Midge Ure reveals ‘calculating’ Band Aid success

FORMER Ultravox frontman Midge Ure has said the way he went about obtaining the Christmas number one for Band Aid was “cold and calculating”.
Bob Geldof, left and Midge Ure in 1985. Picture: PABob Geldof, left and Midge Ure in 1985. Picture: PA
Bob Geldof, left and Midge Ure in 1985. Picture: PA

In an interview with Reader’s Digest, Ure recalls making the song with Bob Geldof, and details the process of plotting its success.

“I remember deciding that if we could have a Christmas number one, then we could possibly generate £100,000,” he said.

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He went on to explain: “If we could use the talents and kudos of our friends to get it to number one in the charts before Christmas - the charts freeze over Christmas/New Year period - that would generate more money than at any other time of the year. So it was a cold and calculating thing that we did.”

The 1984 single, Do They Know It’s Christmas?, was in aid of charity.

Their collaboration came about after Geldof phoned Ure following TV footage of famine in Ethiopia.

Ure recalls Geldof saying to him: “I’m disgusted and I want to do something. The Boomtown Rats has gone and I’m not in a position of power. Will you help me put something together?”.

Now 61, Scottish-born Ure rose to fame in bands such as Silk, Thin Lizzy, Rich Kids and notably Ultravox.

He overcame a very public battle with alcohol and said he remembers “kidding myself that alcohol is an aid to creativity”.

“You have to decide to turn off that madness in your head and get on with life, which I did about 10 years ago.”