"Elevation" - U2

Single

Track Listing:

Background Information

“Elevation” was the third single from U2’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind album, following “Beautiful Day” and the split “Stuck in a Moment”/“Walk On” release. The 2001 tour was named after this song, which was released to radio during the first leg, in May of 2001. The commercial release date varied worldwide, with a June 25, 2001 street date in Australia, a July 2 release in Europe and the UK, and a July 10 release in Canada. A limited, numbered “European Tour Edition” of the single was released in late July, 2001 and sold at tour stops throughout Europe, as well as in limited quantites in shops. A double 12-inch vinyl release of “Elevation” and “Beautiful Day” was issued in late August in the UK. “Elevation” was also U2’s first single to be issued on a DVD single concurrently with other commercial formats.

Unlike “Beautiful Day” and “Stuck in a Moment,” which were released as singles in their album versions (as well as “Walk On,” which was initially issued as an album edit), “Elevation” was remixed for single release. This new mix by Chris Vrenna, called the “Tomb Raider Mix,” was included in the 2001 movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and could also be found on the film’s soundtrack album, released in June of that year. Extra songs across the various single formats included additional remixes of the title track, as well as a number of remixes of “Beautiful Day” on the split vinyl release. Live tracks from two different concerts were also included as extra tracks on some formats: “Last Night on Earth” from the Mexico City PopMart performance on December 3, 1997; and “I Remember You,” “I Will Follow,” and “New York” from a performance on December 5, 2000 at Irving Plaza in New York City. “I Remember You” was a cover of a 1977 Ramones song from their album Ramones Leave Home. Joey Ramone was alive when U2’s live performance of the song took place, but it would not be released until after his death on April 15, 2001. Finally, a cover of Johnny Cash’s 1958 single “Don’t Take Your Guns to Town” was also released on some versions of the single. It was performed live in a Dublin studio in early April 1999 for the television show An All-Star Tribute to Johnny Cash. That program, including U2’s performance, aired on the TNT network in the USA on April 18, 1999.

A big-budget, special effects-laden video was shot for the single, with a storyline featuring “Good U2” fighting against their evil dopplegangers, “Evil U2.” Additional footage includes various scenes featuring Angelina Jolie from the Tomb Raider film, with The Edge digitally inserted into each shot so that he appears to interact with her. The video incorporates still shots and 3D techniques to make it appear that U2 is moving while everything else in the shot is static. “Everything else,” in this case, includes giraffes, fire engines, explosions, Larry Mullen on a motorcycle, flying elephants, and more. The video was released on a DVD single that included “Elevation (Tomb Raider Mix)” as an audio track, as well as the music video itself and excerpts of MTV’s Making the Video: U2 as video tracks. The video was also included as a bonus feature on the DVD and, later, Blu-Ray release of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. It was also included on the U218 Videos DVD.

“Elevation” was first performed for Top of the Pops on the rooftop of the Clarence Hotel in Dublin, Ireland. It has been a staple of U2’s live shows since that debut. The song was used as the opening number on every night of 2001’s Elevation Tour. The band would take the stage while the pre-recorded “Elevation (Influx Mix)” played over the PA system, and then U2 would launch into the song live. It was also played on every night of The Vertigo Tour, typically near the start of the concert. During The U2360° Tour, “Elevation” was not played at the earliest shows, but was introduced within the first month of the tour. By the second leg, it was a staple of the set, and was played every night for the remainder of the tour. And during the first two legs of the Innocence and Experience tour in 2015, the song was played at 42% of the performances.

Live recordings of “Elevation” have been featured on the fan club albums Go Home: Live from Slane Castle (Dublin, September 1, 2001) and U2.Communication (Chicago, May, 2005). Those versions were also included on the Go Home: Live from Slane Castle, Ireland and Vertigo 05: Live from Chicago DVDs, respectively. Other DVD performances can be found on Elevation 2001: Live from Boston (June, 2001) and U2360° at the Rose Bowl (October 25, 2009) (the latter performance was also included on the “U2360° Live from the Rose Bowl” promotional CD). A live version from Milan (July 21, 2005) was included on the download version of the U218 Singles compilation, as well as on the DVD included with the deluxe physical release. Finally, a live recording from Gelsenkirchen, Germany (August 3, 2009) was included on the fan club double CD U22. The 22 live tracks on this release, out of 46 eligible recordings from the U2360v Tour, were selected by popular vote by members of the U2 fan club.

The studio version of “Elevation” was included on the U218 Singles compilation. Interestingly, that release featured the album version of the song rather than the “Tomb Raider Mix,” even though it was the remix that had been released as a single.

Liner Notes

Elevation (Tomb Raider Mix):
Music by U2. Lyrics by Bono. Synthesizers by Brian Eno and the Edge. Produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno. Engineered by Richard Rainey. Assisted by Chris Heaney. Original mix by Tim Palmer. Assisted by Alvin Sweeney. Additional production by Chris Vrenna. Mixed by Paul Leary at Enterprise Studios, Burbank, CA.

Elevation (Escalation Mix):
Music by U2. Lyrics by Bono. Synthesizers by Brian Eno and the Edge. Produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno. Engineered by Richard Rainey. Assisted by Chris Heaney. Original mix by Tim Palmer. Assisted by Alvin Sweeney. Remix and additional production by Jon Carter for David Dorell Management.

Elevation (Influx Mix):
Music by U2. Lyrics by Bono. Synthesizers by Brian Eno and the Edge. Produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno. Engineered by Richard Rainey. Assisted by Chris Heaney. Original mix by Tim Palmer. Assisted by Alvin Sweeney. Remixed by Leo Pearson. Additional production by Johnny Moy. Remix Engineer: Richard Rainey.

Elevation (Quincey and Sonance Mix):
Music by U2. Lyrics by Bono. Synthesizers by Brian Eno and the Edge. Produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno. Engineered by Richard Rainey. Assisted by Chris Heaney. Original mix by Tim Palmer. Assisted by Alvin Sweeney. Remixed by Quincey and Sonance. Scratching by Kato. Additonal production by Phil Johnson.

Elevation (Biffco Mix):
Music by U2. Lyrics by Bono. Synthesizers by Brian Eno and the Edge. Produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno. Engineered by Richard Rainey. Assisted by Chris Heaney. Original mix by Tim Palmer. Assisted by Alvin Sweeney. Additional production by Richard “Biff” Stannard and Julian Gallagher. Mixed by Ash Howes at Biffco Studios, Dublin. Scratching by Ben Chapman.

I Remember You (Live from Irving Plaza):
Written by Joey Ramone, Johnny Ramone, DeeDee Ramone, and Tommy Ramone. Recorded and mixed by John Harris. Assisted by John Bates, Hardi Kamsini, and Steve Sich. Radio Broadcast Coordinator: Mitch Makentansky. Recorded live at Irving Plaza, New York, 5th December 2000.

New York (Live from Irving Plaza):
Music by U2. Lyrics by Bono. Recorded and mixed by John Harris. Assisted by John Bates, Hardi Kamsini, and Steve Sich. Radio Broadcast Coordinator: Mitch Makentansky. Recorded live at Irving Plaza, New York, 5th December 2000.

I Will Follow (Live from Irving Plaza):
Music by U2. Lyrics by Bono. Recorded and mixed by John Harris. Assisted by John Bates, Hardi Kamsini, and Steve Sich. Radio Broadcast Coordinator: Mitch Makentansky. Recorded live at Irving Plaza, New York, 5th December 2000.

Don’t Take Your Guns to Town:
Written by Johnny Cash. Recorded for the Tribute to Johnny Cash, in Dublin, April 1999. Recorded by Richard Rainey at Hanover Quay, Dublin.

Beautiful Day (Quincey and Sonance Mix):
Music by U2. Lyrics by Bono. Produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno. Engineered by Richard Rainey. Assisted by Chris Heaney. Additional production by Steve Lillywhite. Mixed by Steve Lillywhite. Additional engineering by Tim Palmer and Stephen Harris. Remixed by Quincey and Sonance.

Beautiful Day (David Holmes Remix):
Music by U2. Lyrics by Bono. Produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno. Engineered by Richard Rainey. Assisted by Chris Heaney. Additional production by Steve Lillywhite. Mixed by Steve Lillywhite. Additional engineering by Tim Palmer and Stephen Harris. Additional remix production and remix by David Holmes. Programming by Jagz Kooner. Engineering by Phil Mossman at Echoplex, London W10. Additional keyboards: Darren Morris. Additional guitar and bass guitar: Phil Mossman. Additional drums: Zac Danziger.

Mastered by Arnie Acosta at The Mastering Lab, Los Angeles. Audio Post Production Manager: Cheryl Engels at Partial Productions Inc.

Artwork

Photography by Andrew Macpherson. Designed at Four 5 One, Dublin.

Recognition and Awards

  • Nominated, Best Video from a Film (MTV Video Music Awards, USA, 2001)
  • Nominated, Best Group Video (MTV Video Music Awards, USA, 2001)
  • #2 Best Single, 2001 Awards (Hot Press Magazine, January 2002)
  • #1 Best Video, 2001 Awards (Hot Press Magazine, January 2002)
  • Nominated and Win, Best Rock Performance by Duo or Group (Grammy Awards, 2002)
  • Nominated, Best Rock Performance (Grammy Awards, 2002)
  • Best Irish Video (Meteor Awards, 2002)

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