The Historic Supergroup -“Band Aid” Single “Do They Know It’s Christmas.”
While living in London after my departure from Shalamar in 1983, I’d signed a spec Solo deal with Phonogram/Mercury Records in 1984.
I received a call from Mariella Frostrup, who was the publicist for Phonogram Records U.K. at the time. Mariella didn’t give a lot of details about the session, just that I really needed to be there at request of Sir Bob Geldof as well who was organizing a recording session.
None of us really knew the magnitude of what it would be, we all turned up casually – some of the artists would joke they were coming from the pub or clubbing the night before.. it was all very low key when invited. One of the things that makes it so organic looking is no one was really done up for the cameras so to speak.
The result was “Do The Know It’s Christmas” the name of the group – Band Aid. Four days later it was released in the UK along with a powerful documentary and it has been played during the holiday season since. “Do They Know It’s Christmas” remains one of the biggest singles of all time in the U.K. and mega seller worldwide.
It’s an experience none of us involved will ever forget and a song that made a huge difference, setting the bar for other charity singles to follow.
I’ve said through the years, meeting George Michael and asking if he’d do a duet with me – which he did when I returned to America and signed with MCA Records recording my proper solo debut and looking back on it, it’s also notable I am the only black female artist and only 1 of 4 women in total. To be a part of this historic recording as my first solo endeavor is truly a astounding.
Some artists declined including other female from what I was told back then. To be a part of a historic single as the first thing I did after leaving and post Shalamar is such a gift.
The single went straight to Number 1, was front page news and has raised millions of dollars for famine relief and remains a milestone Christmas single despite a regrettable lyric (tonight thank God it’s them instead of you) created in the moment by the writers of the song as they have later acknowledged – the intent of the song is so very positive. Feed The World – Let Them Know It’s Christmas Time Again. That message and sentiment will always remain, help those in need.
Many of us performed the song on Top Of The Pops as well you can find it on Youtube along with original video.
After Band Aid two 12″ singles (Where The Boys Are and Girls Night Out) were released in 1984 and 1985 as JODY. I already had a vision in style (edgy and fashion forward) hard hitting dance music with an eye of not being labeled or marketed as ‘formerly of’. I was intent to establish my own identity solo with a decidedly more funky dance pop vibe as a debut. I’d written with Bruce Woolley of The Buggles and produced by The Art Of Noise before they were The Art Of Noise (Anne Dudley, J.J. Jeckzalik) with engineer Gary Langan. Ultimately, the label and I weren’t on same page and eventually I moved back to America, signed a new deal with MCA – the rest is solo history!