|"Let It Be"|
|Single by Ferry Aid|
|B-side||"Let It Be (The Gospel Jam Mix)"
"Let It Be (Mega Message Mix)"
|Released||23 March 1987|
|Format||7" single, 12" single|
|Recorded||15–17 March 1987|
|Producer(s)||Stock Aitken Waterman|
|Certification||UK: gold (500,000 copies)|
Ferry Aid were a British-American ensemble group, brought together to record the song "Let It Be" in 1987. The single was released following the Zeebrugge Disaster, which had occurred on 6 March 1987 involving the capsizing of the MS Herald of Free Enterprise ferry, which killed 193 passengers and crew. All proceeds from sales of the single were donated to the charity set up in the aftermath of the disaster. The recording was organised by The Sun newspaper, after they had sold cheap tickets for the ferry on that day. "Let It Be" was written by Lennon–McCartney and originally recorded by The Beatles in 1969.
Garry Bushell then with The Sun newspaper organised the recording of the song by recruiting record producers Stock, Aitken and Waterman. They then put an invitation out to the music industry for artists to contribute their vocals to the song. Although many stars were initially reluctant to join forces with the newspaper, eventually artists such as Boy George, Kate Bush, Gary Moore and Mark Knopfler agreed to take part. Original writer, Paul McCartney also contributed to the song, although his performance (and section in the accompanying video) were recorded independently in his own studios. In fact, it was later revealed that McCartney used his voice of the original recording of the 1970 Beatles track and added it to the Ferry Aid recording. The song was recorded over three days between 14 and 16 March 1987 and the single was released on Monday 23 March 1987. The first artist to record his part was Mark King (who also played bass guitar on the song) on the Saturday morning, while the last was Paul King on Monday evening.
In the original Beatles recording George Harrison did the guitar solo but for the purposes of this song - as shown in the video - the solo was divided with Gary Moore first, then Mark Knopfler, then back to Gary Moore with Moore's parts being more 'rock' and Knopfler's being more laid-back.
Artists to have contributed and performed solo spots on the song are as follows (in order of appearance):
- Paul McCartney
- Boy George
- Keren Woodward and Nick Kamen
- Paul King
- Mark King
- Jaki Graham
- Mark Knopfler (guitar solo)
- Andy Bell
- Pepsi & Shirlie
- Mel and Kim
- Gary Moore (guitar solo)
- Kim Wilde and Nik Kershaw
- Edwin Starr
- Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot
- Ruby Turner
- Kate Bush
The closing choruses of the song feature an ensemble choir featuring many of the above performers as well other recording artists. The back-up chorus consisted of:
- The Alarm, John Altman, Debee Ashby, Al Ashton, Rick Astley, Bananarama, Simon Bates, Alison Bettles, Jenny Blythe, Errol Brown, Miquel Brown, Bucks Fizz, Jay Carly, The Christians, Nick Conway, Linda Davidson, Hazell Dean, Anne Diamond, Difford and Tilbrook, Doctor and the Medics, The Drifters, Drum Theatre, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Roy Gayle, Go West, Carol Hitchcock, Felix Howard, Gloria Hunniford, Imagination, Jenny Jay, Ellie Laine, Annabel Lamb, Stephanie Lawrence, Loose Ends, Linda Lusardi, Ruth Madoc, Bobby McVey, Suzanne Mizzi, The New Seekers, Sadie Nine, The Nolans, Hazel O'Connor, Mike Osman, Su Pollard, Tim Polley, Pamela Power, Maxi Priest, Princess, Jimmy Pursey, Suzi Quatro, Mike Read, Sally Sagoe, Nejdet Salih, Ray Shell, Mandy Smith, Neville Stapleton, Alvin Stardust, Steve Strange, Sylvia Tella, Terraplane, Bonnie Tyler, Maria Whittaker, Working Week.
The B-side of the 7" single is a gospel version of "Let It Be", made up on the spot by improvising. The 12" single has "Let It Be (Mega Message Mix)" on the B-side.
The anarchist band Chumbawamba anonymously released a parody of the song under the name 'Scab Aid', intended as a criticism of The Sun newspaper and the motives of the contributing performers which they regarded as 'hypocritical'.
"Let It Be" made number one in the UK Singles Chart in its first week on 4 April 1987, and remained at that position for three weeks. It was the 13th best selling single of the year in the UK; it was certified gold for shipping over 500,000 copies. The single was also a number one hit in Norway and Switzerland, and reached the top 10 in several European countries.
|UK Singles Chart||1|
|Austrian Singles Chart||4|
|Dutch GfK chart||4|
|Dutch Top 40||3|
|French Singles Chart||8|
|Irish Singles Chart||2|
|Norwegian Singles Chart||1|
|Swedish Singles Chart||9|
|Swiss Singles Chart||1|
"Respectable" by Mel and Kim
|UK number-one single
4 April 1987 - 18 April 1987 (3 weeks)
"La Isla Bonita" by Madonna
- "kimwilde.com Encyclopedia - Ferry Aid". Retrieved 5 July 2009.
- "How we helped in times of tragedy". The Sun (London). 22 May 2007. Retrieved 5 July 2009.
- "Recording of "Let it Be"". Smash Hits. Retrieved 5 July 2009.
- Liddle, Steven. "Lyn Paul website: New Seekers - Collectors' Items (flexi discs, vinyl and cassettes)". www.lynpaulwebsite.org. London, UK: The Lyn Paul Website. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
- Glasper, Ian (2006) The Day the Country Died: a History of Anarcho-punk 1980–1984, Cherry Red Books, ISBN 978-1-901447-70-5
- "Chart Stats - Ferry Aid - Let It Be". Retrieved 5 July 2009.
- "Certified Awards Search". BPI. Retrieved 26 November 2011. Search by Title, click on more info>>
- "Certified Awards – A Timeline". Certified Awards Timeline.pdf. London, UK: BPI (British Recorded Music Industry) Limited. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
- "norwegiancharts.com - Ferry Aid - Let It Be". Retrieved 5 July 2009.
- "Ferry Aid - Let It Be - hitparade.ch" (in German). Retrieved 5 July 2009.
- "Ferry Aid - Let It Be - austriancharts.at" (in German). Retrieved 5 July 2009.
- "dutchcharts.nl - Ferry Aid - Let It Be" (in Dutch). Retrieved 5 July 2009.
- "Nederlandse Top 40 - Week 17, 1987" (in Dutch). Retrieved 5 July 2009.
- "lescharts.com - Ferry Aid - Let It Be" (in French). Retrieved 5 July 2009.
- "irishcharts.ie search results". Retrieved 5 July 2009.
- "swedishcharts.com - Ferry Aid - Let It Be". Retrieved 5 July 2009.
- "Chart Stats - Mel And Kim - Respectable". Retrieved 5 July 2009.
- "Chart Stats - Madonna - La Isla Bonita". Retrieved 5 July 2009.
- A full list of band members can be seen at Ferry Aid - Let It Be Images at Discogs
- Ferry Aid Discography at Discogs only has an incomplete list of band members
- Another incomplete list of band members, on the Ferry Aid - ear.fm website