Red Hot + Blue

1990
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  • I've Got You Under My Skin Neneh Cherry
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  • Night And Day The Neville Brothers
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  • You Do Something to Me Sinéad O'Connor
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  • Begin the Beguine Salif Keita
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  • Love for Sale Fine Young Cannibals
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  • 07 Well Did You Evah! Deborah Harry + Iggy Pop
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  • Miss Otis Regrets_Just One Of Those Things The Pogues + Kirsty MacColl
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  • Don't Fence Me In David Byrne
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  • It's All Right with Me Tom Waits
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  • Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye Annie Lennox
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  • I Love Paris Les Negresses Vertes
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  • So in Love k.d. lang
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  • Who Wants to Be a Millionaire_ Thompson Twins
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  • Too Darn Hot Erasure
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  • Down In The Depths Lisa Stansfield
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  • After You, Who? Jody Watley
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  • Do I Love You? Aztec Camera
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OVERVIEW

Red Hot + Blue is the first in the series of compilation albums from the Red Hot Organization. It features contemporary pop performers reinterpreting the music of Cole Porter, one of the great American songwriters of the early 20th century. It was one of the first successful tribute albums and a landmark multimedia project, with contributions from filmmakers, artists and designers in addition to musicians.
The money raised went to several groundbreaking AIDS organizations, notably ACT UP and Treatment Action Group (TAG), which were responsible for forcing the government and pharmaceutical companies to release the drugs that now allow people to live with HIV.

FACTS /
ORAL HISTORY

  • Filmmakers who made videos for the project included: Wim Wenders, Jim Jarmusch, Jonathan Demme, Alex Cox, Jean Baptiste Mondino, Percy Adlon and Neil Jordan
  • Artists and designers who contributed included: Jean Paul Gaultier, Keith Haring, David Wojnarowicz, Sue Coe, Barbara Kruger, Gran Fury and Jenny Holzer
  • The TV show was seen in over 30 countries around the world. ABC in the US demanded a different edit of the show with hosts who included Richard Gere, Whoopie Goldberg and several others. Gere’s introduction was one of the first mentions of the word ‘condom’ on network US television, outside of news programming
  • Pedro Almodovar wrote a treatment and was scheduled to make the video for “Don’t Fence Me In”, but couldn’t at the last minute and David Byrne directed a video himself
  • Most regrettable combination that didn’t, but almost happened: Lou Reed doing “I Get A Kick Out of You” directed by Martin Scorsese. The track was eventually done by The Jungle Brothers with a video by Mark Pellington
  • Neneh Cherry’s rap in “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” was one of the first times AIDS was described and talked about directly in popular culture

PRESS

Bella Online

The Red Hot + Blue movement was started in the early 90s’ by John Carlin. John had been working as an art critic and teacher and witnessed how AIDS was destroying his community. John got established music artists to come on board to record the songs of Cole Porter. Several Red, Hot & Blue compilation CD’s were released during the 90’s.

LONG ISLAND PRESS

One of the greatest CD compilations of all time, 1990’s RH + B was inspired, eclectic collection of songs by top artists of the time rendering Cole Porter songs– all to benefit AIDS research. As with the CD, the DVD collection of videos is sexy, provocative and most importantly, timeless. The music weathers the years well, and the videos add an extra intensity. 

arkansas gazette

This astounding collection of contemporary pop performers reinterpreting the songs of Cole Porter came out in 1990, first as an album and then as a television special consisting of music videos, many by famous directors and openly portraying the effects of AIDS on society. The album sold more than a million copies worldwide and was one of the music industry’s first major AIDS benefits. 

CREDITS

Produced and Directed By:
Leigh Blake + John Carlin
Created By:
Leigh Blake, John Carlin + F. Richard Pappas
Supervising Musical Producer:
Steve Lillywhite