The newest version of the song, originally penned by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, was performed on television’s X Factor last night.
Keeping with tradition, the track had been recorded the previous day, with hopes that the single will emulate the original, first recorded 30 years ago, and reach number one in the charts, increasing the amount of money raised for efforts to combat the effects of ebola.
Bono, who sang on the original, again lent his vocals to the newest version, although the lyric to his oft-imitated vocal has been changed to “and tonight we’re reaching out and touching you”.
Sinead O’Connor also contributed to the latest version, alongside musicians such as Guy Garvey of Elbow, Emili Sande, Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding, Jessie Ware, Chris Martin of Coldplay, and Seal. One Direction, featuring Westmeath’s Niall Horan, sing the opening lines.
The song is available to pre-order on iTunes and, as Geldof told reporters outside the studio in London where the song was recorded, there are a number of ways to donate.
“It’s a song, it’s a track, but it’s an event and the next stage is to turn it into a phenomenon like it was in the eighties. And the only way to do that is to get people to buy the thing,” he said.
“Spare me this free economy. Spare me Spotify and YouTube. There’s a donate button on YouTube. Hit the donate button. It’s a badge of honour to have this on your phone or on your iPod, or whatever the hell you’re using. And don’t buy one, buy several. Give them to your mates.”
Bono, who has taken part in three of the four versions of the song to be recorded, said: “I just wish we didn’t have to do this. There will come a time when we won’t. And it will be great not to see the same old faces.”
It had been hoped that Adele would also lend her vocals to the track but Geldof was quoted as saying: “Adele is doing nothing. She’s not answering the phone. She doesn’t want to be bothered by anyone. She won’t even pick up the phone to her manager. She’s bringing up a family, you know. Some people just don’t want to do it.”
The video was premiered on X Factor last night and began with images of ebola victims, which Geldof said was “harrowing” but important for audiences to see.
British chancellor George Osborne has said VAT will not have to be paid on the single, which is now available for pre- order.
The latest and deadliest ever outbreak of ebola has already claimed more than 5,000 lives in west Africa since the first case was diagnosed in March.
- Angelique Kidjo,
- Bastille (singer Dan Smith) ,
- Chris Martin of Coldplay,
- Clean Bandit,
- Ed Sheeran,
- Elbow (singer Guy Garvey),
- Ellie Goulding,
- Emeli Sande,
- Jessie Ware,
- Olly Murs,
- One Direction,
- Paloma Faith,
- Rita Ora,
- Roger Taylor of Queen,
- Sinead O’Connor.