Band Aid 30: Midge Ure yesterday conducting the artists for a new version of the song Do They Know It’s Christmas? Photograph: Band Aid Trust/Brian Aris/Camera Press
◼ TODAY AT 8pm ON THE X-FACTOR BAND AID 30 airs the fourth version of its pop smash hit, Do They Know It’s Christmas? So let’s remember the lifelong contribution of the quietest man in pop, Midge Ure, who is the true brains behind the charity project. As Bob Geldof described him on This Is Your Life: “He’s a great guy, hilariously funny though you wouldn’t know it from his old New Romantic posing. He’s got a great heart and is a great all-round good bloke.”
➢ Previously at Shapersofthe80s: 1984, Band Aid, when pop made its noblest gesture but the 80s ceased to swing
➢ Previously at Shapersofthe80s: How Midge Ure helped shape the British New Wave
Midge: “There’s no doubt the early 80s was a golden age of music made by real popstars who created themselves. It was more than just padded shoulders and asymmetrical haircuts. It was a pivotal moment in our cultural history when new tech mixed with new ideas to create something really good. All in the pressure cooker environment that was the Blitz club”
Visage Mk 1: Rusty Egan, Steve Strange and Midge Ure in 1978 searching for sounds and styles
UPDATE: BAND AID 30 MUSIC VIDEO – PG ADVISED
Posted in London, Media, Pop music, Technology
Tagged Band Aid 30, electro-pop, Midge Ure, new wave, recording, synth-pop, This Is Your Life, Video, Visage
Fund-raising veterans Ure and Geldof: can they pull together another Christmas chart-topper? (Pic PA)
◼ ROCK LEGENDS SIR BOB GELDOF, 60, and his unknighted partner in charity, Mr James “Midge” Ure OBE, 61, plan to record a new fund-raising song, most likely destined to help fight ebola in West Africa. The 80s stars masterminded the 1984 chart-topper Do They Know It’s Christmas? by co-writing the song and amassing a Who Was Who of 45 rock stars to record it free, under the group name Band Aid. The track sold 3.7million copies in the UK alone and remained its best-selling single for 13 years.
Three decades on, One Direction are thought to have agreed to record the new tune, with other hot acts for Band Aid 30 tipped to include 20-something generationers Adele, Emeli Sandé, Ed Sheeran, Alt-J, Ellie Goulding, Paloma Faith, Jessie Ware, Bastille, Olly Murs, Ben Howard and Sam Smith.
The 1984 hit led directly to the globally televised Live Aid concerts of 1985, voted the most important music event of the past 30 years, which raised £150million to fight famine in Ethiopia.
Design by Tracey Emin
➢ Nov 10 update: One Direction confirmed at BBC News: One Direction, Ed Sheeran, Elbow and old-timers such as U2’s Bono and Coldplay’s Chris Martin are among the acts confirmed to record the fourth version of the Band Aid charity single Do They Know It’s Christmas?. Bob Geldof and Midge Ure said the song’s lyrics would be changed to reflect the ebola crisis. The new version will be recorded this Saturday and artwork has been designed by Tracey Emin.
Up for Band Aid 30: 1D’s Harry Styles tonight snapped in the recording studio with Polish photographer Patryk Spiker. Harry made no comment on the charity project
➢ Previously at Shapersofthe80s: Band Aid, when pop made its noblest gesture but the 80s ceased to swing
➢ Previously at Shapersofthe80s: Band Aid, the smash hit that earned 47 artists three platinum discs each
Posted in London, Media, Pop music
Tagged Band Aid 30, Bob Geldof, charity, Do They Know It’s Christmas?, Elbow, Harry Styles, Midge Ure, One Direction, Patryk Spiker, Tracey Emin, Video
❚ OOPS! RECENT RUSTLINGS IN THE DOVECOTE suggest all is not well between founder members of the 80s synthpop band Visage who gave the world The Anvil and a couple of other albums and confirmed Steve Strange as king of the pop posers.
Talks about talks to make their first album since Visage fell apart in 1984 have been going on for a year or more but the three founding members – synth pioneer Midge Ure, drummer Rusty Egan and vocalist Steve Strange – haven’t seen eye to eye since last summer. Then in November differences went public when Strange performed their biggest hit Fade to Grey on German TV [see video above] and in the ensuing interview he claimed that Midge Ure was still collaborating. At the three-minute mark Strange says: “We’re in the studio now doing a new fourth album with Midge Ure – Midge is writing the songs with me.” When a Tweeter asked if this was true, Ure’s denial was immediate: “He is deluded if he thinks that. He knows that isn’t happening.”
Before Christmas Egan suddenly went public with a serious allegation about Strange’s handling of a substantial Visage royalties payment (accumulated revenue intended for all members of the 80s band) which he had allegedly received in 2004. I asked Egan whether his move was a little unwise, and he replied: “Sorry to say but as Steve Strange is blaming the hold up of Visage on me. I just can’t listen to any more of his complete rubbish. There is NO VISAGE ALBUM. There is Steve Stange [sic] and some blokes cashing in on the success of Ultravox.”
The same day Strange tweeted [below]: “there are 2 sides 2 every story”.
Dozens of fans piled into Facebook to comment and in the first week of January Strange typed erratically: “thank you all 4 bringn 2my attention it s,ilegall slanderous lies by an ex member of Visage. As an agreement,we as a 4 piece ?4igned an agreement not 2 mention ,this story ? As this person is talkn in. public a lega restraining order is soon to be put in place .tThis Visage album will not be derailed .”
Only days later Strange announced to the world on Facebook “The New Visage Line up” in a glam studio portrait [below] which showed him beneath a marcel wave alongside Lauren Duvall, Steve Barnacle and Robin Simon. Strange commented on the pre-Christmas allegations: “There s always got ? Too be , the voice of doom n gloom. Not a band reunion a new lineup.” [sic]
This week a despairing Facebook follower asked Egan why the pair couldn’t resolve their differences. Yesterday Egan replied: “the way was to make a visage record and Steve repay ——* royalties. We failed.”
[* word deleted by Shapersofthe80s]
➢ 2010, Feast of remixes on new ‘Very Best’ of Visage album
Visage 2013: Steve Barnacle, the inimitable Steve Strange, Lauren Duvall and Robin Simon. Photography © by David Levine