How do you write a song

Eric, welcome to the programme.

How do you write a song

Background[ edit ] The song was inspired by a series of reports that Michael Buerk made for BBC television news programmes inwhich highlighted the famine in Ethiopia that was taking place at the time. Among the acts performing on that week's programme were Ultravoxpromoting their greatest hits album The Collection.

Ultravox's front man Midge Ure happened to be chatting to Yates in the dressing room after the show when Geldof called her. On discovering that she was with Ure, an old friend of Geldof's, he asked to speak to Ure and told him that he wanted to do something to alleviate the suffering in Ethiopia.

How do you write a song

Ure immediately agreed to help and the pair arranged to meet and discuss ideas over lunch the following Monday, 5 November, quickly coming to the conclusion that the best option would be to make a charity record.

The same day I was passing by this antique shop and who is standing in there but Gary Kempjust about to go off on tour to Japan. He said he was mad for it as well and to wait 10 days till they [ Spandau Ballet ] got back in the country I thought, 'Christ, we have got the real top boys here', all the big names in pop are suddenly ready and willing to do this I knew then that we were off, and I just decided to go for all the rest of the faces and started to ring everyone up, asking them to do it.

They both realised that they would have to write one themselves and not record a cover versionotherwise they would have to pay royalties which would have to be subtracted from How do you write a song amount raised for charity.

On the Monday afternoon Ure came up with the outline of what he felt sounded a Christmas-like melody on a portable keyboard, which he recorded onto a tape and sent to Geldof, who sarcastically told him that the tune sounded like the theme to Z-Cars.

Geldof added lyrics based on a song he had originally written for the Boomtown Rats, as he later recalled: It was lucky in a way, because I had already written this song, which I had provisionally called 'It's My World', and I knew it would be suitable if I just changed the words a bit and called it 'Do They Know It's Christmas?

He later stated that he had been unable to improve on Geldof's lyrics and left most of them as they were, with the exception of the line "And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmas time" — the original lyric substituted "Africa" with "Ethiopia" but Ure decided that this did not scan.

At the time Horn was an in-demand producer, having produced the three number one singles in for Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Although Horn was receptive to the idea, he told Geldof that he would need at least six weeks to be able to produce the song, which made it impossible for it to be ready by Christmas.

Horn would later remix and co-produce the 12" version of the single, as well as remixing the single for its re-release.

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In Horn's absence Ure was assigned the job of producer and he spent several days in his home studio with his engineer Rik Walton to create the song's backing track, programming the keyboards and drum machines and using a sample of the drums from the title track of Tears for Fears album The Hurting for the song's intro.

John Taylor of Duran Duran and Paul Weller visited Ure's studio the day before the recording at Sarm West in order to add bass guitar and lead guitar respectively, although Ure and Weller later agreed that the lead guitar did not fit the predominantly synthesizer-based song and subsequently decided not to use Weller's contribution.

Ure sang the original guide vocal, although Simon Le Bon and Sting both came to Ure's studio to add the vocals for their lines. His plan was to have the biggest names in British music at the time appear on the record, and few declined: Geldof later revealed that only three people had turned him down, although he refused to disclose who they were.

Another UK act who had been successful inThe Thompson Twinswere unable to appear on the Band Aid record as they were out of the country and were made aware of the recording too late to return and be involved in it, but they donated part of the proceeds of their then current single "Lay Your Hands on Me" to the Action for Ethiopia charity.

With recording scheduled to begin at Geldof had arranged for the UK newspaper The Daily Mirror to have exclusive access inside the studio, and ensured that a 'team photo' was taken by the newspaper's photographer Brian Aris before any recording got under way, knowing that it would be ready in time to appear in the following day's edition of the newspaper and help publicise the record.

Ure played the backing track and guide vocals to the artists and then decided, as a way of getting all involved straightaway, to record the climax first.

The artists were put in a huge group and sang the 'Feed the world, let them know it's Christmas time' refrain over and over again until it was complete.

Having recorded the group, Ure chose Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet to be the first singer into the studio to record his solo part.

Hadley admitted that this had been nerve-wracking, knowing that all his contemporaries were watching him. Le Bon, despite having already recorded his part at Ure's house, re-recorded it so he could be part of the moment.

Sting also recorded his words again, this time to provide harmony vocals. Despite being lead singers themselves, both Geldof and Ure had already decided that they would not sing any solo lines, although both took part in the 'feed the world' finale.

Ure later stated in his autobiography that he was constantly battling with Geldof, and telling him to leave when he would come into the production booth and wrongly tell the artist behind the microphone what to sing.Songfacts Spotlight Woman by Kesha.

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