"Oblivion With Bells" - Underworld


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Background Information

“Oblivion with Bells” was the seventh studio albums from the group Underworld, the name under which duo Karl Hyde and Rick Smith have recorded together since 1980. The band are an electronic group. In 1996 Underworld were approached to work on a track with U2. They worked together on a song, and the recording sessions involved Bono walking around talking into a microphone while the band jammed in studio. Bono apparently loved the final song, but Karl from Underworld felt that the song was too much like Underworld remixing a U2 song, rather than a true collaboration between the two and the track was shelved.

Although there have been rumours that Underworld had been signed on to remix “Mofo” for the single release of that song, it is more likely that the song “Mofo” had indeed grown from those initial sessions between U2 and Underworld. Many Underworld fans also feel their song “Moaner” also came from these sessions due to a similar song structure and the time of its release. Bono described the recording: “ It sounds incredible but we recorded a piece of music together outside. We were trying to perform out on the streets, for the sound of the streets, and we had to face down some cement trucks. I kept singing and I wasn’t on the headphones. I was lying down in the middle of the road, and this truck driver drove right to the point of running me over, but didnt. But what’s interesting is, we stayed in time and key! Cut off from the mothership!”

In 2007 during the recording of the new album for Underworld, “Oblivion With Bells” it was decided that Underworld would use a live drummer on one track, and the choice of course, was U2’s Larry Mullen. Karl Hyde discusses Larry Mullen’s involvement: “While we were recording, Rick wanted some live percussion. So we phoned an old friend from U2, Larry Mullen, and he was happy to help out. On “Boy, Boy, Boy”, Rick had programmed in a beat, but we wanted to make that into a natural sound, so we ended up asking Larry to play that for us on the drums.”

Larry appears on the song “Boy, Boy, Boy” and is credited in the liner notes as playing the marimba, as well as for inspiration on the song “Boy, Boy, Boy”. He does not appear on any of the other tracks of the release. “Boy, Boy, Boy” was released as a single in Japan on December 12, 2007. A video was filmed for the song. Larry was not a participant in the filming of the video for the song. One of the songs released on the single was a remix of “Boy, Boy, Boy”. The remix is only available on the Japanese CD single for “Boy, Boy, Boy” as well as the remix album released in Japan on June 25, 2008, “The Bells, The Bells”

Liner Notes

Boy, Boy, Boy:
Written by Rick Smith and Karl Hyde. Performed by Underworld. Recorded at Lemonworld, Abbey Road STudios. Produced by Rick Smith. Executive Producer: Steven Hall. Additional Programming and Engineering: Darren Price. Thanks to Larry Mullen Jnr. for marimba and inspiration on “Boy, Boy, Boy”.

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