Bono has staunchly defended the latest cover of charity tune DO THEY KNOW IT'S CHRISTMAS?, deeming it better than the original.

The VERTIGO star contributed his classic 1984 line "Tonight, thank God it's them, instead of you" to the 2004 song, but many critics have branded the Band Aid 20 version an inferior take on SIR Bob Geldof and Midge Ure's original composition.

However, Bono believes the instrumental tracks on the all-star tune are a vast improvement on the dated 80s sounds featured on the first version.

He says, "I think the piano hook is really great. I much prefer it. I much, much prefer it because the music is a little more about the lyric.

"It feels a bit more tense, which I think is what some people don't like. It's not sugar-coated."

The song - which aims to benefit the victims of conflict in the Darfur area of Sudan - has already become 2004's biggest selling UK single.

21/12/2004 21:22