"Melon (Remixes for Propaganda)" - U2

Fan Club Album

Track Listing:

Background Information

Melon was the first fan club release from U2. It was released with the “Winter/Spring 1995” issue of the subscription-only magazine, Propaganda (Issue #21). The title is an anagram of “Lemon,” a song U2 had previously released as a single. The cover art for the album featured a yellow picture that resembled the outside of a lemon, with a label in the upper right corner displaying the title “Melon-Remixes for Propaganda.” The album was released in a cardboard sleeve and has never been repressed and released in another format, with the exception of a promo-only 12-inch vinyl that was sent to DJs at the same time the CD was being sent to subscribers. This promo vinyl featured only four of the nine tracks included on the CD. According to Island A&R head Nick Angel, the Melon project was born from a complaint that Bono made that “nobody dances to U2.”

Considerable effort was made to promote the CD (as well as the fan club itself). A small number of CDs were distributed to press outlets, as well as to friends of the band. Reviews were written in a variety of publications. A phone line was sent up, allowing callers to hear “Salome (Zooromancer Remix)” by entering a code. At the time, fans could sign up for a four-issue subscription to Propaganda magazine and receive copies of the album until such time that the quantities produced were exhausted.

Melon quickly became a highly prized item among U2 fans. The rarity of the album resulted in several bootlegged versions being circulated. Most of these fake copies can be distinguished by the fact that they are packaged in a jewel case rather than a card sleeve. However, over time, bootlegged copies began to appear in card sleeves, as well. In fact, an entire cottage industry of fake remix CDs emerged in the wake of the release of Melon. An extensive series of bootlegged CDs, which came to be known as “Fruitlegs,” were released by underground record companies. Each illegal compilation had its own theme, for example, Kiwi: Remixes for Propaganda, Strawberry: Remixes for Propaganda, and so on. Most of these Fruitlegs combined previously available remixes from various U2 singles with new (but unofficial and uncommissioned) “remixes” by third parties. Although these CDs were cleverly designed and included text indicating that they were official U2 fan club releases, they are all, in fact, bootlegs.

The next fan club CD release would happen five years later, when Propaganda issued the live album Hasta La Vista Baby! in 2000. In 2005, after Propaganda magazine had been discontinued, an annual gift of a fan club CD became an expected part of membership on U2.com.

Some of the tracks on Melon remain exclusive to this release in uncompressed form. These include “Stay (The Underdog Mix)” and “Mysterious Ways (Remixed by Massive Attack).” “Numb (Gimme Some More Dignity Mix),” in its full-length form, remained exclusive to Melon until 2011, when it was included on some formats of the Achtung Baby reissue. Shorter edits of the song, however, appeared on The Best of 1990-2000 & B-Sides album, on the iTunes The Complete U2 set, and on the multi-artist Special Brew compilation. The 8:36 version of “Lemon (Bad Yard Club Mix)” is exclusive to Melon, although a longer version had been released on the “Lemon” single and a shorter edit features on the “Stay” single. All of the tracks were released as part of The Complete U2 digital box set, issued through iTunes in 2004.

Other songs have appeared on singles or compilations both before the release of Melon and, in some cases, after. “Lemon (The Perfecto Mix)” had previously appeared on the “Lemon” and “Stay” singles, as well as the soundtrack to Pret-a-Porter, and was later included on the 2011 deluxe versions of the Achtung Baby reissue. “Salome (Zooromancer Remix)” had previously been released as a rare promo on its own, as well as on the single “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses.” It later appeared in edited form on The Best of 1990-2000 & B-Sides and in full on the Achtung Baby deluxe sets. “Mysterious Ways (The Perfecto Mix)” had been previously released on the “Mysterious Ways” single as well as the “Previously” promo, and was also part of the Achtung Baby reissue campaign. “Numb (The Soul Assassins Mix)” later appeared on the “Last Night on Earth” single and the Achtung Baby deluxe sets. “Even Better Than the Real Thing (The Perfecto Mix)” was originally taken from the “Even Better Than the Real Thing” single, and would later appear on The Best of 1990-2000 & B-Sides and, you guessed it, on deluxe formats of the 2011 Achtung Baby reissue.

Liner Notes

Track One Remixed by Paul Oakenfold and Steve Osborne
Track Two Remixed by Pete Heller and Terry Farley for Boys Own Productions
Track Three Remixed by Rollo & Rob D
Track Four Remixed by Paul Oakenfold and Steve Osborne
Track Five Remixed by Underdog for Bite It! / Unmanageable Artists
Track Six Remixed by The Soul Assassins
Track Seven Remixed by Massive Attack
Track Eight Remixed by Paul Oakenfold and Steve Osborne
Track Nine Remixed by David Morales for Def Mix Productions

U2 Melon remixes for Propaganda. Executive Producer : Nick Angel. Music : U2. Words : Bono. (except “Numb” – The Edge) This compilation © 1995 PolyGram International Music BV.
The copyright in this sound recording is owned by PolyGram International Music BV and is exclusively licensed to Island Records Ltd. in the UK. except trks 2,4,8. The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Island Records ltd. © 1995 U2 Ltd.
The copyright in this artwork is owned by U2 Ltd. and is exclusively licensed to Island Records Ltd. in the UK. For ‘Propaganda’ Fan Club Only.

Artwork

Design by Works Associates, Dublin.

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