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Sting is present at the Band Aid recording
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Date: 1984-11-25
Location: London, England, UK - Sarm West Studios
Attendees: Sting, Bob Geldof, Midge Ure, Status Quo, Bono, Simon LeBon, ...

Sting is present at the recording of Bob Geldof's Band Aid project "Do They Know It's Christmas?" - he had already recorded vocals the day before at Midge Ure's home studio.

Today Sarm West Studios was blocked off with the Police (the guys in uniform!) being present. Seven camera crews were setting up their gear inside the studio, five from the UK and two from the USA. At 9:15AM Bob Geldof arrived. He had seen a TV report about Ethiopia and then contacted everybody he knew to suggest today's special charity project. Everybody involved worked for free: musicians, technicians, press factory people...

The next one to arrive was Midge Ure, who produced the 7" version of the song (the 12" version would be done by Trevor Horn). Midge brought his 24 track master tape with him. Another early bird in the studio was Culture Club's Jon Moss, who confirmed that Boy George would appear later in the day. Sting arrived in his black Range Rover. Paul Weller turned up on foot and mostly kept to himself. Spandau Ballet arrived in two limousines. They had flown over from Germany with Duran Duran at 6:30AM.

Trevor Horn showed up and his offer to mix a 12" version of the song was accepted. Around noon everybody except for Boy George was in the studio where they did a photo session with Brian Aris upstairs. They started to record after the photo session - the first singer to be recorded would be Spandau Ballet's Tony Hadley. After choir vocals for about two hours they recorded solo bits from George Michael, Simon LeBon and Bono. They also sang a choir part together with Midge Ure. Francis Rossi did his small part, followed by Paul Young, Marilyn and Glenn Gregory and the female singers, then some more choir parts.

Trudie Styler arrived with her baby daughter and two small dogs. Phil Collins would record his drum parts with additional percussion done by Jon Moss. Paul Weller, Bob Geldof and Spandau Ballet's Gary Kemp recorded their acoustic guitars in two takes. The latest recording would be done by Boy George who needed some brandy before doing half a dozen takes. The last overdub would be finished at 10:00PM.

Bob Geldof and Midge Ure started to mix the song at 11:00PM - that lasted until 6:00AM. AFter a half hour break they did the b-side until 9:00AM. Studio engineer Stuart Bruce picked up the master and brought it to Utopia Studios, where the mastering took place. Singles would be pressed the next Wednesday to be sold on the following Saturday.

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External links


source: various UK magazines; Q magazine - December 1987

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