UPDATE 12/1: The Red Hot organization honored World AIDS Day with a 30th anniversary reissue of Red Hot + Blue, releasing a PBS NewsHour piece and a message from Dr. Anthony Fauci. “Today on World AIDS Day I want to commend the Red Hot (+Blue) Organization for 30 years of art and activism that have provided critically needed assistance in the fight against AIDS,” he said. “Thank you for raising awareness and millions of dollars, including the grant that helped establish our long time community activist partners The Treatment Action Group (TAG).”
Friday marks 30 years since the Red Hot organization released Red Hot + Blue, an HIV/AIDS benefit compilation. To commemorate the anniversary, the nonprofit has announced several reissues dedicated to fighting HIV/AIDS through popular culture.
The organization will reissue Red Hot + Blue, which includes songs by U2, Tom Waits, David Byrne, Thompson Twins, Sinéad O’Connor and more. In addition, they’ll release the indie rock anthology Red Hot + Bothered from 1995 on streaming services for the first time ever.
Other reissues include 1997’s Silencio=Muerte: Red Hot + Latin — which focused on fighting AIDS in Latinx communities — and 2001’s Red Hot + Indigo, a tribute to Duke Ellington. 1996’s Offbeat – A Red Hot Sound Trip, an offshoot of The Beat Experience, is also being reissued.
All releases arrive digitally on October 23rd; the organization will release more archival material leading up to World Aids Day on December 1st.
To accompany the announcement, Red Hot released six vintage remixes of Neneh Cherry’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” the opening track to Red Hot + Blue. The remixes were done by Blacksmith, David Z, Afrika Baby Bam and more. You can hear them here.
“For those of us living in New York 30 years ago, HIV/AIDS was as devastating as Covid-19 is today,” Red Hot’s president and co-founder John Carlin tells Rolling Stone. “But what made Red Hot + Blue so impactful and different was that it celebrated life and the power of music and art to lift people up during dark times. Leigh Blake and I wanted to invent something different than a live event charity benefit, so we created a multimedia project that combined music, film, fashion and art. I think that’s why it still looks and sounds great as an emblem of the time in which it was made, with some timeless sublime creative elements that we can enjoy and learn from today.”
“This is also because Red Hot pioneered using pop culture for social change — good propaganda — to fight for LGBTQ rights and to promote safer sex,” he continued. “Thirty years ago it was condoms, today it’s masks. And we raised millions of dollars through album sales and gave it away in ways that no one else was doing at the time — such as almost a million dollars to ACT UP, which was the only significant outside donation they received and helped them and the affiliated group, TAG (Treatment Action Group), bring the drugs to market that have let people with HIV live normal lives ever since.”
Red Hot + Blue Tracklist
1. I’ve Got You Under My Skin – Neneh Cherry
2. In the Still of the Night – The Neville Brothers
3. You Do Something For Me – Sinéad O’Connor
4. Begin the Beguine – Salif Keita
5. Love for Sale – Fine Young Cannibals
6. Well Did You Evah! – Debbie Harry & Iggy Pop
7. Miss Otis Regrets/Just One of Those Things – The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl
8. Don’t Fence Me In – David Byrne
9. It’s All Right with Me – Tom Waits
10. Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye – Annie Lennox
11. Night and Day – U2
12. I Love Paris – Les Negresses Vertes
13. So in Love – k.d. Lang
14. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? – Thompson Twins
15. Too Darn Hot – Erasure
16. I Get a Kick Out of You – Jungle Brothers
17. Down In The Depths – Lisa Stansfield
18. From This Moment On – Jimmy Somerville
19. After You, Who? – Jody Watley
20. Do I Love You? – Aztec Camera