Sometimes putting the greater good ahead of one’s personal taste is the right thing to do.
That’s essentially what Paul Weller did when he agreed to participate in the making of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” — the star-studded 1984 famine relief single credited to Band Aid.
“Bob Geldof called me and asked me if I wanted to sing on this track,” recalls Weller. “I think I was one of the first people to sing on the actual backing track, and my initial reaction was, ‘I don’t know if I’ve ever heard such an appalling song in my life.’ I still feel that way now, as well. But what it was trying to achieve far outweighed any kind of critical reasoning at all.
“Even when we were all in the studio [to film the video], I still felt it was appalling on a musical level, but if it was going to save lives or raise consciousness or whatever it was supposed to do, [then] it was really hard to knock it and criticize it.”
Weller pulls no punches no matter what the subject. He is quick to make it clear that his concerts early next year in New York and Hollywood, Calif., supporting Hit Parade, his career-spanning boxed set due Jan. 23, will include a wide range of material from his days with The Jam and The Style Council, as well as his solo career.
“I don’t want anyone to be under the impression that it’s going to be a greatest hits show because it won’t be,” he says, adding that he’s more interested in performing B-sides and album tracks because “you don’t hear them as much.”
As for the possibility of an extensive U.S. tour with his band, the British singer/songwriter/guitarist says, “We’re looking forward to these [confirmed] dates, and then we’ll see how it goes.”
— By Chris M. Junior
Paul Weller on tour (schedule subject to change):