6 things you didn't know about the making of Do They Know It's Christmas

22nd Dec 2011 | 10:18

6 things you didn't know about the making of Do They Know It's Christmas
Intro

It's one of the most successful Christmas records of all time and continues to raise enormous amounts of cash for The Band Aid Trust, but few people expected Do They Know It's Christmas? to achieve what it did.

We recently interviewed Mix Engineer for Do They Know It's Christmas? Mr Stuart Bruce, and over the next few slides, we let you in on a few behind the scenes facts from this mammoth music production task.

6 things you didn't know about the making of Do They Know It's Christmas
24 hours at SARM

Aside from the mastering, the whole recording took place at Trevor Horn's SARM studios and was done in around 24 Hours straight, going through the night on Sunday 25 November 1984.

6 things you didn't know about the making of Do They Know It's Christmas
Take one

Although many of the artists nailed their line in two or three takes (they had to, as there was a tight schedule), Bono was the only act who managed to record his line perfectly on the first take.

6 things you didn't know about the making of Do They Know It's Christmas
Drums

Phil Collins would have also been somebody to nail his recording duties in the first take, but unfortunately played much, much louder during his take than on the initial level test which distorted the recorded signal.

Fortunately, he drummed absolutely perfectly again on the second run through.

6 things you didn't know about the making of Do They Know It's Christmas
Quo the jokers

Status Quo were notorious practical jokers and during the session, when they spotted the whole of Spandau Ballet making their way to the bathroom downstairs, Quo followed them.

After locking Spandau Ballet in the bathroom for quite some time Spandau had to kick the door out to set themselves free and get back to the session!

6 things you didn't know about the making of Do They Know It's Christmas
The demo

Midge and Bob had an original 24-track demo which you can hear at 2:21 in the video above. This 24 track tape was synced to another machine to provide the bones to the final recording.

Midge was also in charge of the recording order of the artists and deciding who should sing each part.

6 things you didn't know about the making of Do They Know It's Christmas
On the rider

All of the artists were well-mannered and got on with the job in hand, with Boy George being the only act to request something during the session.

He was last to record on the day, arriving early evening and flying straight in from a show in New York. He requested a bottle of brandy to help ease his sore throat from the previous nights singing. He took the most amount of takes to get his vocal recorded correctly.

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