"Wide Awake in Europe" - U2

Single

Track Listing:

Background Information

Each year since 2007, there has been a “Record Store Day,” held on the third Saturday of April, to celebrate independent music stores worldwide. Many artists contribute exclusive albums or singles that are available in shops (and through some independent online retailers) on that day, in limited quantities. In 2010, a second “Record Store Day” was announced to coincide with “Black Friday” in the USA—the day after the Thanksgiving holiday and, typically, the busiest shopping day of the year. In early October, it was announced that a special U2 release would be among the rarities available in stores on that day. Despite being a Record Store Day exclusive, amazon.com initially listed this limited U2 release online and accepted pre-orders for it. Not surprisingly, none of those orders were filled.

U2’s contribution was a three-track, vinyl-only EP entitled “Wide Awake in Europe.” The release featured black-and-white artwork, with one large picture of Bono on the front and four individual photos of the band members on the back. The sleeve design and font echoed the look and feel of U2’s 1985 EP, initially released only in North America, “Wide Awake in America.” The tracks on this release were all recorded at European tour stops of the U2360° Tour. Of particular note, the A-side track, “Mercy (Live from Brussels),” had not previously been released in either a live or studio version. Thus, the version on “Wide Awake in Europe” (recorded at King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels on September 22, 2010) marks the debut of the song, which as of this writing does not appear on any other U2 release. The B-side of the EP included “I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight (Live U2360° Remix)” (recorded at Croke Park, Dublin on July 27, 2009) and “Moment of Surrender (Live from Paris)” (recorded at Stade de France in Paris on September 18, 2010).

Initial news stories claimed that this EP would be limited to 5,000 copies. However, on the day of release fans reported finding copies with numbers well into the 6,000s. It appears that there was a print run of 6,500 numbered sleeves for this release. Contacts at the record company claimed that extra sleeves were printed in order to allow for potential quality issues on individual sleeves that had to be rejected, and that the circulation numbers for this EP were indeed limited to 5,000 physical copies.

Although many retailers listed this as a US-only offer, independent record shops in Canada were also able to stock this item on the day of release. These copies were from the same pressing as the USA copies. A small number of copies were reportedly sold through Tower Records in Dublin, as well. Twenty copies were given out through U2.com. Retailers across North America reported quick sell-outs of this release. As has become common for limited Record Store Day exclusives, within hours of going on sale, copies of “Wide Awake in Europe” began to appear on eBay at a much higher price point, some initially fetching over $100.

The version of “I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” previously was featured on the vinyl-only commercial Artificial Horizon album, as well as the fan club-only Artificial Horizon CD. The live versions of “Mercy” and “Moment of Surrender” are unique to this release. U2.com did stream all three tracks for paid members for a limited time during the week of the vinyl release, as a set of 256kbps mp3 files.

This release plays at 33 1/3 RPM.

Liner Notes

Release production by Declan Gaffney. Mastered by Scott Sedillo at Bernie Grundman Mastering. Audio Post Production by Cheryl Engels at Partial Productions.

All tracks recorded during U2360° Tour 2009/2010.

Mercy (Live from Brussels):
Recorded by Alastair McMillan at King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels, 22nd September 2010. Mixed by Declan Gaffney.

I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight (Live U2360° Remix):
Recorded by Alastair McMillan at Croke Park, Dublin, 27th July 2009. Mixed by Declan Gaffney.

Moment of Surrender (Live from Paris):
Recorded by Alastair McMillan at Stade De France, 18th September 2010. Mixed by Declan Gaffney

Artwork

Photography by Aaron Harris. Sleeve Design by Shaughn McGrath at AMP Visual.

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