➤ Do they know? How modest Midge wrote the biggest selling pop single of his generation

Do They Know It’s Christmas?, Band Aid, Live Aid, Midge Ure, Bob Geldof, 1984,pop music, UK charts,

Pop artist Peter Blake’s Band Aid sleeve… The original vinyl can be yours today for £6.99, US$11.25, €8.60 at eil.com

❚ 1.1 BILLION VIEWS FOR GANGNAM STYLE at YouTube!!! Merry Christmas, pop pickers. Now spare a few minutes to listen to the original demo of the tune that for 13 years endured as the biggest selling UK single of all time. In 1984 Do They Know It’s Christmas? was at No 1 in the pop charts.

Midge Ure: recording the Band Aid single, here with Paul Young and Tony Hadley © 1984 Mercury Records

Midge Ure: recording the Band Aid single, here with Paul Young and Tony Hadley (© 1984 Mercury Records)

It was recorded under the artist name of Band Aid by a megagroup recruited from 47 of the biggest hitters in British rock and pop. It raised huge funds for famine relief in Africa and a year later led to Live Aid, the biggest global rock concert ever, viewed by two billion people in 60 countries, who coughed up still more dollars. Live Aid is said to have raised £150m (about £400m or US$650m at today’s prices).

The idea for Band Aid was proposed by one down-on-his-luck musician, Irishman Bob Geldof, who had been moved by a horrifying BBC TV news report on the famine in Ethiopia. The song was written and produced by Scotsman Midge Ure of Ultravox, one of the most genuinely multitalented shapers of the 80s. Here’s the original demo version of the Do They Know It’s Christmas? in a video where both men remind us how the song and the Band Aid project sprang out of a telephone call while Midge was appearing on The Tube, the weekly pop TV show broadcast from Newcastle.

HERE’S MIDGE’S DEMO IN A TV DOC …

… AND HERE’S TOTP CHRISTMAS SPECIAL

❏ Above: Sir Geldof lures the Band Aid all-stars (plus a few other pop strays) into the Top Of The Pops studio to perform the song in December 1984

MORE BAND AID STORIES AT SHAPERS OF THE 80S

➢ 1984, Band Aid, when pop made its noblest gesture but the 80s ceased to swing

➢ 2001, Hear about the many lives of Midge Ure, the Mr Nice of pop

➢ Midge Ure and Gary Kemp lift the lid on the shenanigans that led up to Band Aid

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