"African Spirit" - Soweto Gospel Choir


U2 Related Content:

Full Track Listing:

  • Seteng Sediba
  • Avulekile Amasango/One Love
  • I’ll Remember You
  • Ke Na Le Modisa
  • Akahlulwa Lutho
  • Sitting In Limbo / This Little Light Of Mine / M’Lilo Vutha Mathanjeni / If You Ever Needed The Lord
  • Izwi Lahlab’ Inhiziyo Yami
  • Africa
  • One
  • Hlohonolofatsa
  • Hosanna
  • Sefapano
  • Rivers Of Babylon
  • Modimo
  • Balm Of Gilead
  • Forever Young
  • Somlandela
  • Shosholoza
  • World In Union

Background Information

The Soweto Gospel Choir formed in November of 2002 in Soweto, South Africa. It was founded under the direction of David Mulovhedzi and Beverly Bryer. There are over thirty members of the choir who have performed around the world. One of the Choir’s earlier performances was at the 46664 concert held on November 29, 2003 at Green Point Stadium in Cape Town South Africa. That concert was named for the number that Nelson Mandela had worn until his release from prison in 1990.

During the 46664 concert, the Soweto Gospel Choir performed with Bono and the Edge on their performance of “One”. That performance was released, along with the performance by Bono and the Edge on “Unchained Melody” which followed directly from “One”. The performance was released on the compilation concert DVD and CD, specifically on “46664 Disc 3: Amandla”.

It was from that performance that the version of “One” included on this disc, “African Spirit” was taken. It is the same concert performance from November 29, 2003, and the only difference is that “Unchained Melody” has been edited out of the finale of the track, and the song now ends at the finish of “One”. Bono’s dedication to his friend Portia at the start of the song is also cut out of this edit.

The press release about this album lists the following: “Music and social mission come together on African Spirit with the song “One,” performed by U2’s Bono to benefit AIDS-Awareness campaigns. Included here is a version recorded at the star-studded 46664 concert in South Africa which was part of Nelson Mandela’s Aids Awareness Campaign. The Choir serves as an Ambassador for 46664, which campaigns for those affected by the Aids pandemic in South Africa. On Bono’s hit “One,” he delivers a typically strong lead vocal as the Choir backs him with their thundering African chorus.”

Although the “African Spirit” CD makes no mention of The Edge, he indeed does accompany Bono on this track. Indeed there is little in the way of credits on this album.

U2 would collaborate with the Soweto Gospel Choir again in 2010 for promotional commercials for the FIFA World Cup. The collaborations were on “Where the Streets Have No Name”, “Amazing Grace”, “Magnificent” and “Get On Your Boots” and all were used in commercials promoting the events on ESPN. In each case, the choir was singing along to a pre-recorded U2 song, in the case of “Where the Streets Have No Name”, the performance from the Rose Bowl DVD. These spots won a Sports Emmy Award in the category of “Outstanding Music Composition / Direction / Lyrics” category. “Amazing Grace” and “Where the Streets Have No Name” were featured on the fan club album “Duals”.

Liner Notes

“One”: Bono. Written by Bono, Clayton, Evans, Mullen.

Related Promotional Videos

Related News

Catalog of Releases