafting a brand new Christmas tune as those clever lads over in the John Lewis advertising department do with their annual TV weepfest? We'd be flying.

Alas, tradition is a funny old thing. Isn't it time we started to make a new one?


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