"Sunday Bloody Sunday" - U2

Single

Track Listing:

Background Information

While “Two Hearts Beat as One” was released as the second single to promote the War album in most territories, “Sunday Bloody Sunday” was chosen instead for The Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Brazil. Aside from the obvious change in song title, the sleeves for “Two Hearts Beat as One” and “Sunday Bloody Sunday” were almost identical in every respect, including the same image of Peter Rowen on the front cover, the same images on the rear of the sleeve, and the same B-side on the 7-inch release, “Endless Deep.” Looking at the two sleeves from a distance, one would have difficulty telling them apart.

The 12-inch release of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” includes the album version of the song on the a-side, with remixes of “Two Hearts Beat as One” and “New Year’s Day” on the b-side. Neither remix is labeled as such on the back of the sleeve, however. Rather, the front of the single simply states that “Special U.S. Remixes” are included. For years, this led to confusion surrounding the titles of these remixes. The 2008 deluxe reissue of War, which included both tracks, finally put the matter to rest. The remix of “Two Hearts Beat as One” is the “Club Version,” which also appeared on the original “Two Hearts” 12-inch single. The remix of “New Year’s Day” is the “USA Remix.” These tracks first appeared on CD in 1991 with the release of a series of older U2 12-inch singles on CD in Germany and Austria.

In Japan, both “Two Hearts Beat as One” and “Sunday Bloody Sunday” were released as singles. To prevent confusion, the sleeve for “Sunday Bloody Sunday” was changed for the Japanese release. It featured separate images of the four members of U2 performing live. In addition, the War album version of “Red Light” was used as the b-side. In Germany, an alternate 7-inch single was released, featuring “Sunday Bloody Sunday” on side A, with “Two Hearts Beat as One (7” Edit)” on side B. In 1989, Island Records released a series of five U2 singles called “Revival of the Fittest,” and in that collection “Sunday Bloody Sunday” was released as a 7-inch single backed with the live version of “Gloria” taken from Under a Blood Red Sky. More information on that release can be found in the entry for “Revival of the Fittest.”

As “Two Hearts Beat as One” was the single release in most regions, no promotional video was filmed for “Sunday Bloody Sunday.” However, on occasion, music programs have used the live performance of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” from U2 Live at Red Rocks: Under a Blood Red Sky as a promo clip. This live video was included on The Best of 1980-1990 VHS release.

In concert, “Sunday Bloody Sunday” has become a staple of U2’s live performances. It was first introduced to the set list on The War Tour, and has been played on every tour since that time. Even as recently as the U2360° Tour and the Innocence and Experience Tour, the song was performed on a regular basis. Officially released live versions include a performance from West Germany in 1983 on Under a Blood Red Sky, a performance from Paris in 1987 on Live from Paris, a performance from Sarajevo in 1997 (actually a solo version with Edge on guitar and vocals) on “If God Will Send His Angels,” a performance from Dublin in 2001 on the U2 Go Home: Live from Slane Castle DVD and fan club CD, and a performance from Auckland in 2010 (with Jay-Z) on the Duals fan club CD. In 2011, members of the U2 Fan Club were given the opportunity to vote on 46 live tracks recorded during The U2360° Tour, with the top 22 songs to be included on a live album, U22. “Sunday Bloody Sunday” was one of these choices. In the end, however, the song did not receive enough votes to appear on the final live compilation. The following year, the Edge picked his favorite tracks from the remaining 46 live tracks, and “Sunday Bloody Sunday” recorded in Nashville, TN on July 2, 2011 was included on From the Ground Up: Edge’s Picks.

The studio version of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” was released on The Best of 1980-1990 and U2 18 Singles compilation albums. It has also appeared on a number of promotional compilations. The original 7-inch B-side “Endless Deep” appeared on The Best of 1980-1990 & B-Sides and on the deluxe reissue of War.

Liner Notes

Sunday Bloody Sunday (4:39):
Produced by Steve Lillywhite.
Endless Deep (2:58):
Produced by U2 / St. Francis Xavier. Engineered by Kevin Maloney.
Two Hearts Beat as One (Club Version) (5:43):
Mixed by Steve Lillywhite. Produced by Steve Lillywhite.
New Year’s Day (US Remix):
Re-mixed by Francois Kervorkian at Sigma Sound, NYC. Re-mix Engineer: John Potoker. Assisted by Glenn Rosenstein. Produced by Steve Lillywhite.
Two Hearts Beat as One (7” Edit) (3:52):
Taken from the album – “War”. Produced by Steve Lillywhite. Engineered by Paul Thomas.
Red Light:
Produced by Steve Lillywhite.

Artwork

Photography: Boy: Ian Finlay. Band: Anton Corbijn.

Recognition and Awards

  • #18 on 40 Best Tracks of the 1980s (Q Magazine, August 2006)
  • #268 on 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (Rolling Stone, December 2004)
  • #272 on 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (Rolling Stone, April 2010)
  • Listed on 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll (Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame / Henke)
  • #2 on Favorite Songs, Worldwide Poll of U2 Fans (U2 Magazine, Issue 12, 1984)
  • #4 on Top 50 Favorite Songs Listeners Poll (RTE Radio 2, Christmas 1983)

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