The Knack: HOW TO MAKE A CHARITY RECORD BY MIDGE URE, CO-WRITER OF THE 1984 BAND AID SINGLE `DO THEY KNOW IT'S CHRISTMAS?'
Prain, Interview Susannah, The Independent (London, England)
IF YOU'RE making a record for charity, you want the appeal to be as wide as possible. The charity record that Michael Jackson is proposing to make with a number of artists such as Britney Spears, Usher and Destiny's Child is a very powerful idea, as it has a cross- section of artists that will appeal to many different people and thus hopefully sell more copies. Unfortunately, many of the artists, having agreed to do it, have subsequently pulled out. This could have something to do with the fact that Michael Jackson is of a different generation and is surrounded by the wrong people in his secluded, strange world, and so a bit out of touch with today's music.
To make a charity record, you first have to get yourself a secret weapon. For me, when I made the Band Aid charity record "Feed the World", my secret weapon was Bob Geldof. He had this amazing capability of terrifying and cajoling artists into working with us, as well as that Irish roguish charm about him. Bob is a very driven man and drives everyone else forward. Band Aid and Live Aid were very passionate causes for him. And of course, another significant thing about Bob is that he knows everyone and everyone knows him, so that carried some weight. That's why I left him to do the phoning, while I tried to arrange a tune. Fortunately, I had a studio, which was an absolute godsend as we would have had to made extra arrangements to book one.
In the Band Aid situation, we didn't have much time to organise the whole thing, as our target was to get it out in time for Christmas; I think we conceived the idea sometime in November. …