For the past three decades, the Red Hot Organization has been fighting HIV/AIDS through the power of music and pop culture. After producing more than 20 compilation projects, collaborating with over 500 artists, and raising upwards of $15 million for hundreds of charitable groups around the world, the non-profit organization remains “the first, and only ongoing, major album series to benefit the fight against the disease” (The Guardian).
Today, December 1st, Red Hot honors World AIDS Day with a series of initiatives that continues their trailblazing and life-saving work, while commemorating the record that started it all: Red Hot + Blue. Upon release in 1990, the groundbreaking collection of music, art, fashion and film united David Byrne, Neneh Cherry, Erasure, Jean Paul Gaultier, Keith Haring, Debbie Harry & Iggy Pop, Jim Jarmusch, Annie Lennox, k.d. lang, U2, Tom Waits and dozens more reimagining the songs of Cole Porter. As the mainstream’s “first sensible, shame-free pop culture response to HIV/AIDS” (Esquire), Red Hot + Blue sold over a million copies, generating millions of dollars for affected groups, the LGBTQ community, and vital organizations like TAG, who received their first major grant through Red Hot and were therefore able to reform the NIH AIDS research program, expand AIDS research funding, and accelerate the development of crucial medication.
For World AIDS Day, Red Hot has released a 30th Anniversary Reissue of Red Hot + Blue, available across streaming platforms and digital services in its original, twenty-song entirety for the very first time.
Red Hot is also marking World AIDS Day through a brand new partnership with the New York City AIDS Memorial. Throughout the month of December, an exclusive line of Red Hot + Blue merch will be available through the Memorial’s site, including a tote and t-shirt with imagery by artist and AIDS activist David Wojnarowicz, and a shirt bearing a timely truism from Jenny Holzer. Both Wojnarowicz and Holzer were original contributors to Red Hot + Blue, and these merch proceeds will benefit the Memorial’s mission to preserve the history of those who died of AIDS, and to empower current and future activists, health professionals, and people living with HIV to end the epidemic through educational and cultural programming.
From George Michael, Madonna and Nirvana to Wu-Tang Clan and De La Soul, to Bon Iver, The National, Sharon Jones, John Legend, Chance the Rapper and Robyn, Red Hot’s curatorial instincts have consistently captured the spirit of the times for the past 30 years and counting. They’ve set the precedent for cultural activism, reduced stigmas, and changed public behavior and preconceptions in ways more relevant now than ever as the world works to surmount the challenges of yet another global pandemic.
Red Hot’s 30th Anniversary efforts will continue throughout December, with more classic content being released over the coming weeks and brand new music to be announced soon.
Red Hot + Blue Tracklist
I’ve Got You Under My Skin – Neneh Cherry
In the Still of the Night – The Neville Brothers
You Do Something to Me – Sinéad O’Connor
Begin the Beguine – Salif Keita
Love for Sale – Fine Young Cannibals
Well Did You Evah! – Debbie Harry & Iggy Pop
Miss Otis Regrets/Just One of Those Things – The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl
Don’t Fence Me In – David Byrne
It’s All Right with Me – Tom Waits
Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye – Annie Lennox
Night and Day – U2
I Love Paris – Les Négresses Vertes
So in Love – k.d. lang
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? – Thompson Twins
Too Darn Hot – Erasure
I Get a Kick out of You – Jungle Brothers
Down in the Depths – Lisa Stansfield
From This Moment On – Jimmy Somerville
After You, Who? – Jody Watley
Do I Love You? – Aztec Camera