"I Believe in Father Christmas" - U2
- "I Believe in Father Christmas" (Studio Version) - U2 (03:23)
In 2008 an online music magazine was started entitled RED with proceeds of magazine subscriptions going to AIDS charities. The magazine launched on December 1, 2008 which was World AIDS Day. Billboard explained the launch promotion: “For $5, users will receive a new issue of RED every Wednesday, featuring an exclusive song from a major artist, a song from an artist (RED) aims to showcase, a multimedia piece that could encompass video or photography and a look at how proceeds are directly benefiting Africans in need. The materials will be downloaded to a custom player and automatically loaded into iTunes … Users can send two free issues to friends, and will be rewarded if they join RED.” The announcement of the magazine and the launch was accompanied with a video of U2 singing “I Believe in Father Christmas” although the track wasn’t released for download until the following week.
The second issue of the digital magazine featured U2’s version of “I Believe in Father Christmas”, and Elton John with the Pet Shop Boys performing a Christmas song, “Joseph, Better You Than Me”. The issue was released on December 8, 2008, and featured a download of “I Believe in Father Christmas” as both a video and an audio track.
The U2 track was recorded on November 26th, 2008. Ned O’Hanlon who produced the video described the recording of the song: “About an hour and a half ago, we got the band upstairs into the studio, from a standing start, ah, the four guys never played, never heard it, didn’t know the lyric, and we have a video in the bag, which is ah, quite extraordinary”. The song itself is a cover of a song by Greg Lake, of Emerson Lake and Palmer. A “Behind the Scenes” look at the filming of the video and recording of the song was released to U2.com subscribers later in the month of December.
Although only available digitally through RED initially, a year later in 2009 the song would also be released on CD. Starbucks teamed up with (RED) to release a limited edition four track album titled All You Need is Love, which was released free in Starbucks stores in the USA and Canada to customers who spent more than $15 in store. The CD was released November 17, 2009 in Starbucks stores.
No traditional liner notes in this digital single release.