U2 Hits #1 on the Dance Club Charts on Billboard

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-07-20)

U2 have reached #1 in the Dance Club Chart this week, published by Billboard Magazine in the USA. The song charting is their newest single, “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” and the song has been on the charts for 10 weeks, slowly climbing towards the top. The song has been supported by a large number of promotional remixes aimed at DJs over the last two months. The song appeared just under the chart at #53 for the week of May 19, and entered the chart at #49 on the May 29th dated charts. The song took a number of large jumps, and has been in the top 10 since the charts dated June 23. The song reaches #1 in the July 28 dated chart.

The song is also climbing up other charts on Billboard – the song has peaked to date at #16 on the Triple A charts, #21 at the Adult Top 40 charts, #31 on the Hot Rock Songs charts, and #15 on the Adult Contemporary charts as of last week, and appears to still be moving upwards in many of these charts.

The Dance Club Songs is a chart published by Billboard in the USA. It was launched as the Disco Action chart in 1976, and has gone through a number of changes over the years. This is the fourth time U2 has reached the #1 position on the charts, and “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” follows “Lemon,” “Discotheque” and “Beautiful Day” as holding the top spot in the charts. This is also the first time that U2 has appeared in the Dance Club Charts since 2009 when “Magnificent” entered the charts and rose to the #2 position. Prior to “Magnificent” the last song to hit these charts was “Vertigo” reaching #8 in 2004.

The chart is compiled from playlists submitted by DJs in clubs, listing the songs they played each night. Not every DJ is eligible to submit playlists, those who do must meet certain criteria to become “Billboard-reporting DJs” and have to apply to submit their playlists. The song itself is tallied, so all of the mixes for “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” played by these Billboard-reporting DJs are counted towards the total. It is not one single mix that is being counted.

Madonna holds the record for the most hits in this chart, the most top-ten hits, and the most total weeks at number one. She has had a total of 46 hits to reach number on in the chart in her career.

Over 40 remixes
of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” have been sent digitally to DJs for promotion over the last two months. The latest mixes, those by HP Hoeger and Rusty Egan, were sent for promotion last week, and were commercially released today on streaming services and digital store fronts.

As part of the push for this song, three promotional CDs each containing four remixes of the song were also issued. These were given away at “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” launch parties at LGBT clubs around the USA in June and July, including events in Florida, Illinois, California and New York. These events invited attendees to “Be proud and celebrate ‘Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way’” calling the song U2’s summer anthem. The release campaign also gave away promotional fans, stickers and posters. Some of the producers who participated in the remixes of the song were part of these release events, including Twisted Dee, Dark Intensity, and DrewG.

Over the course of the last two months, we’ve had the opportunity to speak to a number of the producers who have remixed the song, and invite you to find out more about the campaign from the DJs themselves:

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Love is Bigger: Rusty Egan Interview

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-07-19)

Rusty Egan is a name that may be familiar to some. Egan was part of the New Wave movement in London in the 1980s, playing with a number of bands, DJing at influential clubs (including his own at Camden Palace), and operating a music store in London. He was a member of Visage when they recorded “Fade to Grey,” a song that Adam Clayton revealed in Bass Player Magazine he was trying to play when he came up with the bass parts for “New Year’s Day:” “That actually grew out of me trying to work out the chords to the Visage tune ‘Fade to Grey.’ It was a kind of Euro-disco dance hit, and somehow it turned into ‘New Year’s Day.’”

Fast forward to 2018, and Rusty Egan is now among the growing list of artists and DJs who have remixed U2’s “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way.” In fact, Egan’s mixes are being released today worldwide via digital storefronts and streaming services. Although there have been many promotional remixes of the song over the last few months, Egan’s remixes (with HP Hoeger) are among the relatively small number to see a commercial release.

The full EP at iTunes and other digital outlets contains three remixes:

  • Love Is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way (HP. Hoeger Rusty Egan From the Heart Mix)
  • Love Is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way (HP. Hoeger Rusty Egan Chill Mix)
  • Love Is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way (HP. Hoeger Rusty Egan Drift Away Mix)


IMAGE: Cover Image for New Release of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way”

All three tracks are 6:41 in length, and all will be available at midnight tonight in your country. These will be available to buy (iTunes and other digital store fronts) and to stream (Spotify and other streaming services) and they will be available worldwide, but only after midnight in your time zone, thus they will be available in New Zealand first, then Europe, then North America as the clock changes to midnight in each country. The files are accompanied with a cover that uses a white background, with Eli and Sian’s silhouettes filled with a setting sun. A fourth track, sent out for promotion last week, the “HP Hoeger & Rusty Egan From the Heart Radio Edit”, is not part of the commercially available tracks, and remains a promotional only mix, although the full length version is available in the EP.

Egan was able to answer some of our questions about his “Love is Bigger” remixes, his career in the music business, and his work with U2.

You’ve been in the music business for a number of years. I first remember running across your name with “Fade to Grey” by Visage, a band you formed with Steve Strange and Midge Ure, when it played on Video Hits here in Canada. Can you give us a bit of an idea how you got your start in the music business?

I was a drummer from the age of 14, playing Status Quo songs with Mark Wallis [engineer on a number of songs on The Joshua Tree] who was living on my street, and dating my younger sister. At 18, Mark got a job as a tape-op at Dick James’ recording studios, DJM. He got me a runner job at 17.

I passed my driving test and went for auditions for bands. I auditioned for The Clash, playing for them in the summer of 1976. I was going to all the gigs and clubs, and I was seriously looking for the right band, when Glen Matlock was pushed out of the Sex Pistols, and asked me to be in the Rich Kids. By 1978 we were in Scotland trying to convince Midge Ure to come to London. He did, and we were the Rich Kids.

I met Steve Strange, who convinced me to stay in my flat and to pay the rent. I thought, “Lets take over a small gay club in Soho on a Tuesday.” We took my record collection, and put Steve on the door, and we invited all our mates. It became a reoccurring thing, “Billy’s” was born, and tagged “Bowie Night” as I played more Bowie and Roxy Music. During the Rich Kids tours, I met many bands and after one album with Mick Ronson, Midge and I got a drum machine, a CR 78, and a Yamaha CS 80 synth, and started to write songs and music. I joined the Skids for a while, and Midge joined Thin Lizzy, so those ideas were put on hold for six months.

That was the start of Visage? U2’s Boy was released just a month before the first Visage album. What was the music scene like in those days? Did you have any thoughts about this band from Dublin?

Yes, Visage was recorded and finished by 1979, and we released “Tar”, the debut single, in November 1979 via Martin Rushent. The album followed in 1980.

The best of punk for me was Ultravox, John Foxx, Magazine, Simple Minds, Devo, Human League, Joy Division. All were in my record collection along with Iggy, the Banshees, the Cure, Psychedelic Furs, and Bauhaus. At that point no U2 had gotten to me. I liked “11 O’Clock Tick Tock” and “I Will Follow” but they did not really grab me until I heard “October” live at Red Rocks in 1983. I was totally blown away by it, and I paid Tyne Tees TV licencing fees to show it every night at Camden Palace. I was always in Island Records blagging music, and Virgin too as a member of The Skids. I got Simple Minds signed to Virgin later. As a Simple Minds fan I hung out at the Columbia Hotel, and I became friends with Larry — drummers talking — and Adam Clayton. Once I was hooked on the fact that they could sing, play, and the piano, that was it for me. “October” showed a side to U2 that was romantic, and I wanted that for my DJ sets. Adam did tell me at one point back then that “New Year’s Day” was born from “Fade to Grey” chords in a rehearsal.


VIDEO: “Fade to Grey” by Visage

Did you ever think back then you’d spend 40 years in the music industry? Did you think U2 would?

Yes, all I ever knew was making music. I did take a good part of 40 years avoiding the music biz though. In 1987 I was robbed of my studios, my labels, and company. My daughter was born and I was losing my home. I was close to U2 and they saw what happened to me in 1987. I was in debt and they helped me out as much as they could, but I fell apart and I was in fact homeless by 1990. I was damaged, and I avoided the music world for a number of years, but watched U2 in awe. By 1995 I was ready to sort my life out, and I lived a new, clean-living life as a father of three more boys, doing what I could to survive until I started to DJ again in the late 1990s. U2 invited me to Dublin in 1988 and offered me a job as a token of their love and support during the early days, but I was too damaged to be able to do much. I am eternally grateful for that, it was a life saver at the time.

Had you worked with U2 on anything before?

No, I was just a fan, and I loved them. As a Londoner my respect was increased by their love of Ireland. They lived in Ireland, not London or LA when they could have. They had childhood sweethearts. They made me proud, as did Phil Lynott and Van Morrison, to be Irish. London would ruin them, and they stayed in Ireland, investing in Ireland, opening hotels, clubs, whatever they did they supported Ireland.

You’ve told us you have always been a big fan of U2’s work, and you feature them regularly in your mixes. Do you have a favorite album? Song?

Obviously, as a fan it’s not one song. I love the lyrics and the reasons behind them. At gigs, I see the audience feels what I felt. “Gloria” gets me every time Bono sings “If I had anything anything at all I would give it to you.” “Bad” blew me away. “With or Without You” was the anthem for me. “Early morning, April 4, a shot rings out in a Memphis sky” — WOW!! That blew me away. They are a band who had it all for me. But Edge on piano and guitars, and then bringing in Eno, my hero from Bowie / Roxy Music, and all his work with everyone…I loved. They made the album of my dreams. The Joshua Tree with songs and powerful lyrics, was just heaven. Then in later years, “One” with Mary J. Blige and “Beautiful Day” with the drum machine — I loved it. They have never done anything either musically or visually that disappoints, in fact they astound me. That Joshua Tree 30th anniversary show at Teddington (London) was unreal. Anton Corbijn…BLISS.

You worked with the Skids on their second album, and also played with them live for a time, so you have to be familiar with “The Saints are Coming.” What do you think of U2’s cover of that song that they performed with Green Day?

Yes, I played that song on the tour in 1979, leaving The Skids live on the Old Grey Whistle test and announcing Visage and into the 80s. I saw the Skids minus me and Stuart (RIP) this summer and the songs still stand up today. That song is a powerful Scottish anthem now. Green Day I see as a kid’s version of a punk band, I just don’t get them. I would have rather heard Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters with U2, now that would be amazing…

You attended the show that U2 did at Trafalgar Square, and a number of others over the years. What’s it like watching them now having known them all this time?

I humbly ask for tickets and they always treat me well. I am amazed. I went to so many shows in the 80s. Watched them on TV in the 90s with Paul Oakenfold rising as a DJ I thought I should have been, had my meltdown not shut me away. The Zoo TV tour woke me up. I just loved the way they grabbed technology and I wanted to go see them again. I asked for a ticket and met the band again, and it was like “Rusty, wow, you look great how have you been?” It was exactly as we had left off. Such a wonderful team who treated me so well. My self esteem was on the floor but they raised me up. Bono has always hugged me and no matter how I felt I could see he knew a hug was all that was needed, no words.

If you had a chance to remix any U2 song ever, what one would you want to do?

“October.” Or the Wide Awake in America version of “Bad.”

How did your involvement on this release of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” come about?

I listened to the album and I thought they had written some amazing songs that would be perfect for synths. After seeing the show in Teddington in 2017, I thought why not, just ask if I could remix something. I had no idea they already had loads of mixes of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” — I just felt that I really could do something wonderful. I hope I was right.

You worked on this remix with HP Hoeger, who you’ve worked with on remixes for other artists as well. How do you split up the mixing work?

HP and I met in Ibiza. He was DJing and so was I, and we both loved each other’s work. I played him a few artists I loved and wanted to remix. He responded and said, “I love them as well, lets do it!” He came to my studio, and we started on Kid Moxie, A Cult With No Name, and a few ideas I had that I was writing. I made my album, and HP said “Let’s remix Midge Ure’s ‘Glorious’.” He did a mix that blew me away, so I suggested we remix the whole album. So we made Welcome to the Beach, it’s coming out at the end of August / September.

We both worked around the clock for two weeks to make “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way.” We are now working on “Summer of Love” but we have no idea if U2 will want the mixes. We love it so much, we just are doing it. HP is in Croatia on a beach FaceTiming me for ideas. I told him to look out to the sea and capture the wonder of this amazing world, this amazing summer of 2018, and the power of love. The unforgettable fire in our hearts will win this crazy time. Bono cares so much, so deep, yet knows it’s too much for one band, one man, but united, who knows, love will unite.

How did you start the whole remix process?

The stems arrived and we started making the Chilled Remix first. Then I made a more band-like example, and a more ambient version, and sent them to the band. The band responded “Yes, we are loving this,” so I got in contact with HP, and we spent two weeks of not getting it right. Then the band said they had liked the demo I had sent. I sent that to HP, and BOOM, we had it done. Now they all are perfect. The “Summer of Love” mix I played at my DJ sets in Ibiza and the Isle of Wight Festival, and people have been sending me messages asking where they can get it, so that’s a great sign. I hope the band does release it. And I can’t wait for people to hear our mixes of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” today.

The mixes really bring out Bono’s vocal to the forefront, especially the “Drift Away Mix,” and are a nice break from the dancier remixes we’ve been hearing from this campaign. Were you requested to do something different? Or was the direction you took your own?

The direction was totally on our own. I hadn’t heard any mixes from this album, only the “Summer of Love” remix by Tilt and Danny Stubbs who had done a great job keeping the song and the band, and yet keeping it punchy. Paul Oakenfold has been a great friend to me over the years, and often hooks up with me in Ibiza or London. I think we just knew what to do with these songs, and I hope we did it. I adore the songs. I cannot make the usual DJ type mixes, in fact I have to admit most I don’t really like. There are amazing mixes out there of artists, that I include in my mixes and shows, so I always say ignore the horrors and talk about the diamonds.

Did U2 have any input into the remixes or did they leave you to complete things the way you wanted?

Yes, we had to wait and be given feedback — requests for the drums from this mix, or the guitars, or the vocal delays you had in the 1st mix, etc. We did it all together. I loved it as we knew we were on the right road. When it was finally accepted, Bono sent a nice message ending with, “Your Irishness is presenting, watch out.” Wonderful to know my Irishness is in those mixes.

You’ve included the line of dialog that opens the “Love is Bigger” video at the start and the end of the mixes, why did you bring that in?

As a man who lived in the 70s and shared a flat with gays, I think the homophobia and bullying in the UK are a sickening subject and need to be exposed. Just for being different or not being “normal.” It hit me, I started the Blitz Club for them. The misfits, the odd, the weird, the sexually unsure or unaware. I love the line, but I wanted to slow it down, so what was said is made clear. I wanted to make it part of the message at the front and again at the end. I think it works.


AUDIO: HP Hoeger and Rusty Egan’s remix of “Summer of Love” features at 03:00 in the “Welcome to the Beach” Mix.

You mentioned the “Summer of Love” remix you did, also with HP Hoeger. Which song did you work on first? Do you know if there are any plans to release your version of “Summer of Love”?

Yes, we did that first and only one mix of “Summer of Love.” We then started other ideas but we were told it would not be the next record, and that we should try “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way”. Now, we are working on more mixes of “Summer of Love” as we absolutely love it. I think this summer 2018 with the football, the weather, and the insanity of the political situation is a year we will remember as a year where love will win out in the end. The feeling of love for The World Cup at the Isle of Wight Festival was wonderful, and I dropped “Summer of Love” in a field with the sun setting — it was a glorious moment. I hope they love our mixes.

You’ve said you were really touched by U2’s new album — what about this album has caught your attention?

The first song I wanted to work on was “Love Is All We Have Left.” It was such a powerful opening song, and that voice effect, with no drums or guitars, it was perfect for me. Love the use of little drum loops, and the strings on “The Little Things.” In fact, I have done “Welcome to the Beach,” a chilled beach version of my “Welcome to the Dancefloor,” and I would love to do something like Songs of Experience (for Airports!). Do the whole album with blissed-out synths and ambiance. Sort of like the Easy All Stars “Radiodread” project which reinvents OK Computer.

What are some of the other projects you are working on?

I use Mixcloud for my mixes, and do weekly radio shows. Rustyegan.net will link you to everything.

More information about these releases can be found in our discography entry for the singles, and for the promotional releases. The “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” remixes have propelled the single into the #2 spot in the Dance Club Charts on Billboard. Hopefully this additional push will help the song reach #1 this week on this chart. These mixes by Egan and Hoeger will be available after midnight tonight in your country. (Release date, July 20, 2018).

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New Commercial Release for U2’s “Love is Bigger” and “Summer of Love” Remix

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-07-17)

UPDATE: Please see our new interview with Rusty Egan, one of the producers who remixed this release, as well as further information about the new single release, now available in many regions.

On Friday, a new EP of remixes for “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” is being released commercially. Although there has been a number of promotional remixes issued for the song, now totalling over 40 remixes, there has been very little issued commercially. On May 4, a three track remixes single was issued with remixes by Will Clarke, The Funk Hunters and Daybreakers. On May 11, an acoustic version of the song was released. On May 25, the U2 vs Cheat Codes version was released. And on June 1, the Beck Remix was released.

The EP being released on Friday is being called the “Chill Remix EP” and will feature a number of new mixes by DJs Rusty Egan and HP Hoeger. The full EP will contain an unknown number of tracks, but for promotion on July 13, 2018, four versions of the song remixed by Hoeger and Egan were released:


IMAGE: Promotional Image for New Release of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way”

“Chill” generally refers to a slower type remix from your usual club mixes, usually an electronic music form of easy listening, something more ambient. These mixes by Hoeger and Egan put the focus on Bono’s vocals, with minimal backing music on all three tracks.

A new promotional image has been released by Citrusonic promoting these mixes, featuring the silhouettes of Sian and Eli, with a sun set image in the image. This may not be the final release artwork. The promotional mixes were sent out with the same ‘digital art’ that accompanied the earlier release of three remixes in May.

Rusty Egan is a well accomplished DJ, who got his start in the British new wave era, drumming with Rich Kids, a band fronted by Midge Ure. Egan also collaborated with the bands The Misfits, Skids, Shock and Visage. (Skids recorded the original version of “The Saints Are Coming” but Egan did not work on that track, joining them as a drummer for their second studio album.) As well as his work with various bands of the era, Egan was a DJ at Blitz, an influential nightclub in London, and owned The Cage, a record store on London’s King’s Road, and later would open Camden Palace, another nightclub in London. These days Egan is still very involved as a DJ, he tends to focus on 1980s style electronic music and also produces a weekly show “The Electronic Family Tree”.

HP Hoeger is an Austrian DJ, working in the DJ since the early 2000s. In that time he has remixed tracks for a number of compilations including the “Alpine Grooves” collection and the “Cafe del Mar” collections. Hoeger and Egan have previously worked together on a remix by Kid Moxie (“Shadow Heart”), KirA (“Pure Delight”), and Cult With No Name (“Unique”).

The remixes were completed in April by Egan and Hoeger at Ambient Studios in Austria.

The full EP will be released on Friday July 20, 2018 on all streaming services, and usual digital storefronts. There is no physical release planned at this time for these remixes, either commercially or for promotion. These will be available worldwide. The full track listing has not been announced.

Hoeger and Egan also worked on a remix of “Summer of Love” together. Egan recently played this mix as part of a mix titled “Welcome to the Beach”. It is not known if this mix of “Summer of Love” will be released, but Egan seems to think so, saying it would be available soon. The “Summer of Love” mix can be heard online at Mixcloud, it starts at 03:00 in the following embed:

More information about these releases can be found in our discography entry for the singles, and for the promotional releases. The “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” remixes have propelled the single into the #2 spot in the Dance Club Charts on Billboard. Hopefully this additional push will help the song reach #1 this week on this chart.

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Love is Bigger Remixes: A Listening Guide

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-07-09)

First Published: June 16, 2018 | Last Updated: July 9, 2018

U2’s newest single is being heavily remixed, with new mixes arriving each week. Most of these are promotional only mixes being sent out to DJs for club and radio play. But there are ways to listen to many of them. Below we’ve gathered links to most of them on either the YouTube or SoundCloud platforms with a few from other sources. We are only linking to official sources for these promotional mixes or to uploads by the DJs themselves. We hope this will give you a chance to listen to these mixes for yourself if you would like.

We’ve also had the pleasure of interviewing a few of the DJs who are putting these remixes together and would like to invite you to read those for further details on the whole project:

Below are the links to each remix:

MAY 4, 2018 RELEASE:

MAY 9, 2018 RELEASE:

MAY 15, 2018 RELEASE:

MAY 21, 2018 RELEASE:

MAY 25, 2018 RELEASE:

MAY 29, 2018 RELEASE:

JUNE 1, 2018 COMMERCIAL RELEASE:

JUNE 1, 2018 RELEASE:

JUNE 11, 2018 RELEASE:

JUNE 15, 2018 RELEASE:

JUNE 22, 2018 RELEASE:

JUNE 29, 2018 RELEASE:

UNRELEASED AT THIS POINT:

Many thanks to George and the forums at U2Songs for tracking much of this information.

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Best of 1990 - 2000 on Vinyl in September

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-07-08)

U2 continues to re-release new pressings of vinyl to fulfill demand, and with three new titles being released on Friday including Achtung Baby, Zooropa and The Best of 1980 – 1990, we can now confirm that there will be another round of releases in the fall. We have confirmation that The Best of 1990 – 2000 will be issued on vinyl on September 28, 2018. The set will be pressed on 180 gram vinyl, and will contain only the A-Sides that were contained on the original vinyl pressing. The disc will be a 2-disc vinyl set. The original album was released in 2002, at a time where vinyl had fallen out of favor, and original pressings of the album on vinyl now fetch large sums of money on the collectible market.

Pre-orders for this new release should be available in the next couple of weeks. If you were able to buy previous albums at your local shops, they should be able to get this one in as well, as it is a worldwide release, and is not being pressed as a limited quantity.

This is the fourth round of re-releases on vinyl in recent years:

We had previously been told that a new pressing of Rattle and Hum would be released on, or near, October 12, 2018 to mark the 30th anniversary of that album. That new release is expected to use the new mastering job done for 2017’s MFiT program, overseen by The Edge. When asked if there would be other releases for the 30th anniversary of Rattle and Hum we were not provided any information.

The Best of 1980 – 1990 is being remastered for the release on July 27, 2018. So we can expect that The Best of 1990 – 2000 will be remastered as well.

All releases so far have included download cards for the digital versions of the album.

With the release of The Best of 1990 – 2000, and possibly Rattle and Hum, the only albums not currently in print from the band would be No Line on the Horizon and Original Soundtracks 1. We are told that there are plans for No Line on the Horizon in the near future.

Many thanks to Davide for some of the information used in the above report.

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U2 Film Newark in 360 Degrees

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-06-30)

Last night in Newark, NJ fans entering the concert were greeted with signs that explained the concert would be filmed. The signs warned “You may be videotaped or recorded” and explained that the evening was being recorded by “Six Degrees”. Previous in the tour, both nights in Washington DC were filmed with traditional cameras, possibly for a home video release. The warning that evening was that video was being filmed by U2.

Once on the floor last night, fans who had attended the Apollo theater show saw familiar cameras. Explained by the camera operator at the Apollo as a special camera used to capture 360-degrees video, these cameras were placed throughout the venue in Newark. Like Newark, the Apollo show was filmed by Six Degrees. One was seen in the corner of the ‘E-Stage’ where the mirror is usually place. Another was seen on Adam’s side at the end of Red Zone, and one was seen at the VIP riser on Edge’s side of the venue. Cameras were also seen at various points of the main stage.



PHOTO: 360-degree Camera in Newark NJ.

No additional traditional cameras were seen last night, it looks like the filming that was being done was being done for some sort of 360-degree video presentation.

The cameras used, the Yi Halo, features 17 cameras in a circle around a single body to make up one 360-camera. The camera is capable of shooting video in 8K resolution at 30 frames per second, or 5.8K at a faster frame rate of 60 frames per second. We have confirmed at the venue in Newark, twelve of these Yi Halo 360-cameras were in place filming last night.

Six Degrees was the name of the company listed as doing the filming. Although little information is known about this company, the term ‘six degrees’ is one that is quite common in the VR industry. The term refers to the freedom of movement of a body in three dimensional space. Traditional VR video has left the viewer in the center of the video, with the freedom to look around the space in all directions, but you were unable to move. Six degrees of freedom filming offers a new experience, allowing viewers to move about a room and to see the video from various locations, and filming in this manner does require multiple 360-degree cameras to be used throughout the space.

With multiple cameras capturing 360-degree video last night in Newark, it is possible U2 is testing out a new technology to capture a performance. U2 have always toyed with new technology, and in 2015 paired with Chris Milk to produce a video for “Song for Someone“ using VR technology, allowing the viewer to look around them but from a fixed position. At the live concerts in late 2015, the “Experience Bus” was parked at a variety of U2 shows allowing U2 to view this video for themselves using VR headsets.

It is unknown at this time where the footage from the Apollo and Newark using these 360-degree cameras may be used. Due to the platform, it is unlikely this would be used for a traditional home video release, but will more likely be used for some sort of special online footage in the future. The concerts in Washington DC, filmed recently with more traditional cameras, including film cameras, is the more likely candidate for a home video release. But until plans are announced for any of this footage, it is all just a guess as to how it will be used.

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Love is Bigger: Jochen Simms Interview

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-06-28)

Jochen Simms is one of the producers who recently worked on a remix of U2’s “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way”, no wait, make that three remixes. The remixes titled the Jochen Simms Remix, the Jochen Simms Dub Remix and the Jochen Simms Deep Mix were all sent out for promotion in audio format on June 15, 2018. These three mixes are promotional only at this point, and a commercial release has not yet been announced, so you won’t find these on iTunes just yet, but luckily we can share the audio of his “Jochen Simms Remix” for a taste:


AUDIO: Jochen Simms Remix courtesy of Citrusonic

Jochen is a producer based out of London, and he was kind enough to take a few moments to answer our questions about the remix of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” and working with U2.

What can you tell us about yourself?

Jochen: I’m from South East London. I started learning about music production in 1987, I was taught by Double Trouble and the Rebel MC how to DJ. I soon bought an Akai s950 Atari 1040st and a Studio Master mixing desk and an Akai s7000 keyboard and I’ve been learning ever since.

Who are some of the artists you’ve worked with on remixes in the past?

Jochen: Beyonce, Katy Perry, Ellie Goulding, Basement Jaxx, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, The Wanted, Olly Murs, Snoop Dogg, Rihanna, and Robbie Williams.

Do you have a favorite song by U2? A favorite remix?

Jochen: I certainly do, the “Lemon” (Perfecto Remix).

Is this your first time working with U2?

Jochen: Yes and I’m really pleased to have the opportunity!

How does it feel to work with a band of U2’s size?

Jochen: Amazing! This was a very important remix to me, so I handled it with care 

How did you get involved in the remix for “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way”?

Jochen: Maria and Orlando from Citrusonic Promotion approached me.

Did you receive both vocals and instrument stems?

Jochen: Just the vocal.

Was there any guidance from the band as to what type of mix was wanted?

Jochen: No, just to do my thing, and that’s how I like to work. That way if they like it you know it came from your soul.

Was it a challenging mix to complete?

Jochen: Yes, it was. I think the song was originally 95 bpm so speeding it up and getting to sound cool was a challenge, but hey that’s what life’s all about.

What was the process after the mix was finished to get the track approved? Did you have to wait for long?

Jochen: Yes, Maria and Orlando had to make sure they were feeling it, then it goes off to the label, and everyone decides there — I think it took about 6 weeks.

We’ve seen that three versions of your mix have been released for promotion? How do each differ? 

Jochen: The deeper mix is just a bit slower and a bit more of a groove. The other two are more driving, a bit more tech house, they are the same, but one is more of a dub mix with less vocal 

At this point over 30 remixes have been released for “Love is Bigger”? Have you listened to the others? Do you have a favorite?

Jochen: I’ve checked a few they all sound good just all different styles which is cool. It’s very interesting to hear someone elses take on the song.

Why do songs today get so many remixes?

Jochen: I think some producers do it for free now, and are happy to play their version just for their own DJ sets. Record labels like to give people a good choice of mixes.

If you had a chance to go back and remix any U2 song is there any track you would choose?

Jochen: “Beautiful Day”

What projects do you have coming up?

Jochen: I’ve been working on changing my sound I’m using more disco influence vibes now, so more funky, and I’m loving it — watch this space! 

For those interested in more information on Jochen Simms, you can find his work on Spotify, Apple/iTunes UK, Beatport, and Shazam.

This is our seventh interview with the DJs and producers involved in remixing “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way.” For the other interviews please see the links below:

u2songs.com was formerly known as u2wanderer.org. Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

Four Weeks of SiriusXM

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-06-28)

The good news is that U2’s station on SiriusXM is going to continue. It has been renewed for another month, and will carry on until the end of July. It has been on the air since June 1, 2018. We thought we’d take a look at some of the stats on what has been played to date.

Since first airing, up until midnight last night, we were able to count 7094 tracks that were played during that time. This is audio tracks, and does not include interview footage, or special programming like the Apollo concert. Of that amount, 65.2% of the tracks aired to date have been album tracks. (We’ve chosen to include Passengers, but are not including Under a Blood Red Sky as we will count that with the live albums.)

An additional 13.3% of the tracks have been live audio, recorded in concert from a number of sources including fan club releases, iTunes only releases, and the “PopHeart” EP.

The remainder 21.4% have been b-sides or tracks from deluxe versions of the album. This does include some live material as some live footage has been featured on these deluxe versions, but the amount is low.

Albums

The three most played albums on the service to date have been Songs of Experience (12.0% of the album tracks), All That You Can’t Leave Behind (11.0% of the album tracks) and Achtung Baby (9.7% of the album tracks.) The albums receiving the least amount of play? Boy is almost getting no play at just 1.7% of the album tracks. Following that, the least played albums are the Passengers album (2.4% of the album tracks) and Songs of Innocence (3.4% of the album tracks). Perhaps surprising is that the album Rattle and Hum is getting the fourth highest amount of play on the service, which may be due to the contest requiring people to call in when they heard “Angel of Harlem” to quality for entrance to the concert at the Apollo.

Every album track has been played on the Sirius XM broadcast with the exception of two. “Into the Heart” and “Shadows and Tall Trees” have both been skipped from the album Boy. “Shadows and Tall Trees” is being played but it is the demo version from the deluxe edition that has been used and not the original album version. Likewise, “Into the Heart” is being played through live versions of the song, but the studio version has yet to air.

With Boy the most popular song being played to date is “Out of Control” — appearing 33 times in four weeks. The next most popular is a tie between “A Day Without Me” and “I Will Follow” with seven plays each. And next to the two tracks not played at all, “Into the Heart” and “Shadows and Tall Trees,” “Twilight” is the next lowest played with just 3 plays in four weeks. Of note, is that the single version of “11 O’Clock Tick Tock” from the deluxe edition of Boy has been played 34 times, more than anything on the album itself, and the single version of “Out of Control” had an additional 15 plays.

October is well represented with several songs getting heavy play on the station. “Gloria” comes in at 90 plays in four weeks, “Fire” at 56 and “October” at 38. “Scarlet” is the lowest played, having just been played once, but “With A Shout” (2 plays) and “I Threw a Brick Through a Window” (3 plays) aren’t far behind. “Trash, Trampoline And the Party Girl,” a B-side from the era included on the deluxe version of October was played 37 times.

For War the most played songs are “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “Two Hearts Beat As One,” both with 85 plays in total on the station. Next is “Surrender” at 48. “New Year’s Day” is perhaps a surprise with only 24 plays for the album version of the song, however when you add in the single edit from the Deluxe version of War (27 plays) and the Japanese single version from The Best of 1980 – 1990 (26 plays) you end up at 77 plays in total putting it just behind “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “Two Hearts Beat As One” in play count. The least played track from War? “Drowning Man” at only four plays, followed closely by “Red Light” (5 plays) and “Seconds” (6 plays.)

The Unforgettable Fire album has a surprising most played song, unlike the earlier albums, it wasn’t a single, and “Wire” is the most played at 64 plays, followed closely by “The Unforgettable Fire” (56 plays) and “A Sort of Homecoming” (38 plays). If you add in plays of the single and album versions of “Pride (In the Name of Love)” that song ties with “The Unforgettable Fire” at 56 plays, but by itself the album version has only been played 30 times. The least played song on the album? “4th of July” at five plays. “Love Comes Tumbling” a B-Side included on the deluxe version of the album has been played more than any song on the album, at 68 plays to date.

The Joshua Tree shows up with “Bullet the Blue Sky” and “Red Hill Mining Town” neck in neck for the lead, with “Bullet” having been played 88 times, and “Red Hill Mining Town” being played 87. However, if you combine the three different studio versions of “Where the Streets Have No Name” that song does come out ahead with 102 plays in four weeks. The B-Side from The Joshua Tree getting the most play is “The Sweetest Thing” which was later re-recorded and released as a single by itself. Only two songs have been played less than ten times from the album, “Trip Through Your Wires” (6 times) and “Mothers of the Disappeared” (9 times to date.)

Rattle and Hum‘s final single “All I Want is You” is being played the most, at 73 plays so far, but “Desire” is right behind it at 72 plays. “God Part II” is the third highest played at 65 plays. Least played? “Van Diemen’s Land” (6 plays) and “Love Rescue Me” (7 plays). Rattle and Hum also features a number of live tracks in the mix, and the two played most often are “Silver and Gold” and “All Along the Watchtower” both having been played 32 times to date. Neither “Freedom for my People” or “The Star Spangled Banner” have been played on the SiriusXM station, but neither track was recorded by U2. (Sirius has played “The Star Spangled Banner” from the Dublin 1989 concert.)

Achtung Baby has “Mysterious Ways” with 72 plays, “Zoo Station” at 71 plays, and “Even Better Than the Real Thing” at 68 plays. “Acrobat,” “Love is Blindness,” “So Cruel,” and “Ultraviolet” are all being heard less often at five plays each. Zooropa is being played but is showing as the artwork for Achtung Baby, this is likely because Zooropa was included in the 2011 edition of Achtung Baby. Both “Zooropa” and “The Wanderer” are played frequently with 62 and 60 plays. “Dirty Day” is getting the least play, having only been played 3 times in total. Perhaps surprising is “Numb”, although the album version has only been played 48 times, the single edit is played 47 times as well, making it one of the most played songs on the station. (The 2002 mix from The Best of 1990 – 2000 has also been played three times.)

Pop only has one song that has broken through 40 plays, and it is “Last Night on Earth” with 71 plays. The next most played songs are “Discotheque” with 39 plays, and “Please” with 38 plays. “If You Wear That Velvet Dress” is getting the least attention, with only 3 plays, although five songs on the album come in with under 10 plays in total.

The most played album after Songs of Experience is All That You Can’t Leave Behind. “Beautiful Day” has been played 70 times, followed closely by “New York” at 67 plays, “Wild Honey” at 63 plays, and “Stuck in a Moment” at 62 plays. Least played? “Grace”, the only song heard less than 10 times on the album, having only been played 4 times since the broadcast began. Some albums like All That You Can’t Leave Behind have high play numbers for the entire album, but that’s not the case with How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, here, “Sometimes You Can’t Make it on Your Own” has 87 plays, “Vertigo” has 63, and “City of Blinding Lights” has 51. Everything else has been played less than 25 times. Wrapping up the decade, “Magnificent” leads the way for songs from No Line on the Horizon with 80 plays, with “Get On Your Boots” coming in at 57. “White as Snow” gets little play at 5 plays in total.

Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience are at opposite extremes when it comes to play. Songs of Innocence is the 3rd least played album after Passengers and Boy. And Songs of Experience is the most played since the service started. “Song for Someone” has been played most often at 42 plays followed by “Iris (Hold Me Close)” at 20 plays and “California” and “Volcano” both played 18 times. Of note, a song that was released on the deluxe version only, “Lucifer’s Hands” also has been played 20 times since the service has started. With Songs of Experience, each song is being introduced by special interview clips discussing the songs, and the balance of all of the songs on the album has been fairly even with most songs having been played around 45 times since the Sirius broadcast began. “Lights of Home” has only been played 23 times, but the St. Peters Strings version has been played the same amount, bringing it into the 45 range as well. The song that has been played the most? “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” at 58 plays, unless you want to consider a song only on the deluxe version, “Ordinary Love” has been played 76 times. “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its way” was a surprise to me, as only two weeks ago it was one of the least played songs on the service, so frequency of it being played has definitely increased in the last two weeks.

The overall most played album track (unique edit) is “Gloria” with 90 plays over four weeks. “Bullet the Blue Sky” is second with 88 plays, and “Sometimes You Can’t Make it On Your Own” and “Red Hill Mining Town” are next with 87 plays over four weeks. However when you start counting different edits of the same track, other songs such as “Where the Streets Have No Name” and “Numb” with multiple edits being played soon take over from these songs.

Live Material

The live material being played on the station comes from a number of sources, and makes up about 17% of the content being played on air. Some of this material is included on the albums mentioned above such as the live material that makes up Rattle and Hum. Other is taken from various releases throughout the years.

The most played live music is being taken from the Dublin concert held on December 31, 1989, just as the clock struck midnight and the new decade started with a U2 show. 12% of all of the live tracks are being taken from that concert, which previously has only been released on iTunes as part of “The Complete U2”. The next biggest source of live tracks is the live fan club compilation, U22, documenting the U2360 tour (9.6% of live tracks), followed by the Live in Sydney release documenting Zoo TV and Rattle and Hum. (8.9% of the live tracks each).

The list of live sources is as follows:

U2 Releases:

  • U2 Under a Blood Red Sky (1983 Album)
  • U2 Rattle and Hum Album (1988 Album)
  • U2 “PopHeart” EP (1997)
  • U2 “Elevation” Single (2000) [“I Will Follow” (Live from Irving Plaza)]
  • U2 “Wide Awake in Europe” EP, 2010
  • U2 Paris 1987, (From The Joshua Tree 20th Anniversary, 2007)
  • U2 New York City 1987, (From The Joshua Tree 30th Anniversary, 2017)
  • Deluxe editions of U2’s albums

Fan Club Gifts:

  • U2 Hasta La Vista Baby (Fan Club Gift, 2000)
  • U2 Communication (Fan Club Gift, 2006)
  • U2 Zoo TV Live from Sydney (Fan Club Gift, 2007)
  • U2 Go Home: Live from Slane Castle (Fan Club Gift, 2008)
  • U2 U22 (Fan Club Gift, 2012)
  • U2 From the Ground Up (Fan Club Gift, 2013)
  • U2 Another Time Another Place (Fan Club Gift, 2015)

From iTunes:

  • U2 “Live from Boston 1981” (iTunes, The Complete U2, 2004)
  • U2 “Live from Under the Brooklyn Bridge” (iTunes, 2004)
  • U2 “Love: Live from the Point Depot” (iTunes, The Complete U2, 2004)
  • U2 & Paul McCartney “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (iTunes, 2005)

Other:

  • Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Concerts (2010 Album)

The only tracks that have been heard that have not been commercially released in an audio format is “Zooropa” (Live from Paris, 2015) which is taken from the home video recording from the Innocence + Experience tour, and a recording of “Vertigo” taken from the Apollo show on May 11, 2018, which is also airing as part of the full program.

Rarities and Alternate Edits

The rare tracks that are being played come from the following sources:

  • Deluxe versions of Boy, October, War, The Unforgettable Fire, The Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby (the Uber Box), Songs of Innocence, and Songs of Experience
  • “Invisible” is the iTunes released (RED) Edit of the song
  • “Stateless” from the Million Dollar Hotel Soundtrack
  • Fan Club Releases: Duals, and Medium, Rare and Remastered
  • Compilations U218 Singles, The Best of 1980 – 1990, and The Best of 1990 – 2000
  • The iTunes release of U2’s Demos EP
  • “Take Me to the Clouds Above” (Played 23 times, taken from the single of the same name credited to LMC vs U2)
  • “One” by Mary J. Blige and U2, available as a single, and also on her album, The Breakthrough

No studio tracks have been heard that have not been commercially released to date, although many of these releases are becoming difficult to find by themselves. The Complete U2 has not been available for a number of years on iTunes.

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Love is Bigger: Dark Intensity Interview

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-06-25)

Originally Posted: June 20, 2018 | Updated: June 25, 2018

Dark Intensity is an alias for producer Manny Martinez from Anaheim, California. Dark Intensity is one of the DJs who recently worked on a remix of U2’s “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way,” released this past Friday, June 15, 2018. Titled the “Dark Intensity Remix,” the track was issued for promotion only, and at this time there are no announced plans for a commercial release.


IMAGE: Poster for “Love is Bigger” Event featuring Dark Intensity (Click to enlarge, Photo courtesy of Citrusonic)

Dark Intensity is also the featured DJ at a newly announced event for Pride in Anaheim, California being held on July 6, 2018. The event is being held to celebrate Pride and is being held in honor of U2’s new single, “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way”. The event will also feature limited giveaways of posters, and fans, similar to those we reported on last month.

Dark Intensity sat down with us to answer a few questions, talk about his work with U2, and also share news of another remix of “Love is Bigger” that he has worked on. The interview starts after the video:


VIDEO: “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” (Dark Intensity Remix)

What can you tell us about Dark Intensity?

Dark Intensity: Dark Intensity is just one person, Manny Martinez. I am from Anaheim California born and raised. I’ve been producing music since the year 2000.

Could you tell our audience about some of the artists you have remixed?

Dark Intensity: I have worked on projects for artists such as Enrique Iglesias, Rihanna, Paris Hilton, MK,  Lady Antebellum, Flo-Rida, Mel B (from The Spice Girls) to name a few.

Are you a U2 fan? Do you have a favorite song? A favorite remix?

Dark Intensity: I am a U2 fan actually, I love “Beaufiful Day” and “With or Without You.”

Is this your first time working with U2?

Dark Intensity: This is the first time I have worked with them, and I hope to work with them again.

How does it feel to work with a band of U2’s stature?

Dark Intensity: It’s pretty amazing working with a band of this magnitude, it’s definitely a dream come true because this was a band I grew up listening to and always admired. 

How did you get involved in the remix for “Love is Bigger”? When were you first approached? When did you start working on the mix?

Dark Intensity: Maria and Orlando from Citrusonic contacted me. They have hired me previously, on a project back in 2012. They liked my work and asked if I wanted to be a part of the remix project. Without hesitation, I jumped on this and gave it my all. I was very happy with the way the remix turned out. I made 2 different remixes, 1 under my Dark Intensity alias and one as my other alias “Aximize“ (which is pending approval).

Did you receive both vocal and instrumental elements?

Dark Intensity: I was sent vocal parts and a reference track to work off of, I didn’t need any instrument parts, I had everything I needed just with that.

Did what U2 gave you to start the project work from the start? Was it a challenging remix?

Dark Intensity: I personally thought this project was challenging, because the original song was in a very slow tempo, so there was quite a bit of work such as vocal time-stretching and adjustments in the overall arrangement of the song.

Was there any guidance from the band as to what type of mix was wanted?

Dark Intensity: There wasn’t much guidance as to what specific style of remix the band wanted, I was given the liberty to come up with pretty much anything that had high energy and relevance to today’s remix styles.

What was the process after the mix was finished to get the track approved? Did you have to wait long for a response?

Dark Intensity: There was a point where I thought I may have not made the cut, as the feedback was not being relayed over to me soon. I ended up waiting about 3-4 weeks before I got any feedback on my first remix. They liked everything about the remix. I was asked to revisit the mix to make some minor adjustments.

Did you do just one version of the mix? Or did you do multiple mixes? What made your final version stand out?

Dark Intensity: I produced 2 versions, I think my final one sticks out because it has a really catchy drop. It preserves the original integrity of the song with similar chord combinations but with a get up and move type of vibe. I used an amazing vocal tool in which I can use samples of the original stems to be used as a synth instrument.

At this point over 30 remixes have been released for “Love is Bigger.” How does yours stand out? Have you listened to the others? Do you have a favorite?

Dark Intensity: I’ve listened to other remixes and I think they are all so different from each other, which is the best outcome to have in a promotional remix package. I personally like the Cheat Codes remix with the new verses. It adds a really different perspective, a new emotion and atmosphere.

Why do songs today get so many remixes? Is there a reason behind it?

Dark Intensity: I think its important to have several remixes in a remix package because there are lots of different tastes in music out there and with the ever-evolving genres, it reaches out to an even bigger audience.

If you had a chance to go back and remix any U2 song is there any track you would choose?

Dark Intensity: If this were to happen, I would love to remix “With Or Without You” as this captures lots of memories in my life and it would totally be an honor to have such opportunity.

You recently performed with Paul Oakenfold, who has worked with U2 a number of times on projects, and has even toured with the band. Were you working on the U2 project when you appeared with Paul? Did you have any discussions with him regarding U2?

Dark Intensity: When I was performing with Paul Oakenfold, I still had no idea about the remix package. In fact I had no idea Paul was doing anything with U2 until a few weeks ago.

What projects do you have coming up?

Dark Intensity: Right now, I am working on an original track called “Take Me Higher” and finishing up several official remixes for various artists.

Where can people find you on the internet? Where can people find out more information about your career?

Dark Intensity: You can find Dark Intensity music on all music platforms, and you can connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and on Soundcloud.darkintensity.com


VIDEO: “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” (Aximize Remix)

This is our sixth interview with the DJs and producers involved in remixing “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way.” For the previous interviews please see the links below:

u2songs.com was formerly known as u2wanderer.org. Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

#U2eiTOUR Pre-Show and Post-Show Music

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-06-24)

Originally Posted: May 2, 2018 | Last Updated: June 24, 2018

With each new tour we like to keep track of the music by other artists that U2 use throughout the production, including the music used before, after and during the shows. The eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE tour is no different, as the tour winds through North America and later Europe we will track the music we hear throughout. We’ve been tracking these songs since the PopMart tour in 1997, and all of the tours since can be found in one spot in our Tour Songs news page. As well on that page you can find links to Spotify playlists containing most of the songs if you want to relive a particular tour. The Spotify playlist for the current #U2eiTOUR is available here.

The tour music we hear before a show is something that has been curated in the past by Gavin Friday for each tour. As Gavin is part of this tour as well, it is highly likely he has had some participation in this tours music as well.

The mix usually starts off with a mix of album tracks – one or two artists will be featured with a number of tracks in a row. Later that will break into an actual mix where the songs are all from different artists.

Pre-Show Music:

During the tour, pre-show music is the songs that play from the time that the audience is allowed into the building up until the final songs that U2 use to take the stage. With no opening act, the pre-show music makes up much of the background noise as fans wait for the show to begin. Like on previous tours, the music generally starts out with music from complete albums, before switching to a mix of songs from various artists. In Tulsa for instance, the music starting out were from two albums, Kendrick Lamar’s Damn. (2017) and Echo and the Bunnymen’s Crocodiles (1980) before switching into the mix of songs. In the case of long delays, sometimes one of these albums will once again repeat prior to show time.

During the tour the following albums have been identified as playing to start out the pre-show:

Kendrick Lamar’s Damn. (2017): Tracks heard include “Loyalty” (featuring Rihanna), “Feel”, “Yah”, “DNA”, “XXX” (featuring U2), “Pride”, “Love” and “Element”
Echo and the Bunnymen’s Crocodiles (1980): Tracks heard include “Happy Death Men”, “Villiers Terrace”, “Going Up”, “Do It Clean”, “Stars are Stars”, “Pride”, “Monkeys”, “Crocodiles”, “Read it in Books”
David Bowie’s Blackstar (2016): Tracks heard include “I Can’t Give Everything Away”, “Girl Loves Me”, “Lazarus”, “Blackstar”
LCD Soundsystem’s American Dream (2017): Tracks heard included “Oh Baby”, “Black Screen”, “Emotional Haircut”, “American Dream”, “Call the Police”, “I Used To”, “Change Yr Mind”, “Tonite” and “How Do You Sleep?”
Frank Ocean’s Blonde (2016): Tracks heard include “Be Yourself”, “Pink / White”, “Nights”, “Facebook Story”, “White Ferrari”, “Seigfried” and “God Speed”
Gavin Friday’s Shag Tobacco (1995): Tracks heard include “Dolls”, “You, Me, and World War III” and “Kitchen Sink Drama”
Arcade Fire’s Everything Now (2017): Tracks heard include “Everything Now (Continued)”, “We Don’t Deserve Love”, “Signs of Live”, “Creature Comfort”, “Peter Pan”, and “Chemistry” (first used in Montreal, Night 2)

After these full albums are played, the mix of songs starts to play, which includes songs from a number of artists. Some of these songs are featured on the albums that are played as well, but are clearly part of the pre-show mix as they are heard on nights that the albums are not played.

  • “Mystery of Love” – Sufjan Stevens
  • “Fastlove” – George Michael
  • “Lover Lover Lover” – Leonard Cohen
  • “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” – David Bowie
  • “1979” – The Smashing Pumpkins
  • “Sign ‘O’ The Times” – Prince
  • “Love” – Lana Del Ray
  • “Black Hole Sun” – Soundgarden
  • “Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby” – Cigarettes After Sex
  • “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – Nirvana
  • “Don’t Believe the Hype” – Public Enemy
  • “Zombie” – Cranberries
  • “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” – Dead or Alive
  • “I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor” – Arctic Monkeys
  • “The Wind Cries Mary” – Jimi Hendrix Experience
  • “Tonight Tonight” – The Smashing Pumpkins
  • “Baby’s on Fire” – Brian Eno
  • “Love Will Tear Us Apart” – Joy Division
  • “Heathens” – 21 Pilots
  • “Love My Way” – The Psychedelic Furs
  • “Cars” – Gary Numan
  • “Rise” – PiL
  • “Enjoy the Silence” – Depeche Mode
  • “The Road to Perdition” – Atonalist and Gavin Friday
  • “Hong Kong Garden” – Siouxsie and the Banshees
  • “Pagan Lovesong” – Virgin Prunes
  • “You Gotta Be Alive” – St. Francis Hotel
  • “First We Take Manhattan” – Leonard Cohen
  • “Oh Baby” – LCD Soundsystem
  • “Kashmir” – Led Zeppelin

From the Montreal shows onwards a number of new songs were heard for the first time. Some of these may have been added prior to Montreal and just not heard, but we believe most of the changes were made with the two Montreal shows. These have continued on since the tour visited Montreal:

  • “People Have the Power” – Patti Smith
  • “Shame” – Young Fathers
  • “Four out of Five” – Arctic Monkeys
  • “Rock N’ Roll N****r” – Patti Smith
  • “Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft” – The Carpenters
  • “Video Games” – Lana Del Ray
  • “Rebel Rebel” – David Bowie
  • “Creature Comfort” – Arcade Fire
  • “Girls and Boys” – Prince and the Revolution
  • “Trampled Under Foot” – Led Zeppelin
  • “Transmission” – Joy Division
  • “Under Pressure” – Queen with David Bowie
  • “In the Ghetto” – Elvis Presley
  • “Into the Valley” – Skids
  • “Buttons” – Sia (this is a hidden track that follows “Lullaby” on her album)
  • “Signs of Life” – Arcade Fire
  • “Rock the Cashbah” – The Clash
  • “Jailhouse Rock” – Elvis Presley
  • “Electric Blue” – Arcade Fire
  • “212” – Azealia Banks featuring Lazy Jay
  • “We Don’t Deserve Love” – Arcade Fire

These new songs are mixed with songs from the original list above, including “Cars”, “1979” and others. But “Video Games” by Lana Del Ray seems to replace “Love” and so on. The Arcade Fire songs are being heard as part of the mixed portion of the show, and are not being used just as the album tracks.

In rehearsals for the show leading up to Tulsa the following songs were also heard in the pre-show music:

  • “Never Turn Your Back on Mother Earth” – Sparks
  • “What A Wonderful World” – Louis Armstrong
  • “The Son of Flynn” – Daft Punk

Intro Music:

In Tulsa, and the shows up to and including Las Vegas 1, the last song before U2 took the stage was “Winter Beats” by I Break Horses. It was listed in the set list as the introductory music. The song dates to 2011, and I Break Horses are a Swedish rock band. The song had been released as a single. In some copies of the initial Tulsa set list, the introductory music was instead listed as “Intro – Misc Electronica – 5:25”, but other copies of the set list list it as “Intro – Winter Beats”. Both versions of the set list showed a time stamp of 6:45pm the day of the show.


AUDIO: “Winter Beats” by I Break Horses

Starting with the second show in Las Vegas, the last song before U2 took the stage was “It’s a Beautiful World” by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. The song had also been tried out in rehearsals for the show, but it didn’t get used on the tour until the second show in Las Vegas. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds opened many shows on The Joshua Tree Tour 2017, but did not perform this song live in those appearances. On the set lists, the song is listed as “It’s a Zootiful World,” a reference to Zoo TV, and the song is indeed touched by Zoo TV. If you listen carefully you’ll hear “What do you want?” from Zoo TV in the mix.


AUDIO: “It’s a Beautiful World” by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

After the intro music there is a brief instrumental piece, overlaid with sounds from an MRI scan. The voices say “Breathe, Breathe in please, Breathe in, Breathe in, Exhale, Thank you. Exhale. Thank you.” The music that can be heard under the voices is Han Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch’s “Rain” from the Blade Runner 2049 soundtrack. This goes directly into the next song by U2 on the PA.


AUDIO: “Rain” by Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch

The intro music that U2 takes the stage to is “Love is All We Have Left” played over the PA. In rehearsals Bono was sometimes heard to sing along with the track.

During the Show:

  • “The Sick Rose” and “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” – Gavin Friday and Regine Chassagne (from Arcade Fire)

Gavin Friday, longtime friend to Bono, and former lead singer of the Virgin Prunes is featured during the Experience and Innocence Tour. Over the music for “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” Gavin can be heard reciting William Blake’s poem, “The Sick Rose” from Songs of Experience, and then continuing on to sing “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me”. Regine Chassagne from Arcade Fire joins Gavin on vocals for the song. “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” is a cover of the song that U2 contributed to the Batman Forever soundtrack in 1995, and the video for the song featured an animated MacPhisto. In 2015, during the Intermission, the band started out using a variety of videos before settling in on a cover of “The Fly” by Gavin Friday, that had been newly recorded for that tour. This time, Gavin’s vocals are back for the Intermission, accompanied by an animated video that walks through a twisted comic book take on the band complete with super powers, and mysterious strangers.


VIDEO: Courtesy of U2Gigs.Com: Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me

  • “Prelude to 110 or 220 / Women of the World” – Jim O’Rourke

“Women of the World” is a song that was first recorded by Ivor Cutler and Linda Hirst in 1983. In 1999, Jim O’Rourke released his album Eureka, which included a cover of the song titled, “Prelude to 110 or 220 / Women of the World”. O’Rourke is probably best known as a musician and a producer, and worked with Sonic Youth. U2 is using his version of the song as a break before they return to the stage to play “One” in concert. “Women of the world take over, ‘cos if you don’t the world will come to an end, and it won’t take long”. The version of the song that U2 is using in concert is a new mix of the song, still featuring O’Rourke’s vocals, but with added instrumentation, and added vocals by Madison Ryann Ward. U2 have since recorded the audience at the Ellen show singing the song to mix into the vocal, and are asking their fans to also contribute by sending in a recording of their voices singing the song.


VIDEO: “Women of the World” by Jim O’Rourke

Outro Music:

The final song after U2 depart the stage for the first two shows is the song that the Innocence and Experience tour started with, “The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)” only this time its a remix of the song. On set lists seen during the show it is labeled as “Out-tro: The Miracle (of Joey Ramone / Ambiant Mix)” (Yes, ambient is spelled that way on the actual set list papers.)

For the third show of the tour, in San Jose, a Talking Heads song is used instead, “This Must Be the Place.” Earlier in the show Bono mentions Jerry Harrison of the Talking Heads who may have been at the show. This change is likely due to him being present. After the first show in San Jose, the song reverted to “The Miracle (of Joey Ramone) (Ambient Mix)” each night, but it is still being listed as the Talking Heads on set lists. We have confirmed that it is indeed “The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)” and that “This Must Be the Place” was only used for the first show in San Jose before the other returned. In that show in San Jose, although “This Must Be the Place” was used, the Ambient Mix of “The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)” was eventually played over the PA system as well. Starting with the shows in Montreal, “This Must Be the Place” once again became the ending music for the concerts, and has been used since.

A big thank you for the help from Joe Ahorro, U2Start, Tim C and Jaime Rodriguez, Nico, Edo, Morgan, G’lies, Allison, Stephen and Paul for assistance with the identification of some of the songs.

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“Love is Bigger” promo CDs and Pride Nights

Original story (2018-06-22)

The promotion for U2’s new single “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” continues with the release of three different promotional CDs featuring remixes of the title track.

CD One will feature the following mixes:

  • Will Clarke Remix (06:31)
  • Daybreakers Remix (07:35)
  • David Alvarado Remix (07:53)
  • Moodyboy Remix (06:47)

CD Two will feature the following mixes:

  • Offer Nissim Remix (05:25)
  • DrewG. Remix (05:26)
  • Dark Intensity Remix (04:31)
  • Dinaire+Bissen Remix (05:48)

CD Three will feature the following mixes:

  • John “J-C” Carr Remix (04:20)
  • VibePosse Dub (06:12)
  • MINDSKAP Dub Rework (05:00)
  • The Funk Hunters Remix (04:01)

All of these remixes with the exception of the Offer Nissim Remix has previously been delivered for digital promotion. This marks the first official release of the Offer Nissim Remix, but the DJ had previously released the remix himself.

The CDs themselves are plain looking with black print on the CD, with the song title, the number of the CD and the track listing. It does appear that these may be CD-R pressings but we have not yet confirmed this.

These new promo releases are the firstborn physically promo releases from this album since the Album sampler. A number of fake items have been sold for each single.

Additional promotion is being done in the form of “Love Is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” release parties / Pride club nights.

Three of these events have now been announced:

  • June 22, 2018: Numbers Night Club, 300 Westheimer, Houston Texas, with DJ Wes Wallace (Doors open at 9pm)
  • June 22, 2018: The SoFo Tap, 4923 N Clark Street, Chicago Illinois, with DJ Rons (Doors open at 9pm)
  • July 6, 2018: The House Of Blues, 400 W Disney Way #337, Anaheim California, with DJ Dark Intensity (Doors open at 10pm)

The events are being billed as being “in honour of U2’s summer anthem, Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” And will feature giveaways early in the evening of “Love is Bigger” promotional CDs, stickers, posters, fans and full length copies of “Songs of Experience”.

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U2 Filming #U2eiTour in Washington DC with Hamish Hamilton

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-06-19)

On June 17 and 18, 2018, U2 performed two shows in Washington DC on the #U2eiTour, the shows being held at the Capital One Arena. The shows featured a typical set list for both shows, with “Gloria” being performed the first night, and “All Because of You” being performed the second.


IMAGE: Cameras at Washington DC 1 (Click to enlarge)

Both shows in Washington DC were filmed. Fans arriving at the venue were greeted with a notice that identified that there would be filming taking place. The full notice read “Attention all patrons: Tonight’s show will be video taped. By entering this venue you have consented to be filmed and recorded during tonight’s show. Your recorded image (still or motion), voice and sounds may be used in any manner or media, forever and throughout the world, by U2 and its affiliated and related entities, designees, successors, licensees and assigns and you waive any claims in connection with any use of the film and recordings made of you. Thank you.”

We asked a PR representative for the band, but they were unable to confirm for what the filming would be used for. It is expected, however, that the footage may be used for a home video release from the tour. Hamish Hamilton, was present for the filming. Hamilton has worked with U2 as a director for a number of projects for U2 over the years. It was Hamilton who directed the home video releases for Elevation (Both Boston and Slane), and Vertigo (Milan and Chicago), He was also the director for the 2015 concert film from Paris which was filmed on the same stage as the current tour.


IMAGE: Cameras at Washington DC 1: Soundboard (Click to enlarge)

Camera crews were on hand both nights in Washington DC. This involved cameras in the soundboard, around the arena, two large cameras (one in each Red Zone) and a number of hand held cameras throughout the GA floor. Additionally a camera was set up next to the VIP riser on The Edge’s side of the venue on the first night. On the second night this camera was set up on Adam’s side of the venue instead at about the same position. Fans attending both shows have commented on how empty the GA Admission floor was for both nights of the filming, although there was a demand for these tickets. It is theorized that the number of fans on the floor were kept to a lower number to allow easier camera access on the floor both nights.


IMAGE: Edge with “GoPro” by Shawn Rocco (Click to enlarge)

A film camera was also used in at least one location on the second night, and attendees to the show report that the crew was seen reloading the camera with film a number of times. For the latter part of The Edge was also seen to have a “GoPro” style camera attached to his guitar which appeared to be filming his hands while he performed. This camera was present for multiple songs.

Also at the end of the night during the second show in Washington DC, an extremely heavy camera was set up on the E-stage where it meets the ramp, pointing towards Bono as he performed “One”. Two people were seen manning this camera. The screens were dark with no content while this camera was filming towards the main stage.


IMAGE: Cameras at Washington DC 1: VIP Riser (Click to enlarge)

U2’s last tour, The Joshua Tree 2017 has also been filmed but not yet released. That tour saw concerts in Mexico City and throughout South America filmed for release. Anton Corbijn, a long time associate and collaborator with U2 was directing that project. Our friends at U2Tour.de recently reported that Corbijn had spoken about an upcoming U2 film with a German newspaper where it was suggested it may be a tour documentary. Over at U2Achtung.Com they’ve recently mentioned rumours that The Joshua Tree 2017 film would be out around Christmastime of this year, and we can confirm we have been told by reputable sources that it is likely that the film release will happen in late November 2018. If a Joshua Tree 2017 film is planned for this fall, it is likely that any film of the eXPERIENCE and iNNOCENCE tour would be held for release at a later date. The eXPERIENCE and iNNOCENCE tour is currently scheduled to go until early November 2018.


IMAGE: Cameras at Washington DC 1: In the Stands(Click to enlarge)

Information is still scattered about what exactly has been filmed, or why. We do know Hamish Hamilton was involved, but he has also been involved in shooting material for non-home video releases in the past. And just because U2 films a show, does not mean that it will be released. In 1997, three concerts were filmed, including Edmonton, Rotterdam and Mexico City. Only the final show was released to home video, while the other material was used for promotional footage. More recently filming notices were up at a concert in Amsterdam on the 2017 tour, however, in this case the band was filming a promotional video, and not a full release, but that footage has never been released.

Many thanks to Jason, Bijan, Shawn, David and Alison for their assistance with this article.


IMAGE: Cameras at Washington DC 1: In the Crowd (Click to enlarge)

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Love is Bigger: VibePosse Interview

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-06-18)

VibePosse is a duo based in Southern California, who have recently remixed “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” for U2. The mix, the “VibePosse Dub” was released in the third package of remixes sent out for promotion on May 15, 2018. To date this remix has not been made commercially available.

VibePosse’s remix of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” can be heard in full below, our interview will follow.

It was our pleasure to talk to VibePosse in regards to working with U2, their mix, and their career.

What can you tell us about VibePosse?

VibePosse: VibePosse is composed of Tomas Serrano & Sam Teitelbaum, each with our own paths in dance music, now working the last year consistently on developing this new brand, coming out of our individual artist identities to form, without having any of our past ‘sounds’ influence our present image. We are based in Southern California with over 15 years combined industry experience

Maybe you could tell our audience about some of the artists you have remixed?
 
VibePosse: As VibePosse we are debuting our remixing efforts with this fabulous project opportunity, which is an honor in itself. Being approved and selected takes it to another level.

Are you U2 fans? Do you have a favorite U2 remix?

VibePosse: Definitely fans of U2 – who inst?! As far as a favorite remix, last year’s remix by Afrojack of “Get Out Of Your Own Way” was quite unique and rocking.

Is this your first time working with U2?

VibePosse: Yes it is

How did you get involved in the remix for “Love is Bigger”? When were you first approached? How did the band hear about you?

VibePosse: Our remix management team at Citrusonic Los Angeles whom we’ve been with for worked their magic

Did you get both the vocals and the instrument stems for your mix?

VibePosse: We only received the vocals – which we rather prefer because it allows us to take the track on as if it was an original with no influence from the rest of the track

What was the process for getting the mix approved? When did you know it would be released?

VibePosse: As you can imagine, it’s a fun waiting process. But the whole process was about 4 months

Did you do multiple versions of the mix? Or was it just the one? If you did multiple mixes, why do you feel the one released stands out?

VibePosse: Just one version was worked on, but it was one that morphed a few times as far as the elements used and the energy behind it

Did what U2 gave you to start with work right from the start? Or did you have to put a lot of work into it to get to the final mix?

VibePosse: The vocals we received were perfect to work with.

Was any guidance given as to what sort of mix the band wanted?

VibePosse: No. And that was the nice part about this project. With the tech house and techno movement taking a leading edge in the electronic dance music world presently, it was a great surprise to be able to take our full original take on this with no real limitations. 

Most releases are digital-only these days. U2 fans are always complaining about the death of the commercial single. Are you aware of any plans to do a physical release with these “Love is Bigger” remixes?

VibePosse: You never know! 

Have you seen the video released for “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way”? What are your thoughts on the video?

VibePosse: It’s amazing! Really took a chance to being an empowering music video with a message and not just another template ‘cool’ factor video.

If you had an opportunity to go back to U2’s entire catalog and remix any track which would you pick?

VibePosse: “Staring at the Sun” for sure. Their use of trippy electronic like sounds from the intro on really leaves the possibility open for some fun reworking.

If you had an opportunity to remix any current or past artist, do you have someone in mind you’d love to remix?

VibePosse: Carl Cox, Commercial Artist, Underground Artist and…Camelphat?

What projects do you have coming up?

VibePosse: Presently we have quite a few originals prepping for release and we have our weekly radio show on @DashRadio, “TechnoLogic” which airs Saturday nights at Midnight, and Wednesdays at 2pm

For more information about VibePosse, and their upcoming projects you can find information on Facebook, Instagram and on Twitter.

This is our fifth interview with the DJs and producers involved remixing “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way.” For the other interviews please see the links below:

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U2 at the Apollo Pre-Show Songs

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-06-17)

On June 11, 2018, U2 performed at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York. The concert was sponsored by SiriusXM as part of their The U2 Experience broadcast. Attendees to the show were invited through a variety of contests including:

  • A contest through U2.Com where you signed up through the website for admission
  • A contest through U2.Com where you posted a photo of yourself in a vintage T-shirt on Facebook or Twitter
  • A contest on Sirius where you had to be the 10th caller when you heard Angel of Harlem
  • A contest on Sirius where any subscriber could sign up for a chance to win

The venue holds 1506 people. For the event, the chairs in the lower bowl of the theatre were removed, which hasn’t been done for other acts in the past. The Apollo is the theatre featured in U2’s video for “Angel of Harlem” filmed in 1988. This was the first time U2 performed as a group in the building.

As we like to do, we kept track of the music that was heard over the PA prior to the show starting. Once again we have a playlist available on Spotify if you would like to hear these songs. The songs played were by three different artists, Amy Winehouse, Kendrick Lamar, and Gil Scott-Heron. Gil Scott-Heron is joined by Jamie XX on a couple of tracks, and Kendrick Lamar is joined by U2 on one track, and Rihanna on another.

The full pre-show list is as follows:

  • Humble – Kendrick Lamar
  • Rehab – Amy Winehouse
  • I’m New Here – Gil Scott-Heron
  • XXX – Kendrick Lamar featuring U2
  • Me & Mr Jones – Amy Winehouse
  • NY Is Killing Me – Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie XX
  • Loyalty – Kendrick Lamar featuring Rihanna
  • DNA – Kendrick Lamar
  • Tears Dry On Their Own – Amy Winehouse
  • The Crutch – Gil Scott-Heron
  • Love – Kendrick Lamar
  • Piano Player – Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie XX
  • Fear – Kendrick Lamar

Attendees were let into the theater at 7:30, and the pre-show music ran for approximately an hour before U2 took the stage. U2 took the stage with little fan fare and it was a few seconds after Larry and Adam were on the stage that the majority of people realized they had even come to the stage.

A line up for the concert started early in the afternoon, with Apollo Security setting up around 4pm to keep the line organized. Fans in line were asked to show their ID in line, at which point they would receive a lanyard and pass, and a stamp that said “APOLLO” on the hand if of drinking age. Some fans, winners of contests through U2.Com were also given a playing card, that was later traded in for a ticket stub and red wristband. The wristbands were red, white, or black, and denoted different access to the venue (the black included the after party for instance). Those who received the card were also able to get into a line that entered the venue earlier than the line without the cards. One could also take the ticket stub to a merchandise desk and get it punched, and in return one would get a special event T-Shirt.

If you have interest in other pre-show music, we have articles going back to 1997’s PopMart tour, which are available on our Tour Songs special feature. Each includes a playlist on Spotify.

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Three New U2 Vinyl Releases July 27

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-06-14)

As we told you back in March, July will see the release of The Best Of 1980 – 1990 on vinyl, and shops have begun to take pre-orders for that release. We can also reveal some additional information.

Three different releases are coming out, joining The Best of 1980 – 1990 are new vinyl pressings of Achtung Baby and Zooropa. These will both be released on July 27 as well. All three are now listed on Amazon in the UK:

Achtung Baby and Zooropa will both be a 2-disc set using the same master as the 2011 pressing. The Best of 1980 – 1990 will also be a 2-disc set, but mastering information is not available at this time. Although we have provided links to the Amazon UK store, these releases will be sold worldwide, and if you were able to buy the releases of All That You Can’t Leave Behind, Pop, and Wide Awake in America earlier this year on vinyl, you should be able to buy these as well in the same retail outlets. These are not limited releases, so if you do not see them in your preferred shop yet, don’t panic, they should be listed at some point through the week.

All three releases will have updated catalog numbers and UPC information which will distinguish these from older pressings on vinyl. It has been confirmed that these releases will contain download codes like the releases earlier this year did. All three pressings will be on black vinyl, at 180 gram weight.

There will be additional tracks on the vinyl for some of these releases, further making them different from the original releases. Achtung Baby will not have any additional tracks. Zooropa will feature “Lemon (The Perfecto Mix)” and “Numb (Gimme Some More Dignity Mix)” as bonus tracks on the second side of the second disc. The Best of 1980 – 1990 will include “One Tree Hill” on the vinyl between “All I Want is You” and “October” as it did when originally released.

Achtung Baby was reissued on vinyl in 2011 for the 20th anniversary of that album, in a box set. That release was a box set featured Achtung Baby on two discs and contained two additional discs with remixes and additional tracks from the period, with coloured vinyl for the remixes and black vinyl for the main album. At the time it was not released as a stand alone pressing. Both Achtung Baby and Zooropa have been heavily bootlegged in recent years, so please use caution when ordering from online retailers that you are ordering the upcoming official release and not one of the bootlegs. Most of the bootlegged pressings come in a variety of different coloured vinyls.

Vinyl has grown to be a big industry in recent years, and is one format of music where there is growth in sales year after year. Universal has been pressing U2 vinyl over the last few years to meet the growing demand for this format. All of U2’s catalog will now be in print in vinyl format by Universal Music with the exception of Rattle and Hum, No Line on the Horizon, The Best of 1990 – 2000, and Original Soundtracks 1. We are told Rattle and Hum will be released on, or near, October 12, 2018 for the 30th anniversary of that album. This new release will be using the remaster used for the 2017 MFiT program, overseen by the Edge. When asked if there would be other releases to support the 30th anniversary of that album we were not provided with any information. Both No Line on the Horizon and The Best of 1990 – 2000 are expected to be available in the near future, but no firm release date has been given. We are told these may follow next April.

We will update this article as new information is revealed such as catalog information.

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The U2 Experience on Sirius

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-06-01)

Today at noon, Eastern time, Sirius XM introduced the world to The U2 Experience, the start of 30 days of programming on a dedicated U2 station. The station is playing around the clock U2 music, and it started with a twelve hour block of programming. Included is a number of studio songs, live cuts, and these are mixed with interviews, and occasional advertising for Sirius’s U2 programming including their “Live at the Apollo” concert being held on June 11, and being aired on Sirius on June 13.

In the first eight hours of programming the show featured 66% album tracks, songs that featured on the studio albums. The show also featured 17% live songs from sources that are rare (U2.Communication) to more common (Under a Blood Red Sky). 15% of the songs heard were B-Sides and non-album songs, such as “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me”. Finally two songs have been heard that are not credited to U2 at all. First up was Bono’s version of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” that had been featured on the “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses” CD Single, and second was the LMC vs U2 song, “Take Me to the Clouds Above” which features the lyrics from Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know” over a sample from U2.

Throughout the first eight hours, there were few repeats to be heard. Only “Beautiful Day,” “Gloria”, “Mysterious Way” and “Sometimes You Can’t Make it on Your Own” were heard to repeat.

The programming for the week coming for this channel does list one special that repeats a number of times through the week. That special is “Larry Mullen Jr Special.” It’s an hour long chunk of programming that is described as “Hear Larry Mullen Jr and U2 audio director Joe O’Herlihy reminisce about U2’s early touring, crafting the band’s live sound and more. Exclusively on the U2 Experience, Sirius XM Channel 30.” The Larry Mullen Jr Special airs on June 4 from 6-7pm, June 5 from 7-8am, June 6 from 12noon-1pm, June 7 from 11pm to midnight, and June 8 from 3-4pm. There is no other special programming listed for the first week, and the programming for the remainder of the week just lists “The U2 Experience” for content.

However, we do know that there will be additional content coming on Wednesday, June 13. On that day, Sirius XM will be broadcasting the concert from the Apollo Theatre that is being held on June 11.

Mixed in with the songs are a series of interview clips, most of which have been heard to repeat over the first couple of days. These are done by Adam, Bono and The Edge. So far in the first two days Larry Mullen has not been part of this, but they could be saving his interview for the hour long special debuting next week. Edge is being heard most frequently, with Bono not far behind. Adam is being heard far less than Bono or The Edge to date. There are also clips about individual songs from the new album, including one for “Book of Your Heart”.

The following is a breakdown of the full songs played for the first two days of programming, where the origin of a track may be unknown we’ve tried to include some information:

First Two Hours (12 Noon ET – 2pm ET)

  • Beautiful Day
  • I Will Follow (2008 Remaster)
  • Stuck in a Moment (Live, 10.30.09, New York, with Mick Jagger) (From Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concerts Release)
  • In God’s Country
  • Mysterious Ways
  • Sometimes You Can’t Make it on Your Own
  • Gloria
  • Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way
  • Sunday Bloody Sunday (Live, 7.4.87, Paris) (From Live from Paris)
  • Lemon
  • Cedarwood Road
  • I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
  • Elevation
  • New Year’s Day (Japan Edit) (From The Best of 1980 – 1990)
  • Acrobat
  • Vertigo (Live, 5.10.05, Chicago) (From U2.Communication)
  • No Line on the Horizon
  • Bad (Edited)
  • Invisible (RED) Edit
  • Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
  • You’re The Best Thing About Me
  • Bullet the Blue Sky (Live, 9.28.87, New York) (From The Joshua Tree 2017 Edition)
  • Zoo Station
  • When I Look at the World

Hour Three and Four (2pm ET – 4pm ET)

  • Pride (Live, Denver, 11.08.87) (From Rattle and Hum)
  • Numb
  • Unchained Melody
  • Even Better Than the Real Thing (Live, Sydney, 11.27.93) (From Zoo TV Live)
  • Song for Someone (Acoustic Sessions) (From Songs of Innocence Deluxe)
  • So Cruel
  • One Tree Hill
  • Lights of Home
  • Electrical Storm (William Orbit Mix)
  • Get on Your Boots (Live, Foxborough, 9.20.09) (From From the Ground Up)
  • The Unforgettable Fire
  • Walk On
  • The Fly
  • Where the Streets Have No Name
  • A Man and a Woman
  • All Along the Watchtower (Live, Dublin, 12.31.89) (From The Complete U2)
  • Zooropa
  • Everlasting Love
  • I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight
  • Until the End of the World
  • Love is All We Have Left
  • I Will Follow (Live, Hattem, 5.14.82)
  • The Saints are Coming (with Green Day)

Hour Five and Six (4pm ET – 6pm ET)

  • Gone (2002 Mix)
  • With or Without You
  • Dancing Barefoot (Extended)
  • Two Hearts Beat as One
  • The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)
  • Staring at the Sun (Live, Rotterdam, 7.18.97) (From PopHeart)
  • All Because of You
  • Red Hill Mining Town
  • Ultra Violet (Light My Way)
  • Wild Honey
  • Summer of Love
  • Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (with Paul McCartney)
  • Fire (2008 Remaster)
  • Xanax and Wine (From Medium, Rare, Remastered)
  • One
  • Love Comes Tumbling
  • Angel of Harlem
  • Daddy’s Gonna Pay for Your Crashed Car
  • A Sort of Homecoming (Live) (From Wide Awake in America)
  • New York
  • Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
  • Race Against Time
  • Sometimes You Can’t Make it on Your Own
  • Red Flag Day
  • “40” (Live, St. Goarhausen, 8.20.83) (From Under a Blood Red Sky)
  • Ordinary Love

Hour Seven and Eight (6pm ET – 8pm ET)

  • Window in the Skies
  • When Love Comes to Town
  • Last Night on Earth
  • Sunday Bloody Sunday
  • Tryin’ To Throw Your Arms Around the World
  • In God’s Country (Live, 9.28.87, New York City) (From The Joshua Tree 2017 Edition)
  • Kite
  • Mysterious Ways
  • Every Breaking Wave
  • Magnificent
  • The Showman (Much More Better)
  • 11 O’Clock Tick Tock (Live, London, 9.22.80) (From the Deluxe edition of Boy)
  • Stay (Faraway, So Close!)
  • Trip Through Your Wires
  • Vertigo
  • Can’t Help Falling in Love – Bono
  • Beautiful Day
  • The Three Sunrises
  • Elevation (Live, Chicago, 5.10.05) (From U2.Communication)
  • God Part II
  • Numb
  • Take Me to the Clouds Above – LMC vs U2
  • Running to Stand Still
  • Landlady
  • New Year’s Day (Live, Sydney, 11.27.93) (From Zoo TV Live)
  • Paint it Black
  • Moment of Surrender

Hour Nine and Ten (8pm ET – 10pm ET)

  • Gloria (2008 Remaster)
  • In A Little While
  • Desire
  • One Step Closer
  • Because the Night (Live, 10.30.09, New York, with B. Springsteen / P. Smith) (From Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concert Release)
  • Out of Control (2008 Remaster)
  • Even Better Than the Real Thing
  • Exit
  • Discotheque (2002 Mix)
  • The Blackout
  • I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (Live, Paris, 7.4.87)
  • Get On Your Boots
  • California (There is No End to Love)
  • Bullet the Blue Sky
  • Fortunate Son
  • Angel of Harlem
  • Babyface
  • Cry / The Electric Co. (Live, Boston, 3.6.81)
  • Silver and Gold – Bono (Solo)
  • Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of
  • Blow Your House Down
  • Wire
  • 13 (There is a Light)
  • MacPhisto Speech (Live, Sydney, 1993) – listed as “Lemon” but did not play song
  • Helter Skelter (Live, Denver, 11.8.87)
  • Levitate
  • Sweetest Thing (Original Mix)

Day One: 10pm ET – 12 Midnight ET

  • No Line on the Horizon
  • Red Hill Mining Town (Original)
  • Always
  • Auld Lang Syne / Where the Streets Have No Name (Live, Dublin, 12.31.89)
  • City of Blinding Lights
  • Pride (Live, Denver, 11.8.87)
  • Native Son
  • Zoo Station
  • Book of Your Heart
  • All Because of You (Live, Brooklyn, 11.22.04)
  • Song for Someone
  • Some Days are Better Than Others
  • I Will Follow (2008 Remaster)
  • Please
  • Walk On
  • Big Girls Are Best
  • An Cat Dubh / Into the Heart (Live, Boston, 3.6.81)
  • Electrical Storm (William Orbit Mix)
  • Everlasting Love
  • Original of the Species
  • Fire (2008 Remaster)
  • Love is All We Have Left
  • Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me (Live, Santiago, 3.25.11)
  • One Tree Hill
  • Unknown Caller
  • Two Hearts Beat as One
  • Miss Sarajevo

June 2, 2018 12 Midnight ET – 2am ET

  • Bad
  • North and South of the River
  • Mercy (Live, Brussels, 9.22.10)
  • “Baby” The Fly
  • With Or Without You
  • Miami
  • Peace on Earth
  • Party Girl (Live, 6.5.83)
  • Dancing Barefoot (Extended)
  • Mothers of the Disappeared
  • “Baby” Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
  • Sometimes You Can’t Make it On Your Own
  • New Year’s Day (Single Edit)
  • Numb (Live, Sydney, 11.27.93)
  • Ordinary Love
  • When Love Comes to Town
  • Volcano
  • Love Comes Tumbling
  • American Soul
  • Love Rescue Me (Live, Dublin, 12.31.89)
  • Last Night on Earth
  • Hawkmoon 269

June 2, 2018 2am EST – 4 am ET

  • “Baby” Mysterious Ways
  • New York
  • Sunday Bloody Sunday
  • The First Time
  • Magnificent (Live, Zurich, 9.11.2010)
  • The Wanderer
  • Vertigo
  • Lady With the Spinning Head
  • A Sort of Homecoming
  • You’re The Best Thing About Me
  • Running to Stand Still (Live, New York, 9.28.87)
  • The Saints are Coming
  • A Room at the Heartbreak Hotel (Edit)
  • Beautiful Day
  • Discotheque (2002 Mix)
  • Bullet the Blue Sky
  • Mofo
  • Gimme Shelter (Live, New York, 09) (with Mick Jagger, Fergie, Will.i.am)
  • Zooropa
  • Gloria (2008 Remaster)
  • Iris (Hold Me Close)
  • Kite
  • Lights of Home
  • One (Live, Slane, 9.1.01)
  • Surrender
  • Miracle Drug
  • “Baby” Even Better than the Real Thing
  • Get on Your Boots
  • Desire

June 2, 2018: 4AM ET – 6AM ET

  • United Colours (Passengers)
  • All Along the Watchtower (Live, Dublin, 12.31.89)
  • Can’t Help Falling in Love – Bono
  • I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
  • Here’s to You Ronnie Drew (U2 with Kila, Corrs, etc)
  • The Unforgettable Fire
  • Summer of Love
  • Until the End of the World
  • Unchained Melody
  • Salome
  • Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of
  • Lemon (Momo’s Reprise)
  • I Will Follow (2008 Remaster)
  • Yahweh
  • Staring at the Sun (Live, Rotterdam, 7.18.97)
  • Silver and Gold (Live, Denver, 11.8.87)
  • Walk On (Edited Version from U218)
  • Near the Island (Instrumental)
  • Wire
  • 13 (There is a Light)
  • Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (with Paul McCartney)
  • “40” (Studio Version)
  • This is Where You Can Reach Me Now
  • Where the Streets Have No Name
  • “Baby” Zoo Station

June 2, 2018: 6AM ET – 8AM ET

  • Pride (Live, Denver, 11.8.87)
  • Breathe
  • An Cat Dubh / Into the Heart (Live, Boston, 3.6.81)
  • Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
  • Red Hill Mining Town
  • Love is Blindness
  • All Because of You (Alternative Mix) (From Medium Rare Remastered)
  • Book of Your Heart
  • Out of Control (Live, London, 9.29.80)
  • Please
  • Fast Cars
  • Everlasting Love
  • Wild Honey
  • Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
  • The Troubles
  • When Love Comes to Town (Live, Dublin, 12.31.89)
  • No Line on the Horizon (2)
  • Two Hearts Beat as One
  • Dirty Day (Junk Day)
  • Helter Skelter (Live, Denver, 11.8.87)
  • Love is All We Have Left
  • In God’s Country (Live, New York, 9.28.87)
  • The Fly
  • Hands That Built America

June 2, 2018: 8AM ET – 10AM ET

  • Bad (Edited Version)
  • Song for Someone
  • Vertigo
  • Wake Up Dead Man
  • Sunday Bloody Sunday (Live from Auckland 2010) (with Jay-Z)
  • New York
  • Sweetest Thing
  • Spanish Eyes
  • Paint it Black
  • Red Flag Day
  • 11 O’Clock Tick Tock (Live, London, 9.22.80)
  • Sometimes You Can’t Make it On Your Own (Alternate Version from Medium Rare Remastered)
  • Like a Song…
  • Numb
  • Ordinary Love (Extraordinary Mix)
  • New Year’s Day (Japan Single Version) (From U218 Singles)
  • A Man and a Woman
  • Bullet the Blue Sky (Live, Slane, 9.1.01)
  • With or Without You (Live, Slane, 9.1.01)
  • Magnificent
  • Mysterious Ways
  • When I Look at the World
  • Love Comes Tumbling
  • The Showman (Little More Better)
  • One Tree Hill (Live, Dublin, 12.31.89)

June 2, 2018: 10AM ET – 12 NOON ET

  • Electrical Storm (William Orbit Mix)
  • Raised by Wolves
  • Gloria (2008 Remaster)
  • Last Night on Earth
  • Angel of Harlem
  • Grace
  • Because the Night (Live, 10.30.09, New York, with B. Springsteen / P. Smith) (From Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concert Release)
  • Surrender
  • Beautiful Day
  • Jesus Christ (From Medium Rare Remastered)
  • “Baby” Until the End of the World
  • The Little Things that Give You Away
  • Trip Through Your Wires (Live, Paris, 7.4.87)
  • Zooropa
  • Always Forever Now – Passengers
  • I Will Follow (Alternate Mix) (From Boy Deluxe Album)
  • City of Blinding Lights
  • Walk On
  • Gone (2002 Mix)
  • Cry / The Electric Co. (Live, Boston, 3.6.81) (From October Deluxe Album)
  • Discotheque
  • Desire
  • Love and Peace or Else
  • Fortunate Son
  • Landlady
  • A Sort of Homecoming (Live, London, 11.15.84) (From The Unforgettable Fire Deluxe Album)

June 2, 2018: 12 NOON ET – 2pm ET

  • Get On Your Boots
  • One Minute Warning – Passengers
  • I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
  • The Saints are Coming (Live from New Orleans) (with Green Day)
  • Even Better than the Real Thing
  • Lucifer’s Hands
  • Where the Streets Have No Name (Live, Rotterdam, 7.18.97)
  • Staring at the Sun
  • Stuck in a Moment (Acoustic)
  • Hallelujah, Here She Comes
  • Peace on Earth
  • The Blackout
  • Pride (Live, New York City, 9.28.87)
  • The Wanderer (with Johnny Cash)
  • A Celebration
  • One
  • Running to Stand Still
  • Sunday Bloody SUnday
  • Love You Like Mad
  • Elevation (Live, Slane, 9.1.01)
  • Please
  • When Love Comes to Town (Album Mix)
  • Crumbs from Your Table
  • Silver and Gold – Bono (Solo)
  • 13 (There is a Light)
  • An Cat Dubh / Into the Heart (Live, London, 9.29.80)
  • In a Little While

June 2, 2018: 2pm ET – 4pm ET

  • Oh Berlin
  • Red Hill Mining Town
  • All Because of You (Alternative Mix)
  • Seconds
  • Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me (Live, Mexico City, 12.3.97)
  • No Line on the Horizon
  • Everlasting Love
  • Sleep Like a Baby Tonight
  • Trash Trampoline and the Party Girl (October Deluxe)
  • Book of Your Heart
  • Vertigo (Live, Brooklyn, 11.22.04)
  • Kite
  • Desert of Our Love
  • “Baby” Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
  • Sometimes You Can’t Make it on Your Own
  • Two Hearts Beat as One
  • I’m Not Your Baby (with Sinead O’Connor)
  • Star Spangled Banner / Bullet the Blue Sky (Live, Dublin, 12.31.89)
  • Can’t Help Falling in Love – Bono (Solo)
  • Bad (Album Version)
  • Alex Descends into Hell for a Bottle of Milk
  • God Part II
  • Get Out of Your Own Way

June 2, 2018: 4pm ET – 6pm ET

  • Stay (Faraway, So Close!) (Live, Sydney, 11.27.93)
  • Fire (2008 Remaster)
  • Smile
  • Numb (Radio Edit)
  • New York
  • I Will Follow (2008 Remaster)
  • Falling at Your Feet – Bono with Daniel Lanois
  • City of Blinding Lights (Live, Nice, 7.15.09)
  • Ordinary Love (Extraordinary Mix)
  • New Year’s Day (War Album Version)
  • Flower Child
  • Zoo Station
  • American Soul
  • With or Without You (Live, New York, 9.28.1987)
  • Magnificent
  • Neon Lights
  • Mysterious Ways (Best Of Mix)
  • Electrical Storm (Band Version)
  • Desire
  • Satellite of Love
  • Walk On (Live, Slane, 9.1.01)
  • Song for Someone (From Acoustic Sessions)
  • Gloria (2008 Remaster)
  • The Playboy Mansion
  • In God’s Country

June 2, 2018: 6pm ET – 8pm ET

  • You’re the Best Thing (U2 vs Kygo) – U2 (featuring Kygo)
  • Beautiful Day (Live, New York City, 10.30.09)
  • Paint it Black
  • Invisible (RED) Edit
  • Sunday Bloody Sunday
  • Wild Honey
  • One (Featuring Mary J Blige)
  • Stand Up Comedy
  • “40” (Live, Paris, 7.4.87)
  • Dancing Barefoot (Extended)
  • Sweetest Thing
  • Rise Up
  • Miss Sarajevo (Radio Edit)
  • Lights of Home (St Peter’s String Version)
  • I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (Live, Dublin, 12.31.89)
  • Until the End of the World
  • Levitate
  • Where the Streets Have No Name (U2 with the Soweto Gospel Choir)
  • Last Night on Earth
  • Angel of Harlem
  • Cedarwood Road (From the Acoustic Sessions)
  • The Fly
  • A Sort of Homecoming
  • “Baby” Even Better Than the Real Thing
  • Stateless
  • All Along the Watchtower (Live, Rattle and Hum)

June 2, 2018: 8pm ET – 10pm ET

  • Love is All We Have Left
  • Lemon (Live, Mexico City, 12.3.97)
  • The Saints are Coming
  • Angels too Tied to the Ground
  • Vertigo
  • Zooropa
  • Everlasting Love
  • Xanax and Wine
  • Can’t Help Falling in Love (Live, Sydney, 11.27.93)
  • Peace on Earth
  • Pride (In the Name of Love)
  • Where did it all Go Wrong?
  • One Tree Hill Reprise (Brian Eno) (from The Joshua Tree 30th Anniversary release)
  • Summer of Love
  • All Because of You (Live, Brooklyn, 11.22.04)
  • No Line on the Horizon (2)
  • Red Light
  • Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of
  • Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
  • When Love Comes to Town (Album Version)
  • The Crystal Ballroom
  • Get On Your Boots (Live, Foxborough, 9.20.09)
  • Stay (Faraway So Close)
  • Red Hill Mining Town
  • “Baby” Acrobat
  • Unchained Melody
  • Red Flag Day
  • Bad (Live, Dublin, 12.31.89)
  • Staring at the Sun (2002 Mix)
  • I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight

June 2, 2018: 10pm ET – midnight ET

  • I Will Follow (Alternative Mix)
  • Kite
  • New Year’s Day (Single Edit)
  • Take Me to the Clouds Above – LMC vs U2
  • Discotheque (Live, Mexico City, 12.3.97)
  • 11 O’Clock Tick Tock (Long Version)
  • The Wanderer (featuring Johnny Cash)
  • The Showman (Little More Better)
  • Please (Live, Rotterdam, 7.18.97)
  • Trash, Trampoline, and the Party Girl
  • Slug – Passengers
  • Bullet the Blue Sky
  • Elevation
  • Sweetest Thing
  • The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone) (Busker Version)
  • Gloria (Live, 6.5.83)
  • Magnificent
  • Numb (2002 Version)
  • Miracle Drug
  • Silver and Gold (U2 Version)
  • The Little Things that Give You Away
  • Out of Control (Live, Montreal, 7.9.2011)
  • Fortunate Son
  • Fez – Being Born

June 3, 2018: midnight ET – 2am ET

  • Beautiful Day
  • In a Little While (Live, Sao Paulo, 4.9.2011)
  • “Baby” Zoo Station
  • Desire
  • Daddy’s Gonna Pay for Your Crashed Car
  • City of Blinding Lights
  • Landlady
  • Mysterious Ways / Where is the Love (Live, New York, 2009) – U2 / Black Eyed Peas
  • The Unforgettable Fire
  • California (There is No End to Love)
  • With or Without You
  • Paint it Black
  • Walk On (Edited Version) (U218 Singles)
  • Love Comes Tumbling
  • Trip Through Your Wires (Live, Paris, 7.4.87)
  • Sometimes You Can’t Make it on Your Own
  • Sunday Bloody Sunday
  • The Ballad of Ronnie Drew – U2 / Dubliners / Kila etc.
  • God Part II
  • The Blackout
  • Where the Streets Have No Name (Live, Chorzow, 8.6.09)
  • Mofo
  • In God’s Country

June 3, 2018: 2am ET – 4am ET

  • Pride (In the Name of Love)
  • All Because of You
  • Even Better Than the Real Thing
  • Window in the Skies
  • A Sort of Homecoming (Live, London, 11.15.84)
  • Electrical Storm (William Orbit Mix)
  • Everlasting Love
  • Always
  • Fire (2008 Remaster)
  • 13 (There is a Light)
  • One Tree Hill (Live, Auckland, 11.26.10)
  • Song for Someone
  • “Baby” Ultra Violet (Light My Way)
  • I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
  • Miss Sarajevo
  • Vertigo
  • Heartland
  • Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me (Live, Santiago, 3.25.11)
  • New York
  • New Year’s Day (Japanese Single Version) (From Best of 1980 – 1990)
  • Last Night on Earth
  • Book of Your Heart
  • When Love Comes to Town (Live, Dublin, 12.31.89)
  • Until the End of the World
  • I Fall Down (2008 Remaster)
  • Sweetest Thing

June 3, 2018: 4am ET – 6am ET

  • Bullet the Blue Sky
  • Summer Rain
  • Mercy (Live, Brussels, 9.22.10)
  • Dancing Barefoot (Extended)
  • I Will Follow (2008 Remaster)
  • Blow Your House Down
  • Peace on Earth
  • Get Out of Your Own Way
  • Stay (Faraway, So Close!) (Live, Chicago, 7.5.11)
  • Wire
  • Miami
  • Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of
  • The Wanderer (featuring Johnny Cash)
  • Red Hill Mining Town
  • Volcano
  • Numb (Live, Sydney, 11.27.93)
  • Kite
  • Bad (Edited Version)
  • Heaven and Hell
  • The Saints are Coming
  • American Soul
  • Elevation (Live, Chicago, 5.10.05)
  • Trash, Trampoline and the Party Girl
  • Original of the Species
  • Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses

June 3, 2018: 6am ET – 8am ET

  • Get On Your Boots
  • North and South of the River
  • In God’s Country (Live, Paris, 7.4.87)
  • Zooropa
  • Walk On
  • Gone
  • MLK
  • You’re The Best Thing About Me
  • City of Blinding Lights (Live, Chicago, 5.10.05)
  • Unchained Melody
  • Always Forever Now
  • Gloria (2008 Remaster)
  • Zoo Station
  • Pride (In the Name of Love) (Single Version)
  • Iris (Hold Me Close)
  • All Along the Watchtower (Live, Dublin, 12.31.89)
  • Discotheque (2002 Mix)
  • Where the Streets Have No Name
  • Yahweh (Alternate Version)
  • Staring at the Sun
  • Lights of Home
  • With or Without You (Live, Edmonton, 6.14.97)
  • 11 O’Clock Tick Tock (Single Version)
  • Beautiful Day
  • Deep in the Heart

June 3, 2018: 8am ET – 10am ET

  • Ordinary Love
  • Angel of Harlem
  • Fast Cars
  • Helter Skelter (Live, Denver, 11.8.87)
  • Magnificent
  • Two Hearts Beat as One
  • Some Days Are Better Than Others
  • Out of Control (2008 Remaster)
  • Love is All We Have Left
  • The Fly (Live, Chicago, 5.10.05)
  • In A Little While
  • 4th of July
  • Bullet the Blue Sky
  • Amazing Grace – U2 with the Soweto Gospel Choir
  • One
  • This is Where You Can Reach Me Now
  • October (Live, London, 12.6.82)
  • Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
  • Sunday Bloody Sunday
  • Van Diemen’s Land
  • Sometimes You Can’t Make it On Your Own
  • Summer of Love
  • Vertigo (Live, Perth 12.18.10)
  • Wild Honey
  • Everlasting Love
  • I’m Not Your Baby (with Sinead O’Connor)
  • The Unforgettable Fire
  • Even Better Than the Real Thing

June 3, 2018: 10am ET – 12 noon ET

  • Another Day (Single Version)
  • No Line on the Horizon 2
  • I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
  • Native Son
  • Electrical Storm (Band Version)
  • Red Flag Day
  • Can’t Help Falling in Love (Live, Sydney, 11.27.93)
  • Wire
  • Neon Lights
  • Numb
  • SIlver and Gold – Bono (Solo)
  • Sweetest Thing (Original Mix)
  • Love Rescue Me
  • All Because of You (LIve, Brooklyn, 11.22.04)
  • Last Night on Earth
  • I Will Follow (Alternate Mix)
  • Indian Summer Sky
  • Paint it Black
  • The Showman (Little More Better)
  • Get On Your Boots (Live, Foxborough, 9.20.09)
  • Love Comes Tumbling
  • Breathe
  • Desire
  • Song for Someone (From Acoustic Sessions)
  • Walk On (Edited Version) (U218)
  • Down all the Days
  • Bad (Live, Paris, 7.4.87)

That takes us up to the noon of the third day of The U2 Experience. No unreleased material has been heard at all in the first 2 days, but plenty of harder to find tracks from fan club releases and The Complete U2 which is no longer available have appeared.

u2songs.com was formerly known as u2wanderer.org. Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

The Evolution of an Intermission

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-05-29)

Since the Innocence + Experience tour has debuted in Tulsa, Oklahoma on May 2, U2 have used “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” as the intermission between acts. The version we hear played over the PA is a newly recorded version by Gavin Friday, featuring additional vocals by Régine Chassagne, one of the musicians from Arcade Fire. The recorded piece includes Gavin reciting “The Sick Rose” from Blake’s Songs of Experience, before starting to sing.


AUDIO: Gavin’s version of “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” as posted on Soundcloud by ArcadeFireTube

The audio is accompanied by an animated video showing us U2 leaving Cedarwood Road, and making their way to the big city, gaining some superpowers along the way. The video has not been stagnant and a number of changes have been identified to date. We have to stop to give thanks to Beth (bethandbono), who has shared our enthusiasm for looking for these changes and who has helped lead us to some of these changes.

The Cities

Each night towards the end of the video, the limo that U2 is in pulls up to the city that they are in. A conversation is seen from the interior of the car:

“Where are we anyway?”
“Is this heaven?”
“Or Las Vegas?”

This portion has been the same each night. The response however has been changed each night. In Tulsa for instance it was “Can you drop us off in Tulsa on your way home?” and in St. Louis it was “Can you drop us off in St Louis on your way home?” Each night they’ve used the name of the city that the band has been in. Tulsa, St Louis, L.A., Omaha, Chicago, and Nashville have all been seen on the screen to date. But for Las Vegas the response was different, the response in that city was “No this is definitely Las Vegas.”


IMAGE: U2’s Car Stops in Vegas (Courtesy of U2Wanderer)

The Superpowers

We see MacPhisto on screen giving superpowers to the young members of U2 (or is it his partner, Wormwood?) Initially these powers were “Style” for Bono, “Strength” for Larry, “Ambition” for Adam, and “God-Like Talent” for The Edge. Each power is associated with an object. Bono gets golden sunglasses, Larry gets a golden belt buckle that says “Eternal Youth”, Adam gets a set of golden wings, and the Edge gets a golden hat and golden guitar.

There was no change in this portion of the show in the early shows. But in Chicago on May 22, Larry’s superpower is no longer “Strength”, and now it is “Stamina” that is seen on the screen. This has remained “Stamina” since that switch has been made.

The Icons

After U2 get their “gifts” they fly into the clouds, and we see a number of icons appear on the screen. Initially these included:

  • The MacPhisto logo used to promote “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me”
  • The bee hive for “Wild Honey” from All That You Can’t Leave Behind
  • The eye with a single tear for “When You Look at the World” from All That You Can’t Leave Behind
  • The satellite dish used on Zoo TV
  • The apple for “New York” from All That You Can’t Leave Behind
  • The flying dove for “Grace” from All That You Can’t Leave Behind
  • The television used on Zoo TV
  • The plus symbol used on merchandise for How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
  • The bomb used on the Vertigo Tour
  • The spaceman, Cosmo, surrounded by stars used on the Zooropa album
  • The target used on the Vertigo Tour and How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb album
  • The heart used on a ladies T-shirt to promote How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
  • The peace symbol used on the Vertigo Tour
  • The lemon with an orbiting shopping cart used on the PopMart tour

All of the icons used were used between 1991 (Zoo TV) and 2004 (Vertigo) and earlier icons like the white flag, Joshua tree, or later icons like those used on U2360 onwards are not included. These icons are not animated, and are dark grey on a greyish background for these early shows of the tour. All of the icons with the exception of the bee hive, the eye and the apple can be seen in our title bar above.

Starting with the show in Las Vegas, on May 11, these icons are now coloured gold instead of the dark grey causing them to pop off the screen much better. They also have added some animation to these icons so the icons appear to spin around on the screen as opposed to early shows where they were just flat on the screen. The same icons are used as listed above.

Starting in Los Angeles these sequence gets additional footage added. A shimmering mirror ball lemon is added to the right side of the screen, and in behind in the distance you can see the PopMart arch and speaker bank. Both of these items are larger than the icons mentioned below. The mirror ball lemon spins and sparkles and you can see some of the other objects reflected in it.


IMAGE: The Icons, grey, then yellow, then red (Screen grabs from terrorsittich, u2wanderer, and fly0926)

The other icons mentioned above are all still present. (Including the other lemon, the one with the orbiting shopping cart, so now there are two lemons on screen) There is one other change to these icons that happened after the Las Vegas show. The target that is used for Vertigo is no longer gold, but is now red, and really stands out being the only red object on the screen. This could be seen from Los Angeles onward.

Changes to Date

  • Each City: City Name
  • May 11: “No this is definitely Las Vegas”
  • May 11: Icons become gold and are animated
  • May 15: Vertigo icon becomes red, disco ball Lemon and PopMart arch added.
  • May 22: Larry’s superpower switches from Strength to Stamina

u2songs.com was formerly known as u2wanderer.org. Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

Read By Wolves (The #U2eiTour Edition)

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-05-29)

Originally published: May 4, 2018 | Last Updated: June 26, 2018

Throughout the 2015 iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour, there was a piece in the show where Bono would throw books into the audience, often tearing them up and throwing them to the crowd in pieces. This occurred between “Raised by Wolves” and “Until The End of the World” each evening. In the video during “Song for Someone”, young Bono is seen reading books (portrayed by Bono’s son Eli) and this footage is still played in the new tour. Then we see the older Bono later tearing apart books. Often Bono would kneel, and “read” from a book, before throwing it. And in 2015 we tracked the books that we were able to track, in the first part of this story.


Bono Throws Alice in Wonderland (New York 6, July 27, 2015)

The books are often laid out in advance on the stage making it possible for fans to see the book titles before the show. Throughout the 2015 tour we identified books by Dylan Thomas, C.S. Lewis, Dante, Oscar Wilde, and Alan Ginsberg. Again in 2018, the books have returned to the stage. They can be seen around the e-stage as well as on the sides of the catwalk between the two stages.

Below you can find the books we’ve been able to identify for the current tour. If you have any additional information, please let us know via contact(at)u2wanderer.org.

Tulsa, OK, May 2, 2018

  • “Howl and Other Poems” (Pocket Poets Series) – Allen Ginsburg
  • “The Inferno” (Signet Classics) – Dante Alighieri
  • “The Vision, or Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise of Dante Alighieri” – Dante Alighieri
  • “Lord of the Flies” – William Golding
  • “The Screwtape Letters” – C.S. Lewis
  • “Ulysses” – James Joyce
  • “A Clockwork Orange” – Anthony Burgess
  • “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass” – Lewis Carroll
  • “The Master and Margarita” – Mikhail Bulgakov
  • “Left Behind” – Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins

St. Louis, MO, May 4, 2018

  • “Left Behind” – Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
  • “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass” – Lewis Carroll
  • “Ulysses” – James Joyce
  • “The Island of Adventure” – Enid Blyton

San Jose, CA, May 7, 2018

  • “The Screwtape Letters” – C.S. Lewis
  • “Left Behind” – Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
  • “The Inferno” – Dante Alighieri
  • “Howl and Other Poems” – Allen Ginsburg
  • “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass” – Lewis Carroll
  • “Ulysses” – James Joyce
  • “The Wolves of Willoughby Chase” – Joan Aiken

San Jose, CA, May 8, 2018

  • “Howl and Other Poems” – Allen Ginsburg
  • “The Master and Margarita” – Mikhail Bulgakov

Las Vegas, NV, May 11, 2018

  • “Ulysses” – James Joyce
  • “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass” – Lewis Carroll
  • “Howl and Other Poems” – Allen Ginsburg
  • “A Clockwork Orange” – Anthony Burgess
  • “The Wolves of Willoughby Chase” – Joan Aiken

Las Vegas, NV, May 12, 2018

  • “Left Behind” – Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
  • “The Master and Margarita” – Mikhail Bulgakov
  • “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass” – Lewis Carroll
  • “Ulysses” – James Joyce
  • “The Inferno” – Dante Alighieri
  • “The Tower” – W.B. Yeats
  • “The Wolves of Willoughby Chase” – Joan Aiken
  • “A Clockwork Orange” – Anthony Burgess
  • “The Winding Stair and Other Poems” – W.B. Yeats

Los Angeles, May 15, 2018

  • “The Wolves of Willoughby Chase” – Joan Aiken
  • “A Clockwork Orange” – Anthony Burgess

Omaha, May 19, 2018

  • “The Master and Margarita” – Mikhail Bulgakov
  • “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass” – Lewis Carroll
  • “Ulysses” – James Joyce
  • “The Inferno” – Dante Alighieri

Chicago, May 22, 2018

  • “The Wolves of Willoughby Chase” – Joan Aiken
  • “A Clockwork Orange” – Anthony Burgess
  • “The Inferno” – Dante Alighieri
  • “The Tower” – W.B. Yeats
  • “The Master and Margarita” – Mikhail Bulgakov
  • “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass” – Lewis Carroll
  • “Ulysses” – James Joyce

Chicago, May 23, 2018

Nashville, May 26, 2018

  • “The Master and Margarita” – Mikhail Bulgakov
  • “The Tower” – W.B. Yeats
  • “The Inferno” – Dante Alighieri
  • “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass” – Lewis Carroll

Atlanta, May 28, 2018

  • “The Wolves of Willoughby Chase” – Joan Aiken
  • “A Clockwork Orange” – Anthony Burgess
  • “The Master and Margarita” – Mikhail Bulgakov
  • “The Tower” – W.B. Yeats
  • “The Inferno” – Dante Alighieri
  • “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass” – Lewis Carroll
  • “Ulysses” – James Joyce

Montreal, June 5, 2018

  • “The Inferno” – Dante Alighieri
  • “The Master and Margarita” – Mikhail Bulgakov
  • “The Tower” – W.B. Yeats
  • “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass” – Lewis Carroll
  • “Ulysses” – James Joyce
  • “The Winding Stair and Other Poems” – W.B. Yeats
  • “Howl and Other Poems” – Allen Ginsburg

Montreal, June 6, 2018

  • “The Inferno” – Dante Alighieri
  • “The Master and Margarita” – Mikhail Bulgakov
  • “The Tower” – W.B. Yeats
  • “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass” – Lewis Carroll
  • “Ulysses” – James Joyce

Uniondale, June 9, 2018
Philadelphia, June 13, 2018

Philadelphia, June 14, 2018

  • “Left Behind” – Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins

Washington DC, June 17, 2018
Washington DC, June 18, 2018
Boston, June 21, 2018

  • “The Wolves of Willoughby Chase” – Joan Aiken
  • “A Clockwork Orange” – Anthony Burgess
  • “The Master and Margarita” – Mikhail Bulgakov
  • “The Tower” – W.B. Yeats
  • “The Inferno” – Dante Alighieri
  • “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass” – Lewis Carroll
  • “Ulysses” – James Joyce
  • “A Coney Island of the Mind” – Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Boston, June 22, 2018

  • “The Wolves of Willoughby Chase” – Joan Aiken
  • “A Clockwork Orange” – Anthony Burgess
  • “The Master and Margarita” – Mikhail Bulgakov
  • “The Tower” – W.B. Yeats
  • “The Inferno” – Dante Alighieri
  • “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass” – Lewis Carroll
  • “Ulysses” – James Joyce

New York City, June 25, 2018

How do they get the books? Well, they order them in advance:


Did you see books at the show? Did you catch one or see them on the stage? Let us know by email (contact @ u2wanderer.org ), or on Twitter.

Special thanks to Amber, Peggy, Shawn, Oliver, Eduardo, Erin, Kelly, Jean Paul, Ria, V, Chris, Jim T., and Mrs. Mullen.

And here’s a short video of Bono kicking some of these books from the stage as he travels down the connecting catwalk:


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“Love is Bigger” Direct-to-Acetate at Third Man

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-05-28)

Last night U2 popped by Third Man Records in Nashville, TN, and recorded a new version of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” for a future release on limited vinyl. Bono told fans the band had also recorded “Red Flag Day,” and fans outside the store confirm that it could be heard. The video of the band working on “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” was live streamed on Facebook, with the note, “When you think you’re done, you’ve just begun…’ Down at Jack White’s @thirdmanrecords in Nashville, recording a live version of ‘Love is bigger than anything in its way…’ Special limited edition vinyl coming soon. Thank you #Nashville #MusicCity #U2 #U2eiTour #U2SongsOfExperience”

Over on Twitter the message was slightly different:


So there’s a limited release coming soon. And this version of “Love is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way” was the first ever direct-to-acetate live recording in the Third Man Records Storefront.

What does that mean?

The “Direct-to-Acetate” process is something that Third Man Records revived in 2013. On June 25, 2013, Third Man released three singles recorded this way, one each by The Shins, The Kills and Seasick Steve. Each had been recorded in October 2013 using the Third Man direct-to-acetate recording process. The songs are recorded live, and mixed in real time by a sound engineer, and instantly cut to vinyl. Since those 2013 singles, Third Man has released a number of other direct-to-acetate recordings, including singles by Pokey LaFarge, Shabazz Palace, The Melvins, Death from Above 1979 and Jack Johnson.

Third Man released a video of Seasick Steve recording direct to Acetate for the launch of these direct-to-acetate recordings. You can see the performance, while the engineer, mixes the track, and the process of cutting the vinyl commences.

Most of these prior recordings done by Third Man Records were done at their Blue Room performance venue. U2 is the first to actually record their session in the Third Man Store itself.

For many years, gramophone records were made by cutting grooves directly into an acetate disc. The process to make copies involved making a mold from the master acetate, and then using that mold to produce records. The process was very popular prior to 1950s when analog tape started to gain in popularity and most studios started using tapes to record acts rather than going direct to acetate. In recent years the method of recording direct to acetate has regained popularity with a number of studios, including Third Man Records, Influx Studios in Switzerland, Corduroy Records in Australia. The recording you hear is direct from the session, and no remixing or later adjustment of the track is possible. It is a live recording of a moment in time with no tweaking after the fact.

It may not even be U2’s first direct-to-acetate recording. In the 70s, older studios still existed with direct-to-acetate capabilities, and some of U2’s early demos may have been done in this manner, although we know that they did record to tape for a few of these sessions.

This will be U2’s second collaboration with Third Man Records. It was Third Man Records that pressed copies of “The Blackout“ in black vinyl and in limited colour vinyl for Record Store Day’s 2017 Black Friday event. A release date for this new vinyl is not yet known, nor any details about how limited the release will be. Third Man operates stores in Nashville and Detroit, as well as an online store where previous direct-to-acetate singles have been sold.

(Thanks to Daniel, Agustin and Nick for some additional information.)

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Love is Bigger: David Alvarado Interview

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-05-23)

David Alvarado is a DJ based in California who has recently remixed “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” for U2. The remix was included in the second wave of mixes sent to DJs for promotion on May 9th, 2018. To date, Alvarado’s remix has not been made commercially available, but we are told that there should be a second commercial release of “Love is Bigger” remixes coming soon. For now, the remix is only available on promotion. Alvarado has created a video for his mix of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” which he has shared with us further down in this article.

Alvarado grew up in California, and works worldwide as DJ, producer and musician, and has spent over twenty years in the music business. It was our pleasure to talk to Alvarado about his career, his remix for U2, and how it all came about:

How did you get your start DJ’ing?

David: I grew up in Orange County and made my way around the LA area. I started with a buddy of mine whose older brothers were in a low rider car club, they would throw parties monthly and somehow we just ended up getting involved. First helping a guy that was their regular mobile DJ. We’d set up speakers, gear, etc, then it led to mixing a few records while he took a break or something. Eventually he let us take out his gear and do parties, whatever we could find. It eventually led us to start our own thing, do renegade parties, undergrounds, etc. At one point we had a massive sound system that was pretty impressive. That opened the door for me to DJ LA undergrounds and other parties pre-rave days.

What other artists have you remixed?

David: I’ve worked with mostly underground artists in the past, King Britt, Josh Wink, Andy Caldwell, various European artists such as Terry Lee Brown, and other underground electronic artists. Usually I tend to stay away from remix work, I really have to be in to something to want to remix it in the first place. Most remixes I find unnecessary.

Were there any remixers/DJs you looked up to as you were getting into the business?

David: Yes indeed.. I started in an era where people like Little Louie Vega, Patrick Cowley, Chep Nunez, Arthur Baker, really stood out as remixers and producers. From there many of the UK producers/remixers such as Sasha, Nellee Hooper, were people I followed.

A few of us at U2Songs are big New Order fans, and couldn’t help but notice you played at the Hacienda club they used to run, how was that experience?

David: It was a great experience, it was actually one of my first trips to perform in the UK and you couldn’t have asked for a better place to land on your first trip over. I had already known quite a bit about Hacienda and Factory Records so being there was like a kid’s first trip to Disneyland. That trip really left a massive impression, the city, everything about being there left a deep impression that inspires me still to this day. 

Are you a U2 fan?

David: Yes.. I’m a huge fan, since the Boy album, from day one. Orange County had a huge indie/punk/postpunk community, while LA/Hollywood was still obsessed with hair bands, Orange County’s live music scene was thriving. I believe U2 played their first Southern Cal live show in a small place in Anaheim. For me The Joshua Tree album was and is an amazing work of art. I also loved the title track they did for the Batman movie that was produced by Nellee Hooper, I was a fan of his work at the time and still think it’s one of the most underrated U2 songs. 

Is this your first time working with U2?

David: Yes. It’s my first time remixing U2.

How did you get involved in the remix for “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way”?

David: Most of the contact was done through a friend whose promotion company has worked with Madonna in the past and had great success with the dance remixes they did, it was through them U2 approached me. They reached out to me because they felt they wanted a more “underground” mix not so focused on a commercial dance sound. They just felt my sound would bring a different flavor to the table. It was actually done on spec to see if I could produce something that would fit the vision they were going for, in the end it was accepted and became a part of the release.

How did you receive the stems? Some of the producers mentioned just getting the vocals? Others got instruments as well – did you get both?

David: I only received vocals, from that I put my idea together, taking key phrases, things that fit in the context of what I was hearing in my head.

Did you do multiple versions of the mix?

David: To be honest, this was my only pass at the mix, it actually came together rather quickly.. it was like a matter of hours. I think I sent a sample of the mix out for approval a day later. I heard some of the melodies, hooks, etc and decided that I wanted to do something more stripped down.. it came together fast from there.

Did you have to put a lot of work into it to get to the final mix? Was it a challenging project?

David: What was most challenging to me was to not be tempted to just take an accapella and put a beat on it, try to call it a day. So many remixes I find tend to be that way, that’s why I am usually opposed to doing remixes. I think a remix should really be a departure from the original otherwise whats the point. I think there is enough of a connection to the original without being obvious, but yet something that sounds like me, my signature, meshed together with U2.

Was any guidance given as to what sort of mix the band wanted?

David: I was only told to do my thing, they wanted a dance release. I envisioned something that could be played at something like a Hacienda, or any club anywhere. 

From the preview it seems to focus on the “you’ve just begun” line of the song? Why choose that one?

David: Usually I like to take artifacts, samples, things that are interesting and give them life. My tracks tend to have lots of “space,” “depth” sonically. Taking artifacts or tails of vocals, outtakes, things that fit in between the gaps with other elements is typical of what I do. I also knew that most of the people remixing would probably take the vocal/bridge/chorus structure of the song and use it as is. I wanted to strip it down and find something that spoke to me and fit in the context of what I had envisioned. After all I was told to run with it so I did, nothing to lose. 

Most releases are digital-only these days. U2 fans are always complaining about the death of the commercial single. Are you aware of any plans to do a physical release with these “Love is Bigger” remixes?

David: Not to my knowledge. I’d have to agree with fans.

Have you seen the video released for “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way”? What are your thoughts on the video?

David: I thought it was an interesting video, it certainly fit the original song… oddly enough I cut and produced my own version and got the green light from U2’s management to put it up on Youtube. I just felt the mix was different enough to warrant a different video. 


VIDEO: David Alvarado’s video for his remix of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way”

If you had an opportunity to go back to U2’s entire catalog and remix any track which would you pick?

David: I would probably choose “In God’s Country” from the Joshua Tree album.

If you had an opportunity to remix any current or past artist, do you have someone in mind you’d love to remix?

David: Massive Attack, maybe Bjork. Most of those have already achieved perfection so it’s kind of hard to imagine how I could add anything to it.

What projects do you have coming up?

David: Just completed a remix for Icelandic group GusGus, of which I’m a huge fan and happy to have the opportunity to work with. Also a new album project under my alias “Machines Can Talk.” 

For more information about David Alvarado and his career, you can find information on davidalvarado.com, as well as on his Facebook page.

This is our fourth interview with the DJs involved with remixing “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way.” For the other interviews please see the links below:

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Media Reviews of eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-05-23)

Original Story Published May 4, 2018 | Last Updated: May 23, 2018

U2’s iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour started in Tulsa on on May 2, and there’s been a rush of reviews of the show from different publications over the last few days. We gathered together a collection of links for you below if you want to catch up on what the press is saying about the first show of the tour, as well as later reviews from each city.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Andy Greene for Rolling Stone: “U2 Dig Deep at Transcendent ‘Experience’ Tour Opener in Tulsa. Skipping most of their most famous songs, U2 fought the easy lure of nostalgia while showcasing hidden corners of their past.”

Jon Pareles for the New York Times: “For decades, the band has treated arenas and stadiums as havens of community through shared songs. This time, the singalongs are mixed with warnings and pleas to save an endangered American Dream”

Pat Carty for Hot Press: “On the opening night of the eXPERIENCE & iNNOCENCE 2018 tour, U2 sprang a number of surprises. Well, what did you expect from the biggest, and most ambitious, rock band in the world?”

Jennifer O’Brien for The Times: “They predicted they would ruffle feathers, and U2’s performance in Oklahoma delivered far more than music, causing quite a stir among the 18,000-strong crowd.” (Requires a subscription to read full article)

Jimmie Tramel for Tulsa World: “Let’s get straight to the point: U2’s first concert in Tulsa in 35 years was a sold-out group hug that lasted two and a half hours (no opening act) and 27 songs.”

Cathleen Falsani for U2.Com: “It was an evening rich in spectacle and surprises with the live debut of songs from band’s new album Songs of Experience, classics from the its epic oeuvre, and a few deep cuts that absolutely thrilled longtime fans.”

Barry Egan for the Irish Independent: “U2’s opening night of eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE tour in Tulsa review: ‘One of the bravest, most powerful and even angriest performances U2 have ever done’”

Neil McCormick for The Telegraph: “U2 interview: ‘What drives us is to try and disprove the naysayers. People don’t hate us enough’” (Requires registration to read full article)

Tanya Sweeney for The Irish Times: “U2 mix memories of Dublin childhood with politics on opening gig of world tour. High-octane visuals help the Irish band deliver a rousing live show in Oklahoma”

Demeiza De-Burca for The Irish Mirror: “U2 promise to thrill fans at Irish gigs as they kick off Experience and Innocence world tour in Tulsa”

St Louis, MO

Mike Sorensen for The Herald-Whig: Superstar rockers U2 delivered on a promised show Friday at the Scottrade Center, following a cancellation last September.

Kevin C. Johnson for St. Louis Post-Dispatch: U2 delivers unmatched extravaganza during Scottrade Center concert

San Jose, California

Tim De Lisle for Event Magazine (Mail Online): Bono – now in high definition! The phenomenal visuals are the highlight as U2 kick off their Experience + Innocence tour in California

Jacob Nierenberg for The Stanford Daily: Can U2 reclaim its punk heritage without relying on past hits?

Jim Harrington for Mercury News: Review: You won’t believe what U2 didn’t play

Joshua Huver for The Bay Bridged: Review and Photos: U2 at SAP Center

Las Vegas, Nevada

Jason Bracelin for the Las Vegas Review-Journal: U2 returns to Las Vegas with unsettling ‘Experience’

Monica Acuna for Vegas Seven: U2’s ‘Experience and Innocence’ Tour Was the Show We Needed

Los Angeles, California

Billl Keveney for USA Today: “Fresh U2 embraces the present in concert tour, but still plays some greatest hits”

Roy Trakin for Variety: U2 Light Up the Forum on Experience + Innocence Tour When it comes to performing live, the band remains the gold (and platinum) standard.

Philip Cosores for Uproxx: After A Major Injury And A Near-Death Experience, U2 Are Making The Most Out Of Their Touring Years

Steve Baltin for Forbes Magazine: Why U2, Four Irishmen, Might Be America’s Greatest Band Ever

Peter Larsen for Los Angeles Daily News: U2 brings ‘Experience + Innocence’ to the Forum for a terrific show

Rozette R for Time Out Los Angeles: U2 embraces augmented reality and ’90s nostalgia at the Forum

Mikael Wood for the LA Times: At the Forum, U2 had the 1990s — when Bono was MacPhisto — on its mind

Xochitl Pena for The Desert Sun: Poignant, powerful, political and pushing the limits, U2 proves they still know how to rock

Shawn Perry for Vintage Rock: Whenever U2 show up in Southern California, it’s an event.

Omaha, Nebraska

L. Kent Wolgamott for the Lincoln Journal Star: U2 offers powerful, uplifting show

Kevin Coffey for Omaha World Herald: In Omaha, U2 puts on a show that’s immersive, unifying and unlike any other

Chicago, Illinois

Jeff Elbel for the Chicago Sun Times: U2 delivers music – and messages – at United Center

Greg Kot for the Chicago Tribune: U2: Beauty and bombast at United Center

Andy Argyrakis for the Illinois Entertainer: U2 provided the bookend to the coming of age journey, stacked with rallying cries against injustice, candid observations of the ills plaguing a fractured society and a shout-out to women’s empowerment.

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“Love is Bigger” Promotion Starts

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-05-22)

U2’s newest single is “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” and the song was tied into the LGBTQ community through a video that premiered in April that focused on that community in Dublin, filmed by director David Mushegain. Mushegain spoke about the video, “Proud to say that my first music video will come out tomorrow. It was so awesome to be able to combine two subjects that are very close to my heart, Dublin youth culture and the LGBTQ scene,” telling Vogue, “Part of the idea that I wanted to convey is that all of them are part of that community, that it’s not exclusionary.”


But the ties into the LGBTQ community don’t stop with the video. U2 is continuing to promote the single in that community. New artwork promoting the single feature the title, “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” on the front against a rainbow background. The rainbow flag is a symbol of gay pride and reflect the diversity present within the LGBTQ community. The flag is used worldwide in Pride celebrations and was first introduced in 1978. The rainbow featuring predominantly in the artwork of the new single is no mistake.

The band is also working with a number of producers to remix the single. This includes a number of DJs who are also members of the LGBTQ community, as well as a number of DJs who will be playing major events for Pride in various cities in the upcoming month of June throughout North America and indeed the world. These are the tastemakers which will be choosing the music for these worldwide events this summer. DJ Offer Nissim is using his remix of U2’s “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” for advertisement of a pride celebration at Ganei hata’arucha in Tel Aviv, being held on June 9, 2018, where he is expected to spin his new mix of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way”. The full version of the song is expected to be delivered for promotion soon. The remixes released so far have reached #49 on the Dance Club Songs chart on Billboard, the first U2 to reach those charts since “Magnificent” hit there in 2009.


PHOTO: Promotional Fans of “Love is Bigger”

The promotion doesn’t stop there. We are told that U2 will have a presence at Pride events worldwide this summer through the distribution of promotional material. The Long Beach pride event on Sunday in California featured people handing out fans to those gathered for the Long Beach Pride Dance Tent, with the slogan “Love Is” on one side against a rainbow background, and “Bigger Than Anything in its Way” on the backside in black and white, along with information about the single. We are told that these fans, as well as posters for the single will be given out at Pride events throughout June. The event at Long Beach is the first where these have been given out that we are aware of, but look for events where the DJs who have remixed the song are appearing, its likely these fans will be given out there as well as at parades and other events through the summer.


PHOTOS: Courtesy of Orlando Puerta, “Love Is” at Long Beach Pride, May 20, 2018

The song was also recently performed on television on the Ellen Degeneres show. Degeneres, a well known activist for LGBTQ human rights, recently featured on The Joshua Tree tour as part of their presentation of women pioneers during “Ultra Violet” titled HerStory, including prominent lesbian and transgendered human rights crusaders among those who had lead the charge for women’s rights.

It isn’t the first time U2 have been supportive of the LGBTQ community. In 1995 they donated a track to the compilation album, “Out Loud: For the Human Rights of Freedoms of Lesbians and Gays“. More recently, in 2015 when Ireland was voting on gay marriage, U2 posted an image which said “in the name of love…#VoteYes” urging those at home in Ireland to support the gay marriage vote. These are just two examples of decades of support they have shown for the community throughout their career, they’ve also spotlighted the work of prominent gay artists such as David Wojnarowicz (cover of “One“), Keith Haring (throughout PopMart) and Peter “Troy” Davies (appearing on one of his Ecco Homo single) and others over the years.

#voteYES

A post shared by U2 Official (u2) on


We’ve been interviewing DJs who have taken a turn at remixing the new U2 single, including the following:

You can also find out more information on the remixes released to date and what’s coming next in the discography entry for “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way“ which we are updating as new information is found. Below is the Will Clarke version of the song set to the Mushegain video for the new single:


VIDEO: “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” (Will Clarke Edit)

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MacPhisto’s Tales #U2eiTOUR

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-05-21)

Updated: May 17, 2018

MacPhisto made his return in Tulsa, and has since appeared in St. Louis as well. MacPhisto is a devilish demon that Bono created for the 1993 legs of Zoo TV. We recently took a deep look at the history of this character that Bono has returned to throughout the years.

We’ve had a few questions about what he is seeing in concert, so we present his words for the shows so far. The speech so far has been very similar each night, but we expect as time goes on it will shift even more.

But first, with thanks to U2gigs, you can watch his performance in St. Louis for yourself:


VIDEO: “Acrobat” by U2 in St. Louis by Fantie for U2Gigs.Com

Tulsa, May 2, 2018

Desire, greed, lust, deceit, vanity — all the essentials for a showman in all his forms, and of course a license to just look in the mirror.Oh! I haven’t seen this guy in quite a while. Oh! Oh! Age brings beauty and a spot of bother. Ha! Is there a dermatologist in the house? Is there a slight blemish I see? I’ve been a busy little devil – oh yes! But you’ve all made it so much easier for me these days. I told Stalin, that one day that people would bug themselves. Oh yes, and here we are. The truth is dead, and the KKK are out on the streets of Charlottesville without their silly costumes. Who’d have thought? Tulsa, Tulsa…When you think I don’t exist, that’s when I do my best work.

Don’t believe what you hear
Don’t believe what you see
Just close your eyes
You can feel the enemy.

St. Louis, May 4, 2018

Desire, greed, lust, deceit, vanity — all the essentials for the showman in all his forms and of course a license to just look in the mirror. Oh! I haven’t seen this guy for a while. Oh! I haven’t seen this guy for a while. Oh! Oh! I see a little blemish. Is there a dermatologist in the house? I feel busy for a devil, but you’ve all made it so much more easy for me. I told Stalin all those years ago people would be spying on themselves with their telephones. The truth is dead and the KKK are alive out on the streets of Charlottesville without their silly costumes on. Who’d have thought? Oh St. Louis, when you think I don’t exist, that’s when I do my best work.

Don’t believe what you hear
Don’t believe what you see
Just close your eyes
You can feel the enemy.

San Jose, May 7, 2018

Desire, greed, lust, deceit, vanity — all essentials for the showman in all his forms, and of course a license to just look in the mirror. Oh! Haven’t seen you in quite a while. Oh! Oh! Age brings beauty and a spot of bother. Is there a dermatologist in the house? I have a little blemish. How the hell are you California? I hear you’re a little backed up on the 101. Who do you think turned the 680 into the 280? Hello? I do love highways. My absolute favorite is the information superhighway. I love information on people. I was just today at the coronation of Comrade Putin, my old protege. I remember telling him back in his days in the KGB, soon people will actually spy on themselves. So here we are, the truth is dead and the KKK are out on the streets of Charlottesville without their silly costumes. Who’d have thought? Oh San Jose. When you don’t believe we exist, that’s when I do my best work.

Don’t believe what you hear
Don’t believe what you see
If you just close your eyes
You can feel the enemy.

San Jose, May 8, 2018

Desire, greed, lust, deceit, vanity — all essentials for the showman and of course a license to just look in the mirror. Oh. Very revealing. Oh. Please allow me to introduce myself. I’m a man of wealth and taste. I’ve been around for many a long year. Stole many a man’s soul to waste. I was there in Charlottesville when the KKK sieg heiled together. They made sure the president’s hands were full with stormy weather. Pleased to meet you. Hope you guessed my name. My name is actually Mr. MacPhisto, sometimes I try to be Mick Jagger. Oh San Jose. It’s when you don’t believe that I exist, that’s when I do my best work.

Don’t believe what you hear
Don’t believe what you see
Just close your eyes
You can feel the enemy. Enemy.

Las Vegas, May 11, 2018

Desire, greed, lust, deceit, vanity — all the essentials for a showman in all his forms, and of course a license to just look in the mirror. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Oh. Very revealing. Age, age, can bring a spot of bother, no? Is there a dermatologist in the house? Tell them MacPhisto is on fire. So is everyone else with the Iranians on hold to blow up the world. The truth is dead. The truth is dead and the KKK are out on the streets of Charlottesville without their silly costumes. Who’d have thought? Oh Las Vegas. When you don’t believe I exist, that’s when I do my beset work.

Don’t believe what you hear
Don’t believe what you see
Just close your eyes
You can feel the enemy. Feel the enemy.

Las Vegas, May 12, 2018

Desire, showoffishness, deceit, lust, vanity — all the essentials for a showman like myself. Guilty of all! And of course a license to just look in the mirror. All very revealing. Please allow me to introduce myself. I’m a man of wealth and taste. I’ve been around for many a year and stole many a mans soul to waste. I was there in Charlottesville when the KKK sieg heiled together, made damn sure the president’s hands were full with stormy weather. Who could make this shit up? Seriously? Pleased to meet you, hope you guessed my name. Name’s MacPhisto actually. I sometimes dress up as Mick Jagger. Oh excuse me Las Vegas. Just one thing. When you don’t believe in me, that’s when I do my best work.

Don’t believe what you hear
Don’t believe what you see
You just close your eyes
You can feel the enemy.

Los Angeles, May 15, 2018

Desire, greed, showoffishness, deceit, lust. All of the essentials for a showman like myself. Guilty of all of them. Vanity. Of course a license to just look in the mirror. How revealing. Oh. Oh. Please allow me to introduce myself. I’m a man of wealth and taste. I’ve been around for a long long years. Stole many a man’s soul to waste. I was in Charlottesville when the KKK sieg heiled together. Made damn sure the president’s hands were full with stormy weather. Ha! You can’t make this shit up. I’ve so little to do these days. Pleased to meet you, hope you guessed my name. My name is MacPhisto actually. I sometimes dress up as Mick Jagger. Oh excuse me Los Angeles, its when you don’t believe I exist that I do my best work.

Don’t believe what you see
Don’t believe what you hear
Don’t believe what you see
Just close your eyes
You can feel the enemy. Feel!

Los Angeles, May 16, 2018

Desire, greed, lust, showoffishness, deceit, vanity — all the essentials for a front man like myself. Guilty of all. And of course, a license to just look in the mirror. Oh. Very revealing. Age brings a spot of bother. Is there a dermatologist in the house? My name is Mr. MacPhisto. I have always been with you, though its nice when I get a chance to dress up. It feels like I’m making a comeback. Do you get that feeling? You’ve made it all so much easier for me with your telephones and your zeros and ones. I’m so proud of you Comrade Putin, dearest Vlad, I told you one day people would spy on themselves. The truth is dead. And the KKK are out on the streets of Charlottesville without their silly costumes. How very honoured. Get with it, Vladdy Vlad. Polonium ???? seems a little old school. Oh. And soon Angels, you should know when you don’t believe I exist, that’s when I do my best work.

Don’t believe what you hear
Don’t believe what you see
Just close your eyes
You can feel the enemy.

Omaha, May 19, 2018

Desire, greed, showoffishness, deceit, lust, vanity — all the essentials for a showman like myself, guilty of all of them. And of course vanity is a license to just look in the mirror. Oh. Oh. It’s you again. Very revealing. Please allow me to introduce myself. I’m a man of wealth and taste. Been around for many a year, stole many a man’s soul to waste. I was there in Charlottesville when the KKK sieg heiled together. Made damn sure the president’s hands were full with stormy weather. Hahaha. You can’t make this shit up. Seriously. There’s nothing for me to do! Pleased to meet you, hope you guessed my name. Actually my name is MacPhisto, sometimes I dress up as MacPhisto. Oh excuse me Omaha, because it’s when you don’t believe I exist that I do my best work.

Don’t believe what you hear.
Don’t believe what you see.
You just close your eyes.
You can feel the enemy

Note: The screen in Omaha displayed differently than we saw previously. Now there is a number of icons running along the bottom of the screen including six different devils and three angels. The first three devils are the MacPhisto we’ve all become used to in increasing levels of detail. In Omaha the second was chosen, so MacPhisto may get more realistic yet. The next two devils are without a hat, with darker horns, and the final one is also without a hat, but with down turned horns. The three angels have varying facial expressions, and different tilts to their halos.

If you are interested in more information about the character of Bono’s we just put together a long look at MacPhisto’s history since his debut in May 1993, right up to his appearance in Tulsa. Thanks to Robb for assistance with the above, and to Justin Kent who took a great photo of Bono that inspired us recently.

u2songs.com was formerly known as u2wanderer.org. Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

Love is Bigger: DrewG Interview

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-05-18)

DrewG (Drew G Hanser) is a DJ based in California, and works on his own, as well as part of the group Dirty Pop. He is among the artists who have been tapped for a second round of remixes of U2’s new single, “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way.” The first set of mixes was released on May 4, 2018 as a 3-track digital EP. Now a number of new remixes are being sent around for promotion to DJs, and we are told there are plans for a commercial release for a number of these, although that won’t be today as we had originally hoped. But the DrewG. Remix has been sent out for promotion.

The remix by DrewG can be heard below:

We recently had an opportunity to speak with DrewG about his career and his remix of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way,” and how it all came about.

What can you tell us about yourself?

Drew: Got my start in the industry in the mid 90s. My father was working for Van Halen back then and I got my initial kick into the Industry from there. More along the guitarist side of things than production though. Currently I live in San Diego, CA with my husband and 2 dogs.

Maybe you could tell our audience about some of the artists you have remixed?

Drew: Lol at this point it’s more like who haven’t I remixed lol jk, well kinda. Madonna, Cher, Gaga, Linkin Park, Beyonce, Leann Rimes…

Were there any remixers/DJs you looked up to as you were getting into the business?

Drew: Being that I started DJing in the early 2000s I was cutting my teeth during the same period that many huge NYC producers were already giants: Junior Vasquez, Peter Rauhofer, Victor Calderone.

Are you a U2 fan? Do you have a favorite U2 song? What about a favorite remix of a U2 song, either vintage or more recent?

Drew: Johnny Vicious did some great remixes of “Where the Streets Have No Name” if I remember correctly. My favorite U2 song is “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m looking For.” Initially my attraction for U2 did stem from the Edge’s guitar work tho. He’s one of the more underrated guitar players of our time I feel.

If you had an opportunity to go back to U2’s entire catalog and remix any track which would you pick?

Drew: Of course it would be my fav song named earlier.

Is this your first time working with U2?

Drew: Yes

How did you get involved in the remix for “Love is Bigger”?

Drew: I was told that my agents had been contacted and they submitted a few different clips of mine and my group “Dirty Pop” for consideration. There is a Dirty Pop mix as well coming, produced by myself and Brian Cua (whom also has a remix solo on the project.)

Some of the producers we’ve spoken with mentioned just getting the vocals? Others got instruments as well – did you get both?

Drew: All the stems. Vocals. Instruments each etc. I got the stems in January and finished it within a few days. I don’t let projects sit around.

What was the process for getting the mix approved? When did you know it would be released?

Drew: I didn’t know til I got the promo email. lol. That’s typically how it is.

Did you do multiple versions of the mix? Or was it just the one? If you did multiple mixes, why do you feel the one released stands out?

Drew: I always do 3 versions. Two I keep for my own sets just to keep it different live. And I dunno, Bono actually asked me just last week to add some more parts to that remix, so the one you heard was the promo version. The newer one has more vocals and I imagine will appear on iTunes soon…

Was any guidance given as to what sort of mix the band wanted?

Drew: Nope, just do your thing I was told.

How did you get started with this mix?

Drew: I opened up abelton and just started messing around til it felt right. I don’t even have a game plan with this stuff.

You chose to include most of the lyrics for the song where other DJs have just focused on one particular line of the song. Any reason why you chose to feature the full song?

Drew: I tend to be a more vocal Dj live so I like to be able to sing along when I play tracks.

When you posted that you were doing the remix you mentioned “So honored that U2 has chosen me to be an official remixer of their new hit #loveisbiggerthananythinginitsway ! Just in time for pride!” Have you seen the video? Are you aware of the ties this song has made to the LGBTQ community in Dublin?

Drew: I have not seen the video actually but I will take some time to watch it later today. I love Dublin actually and I was just working on some gigs there …

Do you know if this version of the song will get a commercial release?

Drew: Yes… I would imagine soon

Most releases are digital-only these days. U2 fans are always complaining about the death of the commercial single. Are you aware of any plans to do a physical release with these “Love is Bigger” remixes?

Drew: I am not currently. Trust me I love nice framed vinyls on my wall just as much as the last producer lol.

If you had an opportunity to remix any current or past artist, do you have someone in mind you’d love to remix?

Drew: Would of been amazing to have been producing during Michael Jackson’s time

What projects do you have coming up?

Drew: Madonna, Cher just to name a few.

Where can people find out more information about your career?

Www.officialdirtypop.com
Or just Wikipedia me lol!

This is our third interview with the DJs involved with remixing “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way.” For the other interviews please see the links below:

u2songs.com was formerly known as u2wanderer.org. Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

Love is Bigger: Will Clarke Interview

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-05-16)

Will Clarke is a world renowned DJ based out of both the UK and USA. His remix of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” is the lead track on the recently released 3-track digital EP of remixes of that song. Prior to remixing “Love is Bigger,” Clarke was also approached to remix U2’s “Get Out of Your Own Way.” However, the band’s promotional plans changed, and the remix of that song was not released.

Clarke is currently touring his live DJ sets. He also runs his own radio show, The Barber Shop. And he has also created his own clothing line. U2Songs was happy to have a chance to interview Clarke and ask a few questions about the remix and how it all came about.

You are currently based in the UK?

Will: Yes I am from the UK but currently living between Bristol and Detroit in the USA.

How did you get your start as a DJ?

Will: I started when I was 9 years old as a hobby and decided to take it full time along with music production.

What was your first big remix?

Will: My first big remix was of an artist who is now a close friend of mine called Claude VonStroke. He signed me to his record label called Dirtybird back in 2014 and he asked me to remix one of his records.

What other artists have you remixed?

Will: Probably too many to list, however, the big ones are Rihanna, U2, MK, Becky Hill, Big Gigantic and the list goes on.

Did you approach U2 to work with them or did they approach you?

Will: No, this came via my management so I was originally asked through my team to do the remix.

We’ve seen that you’ve done a remix of “Get Out of Your Own Way” as well, was that submitted to the band for consideration for the last single?

Will: Haha, yes I’m impressed that you have found this remix. So when I first got asked to remix U2 I was sent the parts to “Get Out.“’ I completed the remix and everyone was super into it; however, U2’s team changed their mind on what needed being remixed so they gave me the parts to “Love Is Bigger.” I actually love both remixes if I’m honest so i play both of them in my sets


AUDIO: Will Clarke Remix of “Get Out of Your Own Way”

Are you a U2 fan? If so can you tell us a bit about what you like about U2 and maybe what your favorite songs are?

Will: Of course i am who isn’t haha. It was an absolute honour being asked to remix the band. If I’m totally honest its a tough call to name what is my favourite record is, however id have to say “Where the streets have no name.”

When did U2 reach out to you to work on this particular remix? How about the “Get Out of Your Own Way” remix if they approached you?

Will: Like i mentioned earlier on it came through my management although after i did the “Get Out” remix and then being asked to do the “Love Is Bigger” i only had 2 days to turn it in so it was a quick heads down in the studio.

How did you receive the stems? Was it just the vocals or did they send instruments as well?

Will: I got sent everything all vocals and instruments smile.

What was the process for the band approving the remix?

Will: Well first of all it went through their American team then to the UK team then to the band, honestly i didn’t even think the band was going to listen but when i was told Bono loved the remix it put a huge smile on my face…

Was it a challenging project?

Will: When you are working with such talented musicians its never really that hard everything is at the highest of quality and its just up to me to transform that in to something respectful to the original artists but also fitting in what i do as an artist.

Did what U2 give you to start with work right out of the box? Or did you have to put a lot of elbow grease into putting the mix together?

Will: As soon as i heard the vocal i knew what i was going to do with it, i did the remix in a day and did finishing touches the day after. It had to be a quick process due to deadlines so it made me work harder.

Did you do several versions of the Love is Bigger remix? If so, what made this one stand out? If you did other versions what can you tell us about them?

Will: I didn’t have the time to do any other versions i think the thing i changed the most was the mix down after it had been ok’d.

Most releases are digital only these days. U2 fans are always complaining about the death of the commercial single. Do you think we’ll ever see these remixes physically released?

Will: I would love this release to be put on vinyl it would mean the world to me however like you said in this day and age i honestly think it will just be digital.

Do you treat your remixes differently if you are remixing for a physical format like vinyl?

Will: No the remixes stay the same however the finishing of the record such as mix down and mastering may vary if its going on to vinyl as you can’t have the record as loud on a vinyl when cutting them.

Have you seen the video for “Love is Bigger”? What do you think?

Will: I absolutely love it, its a powerful video.

If you had an opportunity to go back to U2’s entire catalog and remix any track which would you pick?

Will: I’m happy with the two i have done if I’m honest, sometimes if i was to pick one of their classics it would be hard to do it justice.

What other projects do you have coming up?

Will: I have some original records being released, my latest on Dirtybird Records came out a couple of weeks ago called “Take A Seat.” I have a release on Sola Records coming up in the summer. Also I am starting my own record label called “Doing It Records.”

Do you work on your own music as well? What projects do you have coming up? Any chances there will be more U2 in your future?

Will: Yes I work on lots of original music often people can check all my music out on Spotify just type in Will Clarke and look for the bearded dude… On instagram I’m djwillclarke, on Twitter I’m djwillclarke and on Facebook I’m willclarkedj. All of my tour dates are at www.djwillclarke.com. Also i run a clothing brand called Doing It For The Cuddles which you can check out at www.doingitforthecuddles.com.

Interested in hearing Will Clarke’s version of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way”? Take a listen below:


VIDEO: Will Clarke’s remix of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way

This is our second interview with the DJs involved with remixing “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way.” For the other interviews please see the links below:

u2songs.com was formerly known as u2wanderer.org. Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

New Remixes of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” Coming This Week

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-05-16)

This week sees the debut of a number of new remixes of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” – including remixes by Moodyboy, Vibeposse, Robbie Rivera, DrewG, and David Alvarado.

On May 9, two additional remixes were sent to DJs for promotion of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” including one by David Alvarado (07:54) and one by DrewG. (03:36). On May 15, three additional remixes by Moody Boy, VibePosse, and Robbie Rivera were shipped to DJs for promotion. It is expected that some of these will be released through iTunes and other digital storefronts in the near future, possibly even May 25, 2018. The remixes will be available to stream at the same time.

On May 12, another remix, was sent out by Twisted Dee. This remix wasn’t served up as a promotional item but was leaked by the DJ herself. A second remix by Offer Nissim has also partially leaked. These are part of this remix push being done for the single, but have yet to be officially released.

These follow the release of an “Acoustic Version” of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” on Friday May 11, 2018 on streaming services and digital storefronts. On May 15, 2018, Bono and The Edge appeared on the Ellen Degeneres show, and performed an acoustic version of the song.

On Friday May 4, 2018, three other remixes were released to streaming services and digital storefronts including remixes by The Funk Hunters, Daybreakers, and Will Clarke. You can read our interview with Daybreakers about their remix here.

We are updating the discography entry for “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way“ as we get more information about these releases.

The release schedule for this single so far has been:

  • On April 23, 2018, the song was being pushed at AAA Radio stations in North America, with digital delivery of the song starting on April 11, 2018.
  • On April 26, 2018, an Instagram Stories campaign was launched, teasing the new video for “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” through eight different images from the video.
  • On April 27, 2018, the video for “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” was released.
  • On May 4, 2018, a three track “Remixes Single” of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” was commercially released, including remixes by Will Clarke, The Funk Hunters and Daybreakers.
  • On May 4, 2018, a three track promotional release of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” was also done including the same remixes by Will Clarke, The Funk Hunters and Daybreakers.
  • On May 4, 2018, a video of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” set to an edit of Will Clarke’s remix was released
  • On May 9, 2018, remixes by David Alvarado and DrewG were sent out to DJs digitally.
  • On May 11, 2018, a one track “Acoustic Version” of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” was commercially released.
  • On May 12, 2018, remix by Twisted Dee was leaked on Facebook.
  • On May 15, 2018, remixes by Moodyboy, Vibeposse, and Robbie Rivera were sent out to DJs digitally.
  • On May 21, 2018 the song will be pushed at Hot AC radio stations in North America using the album version of the song.
  • On May 25, 2018 it is expected that further remixes mayl be commercially released including one by David Alvarado, and one by DrewG., both have already been sent to DJs for promotion.

Beyond the remixes mentioned above, the DJ Offer Nissim has used his version of a remix of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” in promotion for a Pride event on Facebook. The Dirty Disco group has also remixed the song, but it has yet to be sent for promotion. And DJ Junior Sanchez has seen his remix of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” being promoted on “Twilight Pulse”, Christian Homan’s show on the RTE radio network since late March.

Below we have some preview clips of these new remixes that have started to emerge:

Robbie Rivera Remix:

DrewG Remix:

David Alvarado Remix (Preview):

Twisted Dee Remix (Preview Leak):

u2songs.com was formerly known as u2wanderer.org. Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

Love is Bigger: Interview with Daybreakers

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-05-11)

Last week a three-song EP of remixes of U2’s new single was released, “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way.” Daybreakers, The Funk Hunters, and Will Clarke each contributed a remix of the track to the release. It has been our pleasure to speak to Daybreakers about their contribution to the remix EP.

Daybreakers is a duo with one half from the UK (Ric Scott) and the other half from Canada (Alex Hush). Their first big remix together was for Erasure, and the project went so well they continued to work together.

So you’re a duo that hails from the UK and Canada? How did you get together and start working on music together?

Ric: Alex approached me to work on a remix for him back in 2013, we gelled well and worked on various other projects together, the rest is history.

How did you get your start DJ’ing?

Ric: Hard work and determination, getting my name known which led to guest appearances and on from there. It took a few years to get my name about which involved spending a year plying my trade in Corfu (in 1996). Spending time with other DJs from around the world and learning little tricks off them, we all shared tips and tricks as we all had slightly differing styles of DJing. I started a Podcast in 2010 called Skycasting which was an hour long Trance podcast which also featured other DJs from all over the world from time to time.

Your first big remix together was for Erasure. How did that come about? Have you worked on other remixes before that outside of Daybreakers? How did you get started doing remixes?

Alex: Koishii & Hush (myself and Simon Langford) had done several remixes for Mute in the past so we already had a relationship and they liked what we did. [Mute is Erasure’s long-time record label.]

What other artists have you remixed?

Alex: Between the two of us we have been involved with remixing Joshua Ryan, Warp Brothers, Ian Van Dahl, Paul Van Dyk, Neo & Ferina, Moogwai, Lady Gaga, Lionel Richie, Paul Hardcastle, Hemstock & Jennings, Pet Shop Boys, Mick Jagger, INXS, Dannii Minogue, Yazoo, and more.

Are you both U2 fans? If so, can you tell us a bit about what you like about U2 and maybe what your favorite songs are?

Ric: I wouldn’t call myself a ‘super’ fan but I’ve always had an interest in their work. “Elevation” is one of my favourites along with the Perfecto mix of “Even Better than the Real Thing.”

Alex: Loved The Joshua Tree album and saw them in concert during the Zoo TV Tour when they were in Toronto. Always been a fan. Fave songs would be hard to pick but “Bad” and “One” are up there.

How did you receive the stems?

Alex: We received the vocal stems as a digital file transfer.

What was the process for the band approving the remix?

Alex: Once the mix was done, we sent it over and it had to be approved by the band and their management. You will notice that in our mix Bono added some additional vocal effects, which was a big thrill for us. He really liked the vibe and suggested an idea which worked out great.

Was it a challenging project?

Ric: When you are approached to do a remix, you listen to the original track and, ideas of what you can do and use come through as you listen.

Every track you do as a remixer/producer has its own challenges. The biggest challenge is getting the ideas out of your head and turned into music.

Did what U2 gave you to start with work right out of the box? Or did you have to put a lot of elbow grease into putting the mix together?

Ric: All we had to work with were the vocal stems, so once they were compressed to our working time signature, it was a case of working a track around which of the vocals we wanted to use.

Did you do several versions of the remix? What made the mix that ended up on the EP stand out? If you did other versions what can you tell us about them?

Ric: The feel and the sounds of the track make it stand out.

We also did a more commercial/crossover club mix using the full vocal as well as the mix that ended up on the EP.

Most releases are digital-only these days. U2 fans are always complaining about the death of the commercial single. Do you think we’ll ever see these remixes physically released?

Alex: Not sure but that would be great! Would love to have more mixes on vinyl and cd. I also miss those days but I suppose it is just a sign of the times. Always liked that the “Lemon” 12” was yellow.

Do you treat your remixes differently if you are remixing for a physical format like vinyl?

Ric: I have always approached a remix in the same way whether it’s for vinyl, cd, or digital only.

Alex: Same.

Have you seen the video for the song you’ve remixed? What do you think?

Ric: I have seen the original video. It’s very poignant to the music. It shows that love conquers all, no matter what boundaries are in the way.

If you had an opportunity to go back to U2’s entire catalog and remix any track which would you pick?

Ric: I would like to remix “Elevation.” I think the track has a really good feel about it.

Alex: “With Our Without You” would work really well as a progressive house or trance mix.

What other projects do you have coming up?

Alex: We have a few of our own projects on the go as well as some remixes we are discussing. Too soon to mention at this point though.

Where can people find out more information about Daybreakers?

Alex: We just launched any social media as this is our first remix project together, but we can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

This is our first interview with the DJs involved with remixing “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way.” For the other interviews please see the links below:

u2songs.com was formerly known as u2wanderer.org. Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

Protest Signs At #U2eiTOUR

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-05-04)

  • “Vote” sign with eye
  • “Free” and “Speech” in word bubbles
  • “# Never Again”

During the #U2eiTour kick off in Tulsa, the screen appears early on in the show displaying protest signs on the screen. These signs dance around to different panels on the screen and each image appears multiple times in multiple places during the pre-show.

  • “Freedom Justice Equality” with two faces and two hands
  • “Human Rights” and fist
  • “Herstory” and pink background

It’s not the first time that U2 has been using the idea of protest signs during this album promotional campaign. Back in November, while performing in Trafalgar Square in London, U2 handed out protest signs to the audience in attendance and asked them to hold up the signs as they performed “Get Out of Your Own Way”. That performance was filmed for a video, which has yet to be released. The signs given out in Trafalgar were different than these digital designs that we see.

  • “Refugees Welcome” and boat carrying refugees
  • “Equal Rights” and equals sign
  • “Give Peace A Chance” and dove with barbed wire

In Tulsa we were able to identify 24 separate signs that flashed up on the screen. There may have been more. If you spotted any and want to let us know we would appreciate any additional information about these signs. Will the signs in other cities be the same? We expect that some will be reused throughout the tour, but its this sort of element that U2 often plays with and expands on as the tour progresses.

  • “Resist” in a stop sign
  • “Educate a girl Empower a Community” and a hand raised
  • “None of us are Equal Until All of Us Are Equal” and a variety of heads male and female

The signs in Tulsa included references to empowered women, equal rights, refugees and other current concerns. Also included were a couple that had no writing, and two lyrics, “Get out of your own way” and “Fight back” both make an appearance.

Edel Rodriguez is the artist behind these posters. Edel was born in Havana, Cuba, and has worked on cover art for the likes of TIME magazine and NY Times, amongst others.

  • “20¢ Can Save a Life” and face
  • “Empowered Women Empower Women” and face
  • “Enough” and shattered arm with American flag

The overall colour of most of these signs displayed on the barricage was red and white and black. There was a small handful which were colourful though including a pink Herstory sign, the blue in the Refugees Welcome sign, some yellow in two signs about the empowerment of women. And the sign that reads “Nowhere on Earth do women have as many opportunities as men. Nowhere.” whifh features blue, grey, red, yellow and aqua.

  • “English Math Science Guns” with Guns crossed out
  • Three fists
  • “Don’t Shoot!” and man with arms in air

Some of the signs reference real world organizations such as Herstory, mentioned in one of the pink signs, was a part of The Joshua Tree Tour 2017, as the backing screen during “Ultra Violet (Light My Way)” lit up with the faces of pioneering women in the fields of politics, science, entertainment, and human rights.#NeverAgain references the student-led movement for tighter gun control regulations formed in the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shootings. “Poverty is Sexist” is an ongoing campaign by the One organization.

  • “Fight Back” inside a mouth
  • “Get Out of Your Own Way” with a snake
  • “Free Speech” covering mouth

After the signs finish, the screen lights up with a pattern which allows the AR material to work on the phones. But for the early part of the pre-show, these signs are part of the early entertainment and part of the show. As they play on the screens, a mix of songs can be heard over the PA system.

  • “End all Wars” with face, with a mouth on top
  • “Nowhere on Earth do women have as many opportunities as men. Nowhere.” and lips and glasses.
  • “Poverty is Sexist” and face.

The posters were created by Edel Rodriguez, a visual artist who has also produced artwork for TIME magazine, Der Spiegel, the New York Times, and many others.

Many thanks to Allison, Kelly, and others who contributed images to this article. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

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The History Mix: The Return of an old Friend, Mr. MacPhisto

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-05-03)

Earlier in the week we shared a bit of a history of MacPhisto as part of a spoiler news story. We’re reprinting it here now as we’ve lifted spoilers, but be warned this does include information about songs played in the new show and scenes that are played out on the #U2eiTour stage.

MacPhisto has returned to the stage in U2’s new #U2eiTour. The character, a devilish rogue, appears in full as the band starts “Acrobat”. There’s a new trick this time, this time MacPhisto is digitally created using Bono’s face to trigger a devil over top like you would with any number of selfie filters you can use to become animals and other effects. We were tipped off some time ago that MacPhisto was making a re-appearance this tour. But the first time we heard him was in Laval during rehearsals:

My name is Mr. MacPhisto, I’m here to sing for your soul. The goal. Is Elevation (Laval, Rehearsals, April 14, 2018)

Bono was heard practicing MacPhisto’s banter throughout rehearsals in Laval including the line above at the end of “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me”. He was heard in Tulsa introducing the Intermission, “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me”. In Laval he was heard at the end of “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” over a funky remix reminiscent of the “Influx Remix” of “Elevation” – he took the stage to introduce himself as his alter ego, the singing devil in platform shoes, Mr. MacPhisto. Mr. MacPhisto is a stage character created by Bono for the Zoo TV tour as it wound through Europe in 1993. The name refers to Mephisto (sometimes written as Mephistopheles), a demon in German literature, who works for Lucifer.


PHOTO: MacPhisto, photographed by Kevin Davies, 1993

MacPhisto made his public debut on May 7, 1993 when a small group of fans were invited into the dress rehearsal for the summer leg of the Zoo TV tour in 1993. MacPhisto hadn’t yet been fully realized, but the character was there. Wearing red leather and looking like The Fly, a character from earlier legs of the tour, Bono spoke about the good old days, sang a snippet from a martini commercial, and rehearsed making a phone call. Willie Williams commented in his diary, “We actually did (nearly) a full run-through this evening. Went pretty well. The star of the show was Bono’s new encore character. It will replace the mirrorball-man/preacher character from the American show. We spent the afternoon in the dressing room trying to suss out quite who this character is. He’s called “Mr Gold” on account of his tasteful gold suit and platforms. The voice is kind of doddery English eccentric, sort of Laurence Olivier meets Quentin Crisp, and there’s a whole host of other feelings in there. Joel Grey, Clockwork Orange, the game show host from hell. He’s the devil, basically. It’s really very peculiar, funny and disturbing at the same time.”

So MacPhisto was waiting according to Willie’s diary and the gold suit was waiting. However, perhaps to maintain the surprise a bit, fans invited into this rehearsal got a slightly different version of this character instead. Opening night Williams comments, “Of course Bono’s new character stole the show. He’s been christened “MacPhisto” and there’s been the addition of a little pair of red velvet horns, which appeared at the very last moment. White face and red lipstick.”

On the third leg of the tour, MacPhisto would appear during “Desire” after the encore break, and would finish out the encore in costume. For the fourth leg of the tour, Bono would be seen in a dressing room on screen getting into character, red shirt, gold lame suit, devil horns and white face paint with red lipstick. He would make his way to the stage, and would address the crowd, and would then make a phone call. For the final leg of the tour, “Daddy’s Gonna Pay for Your Crashed Car” started the encore and would be where MacPhisto would appear. He is present at the show in Sydney where the video from the Zoo TV tour was recorded. It was his appearance in that video that started a small fascination with the character for me.

His phone calls were varied. In many cases they included a call for transportation, a taxi away from the venue, a plane. But as time went on he also would call politicians, and even on one occasion, would call home. Bono would often also work in a small piece of music in these performances which included:

  • Martini Commercial
  • “Ding-A-Dong” – Teach-In (Eurovision winning song from 1975)
  • “Moon River” (twice along the way)
  • “Happy Birthday” (Sung for Clannad, celebrating their 20th Anniversary)
  • “Light My Fire” – The Doors (marking the anniversary of Morrison’s death)
  • The “Olé, Olé, Olé” chant
  • “I Just Called to Say I Love You” (multiple times)

One of the more memorable appearances of MacPhisto was in London, when he called Salman Rushdie on the phone, but indeed Rushdie is in the stadium, and would eventually come out and join MacPhisto on stage, giving him a big hug. The appearance by Rushdie who had spent years in hiding made press around the world.

For an amazing look at all the shows on the Zoo TV tour at which Bono took on the MacPhisto character, I point you to the MacPhisto transcripts which track every night in detail. During the course of seven months, MacPhisto would appear nightly. He called taxis (9 separate times), politicians (18 different times including multiple calls to Helmut Kohl, Margaret Thatcher, and other politicians known in the cities he was in such as Allessandra Mussolini and John Major), business types including bankers and industrialists on three occasions, other artists on six occasions (including Clannad, Pavarotti, Salman Rushdie, and Dame Edna). The calls included calls to royalty (Queen Beatrix and Princess Diana) and religious figures (he called the Pope twice, and the Arch Bishop of Canterbury once) and sports (Graham Taylor the football player, Frank Murphy the rugby player and Akebono Taro the sumo wrestler.) Occasionally the calls were more random, such as the night he called KLM looking for a flight, called the Ritz Hotel, called for the weather, called the house opposite the stadium, called the United Nations, or his call to home where we heard Bono’s daughters voice on an answering machine.)

The final call, in Tokyo, on December 10, 1993 was to Madonna. It was the last show of the tour, and Madonna was in attendance at the concert. She was watching from the soundboard, and had been seen with a portable phone, perhaps to take a call during the show. But although he called her from the stage, no connection was made, and the call went unanswered. At the end of 1993 MacPhisto went away. Willie’s diary for the final night of the tour read, “plus of course Mr MacPhisto’s last stand, though somehow I’m not sure we’ve seen the last of him.” MacPhisto appeared in the video for Zoo TV released in 1994, capturing the 1993 performance in Sydney, but it would be many years before he would make an actual live appearance again.


VIDEO: U2’s video for “Lemon (Bad Yard Club Mix)”, 1993

MacPhisto also appeared in U2’s video for “Lemon,” directed by Mark Neale. Bono isn’t wearing the horns here, but MacPhisto is instantly recognizable from the suit, the make up and the actions on screen. Bono would also make an appearance in Rome, doing photo shoots throughout the city, and walking across the square at the Vatican in character, wearing sunglasses for some video footage and additional photos.

In 1995, MacPhisto nearly made the jump onto the big screen. Joel Schumacher, the director of Batman Forever, had met with Bono while working on the movie to discuss an onscreen role. Initially it was thought Bono would play a villain, but there were two evil characters in the script already. Instead, Schumacher considered having Bono perform a song in costume as MacPhisto. That idea never materialized, either, and so U2 ended up contributing a song, “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me,” for inclusion in the film. But MacPhisto did make a reappearance with “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me,” appearing in animated form in a promotional video for the song. The video itself depicts two super-powered animated characters battling throughout a city. We also see U2 performing on an animated Zoo TV stage on a rooftop in Gotham City (complete with an animated Riddler running around). Batman and Robin also make appearances, but most of the animated footage is of “The Fly” and “MacPhisto,” two onstage personas Bono had created for The ZOO TV Tour.


VIDEO: U2’s video for “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” featuring MacPhisto

In fact the video for the song, is a sort of origin story for MacPhisto. We see Bono walking down the street reading a book, when he is struck by a car driven by Elvis. We then see him strapped to a hospital bed where we see his death. MacPhisto is born as lightning strikes Bono in the hospital bed. Like The Flash in comic books, the lightning gives him his powers, and he is later seen flying around in a winged car harassing Batman in his Bat Plane.

In 1997, MacPhisto would make a tiny appearance in the PopMart tour. As the band would perform “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” the MacPhisto symbol would flash on the screen under the arch. They symbol, a yellow oval reminiscent of the Batman logo, has an image of Macphisto in the centre instead of a bat. The logo can be seen as part of our title banner above this page near the bottom of the image. MacPhisto would also appear among the many celebrities that flashed up on the screen during the song.


IMAGE: From Rolling Stone Magazine, MacPhisto joins Jimmy Kimmel in 2016

In November 2016, Bono appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live’s second annual (RED) (Shopathon) episode. During the episode, Bono joined Kimmel, DJ Khaled, Neil Patrick Harris, Halsey and The Killers as well as others for a song titled “If We Don’t Help People with AIDS, We’re Going to Hell”. The motley crew of artists was titled, the “(RED) Pack”. Bono makes his appearance partway through the song, appearing in a smoking bathtub, holding a bottle of champagne in one hand and the mic in the other. 23 years after MacPhisto last appeared, he appeared again, with an updated outfit, a shiny red suit this time instead of his standard gold, and far more pronounced eyebrows this time. The white face make up and the attitude are present. He later climbs out of the bathtub and joins the other celebrities at the piano for the finale of the song.

MacPhisto appeared and was quickly put away again. But he’s not been far. During the iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour in North America, Bono would use a bull horn on stage, and in the centre of the bullhorn was MacPhisto’s photo each night. The same prop was used recently in promotional shows for the new album, Songs of Experience when U2 has been performing “American Soul”. A fan dressed as MacPhisto was invited on stage during an iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour stop in Berlin in 2015. Bono had previously invited a fan dressed as MacPhisto on stage during the PopMart tour in November 1997 and on the Elevation tour in July 2001.

That brings us up until now. MacPhisto returned in Laval a few weeks ago, during rehearsals. As part of an intermission, or perhaps still played live, “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” was heard, a song that MacPhisto is intimately tied to from the appearance in the video. At the end of the song he introduces himself, in case we’ve forgotten who he is, and tells us he’s here to sing for our souls as he breaks into “Elevation.” It is only the second appearance of MacPhisto on North American soil after the appearance on Jimmy Kimmel. And he couldn’t be seen, only heard.


PHOTO: From U2’s Instagram, A MacPhisto like character from the “Love is Bigger” video

Last Thursday as part of the promotional campaign for the song “Love is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way”, U2 released a series of images as Instagram stories. The first image features a young man, in makeup reminiscent of the MacPhisto character, lit in red. The internet instantly lit up with speculation that MacPhisto had returned. Knowing he is being teased in the stage show at this point it makes us think this first glimpse of the video was intentional and U2 may have wanted to remind us of the character. The Zoo TV tour never wound back through North America after the introduction of MacPhisto, and now a whole new audience gets to witness him come to life, although in a much different way.

In an animated video that accompanies the intermission song, “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” (performed by Gavin Friday) we see a shadowy figure in a top hat. He gives his card to the members of U2 after rescuing them at sea. The card reads “Wormwood & MacPhisto Inc., Bespoke Atonement Services” and he gives the members of U2 gifts. Bono gets sunglasses and style. Larry Mullen gets a belt buckle that says “Eternal Youth” and gets strength. Adam gets wings and ambition. And The Edge gets a hat, and god-like talent.

Wormwood is a reference to a character from The Screwtape Letters, in the book by C.S. Lewis, the demon Screwtape sends a series of letters to his nephew Wormwood, a Junior Tempter. It seems Wormwood and MacPhisto went into business together. The Screwtape Letters is also one of the books present on stage for this first night in Tulsa.


PHOTO: From #U2eiTour, MacPhisto on screen (Screen grab from U2gigs.com Video)

Bono plays with the character for the first couple of songs out of the Intermission. We finally see him becoming the devil.

“And of course a license to just look into the mirror, I haven’t seen this guy in quite a while, oh…”

There is a mirror on screen and when Bono looks into the mirror, his face is projected on screen with a devilish face overlaid over his own features. MacPhisto is back!


VIDEO: U2 Performing “Acrobat” in Tulsa OK, May 2, 2018 Courtesy of U2Gigs.com / Terrorsittich

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SPOILERS: U2eiTOUR Rehearsal Day Four in Tulsa: May 1, 2018

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-05-02)

There was a small rehearsal done yesterday in Tulsa. In the afternoon the Edge worked with the crew on a lot of bits and pieces of songs, or as U2Start describes it, “mostly snippets and partial practice”. The songs worked on include:

  • Iris (Hold Me Close)
  • Song for Someone
  • Sunday Bloody Sunday
  • Raised by Wolves
  • Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
  • Elevation
  • Desire
  • You’re the Best Thing About Me
  • The Blackout
  • Lights of Home
  • Beautiful Day
  • Iris (Hold Me Close)
  • Raised by Wolves (x2)
  • Vertigo
  • Acrobat
  • You’re the Best Thing About Me
  • Pride (In the Name of Love)
  • Get Out of Your Own Way
  • Pride (In the Name of Love)
  • Get Out of Your Own Way
  • American Soul (x2)
  • City of Blinding Lights
  • Pride (In the Name of Love)
  • Get Out of Your Own Way
  • American Soul
  • City of Blinding Lights
  • Lights of Home (x2)
  • Desire
  • City of Blinding Lights

The list above was provided by U2Start.Com as has much of the information on the Tulsa rehearsals these last couple of days.

In the early evening Bono and the Edge both arrived at the venue and met with fans who were gathered, taking photos and signing autographs.

The evening rehearsals included work on a number of tracks once Bono and Adam arrived at the venue:

  • Lights of Home (x2)
  • Raised by Wolves (partial)
  • Until the End of the World (partial)
  • Raised by Wolves
  • Until the End of the World
  • Desire
  • Acrobat
  • Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
  • One

The rehearsal also included pre-recorded songs, “Women of the World” by Jim Rourke, and a cover of “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” by Gavin Friday, which are being used in different portions of the show.

Throughout the rehearsals we identified a total of 318 tracks rehearsed including the two that U2 themselves shared from rehearsals in Monaco. The most identified was “Raised by Wolves” practiced 21 times in full or partial performances. The ones identified the least include “The Fly” and “Gloria” both mentioned to us just twice (and at least one instance of “Gloria” was pre-recorded. The days that the band worked on the most amount of tracks was yesterday in Tulsa (where most of them were Edge working on various bits and pieces), and the most full tracks was April 14, 2018 in Laval where the full band worked on 41 songs. In total 31 tracks were identified as being worked on during rehearsals. For those who want a closer look at the stats, feel free to open the graphic below, which we present to you with thanks to Mark for formatting ideas:

(We do realize that there may be songs missing in the above graphic, this is far from an exact science. And at times there may be errors. For the sake of simplicity we’ve listed each song identified, even partial attempts as a count of 1 in the tally. We also know the band rehearsed far more in Monaco. There were, however, only two songs identified by the end of those rehearsals.)

Many thanks to Talie, Karin, Annouche, Jean-Paul, Antoine, Jason, Olivier, Nathalie, Jason, Pierre, Alexandre, Isabelle, Oli, Christina, Jacques, Kevin and a few contributors who wished to remain unnamed for sending information to us and sharing information during the rehearsals in Laval. And thank you to Jenna, Elizabeth, Jason and the crew at U2Start for providing information out of Tulsa and to U2Tour.De and U2Achtung.Com for providing information out of Laval. Additional thanks to everyone who contributed photos and other media over the past few weeks.

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Love is Bigger Remixes Coming Soon

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-05-01)

It looks like a new single is being released this week for U2. On Friday, May 4 a remix single is being released to digital storefronts and streaming services for “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way.” While were aren’t quite sure on what tracks will be released on Friday, a DJ remix promo is being released this week in advance of the commercial release which will feature a number of remixes by:

  • Will Clarke
  • The Funk Hunters
  • Daybreakers

This promo is being distributed to DJs in a digital format only and there is not expected to be any physical promotional materials produced. As with past releases for this album, shortly after the digital files are released, a number of CDRs and even some vinyl copies pop up on eBay claiming to be real promotional discs, sadly they are not.

The Funk Hunters are a duo from Vancouver, Canada signed to Westwood recordings who have been working together since 2009. They’ve been known in the past for reworking tracks for Imagine Dragons, and Selina Gomez and also produce their own music. Will Clarke is a DJ from the UK. He previously worked on a remix of “Get Out of Your Own Way” for his mix show which can be heard below, which he has been using in mix sets of late. This remix of “Get Out of Your Own Way” was not released by U2 or used for promotion officially. Daybreakers are a UK / Canada based production duo comprised of Ric Scott and Alex Hush.


AUDIO: Will Clarke’s remix of “Get Out of Your Own Way”.

The digital promo should be circulated to DJs this week ahead of the tracks being released on digital outlets. It has not yet been issued. All the DJs are remixing “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” which was released via video last Friday. We have now started a discography entry for the main single.

Full details on track timings and remix titles will follow. But in the meantime, we have the cover for you, which is a different coloured take on the previously seen blue and black cover used for earlier remixes:


IMAGE: Cover for Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way

The DJ, Offer Nissim has also been using his own remix of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” in his promotion for a Pride event on Facebook. And DJ Junior Sanchez has seen his remix of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” being promoted on “Twilight Pulse”, Christian Homan’s show on the RTE radio network since late March. So the remixes mentioned above may not be all of the remixes that are heading our way. As we get more information we will continue to update this article.

“Love is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way” was pushed at North American radio last week. The version of the song that was used was the album mix of the song. The video for the song, filmed by photographer David Mushegain, was released on Friday.

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SPOILERS: U2eiTOUR Rehearsal Day Three in Tulsa: April 30, 2018

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-05-01)

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the upcoming eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour. If you are trying to avoid those spoilers you need to turn around right now, as this will contain spoilers for aspects of the show you may not wish to know. Some fans wish to remain spoiler free, and while that’s hard these days, let’s please refrain from sharing or discussing any of this publicly. This piece reflects spoilers from the last two rehearsals in Tulsa as well as spoilers not yet revealed from Laval including songs and stage information.

Yesterday, April 30, was the band’s third day rehearsing in Tulsa Oklahoma, ahead of the start of their new tour, the eXPERIENCE and iNNOCENCE tour. The band arrived early in the day, and no members of the band stopped to greet fans ahead of the show. However, Adam Clayton did roll down his window and waved to fans gathered. The band would also later send out pizzas to fans who were waiting in the GA line up.

We are told that last night was likely the last rehearsal for the tour, and that tonight will be a day off. This is similar to the past two tours where the band would take the day off prior to the opening show. This was done for both The Joshua Tree Tour and the iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour.

At this time we are told that the band did a full walk through of the set. We will have the full song list later in the day, but it is reported that the band did do “Acrobat” yesterday, following “Desire” for those wondering where it may be fitting into the set list. Again, we’ll post the full song list later when available. We know everyone is waiting to see whether or not it makes the final set, and it does appear that it was rehearsed last night.

Partial Set list for April 30: (Full list to follow):

  • “Love is All We Have Left” (Pre-Recorded)
  • “The Blackout”
  • “Lights of Home”
  • “Beautiful Day”
  • “All Because of You”
  • “I Will Follow”
  • “The Ocean” / “Iris”
  • “Cedarwood Road”
  • “Song for Someone”
  • “Sunday Bloody Sunday”
  • “Raised by Wolves”
  • “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses”
  • “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” (Pre-Recorded?)
  • “Elevation”
  • “Vertigo”
  • “Desire”
  • “Acrobat”
  • “You’re the Best Thing About Me”
  • “Staring At The Sun”
  • “Pride”
  • “Get Out Of Your Own Way”
  • “American Soul”
  • “City Of Blinding Lights”
  • “One”
  • “Love Is Bigger”
  • “13”

Rehearsals did continue at this point and the last cars left the venue at 3am so things went late last night. We will update with a full rehearsal list when we can. At this point we have only confirmed the above earlier portion of the rehearsals.

Many thanks to Jenna, Elizabeth, Jason and the crew at U2Start for providing information out of Tulsa.

It also looks as if “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” although it appeared to be practiced live in Montreal, is now a pre-recorded piece, and it sounds like it may have been recorded by Gavin Friday and Bono. The piece is being used as an intermission piece similar to what was done on the iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour. On that tour the band initially used a mash up of 70s music for the intermission, before transitioning to a piece where an aging Johnny Cash was seen singing “The Wanderer” and finally settling on Gavin Friday’s version of “The Fly” mixed with some Bono vocals. At least during one appearance, in Glasgow, it appears that Bono was singing live with the track. For more spoilers on what they may be doing with “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me,” we suggest you check out our rehearsal story from yesterday.

We’ll be back later in the day with an update.

Previous Spoilers about Rehearsals:

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SPOILERS: U2eiTOUR Rehearsal Day Two, Return of a Familar Face: April 29, 2018

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-04-30)

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the upcoming eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour. If you are trying to avoid those spoilers you need to turn around right now, as this will contain spoilers for aspects of the show you may not wish to know. Some fans wish to remain spoiler free, and while that’s hard these days, let’s please refrain from sharing or discussing any of this publicly. This piece reflects spoilers from the last two rehearsals in Tulsa as well as spoilers not yet revealed from Laval including songs and stage information.

Yesterday marked the second day of rehearsals in Tulsa, Oklahoma for the eXPERIENCE and iNNOCENCE tour, which opens on Wednesday night.

The band arrived at the venue early in the afternoon. Although they didn’t meet with the crowd waiting going in, The Edge came out close to 1am and took photos with fans who were gathered and signed some autographs. The rest of the band did not stop. Both Guy Oseary and Craig Evans were seen at the venue yesterday as well.

The band practiced for a long time. Instead of a full run through today, they chose to focus on working on smaller sections going over songs multiple times with a couple of breaks between segments.

The following were the songs that had been played yesterday according to U2Start.Com:

  • “Raised by Wolves”
  • “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses”
  • “American Soul”
  • “City of Blinding Lights”
  • “American Soul”
  • “City of Blinding Lights”
  • “The Blackout”
  • “Lights of Home”
  • “Beautiful Day”
  • “All Because of You”

Break

  • “All Because of You”
  • “Raised by Wolves”
  • “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses”
  • “Raised by Wolves” (Three Times)
  • “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses”
  • “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” (Three Times)
  • “All Because of You”
  • “Raised by Wolves”
  • “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses”
  • “Desire” (Three Times)
  • “Acrobat”

Break

  • “Love is All We Have Left”
  • “Staring at the Sun”
  • “Pride”
  • “Get Out of Your Own Way”
  • “American Soul”
  • “City of Blinding Lights”
  • “One”
  • “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way”
  • “13 (There is a Light)”

Please note this is still a rehearsal set list, and this could still change before now and showtime. We have been told that the band is likely finishing rehearsals tonight and that tomorrow will be a day off with no rehearsals. This has been common on the last few tours, with a day off before the first show.

Perhaps one of the more interesting things in the reports from U2Start was their mention of MacPhisto yesterday in their news of the rehearsal from the night before, mentioning he spoke during the opening to “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me,” which may be pre-recorded. It interests us, and we can report that MacPhisto was also heard in Laval.

My name is Mr. MacPhisto, I’m here to sing for your soul. The goal. Is Elevation (Laval, Rehearsals, April 14, 2018)

It seems that MacPhisto may have risen to take the stage again. Bono was heard practicing MacPhisto’s banter throughout rehearsals in Laval including the line above. He was heard in Tulsa introducing the Intermission, “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me”. In Laval he was heard at the end of “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” over a funky remix reminiscent of the “Influx Remix” of “Elevation” – he took the stage to introduce himself as his alter ego, the singing devil in platform shoes, Mr. MacPhisto. If the piece they are using in Tulsa is pre-recorded as U2Start.Com suggests, it may have been recorded in work done in Laval. At this point we do not know what visuals go along with the above, and it may just be Bono doing the voice of the character. Mr. MacPhisto is a stage character created by Bono for the Zoo TV tour as it wound through Europe in 1993. The name refers to Mephisto (sometimes written as Mephistopheles), a demon in German literature, who works for Lucifer.


PHOTO: MacPhisto, photographed by Kevin Davies, 1993

MacPhisto made his public debut on May 7, 1993 when a small group of fans were invited into the dress rehearsal for the summer leg of the Zoo TV tour in 1993. MacPhisto hadn’t yet been fully realized, but the character was there. Wearing red leather and looking like The Fly, a character from earlier legs of the tour, Bono spoke about the good old days, sang a snippet from a martini commercial, and rehearsed making a phone call. Willie Williams commented in his diary, “We actually did (nearly) a full run-through this evening. Went pretty well. The star of the show was Bono’s new encore character. It will replace the mirrorball-man/preacher character from the American show. We spent the afternoon in the dressing room trying to suss out quite who this character is. He’s called “Mr Gold” on account of his tasteful gold suit and platforms. The voice is kind of doddery English eccentric, sort of Laurence Olivier meets Quentin Crisp, and there’s a whole host of other feelings in there. Joel Grey, Clockwork Orange, the game show host from hell. He’s the devil, basically. It’s really very peculiar, funny and disturbing at the same time.”

So MacPhisto was waiting according to Willie’s diary and the gold suit was waiting. However, perhaps to maintain the surprise a bit, fans invited into this rehearsal got a slightly different version of this character instead. Opening night Williams comments, “Of course Bono’s new character stole the show. He’s been christened “MacPhisto” and there’s been the addition of a little pair of red velvet horns, which appeared at the very last moment. White face and red lipstick.”

On the third leg of the tour, MacPhisto would appear during “Desire” after the encore break, and would finish out the encore in costume. For the fourth leg of the tour, Bono would be seen in a dressing room on screen getting into character, red shirt, gold lame suit, devil horns and white face paint with red lipstick. He would make his way to the stage, and would address the crowd, and would then make a phone call. For the final leg of the tour, “Daddy’s Gonna Pay for Your Crashed Car” started the encore and would be where MacPhisto would appear. He is present at the show in Sydney where the video from the Zoo TV tour was recorded. It was his appearance in that video that started a small fascination with the character for me.

His phone calls were varied. In many cases they included a call for transportation, a taxi away from the venue, a plane. But as time went on he also would call politicians, and even on one occasion, would call home. Bono would often also work in a small piece of music in these performances which included:

  • Martini Commercial
  • “Ding-A-Dong” – Teach-In (Eurovision winning song from 1975)
  • “Moon River” (twice along the way)
  • “Happy Birthday” (Sung for Clannad, celebrating their 20th Anniversary)
  • “Light My Fire” – The Doors (marking the anniversary of Morrison’s death)
  • The “Olé, Olé, Olé” chant
  • “I Just Called to Say I Love You” (multiple times)

One of the more memorable appearances of MacPhisto was in London, when he called Salman Rushdie on the phone, but indeed Rushdie is in the stadium, and would eventually come out and join MacPhisto on stage, giving him a big hug. The appearance by Rushdie who had spent years in hiding made press around the world.

For an amazing look at all the shows on the Zoo TV tour at which Bono took on the MacPhisto character, I point you to the MacPhisto transcripts which track every night in detail. During the course of seven months, MacPhisto would appear nightly. He called taxis (9 separate times), politicians (18 different times including multiple calls to Helmut Kohl, Margaret Thatcher, and other politicians known in the cities he was in such as Allessandra Mussolini and John Major), business types including bankers and industrialists on three occasions, other artists on six occasions (including Clannad, Pavarotti, Salman Rushdie, and Dame Edna). The calls included calls to royalty (Queen Beatrix and Princess Diana) and religious figures (he called the Pope twice, and the Arch Bishop of Canterbury once) and sports (Graham Taylor the football player, Frank Murphy the rugby player and Akebono Taro the sumo wrestler.) Occasionally the calls were more random, such as the night he called KLM looking for a flight, called the Ritz Hotel, called for the weather, called the house opposite the stadium, called the United Nations, or his call to home where we heard Bono’s daughters voice on an answering machine.)

The final call, in Tokyo, on December 10, 1993 was to Madonna. It was the last show of the tour, and Madonna was in attendance at the concert. She was watching from the soundboard, and had been seen with a portable phone, perhaps to take a call during the show. But although he called her from the stage, no connection was made, and the call went unanswered. At the end of 1993 MacPhisto went away. Willie’s diary for the final night of the tour read, “plus of course Mr MacPhisto’s last stand, though somehow I’m not sure we’ve seen the last of him.” MacPhisto appeared in the video for Zoo TV released in 1994, capturing the 1993 performance in Sydney, but it would be many years before he would make an actual live appearance again.


VIDEO: U2’s video for “Lemon (Bad Yard Club Mix)”, 1993

MacPhisto also appeared in U2’s video for “Lemon,” directed by Mark Neale. Bono isn’t wearing the horns here, but MacPhisto is instantly recognizable from the suit, the make up and the actions on screen. Bono would also make an appearance in Rome, doing photo shoots throughout the city, and walking across the square at the Vatican in character, wearing sunglasses for some video footage and additional photos.

In 1995, MacPhisto nearly made the jump onto the big screen. Joel Schumacher, the director of Batman Forever, had met with Bono while working on the movie to discuss an onscreen role. Initially it was thought Bono would play a villain, but there were two evil characters in the script already. Instead, Schumacher considered having Bono perform a song in costume as MacPhisto. That idea never materialized, either, and so U2 ended up contributing a song, “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me,” for inclusion in the film. But MacPhisto did make a reappearance with “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me,” appearing in animated form in a promotional video for the song. The video itself depicts two super-powered animated characters battling throughout a city. We also see U2 performing on an animated Zoo TV stage on a rooftop in Gotham City (complete with an animated Riddler running around). Batman and Robin also make appearances, but most of the animated footage is of “The Fly” and “MacPhisto,” two onstage personas Bono had created for The ZOO TV Tour.


VIDEO: U2’s video for “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” featuring MacPhisto

In fact the video for the song, is a sort of origin story for MacPhisto. We see Bono walking down the street reading a book, when he is struck by a car driven by Elvis. We then see him strapped to a hospital bed where we see his death. MacPhisto is born as lightning strikes Bono in the hospital bed. Like The Flash in comic books, the lightning gives him his powers, and he is later seen flying around in a winged car harassing Batman in his Bat Plane.

In 1997, MacPhisto would make a tiny appearance in the PopMart tour. As the band would perform “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” the MacPhisto symbol would flash on the screen under the arch. They symbol, a yellow oval reminiscent of the Batman logo, has an image of Macphisto in the centre instead of a bat. The logo can be seen as part of our title banner above this page near the bottom of the image. MacPhisto would also appear among the many celebrities that flashed up on the screen during the song.


IMAGE: From Rolling Stone Magazine, MacPhisto joins Jimmy Kimmel in 2016

In November 2016, Bono appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live’s second annual (RED) (Shopathon) episode. During the episode, Bono joined Kimmel, DJ Khaled, Neil Patrick Harris, Halsey and The Killers as well as others for a song titled “If We Don’t Help People with AIDS, We’re Going to Hell”. The motley crew of artists was titled, the “(RED) Pack”. Bono makes his appearance partway through the song, appearing in a smoking bathtub, holding a bottle of champagne in one hand and the mic in the other. 23 years after MacPhisto last appeared, he appeared again, with an updated outfit, a shiney red suit this time instead of his standard gold, and far more pronounced eyebrows this time. The white face make up and the attitude are present. He later climbs out of the bathtub and joins the other celebrities at the piano for the finale of the song.

MacPhisto appeared and was quickly put away again. But he’s not been far. During the iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour in North America, Bono would use a bull horn on stage, and in the centre of the bullhorn was MacPhisto’s photo each night. The same prop was used recently in promotional shows for the new album, Songs of Experience when U2 has been performing “American Soul”. A fan dressed as MacPhisto was invited on stage during an iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour stop in Berlin in 2015. Bono had previously invited a fan dressed as MacPhisto on stage during the PopMart tour in November 1997 and on the Elevation tour in July 2001.

That brings us up until now. MacPhisto returned in Laval a few weeks ago, during rehearsals. After an intermission, the band returns to play “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” a song as mentioned above, that MacPhisto is intimately tied to from the appearance in the video. At the end of the song he introduces himself, in case we’ve forgotten who he is, and tells us he’s here to sing for our souls as he breaks into “Elevation.” It is only the second appearance of MacPhisto on North American soil after the appearance on Jimmy Kimmel.


PHOTO: From U2’s Instagram, A MacPhisto like character from the “Love is Bigger” video

Last Thursday as part of the promotional campaign for the song “Love is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way”, U2 released a series of images as Instagram stories. The first image features a young man, in makeup reminiscent of the MacPhisto character, lit in red. The internet instantly lit up with speculation that MacPhisto had returned. Knowing he is being teased in the stage show at this point it makes us think this first glimpse of the video was intentional and U2 may have wanted to remind us of the character. The Zoo TV tour never wound back through North America after the introduction of MacPhisto, and now with his possible appearance in the opening show of eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE a whole new audience may get to witness the devil.

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SPOILERS: U2eiTOUR Rehearsal Day One Report and Other Bits: April 28, 2018

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-04-29)

SPOILERS: This article will contain spoilers for the #U2eiTOUR. If you wish to remain unspoiled please click away now. We will continue labeling things pertaining to the tour with spoiler warnings until opening night. This article will refer to songs that have been rehearsed ahead of the tour opener.

The band has arrived in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and we can confirm that yesterday all four visited the venue for an extended period.

The Edge arrived at the airport in the early afternoon, and posted the following to Instagram:

And so it begins!! Edge

A post shared by U2 Official (u2) on


All four members headed for the venue in the afternoon and were seen entering but did not stop to meet with fans, or sign autographs. They were all inside the venue by 6pm Tulsa time, and remained there well into the late evening. U2Start.Com have confirmed a full list of songs from the rehearsal and these are listed below:

  • “Love is All We Have Left” (Pre-Recorded Introductory Music)
  • “The Blackout”
  • “Lights of Home”
  • “Beautiful Day”
  • “All Because of You”
  • “I Will Follow”
  • “The Ocean” / “Iris”
  • “Cedarwood Road”
  • “Song for Someone”
  • “Sunday Bloody Sunday”
  • “Raised by Wolves”
  • “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses”

Intermission

  • “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me”
  • “Elevation”
  • “Vertigo”
  • “Desire”
  • “You’re The Best Thing About Me”
  • “Staring at the Sun”
  • “Pride (In the Name of Love)”
  • “Get Out of Your Own Way”
  • “American Soul”
  • “City of Blinding Lights”
  • “One”
  • “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way”
  • “13 (There is a Light)”

Many thanks to Jason for information from Tulsa as well. We believe this to have been a full rehearsal, and that all of the songs played have been captured.

Another spoiler for tour content was recently revealed. David Mushegain, the director of U2’s new video for “Love is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way“ has discussed that he has been working on visuals for the upcoming tour, and that he was submitting those this week. The video which debuted on Friday, focuses on the LGBTQ community in Dublin, along with others who are part of the community such as friends and relatives. It is likely that his work will accompany the song live in concert when it debuts. Mushegain was also involved with the lyric video for “You’re The Best Thing About Me“ photographing the book in the video. Directors of previous videos such as “American Soul“ and “Get Out of Your Own Way“, the street art collective Broken Fingaz, have also been working on video footage recently for the tour.

Another possible tidbit comes via TMZ. We don’t know that this will be tour related or not, but at this point as the band finishes video footage for the tour, and a previous focus on (RED) throughout the tour, we suspect it may be. While reporting on a photo of David Hogg and Cameron Kasky, two students from Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL who have been leaders in the a movement to bring change in the wake of a school shooting at their high school. The article in TMZ stated, “David’s mom, Rebecca Boldrick, tells us David has another date for the prom, and the photo with Cameron was taken during a video shoot Monday for U2’s RED campaign the high schoolers were working on.” The video could be for some sort of upcoming (RED) Campaign, or it is possible that the video will be part of the show itself as the band continues to shine a light on (RED) from the stage.

Bono has shown an interest in what the students from Stoneman Douglas High have been up to posting a number of drawings on Instagram, including a snippet of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way“ in a message to Hogg, and a snippet of “13 (There is a Light)“ to Naomi Wadler. Hogg on Twitter identified “City of Blinding Lights” by U2 as his favorite song to listen to before taking the stage to make a speech. He also revealed that one of his tweets sending out a message that the country needs love and the students will change the world was inspired by listening to “With or Without You”, “One” and “Sometimes You Can’t Make it On Your Own”. It certainly seems like an idea U2 might want to explore on an upcoming North American tour, and the band has been rehearsing both “City of Blinding Lights” and “One” in rehearsals in Laval.

U2 has also been doing a bit of spoiling themselves, and in a recent countdown video posted to Twitter a few things are revealed:


The video, set to “Lights of Home” shows several shots from inside the rehearsals done in Laval Quebec. At the 0:22 mark, Bono appears to be walking above the screen with hand rails on either side. This suggests that maybe a third elevation is now possible on the tour stage. During the 2015 tour, the band either worked below the screen, or inside the screen, but were never seen on top of the screen. We also see a few images from the screen including footage previously used during “Cedarwood Road” in 2015, and a picture of Sian, The Edge’s daughter, either from the single “You’re The Best Thing About Me” or from the album itself.

Finally we’ve also been able to give you a little further look into the tour itself revealing some additional content that will be seen during the AR experience before the main show starts. If you are interested in checking out more on the AR App and the experience that you can expect from the App please check out our earlier article, Even Better Than the Real Thing.

To date our previous summaries can be found here:

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#U2eiTour & Augmented Reality (Part II): even BETTER than the REAL THING

Original Story by Harry Kantas (2018-04-24)

Spoiler Warning: this article contains visuals not present on the U2 eXPERIENCE App launch from today. Those wishing not to view further information, should probably make a U-turn here!

In Part I of our look at AR on the #U2eiTour, we examined the possibilities of the use of Augmented Reality on the tour. While we still hold out hope for a hologram technology, that will not need the use of mobile devices during the shows, we talked about the possibility of a companion app, that could utilise Superimposition based AR (take a look at Part I for a run down of the different types of AR currently available).

Today, U2.com have announced the “U2 eXPERIENCE App”, which does exactly that. The app, released for Android and iPhone, detects certain images, and superimposes an AR object over them:

Download the U2 AR eXPERIENCE App for iOS or Android … and see how it responds to the Songs of Experience album cover image.

Then bring your phone to the gig for a U2 show experience like never before – and share your U2 AR eXPERIENCE with all your friends.

This is smart, because both the images to be detected, and the AR objects already come with the app, thus eliminating the need for a network connection, which would never work in a crowded venue (again, refer to Part I for more details on this). One way to experience this, is to open the app on your phone, and point it towards your copy of “Songs Of Experience”. The object that gets superimposed in this use case, is Bono, singing the opening lines to “Love Is All We Have Left” (Yes, I just called Bono an object, I’m aware..!) It will however be power intensive, and put a strain on your battery, so plan accordingly!

Here’s how that looks through my phone, while pointing at a promotional cardboard cutout for SoE:


According to the U2.com post, as well the app description for U2 eXPERIENCE (click here for a screenshot), there are two more use cases, one during the run-up to the show, and one during the opening song. We also know that the AR in both of these cases will be triggered by the LED screen. We can safely assume that it will be a set of images that will trigger the AR objects again on your device, the same way the SoE cover image triggered the first one.

We managed to take a peak into the future, and some of the trigger images for the shows, along with their AR elements. We will not spoil the eXPERIENCE for you, but we can give you a nice little teaser of what to expect, come May 2nd, at the BOK Center in Tulsa, OK.




…But you haven’t come all the way out here to watch TV now, have ya???

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SPOILERS: U2eiTOUR Rehearsal Day Thirteen Report: April 21, 2018

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-04-21)

SPOILERS:

This article contains spoilers about the current U2eiTOUR rehearsals. It will contain song and set list information. If you wish to avoid this sort of information before seeing the show, please exit now. For those that continue on, please have some respect for fans that are attempting to avoid spoilers and mark these as spoilers if sharing.

U2 have been rehearsing in Laval, Quebec, just outside of Montreal for 12 days, having started April 9, 2018. They are rehearsing in advance of the new tour, eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE, which will begin May 2 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. U2 will continue to rehearse in Laval until April 23, 2018.

Although we have identified many songs that have been played during rehearsals there are times we have been unable to identify a song, or a song has been misidentified (for example “An Cat Dubh” was never played, it was identified in error, and later corrected, if you see it listed elsewhere it was indeed an error.).

To date our previous summaries can be found here:

Fans were out in force today in Laval to greet U2, with estimates of well over 100 fans showing up on a sunny Saturday, one of the first nice days since U2 have arrived in town. Security came out a number of time and spoke with fans, and even provided water to many who were waiting. Fans were told in advance that Bono would be coming out to sign items.

The fans also have identified that the trucks that ship the equipment for the band are all lined up at the venue and it appears that the set will be unloaded from the venue this evening. Drivers have been sitting in the trucks most of the day waiting. The band has had possession of the arena for thirteen days at this point, and we have confirmed with three different sources that the trucks carrying the stage equipment will be leaving for Tulsa early tomorrow morning. So it appears that this evening may be the last rehearsals in Canada for the tour.

Bono was late greeting fans, coming out around 4:25pm and meeting with fans for a half hour. While Bono was outside, the band could be heard inside starting to rehearse without him, and the first song heard was “Gloria”. Once the music started playing, Bono wrapped up what he was doing and went inside. The version of “Gloria” heard initially may have been pre-recorded as some report hearing vocals. It was later played again. This marks the first time that the band has played “Gloria” since starting rehearsals in Canada, showing that there may indeed be song surprises yet to come. After this, things went silent before the remainder was played while Bono moved into the venue and got ready.

Today’s rehearsal included the following:

  • “Gloria” (without Bono, possibly pre-recorded, 1st time in Canadian Rehearsals)

Extended break

  • “All Because of You” (1st time in Canadian Rehearsals)
  • “All Because of You”
  • “All Because of You” (Just work on the opening riff)
  • “All Because of You” (Partial)
  • “All Because of You”
  • “All Because of You”
  • “All Because of You”
  • “I Will Follow” (Partial)
  • “Gloria” (with Bono)
  • “Desire”
  • “Desire” (Partial, the beginning and other bits)
  • “Desire” (Bono is shouting something as he starts these versions of “Desire”)

Bono then starts a long speech, after the band take a short break.

  • “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way”
  • “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way”
  • “13 (There is a Light)” (Partial)

Like last night, Bono is practicing his stage talk. Last night on several occasions he could be heard speaking as if a crowd was in front of him, even stopping to thank Montreal as he finished “City of Blinding Lights”. Tonight he works on a piece before and after “Desire” but it is not clear enough to provide details.

Both “Gloria” and “All Because of You” are both rehearsed for the first time this evening for the Canadian rehearsals, pointing towards the band having other material they are still working on, or have worked on for this tour that we may not know of yet. “Desire” is without the sirens and the remix treatments tonight, but is a full band performance.

The last time “All Because of You” was played was on the Vertigo Tour, on February 20, 2006 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “Gloria” has been played more recently, as one of the songs that was performed in 2015 on the Innocence and Experience tour, appearing 13 times during that tour.

At this point the band has taken a break and are no longer rehearsing. If they return we will continue our report in this space, later tonight or tomorrow. But it appears that they have left the building at this point.

Many thanks to Talie, Karin, Annouche, Jean-Paul, Antoine, Jason, Olivier, Nathalie, Jason, Pierre, Alexandre, Isabelle, Oli, Christina, Jacques, Kevin and a few contributors who wished to remain unnamed for sending information to us and sharing information over the last 13 days. We’d like to take a second to ask you all to thank those who have shared information and allowed us a peek into these rehearsals.

NOTE: We’ve updated the set list for yesterday with a song we missed (“Acrobat”), and two other songs we had in reverse order (“Vertigo” and “The Showman”). This may make some of you much happier than you were earlier in the day.

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SPOILERS: U2eiTOUR Rehearsal Day Twelve Report: April 20, 2018

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-04-20)

SPOILERS:

This article contains spoilers about the current U2eiTOUR rehearsals. It will contain song and set list information. If you wish to avoid this sort of information before seeing the show, please exit now. For those that continue on, please have some respect for fans that are attempting to avoid spoilers and mark these as spoilers if sharing.

U2 have been rehearsing in Laval, Quebec, just outside of Montreal for 12 days, having started April 9, 2018. They are rehearsing in advance of the new tour, eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE, which will begin May 2 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. U2 will continue to rehearse in Laval until April 23, 2018.

  • Although we have identified many songs that have been played during rehearsals there are times we have been unable to identify a song, or a song has been misidentified (for example “An Cat Dubh” was never played, it was identified in error, and later corrected, if you see it listed elsewhere it was indeed an error.).
  • The band also practiced in Monaco extensively, and are coming off a tour last year with a number of songs fully rehearsed from that. These sessions in Laval may not represent everything that they have prepared for the tour.
  • The band has been practicing with the PA off at times. When the PA is off songs cannot be heard and are not being reported.
  • A big thank you to those hanging out in Laval and providing information, none of this could be done without them, and if you are enjoying the spoiler information, please take a chance to say thank you if you can.

To date our previous summaries can be found here:

U2 got an early start today in Laval. Bono arrived early in the morning back from Texas. The band arrived earlier at the venue than on previous days, with everyone inside the building before 2pm. The rehearsals today started just a short time after the band arrived and there was no member of the band that came outside to interact with the fans gathered. Today the band appear to be doing a full run through of the show. Prior to today they have done one full set run through (Day six), and one very complete set run through although the second was cut short for time. (Day Ten). Today is the third full work through of songs, from the start of the show.

Today they performed the following:

  • Unknown Pre-Recorded Song (Possibly with Bono vocals)
  • Pre-Recorded Version of “Love is All We Have Left”
  • “The Blackout”
  • “Lights of Home”
  • “Beautiful Day”
  • “I Will Follow”
  • “The Ocean”
  • “Iris”
  • “Cedarwood Road”
  • “Song for Someone”
  • “Sunday Bloody Sunday”
  • “Raised by Wolves”
  • “Until the End of the World”
  • “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me”
  • “Elevation”
  • “Desire”
  • “The Showman (Little More Better)”
  • “Vertigo”
  • “Acrobat”
  • “You’re the Best Thing About Me”
  • “Staring at the Sun”
  • “Pride (In the Name of Love)”
  • “Get Out of Your Own Way”
  • “American Soul”
  • “City of Blinding Lights”
  • “One”
  • “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way”
  • “13 (There is a Light)”

We have put this list together based on information from a number of different people but we are not 100% we have fully captured the set list as it happened. If we find any further information we will update the list at a later date. If you have any information especially in the later half of the concert please get in touch.

The full run through ended early and there was a long delay without sound, and we are unsure if they practiced again later in the evening.

UPDATE: April 21, 2018: We have changed the above list of songs, we had “Vertigo” and “The Showman” in reverse order, and we can now confirm that the band played “Acrobat” after “Vertigo” last night.

Additional note: We’ve updated our article about Day Nine (April 17, 2018), which we had not previously reported on. That update is here.

Many thanks to Talie, Karin, Annouche, Jean-Paul, Antoine, Jason, Olivier, Nathalie, Jason, Pierre, Alexandre, Isabelle, Oli, Christina, Kevin, Beatrice and a few contributors who wished to remain unnamed for sending information to us and sharing information over the last few days.

u2songs.com was formerly known as u2wanderer.org. Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

SPOILERS: U2eiTOUR Rehearsal Day Eleven Report: April 19, 2018

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-04-20)

SPOILERS:

This article contains spoilers about the current U2eiTOUR rehearsals. It will contain song and set list information. If you wish to avoid this sort of information before seeing the show, please exit now. For those that continue on, please have some respect for fans that are attempting to avoid spoilers and mark these as spoilers if sharing.

U2 have been rehearsing in Laval, Quebec, just outside of Montreal for 11 days, having started April 9, 2018. They are rehearsing in advance of the new tour, eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE, which will begin May 2 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. U2 will continue to rehearse in Laval until April 23, 2018.

To date our previous summaries can be found here:

Some notes on the rehearsal information to date:

  • U2 have practiced a total of 9 days, and have taken two of these days off since arriving in Laval.
  • During that time they have done one full set run through (Day six), and one very complete set run through although the second was cut short for time. (Day Ten)
  • Although we have identified many songs that have been played during rehearsals there are times we have been unable to identify a song, or a song has been misidentified (for example “An Cat Dubh” was never played, it was identified in error, and later corrected, if you see it listed elsewhere it was indeed an error.).
  • The band also practiced in Monaco extensively, and are coming off a tour last year with a number of songs fully rehearsed from that. These sessions in Laval may not represent everything that they have prepared for the tour.
  • The band has been practicing with the PA off at times. When the PA is off songs cannot be heard and are not being reported.
  • The band does shake up the set list when they do two shows in one city, so a song being dropped from rehearsals may mean they are just working on a secondary set list. They will rehearse multiple songs and may not play songs each night in each city.
  • It is still early, the band still has a number of nights left to rehearse in Quebec before rehearsals move to Tulsa.
  • Errors happen. We do our best.
  • A big thank you to those hanging out in Laval and providing information, none of this could be done without them, and if you are enjoying the spoiler information, please take a chance to say thank you if you can.

Finally, while we are reporting on the song titles, we are also aware of some possible future revelations about the tour that have excited us, far more than a simple song list could. There are some big surprises in store for all of us if they carry through to the final production. Now onto what happened last night.

On April 19, 2018, the 11th day the band has been in Canada, Bono is not present at rehearsals. As previously reported, Bono was at an award gala on Thursday night to accept the first George W. Bush Medal for Distinguished Leadership. As part of that event, Bono and Bush did a brief chat on YouTube earlier in the day, had an hour long conversation later in the day, and there were also opportunities for attendees to the gala to meet with Bono. Bono is not expected back in Montreal until later today.

The remaining three members of the band did attend rehearsals at Place Bell in Montreal. All three arrived in the afternoon, as they have for the last few days. None of the three got out and greeted fans today, they moved directly into the venue. There was little to be heard until quite late in the evening, so it appears that whatever they were working on could not be heard by fans. The band does have a number of other aspects for the tour to get ready for including wardrobe, choreography, press and other things that could be done when no music is being played.

Later in the evening some music was heard, including the drums on no track that could be identified, and the guitar for “Until the End of the World” – this may have been the band, but may have also been the technicians working on stage. No full songs were heard at the venue while we had sources at the venue, but there may have been rehearsals held later at night, or the band may have worked ‘unplugged’ this evening. The only other song heard was the as-yet-unidentified pre-recorded song that U2 may use prior to the start of the show. Like “Soon” on the U2360 tour, this may be a U2 song that has not been released, as the vocals are said to possibly sound like it may be Bono.

As there appeared to be little activity at the venue most of those we have spoken to left the arena early in the evening after it became apparent that they were not greeting fans, and there was no audio activity to be heard. The band are due to finish in the Place Bell venue on Monday evening.

Many thanks to Talie, Karin, Annouche, Jean-Paul, Antoine, Jason, Olivier, Nathalie, Jason, Pierre, Alexandre, Isabelle, Oli and a few contributors who wished to remain unnamed for sending information to us and sharing information over the last few days.

u2songs.com was formerly known as u2wanderer.org. Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

SPOILERS: U2eiTOUR Rehearsal Day Ten Report: April 18, 2018

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-04-18)

WARNING: As the tour rehearsals progress we will be posting spoilers about songs on the site itself. We will try to give advance warning about these in this fashion. THIS STORY CONTAINS SPOILERS. If you continue reading below you will find spoilers about songs that were heard at the venue for today’s performance. We would ask that you remember some fans do not want spoilers before the start of the tour, and use caution when posting about this story on your social media feeds.

U2 are rehearsing for the upcoming eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour in Laval, Quebec, just outside of Montreal. Rehearsals began April 9, 2017 at Place Bell, a small arena. The arena is a newer one, opened in 2017. Today, April 18, marked the tenth day since U2 arrived in Laval and started working on things.

To date our previous summaries can be found here:

There will be song spoilers in this report from this point onward.

Or, as our friends at U2Tour.de say, “ACHTUNG SPOILER!

The band arrived throughout the afternoon and started rehearsals around 5:45pm. Bono came out to greet fans before the rehearsal session started. He signed some autographs and took some photos.

The band is still practicing specific songs, with work being done over and over on different pieces of songs. To the best of our knowledge this is what they played:

  • “Desire” (Partial)
  • “Desire” (Partial)
  • “Desire” (Partial)
  • “Desire”
  • “The Showman” (Partial)
  • “Desire” (Just the end)
  • “The Showman”
  • “The Ocean”
  • “Iris”
  • “The Ocean” (Partial)
  • “Iris” (Start Only)
  • “The Ocean”
  • “Iris” (Start Only)
  • “Sunday Bloody Sunday”
  • “Raised by Wolves”

At this point it appeared that the band had started a fuller run through of the full music. But they only did two songs before taking an extended break, plus an introductory song that was likely pre-recorded, and was too faint to be heard clearly.

  • unknown song (possibly pre-recorded, not “Love is All We Have Left”)
  • “The Blackout”
  • “Lights of Home”

At this point there was a long break from performance.When the band returned a few hours later a full run down of what is believed to be may be a full show was done:

  • Unknown Pre-Recorded song (Possibly vocals by Bono)
  • “Love is All We Have Left” (Pre-Recorded)
  • “The Blackout”
  • “Lights of Home”
  • “Beautiful Day”
  • “I Will Follow”
  • “The Ocean”
  • “Iris”
  • “Cedarwood Road”
  • “Song for Someone”
  • “Sunday Bloody Sunday”
  • “Raised by Wolves”
  • “Until the End of the World”
  • “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me”
  • “Elevation”
  • “Staring at the Sun”
  • “Pride (In the Name of Love)”
  • “Get Out of Your Own Way”
  • “American Soul”
  • “City of Blinding Lights”
  • “One”
  • “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way”
  • “13 (There is a Light)”

We believe that is the end of the rehearsal for this evening, although if more is performed we will update when able. All appears to be quiet for now.

On day six of rehearsals, the band also did a full run down of a show, and it was very similar to what was performed tonight, although tonight may be a secondary version of the set list for those cities where a second night is being performed. The practice tonight had “Iris” added in between “The Ocean” and “Cedarwood Road”, which was not present on the first full run through. “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “Raised by Wolves” now follow “Song for Someone”, in the previous rehearsal it was “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses” and “Acrobat”.

Also different than the last rehearsal, the band skips over “Desire,” “Vertigo,” “The Showman,” and “You’re the Best Thing About Me” tonight, skipping direct from “Elevation” into “Staring at the Sun”. This may be because of a later start tonight and a desire to finish up at a decent hour with Bono due to fly to Texas tomorrow.

“Desire” was played with some sirens early in the practice, and other noises reminiscent of the Hollywood Mix of that song. The other focus early on was on the transition between “The Ocean” and “Iris” early in the rehearsal.

Many thanks to Talie, Karin, Annouche, Jean-Paul, Antoine, Jason, Olivier, Nathalie, Jason, Pierre, Alexandre, Isabelle, Oli and a few contributors who wished to remain unnamed for sending information to us and sharing information over the last few days. Earlier reports on the progress of rehearsals are linked below:

All of our earlier stories can be viewed here:
http://u2songs.com/news/soe/

u2songs.com was formerly known as u2wanderer.org. Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

SPOILERS: U2eiTOUR Rehearsal Day Nine Report: April 17, 2018

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-04-18)

SPOILERS: When we write up our report later in the day this article will contain spoilers, about song titles, song flow and other things related to the U2 eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE tour that is currently being rehearsed.

Our previous reports:

For information on last nights rehearsals, U2tour.de have some information available at this time:

http://www.u2tour.de/news/article5962.html

BE WARNED: The link above does contain spoilers about the tour and songs being played. We will update this article later today with more detail.

There will be song spoilers in this report from this point onward.

UPDATE: April 20, 2018

According to our sources the songs that U2 played on April 17, 2018 are as follows:

  • “Iris”
  • “Iris”
  • “Iris”
  • “Iris”
  • “The Ocean”
  • “Iris”
  • “The Ocean”
  • “Iris”
  • “Cedarwood Road”
  • “Song for Someone”
  • “Sunday Bloody Sunday” (done in the style of the IE tour)
  • “Raised by Wolves”
  • “Until the End of the World”
  • “I Will Follow” (Partially done)
  • “The Ocean”
  • “Iris”

Much of today’s rehearsal was spent working on “Iris” and the transition between “The Ocean” and “Iris”. “Iris” was rehearsed today for the first time in Canadian rehearsals.

Our stories from the past few days about what has been played:

u2songs.com was formerly known as u2wanderer.org. Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

SPOILERS: U2eiTOUR Rehearsal Day Eight Report: April 16, 2018

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-04-16)

WARNING: As the tour rehearsals progress we will be posting spoilers about songs on the site itself. We will try to give advance warning about these in this fashion. THIS STORY CONTAINS SPOILERS. If you continue reading below you will find spoilers about songs that were heard at the venue for today’s performance. We would ask that you remember some fans do not want spoilers before the start of the tour, and use caution when posting about this story on your social media feeds.

U2 are rehearsing for the upcoming eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour in Laval, Quebec, just outside of Montreal. Rehearsals began April 9, 2017 at Place Bell, a small arena. The arena is a newer one, opened in 2017. Today, April 16, marked the eighth day since U2 arrived in Laval and started working on things.

To date our previous summaries can be found here:

There will be song spoilers in this report from this point onward.

The band arrived in the early afternoon at the venue, and only Adam was seen to stop to greet fans gathered. Adam signed a quick autograph or two and then hurried into the venue, and music was heard just fifteen minutes late, possibly explaining why he did not stay with fans longer.

Two songs were played by the band early in the day:

  • “The Showman (Little More Better)”
  • “You’re The Best Thing About Me”

After these two songs, the band took a long break from performing any music, and it would be almost three hours later before any further songs were heard. The band would then play the following:

  • “Raised by Wolves” (Partial) (First time rehearsed in Canada)
  • “Sunday Bloody Sunday” (First time rehearsed in Canada)
  • “Raised by Wolves”
  • “Sunday Bloody Sunday”
  • “Raised by Wolves”
  • “Until the End of the World” (Intro only – 20 seconds)
  • “The Showman” (Just the Intro)
  • “The Showman” (nearly full)
  • “The Showman” (Until 2nd chorus)
  • “The Showman” (Full)
  • “The Showman” (Full)
  • “Raised by Wolves” (Just piano)

At this point the band stopped rehearsing. We do not know at this time if they will continue, if they do we will report further in the morning.

The “Sunday Bloody Sunday” / “Raised by Wolves” portion sounds very similar to how it was performed in 2015, complete with explosions. Neither song had been heard to date since rehearsals have started in Laval. This is the first night for both in Canadian rehearsals.

Many thanks to Talie, Karin, Annouche, Jean-Paul, Antoine, Jason, Olivier, Nathalie, Jason, Pierre, Alexandre, Isabelle, Oli and a few contributors who wished to remain unnamed for sending information to us and sharing information over the last few days. Earlier reports on the progress of rehearsals are linked below:

Earlier stories:

u2songs.com was formerly known as u2wanderer.org. Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

SPOILERS: U2eiTOUR Rehearsal Day Seven Report: April 15, 2018

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-04-15)

WARNING: As the tour rehearsals progress we will be posting spoilers about songs on the site itself. We will try to give advance warning about these in this fashion. THIS STORY CONTAINS SPOILERS. If you continue reading below you will find spoilers about songs that were heard at the venue – but for yesterday’s performance. We would ask that you remember some fans do not want spoilers before the start of the tour, and use caution when posting about this story on your social media feeds.

U2 are rehearsing for the upcoming eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour in Laval, Quebec, just outside of Montreal. Rehearsals began April 9, 2017 at Place Bell, a small arena. The arena is a newer one, opened in 2017. Today marked the seventh day since U2 arrived in Laval and started working on things.

To date our summaries can be found here:

After a full rehearsal where the band ran through nearly 40 songs yesterday, today appeared to be a slower day. The band arrived at the venue in the early afternoon. Edge stopped and waved to fans and said hello but did not come up to fans to greet them. Adam Clayton did come out and met briefly with fans, and took a few photos with fans before returning to the venue. Today an ice storm is sweeping through the region causing difficulties with driving, and it is quite miserable to be outside in the elements. A number of fans waiting for hours did not even see Clayton and The Edge when they stopped. The storm is expected to continue throughout the night.

All four members of the band were reported as being at the venue, but Bono and Larry were not identified directly.

For most of the afternoon the venue was quiet, although the band was present. They were working on things other than the music. For a period of two hours later in the day, drumming could be heard coming from the rehearsal space, but it is not known if this was Larry Mullen or a technician. No other instruments could be heard.

With a worsening storm, our sources have headed for home to stay warm and dry and have reported in to say that they are safe. These fans have suffered through extreme cold and adverse weather conditions for a number of days since the band arrived in Montreal. The unseasonable winter conditions are unusual for the area at this time of the year and have taken many by surprise. In Toronto, affected by the storm yesterday, over 75% of the flights out of the city were canceled in the early part of the day and the power is out in several regions around Toronto.

We will report additional information if we are able at a later date. As of 7:00pm Montreal time we are told that the band has yet to start any rehearsal that can be heard from the venue. We are not aware if the band are even still present at the venue.

One note: Due to a confusion last night in song titles, and a general difficulty in hearing tracks, we mistakenly identified “An Cat Dubh” as having been played yesterday. Later we listed it as “An Cat Dubh” and “The Ocean” when corrected and told that we were missing “The Ocean”. We are conclusively able to say that the song played was actually “The Ocean” and no portion of “An Cat Dubh” was played last night. We have updated yesterday’s article to list this information, and have also added some updated snippets that had been identified, and a photo of the venue from early yesterday morning. These are available in our Day Six Report

UPDATE: April 16, 2018

The band did indeed stay in the building late last night and eventually did get around to rehearsing some songs for the new tour. The following songs were reported as to what may have been played on top of the drumming that had been heard earlier throughout the afternoon. At this time we are not sure if this is the full list that had been played:

  • “Until the End of the World”
  • “Elevation”
  • “Desire”
  • “Vertigo”
  • “Staring at the Sun”
  • “Acrobat”
  • “Pride (In the Name of Love)”
  • “Vertigo” (Two additional times)
  • “You’re The Best Thing About Me”

Many thanks to Talie, Karin, Annouche, Jean-Paul, Antoine, Jason, Olivier, Nathalie, Jason, Pierre, Alexandre and a few contributors who wished to remain unnamed for sending information to us and sharing information over the last few days. Earlier reports on the progress of rehearsals are linked below:

Earlier stories:

u2songs.com was formerly known as u2wanderer.org. Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

SPOILERS: U2eiTOUR Rehearsal Day Six Report: April 14, 2018

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-04-14)

WARNING: As the tour rehearsals progress we will be posting spoilers about songs on the site itself. We will try to give advance warning about these in this fashion. THIS STORY CONTAINS SPOILERS. If you continue reading below you will find spoilers about songs that were heard at the venue, as well as an almost complete run through of the set list in running order. We would ask that you remember some fans do not want spoilers before the start of the tour, and use caution when posting about this story on your social media feeds.

U2 are rehearsing for the upcoming eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour in Laval, Quebec, just outside of Montreal. Rehearsals began April 9, 2017 at Place Bell, a small arena. The arena is a newer one, opened in 2017. Today marked the sixth day since U2 arrived in Laval and started working on things.

Today the band ran through nearly 40 songs in total, although some of these were repeats. It is the most complete rehearsal yet, so we have to warn you yet again that there are spoilers in this piece, bigger than those that have come before.

To date our summaries can be found here:

The band arrived at the venue this afternoon. Unlike other days, Bono took the time out to meet with the fans that had been waiting in the afternoon, signed a few autographs, and took a few selfies. To this point none of the band had stopped to greet the fans who are waiting in the area.

The weather in Laval is very cold just around the freezing mark, and tomorrow a big ice storm is expected in the area. We expect that even if there is a rehearsal we may not be able to report on it due to expected weather conditions.

If you continue beyond here we will be spoiling song titles. Some fans don’t want to know what is happening until opening night, so we ask you to please respect that and refrain from posting song titles without a spoiler warning.

The image below was shared with us of the arena early in the morning of April 14, when the lighting rigs were just starting to go into place. The stage is not yet visible at this point but for those who want to see what sized venue they are performing in, this will give you an idea.

First a note, on the second day of rehearsals, there were a few songs which we were unable to hear with enough clarity to determine what they are. Some sites are reporting that “Staring at the Sun” was played on April 12, 2018, but there was NO rehearsal that day. We feel that if it was indeed played, it was likely part of the songs heard on April 10, 2018. We did not hear it ourselves, nor can we confirm with any source that it was played that night. But if it was played, it likely came from that day. We do believe it was played, as you will see below, it has been played again tonight.

Tonight the band has worked uninterrupted on a number of songs taking just short breaks between songs, instead of the longer breaks they took during earlier nights.

We’ve heard the following songs:

  • “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” (1st time in Canadian Rehearsals)
  • “Elevation”
  • “The Showman (Little More Better)”
  • “Desire”
  • “Vertigo”

(short break)

  • “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me”
  • “Elevation (Influx Mix)”
  • “Elevation (Influx Mix)”
  • “The Showman (Little More Better)”
  • “Desire”
  • “Vertigo”

(short break)

  • “Acrobat”
  • “Until the End of the World” (incomplete)
  • “Until the End of the World”

(short break)

  • “The Blackout” (first time in Canadian Rehearsals)

(long break)

After the band returned from this long break they started a long rehearsal, which may have been a run through of a running order for the show. That run through started with two songs that were possibly pre-recorded, a non-U2 song (the possible intro music), and then “Love is All We Have Left”. This long rehearsal went as follows:

  • Non-U2 Song (Likely recorded Intro Music)
  • “Love is All We Have Left” (Likely recorded)
  • “The Blackout”
  • “Lights of Home”
  • “Beautiful Day” (First time in Canadian Rehearsals)
  • “I Will Follow” (First time in Canadian Rehearsals, with “Walking on the Moon” Snippet)
  • “The Ocean” (First time in Canadian Rehearsals)
  • “Cedarwood Road”
  • “Song for Someone”
  • “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses”
  • “Acrobat”
  • “Until the End of the World” (With snippet of “Sympathy for the Devil”)
  • “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me”
  • “Elevation” (Influx Mix opening again)
  • “Desire”
  • “Vertigo”
  • “The Showman (Little More Better)”
  • “You’re The Best Thing About Me” (First time in Canadian Rehearsals)
  • “Staring at the Sun” (Acoustic)
  • “Pride (In the Name of Love)”
  • “Get Out of Your Own Way”
  • “American Soul”
  • “City of Blinding Lights”
  • “One” (First time in Canadian Rehearsals)
  • “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” (First time in Canadian Rehearsals)
  • “13 (There is a Light)” (First time in Canadian Rehearsals)
  • “Song for Someone”

At 24 songs without counting the duplicate “Song for Someone” that is likely a full set list, making this the first full run down of the set in Canada. But in Rolling Stone magazine they had said they may play longer than their usual set, and the building closed down around this time on previous nights. The band did stay later than this and catering was delivered to the venue, but no further practice was heard.

The first version of “Elevation” was done in the normal way they’ve done it over the last few tours. The second, third and fourth attempts at “Elevation” introduced a new introduction to the song. Listeners reported that it sounded like the start of the “Influx Mix” of the song, and then it reverted to the more usual version of the song when it kicked in.

The first version of “Until the End of the World” was cut off shortly after it started, and it was started again from the beginning for a full run through. “The Ocean” was complete. Initially we reported that “An Cat Dubh” had been played, and then we reported it was “An Cat Dubh” and “The Ocean” thinking “The Ocean” had been missed. But it appears upon further clarification that “An Cat Dubh” was never played and it was indeed “The Ocean” that was misidentified as “An Cat Dubh”. We apologize for any confusion.

“Elevation,” “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me,” “The Ocean,” “Beautiful Day,” “I Will Follow,” “The Blackout,” “One,” “You’re The Best Thing About Me,” “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” and “13 (There is a Light)” are newly identified tonight as part of the rehearsals, but as we mentioned we may not have identified all of the songs played on the second night. “Desire” isn’t unplugged, and the harmonica can be heard as well. And the musical transition between “American Soul” and “City of Blinding Lights” could be heard again this evening. It is also the first time we’ve heard the yet unknown intro song, followed by a recording of “Love is All We Have Left” complete with vocal effects, that U2 will likely use to take the stage.

So far during rehearsals in Canada we have been able to identify the following older songs: “I Will Follow,” “The Ocean,” “Pride (In the Name of Love),” “Desire,” “The Fly,” “Until the End of the World,” “Acrobat,” “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses,” “One,” “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me,” “Staring at the Sun,” “Elevation,” “Vertigo,” “City of Blinding Lights,” “Cedarwood Road” and “Song for Someone”. This is in addition to songs off the new album: “Lights of Home,” “The Showman,” “Get Out of Your Own Way,” “American Soul,” “You’re The Best Thing About Me,” “13 (There is a Light)” and “The Blackout”.

U2 aren’t the only ones using the building again this evening. This time instead of sharing space with youth hockey teams, they are sharing the building with a television production of the upcoming Jack Ryan series starring John Krasinski. The television series is filming in the side arenas, and are not using the space U2’s stage is in.

The weather in Canada is miserable at the moment and a big ice storm is expected to move into the area overnight. Sending well wishes for all that are in the area.


Many thanks to Talie, Karin, Annouche, Jean-Paul, Antoine, Jason, Olivier, Nathalie, Jason, and Pierre and a few contributors who wished to remain unnamed for sending information to us over the last few days. Earlier reports on the progress of rehearsals are linked below:

Earlier stories:

u2songs.com was formerly known as u2wanderer.org. Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

Recent News Bits (No Song Spoilers)

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-04-12)

We know many of you are interested in rehearsal spoilers. There are not any to be found here. The band appears to be taking a day off today. The venue in which they are rehearsing is home to a big hockey game tomorrow night, and it appears they’ve had to load equipment out of the building today.

U2 probably won’t be rehearsing every night next week either. On Thursday April 19, Bono will be recognized as the inaugural George W. Bush Medal for Distinguished Leadership recipient at a gala at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas. The press release states he is receiving the award for “his relentless efforts to end hunger, poverty, and disease across the world.”

The award ceremony will be part of the Forum on Leadership being held at the George W. Bush Presidential Center from April 18 – 20. It does mention Bono will be in attendance as some of the ‘exclusive engagement opportunities’ mention ‘pre-event receptions with the George W. Bush Medal for Distinguished Leadership recipient, Bono, and our keynote speaker, Jeff Bezos.”

The band may still rehearse that day, but Bono is unlikely to be with them.

Tomorrow sees the release of three old U2 items on vinyl. Remastered versions of the albums Pop and All That You Can’t Leave Behind are being released on 180g vinyl. Pop is a double LP and the other will contain one disc. Also being released is the four song EP “Wide Awake in America” also on 180g vinyl.

“Wide Awake in America” is the remastered version used for the 2009 release of The Unforgettable Fire in the deluxe editions. Both Pop and All That You Can’t Leave Behind have also been remastered, and this is the version that was used to make last years MFiT reissue on iTunes.

In July it is expected an additional item will be released, The Best of 1980 – 1990.

Next week brings Record Store Day. U2 is issuing “Lights of Home“ as a single with three different mixes of the title track. Two of these mixes feature on the deluxe version of Songs of Experience, while the third, a remix by Beck, is new to this release. The set will feature a download card.

“Lights of Home” has also been issued to radio in Poland, while “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” appears to be the next radio single in North America. “Summer of Love” is the current song being promoted to radio in The Netherlands.

A remix of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” was played on RTE Radio on March 23. That remix was done by American DJ and producer Junior Sanchez. It has also been played on more recent episodes of the program which are still available such as this one here: http://pulse.rte.ie/2018/04/09/twilight-w-christian-homan-listen-back-joe-goddard-phone/

Also recently released, a new Acoustic Version of “Get Out of Your Own Way“ – released last week on digital storefronts worldwide, this version was recorded at a television appearance by Bono and The Edge in December.

It’s now 20 days till the start of the tour. Right around now all of the suspense will be ending for many. If you ever want a current countdown, we have one running on our front page, and we’re also posting ‘tour facts’ daily as we get closer to the start of the tour.

We will return to our rehearsal coverage when they resume. Until that time we’d like to remind you that we are trying to keep spoilers off of our social media accounts to allow viewers a safe place to visit. We ask you to please not post song spoilers in the comments section on these feeds. Your help is appreciated.

u2songs.com was formerly known as u2wanderer.org. Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

Promotion of the Songs of Experience

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-04-12)

Unlike most past releases by U2, there seems to be little intent on a focused attempt to market one song as a single this time. Instead, it appears that the band is throwing a number of songs out in various formats, to see what works, and in doing so is allowing a lot of people to hear a lot of different songs from this album. “The Blackout,” “You’re The Best Thing About Me,” “American Soul,” “Get Out of Your Own Way,” “Lights of Home” and “Summer of Love” have all received attention since the start of the album’s promotional campaign and “Love is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way” is the next to get attention. It makes tracking what is an actual single from the album difficult, especially now that it seems that the band has stopped using physical promotional discs to send materials to radio, and are now going exclusively digital for these most recent radio songs. (Yes, we are aware of a number of physical promotional CDRs and even some nice looking vinyl, the bad news is none of this is official and is being produced by individuals wanting to make money off of U2’s fan base, since U2 themselves are producing little output. The only exception is the “Songs of Experience” Sampler which was produced by Universal in the UK for sampler bags.)

When we started this article, “Lights of Home” was the latest song pushed to radio, but even since that time the band has returned to “Get Out of Your Own Way” and has issued an acoustic version of the song to streaming services and digital storefronts. And just this week the band has pushed “Love is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way” to radio as well.

We’ve always listed two types of singles on U2Songs.com. The first type are commercial singles, which are songs that are made available for the general public to purchase. This would include songs with a unique artwork, or other unique content not available on the album. In this case we would count “Get Out of Your Own Way” because it has had three unique versions released, and each have had a unique cover. We wouldn’t include “American Soul” because although available earlier than the album, the song was just sold as a pre-order as part of the album itself and had no unique features. The second type of singles we’ve tracked are promotional singles. These are songs that may or may not be available for purchase by the public, but are sent to radio to promote a song. As mentioned, without physical discs being sent some of the information on these singles being sent to radio digitally is a little harder to find these days.

By our count there have been four commercial singles for this album, “You’re the Best Thing About Me,” “The Blackout,” “Get Out of Your Own Way,” and “Lights of Home”. Both “The Blackout” and “Lights of Home” are counted for the record store day releases, although limited, these were still made available to the public, and both contain additional tracks. (“Lights of Home” is released for April 21, 2018.) Most of these songs have also been delivered to radio but so have “Summer of Love” and “American Soul.” “The Blackout” has not been delivered to radio but some stations have been playing it.

Songs to Radio:

  • August 30, 2017: “The Blackout” debuts as a video on Facebook. No radio delivery but some stations have played it from the Facebook audio.
  • September 6, 2017: “You’re The Best Thing About Me” sent to radio. Sent on Wednesday rather than the usual Friday, to hit DJs as they were adding tracks for the week. Two versions of the song were sent, the album version, and the Sci-Fi Soul Mix.
  • November 2, 2017: “Get Out of Your Own Way” sent to radio in Poland, edit of the track.
  • November 20, 2017: “American Soul” sent to radio in the UK.
  • November 22, 2017: “Get Out of Your Own Way” sent to radio in the USA (Official add date December 4, 2017 for AAA, January 16 for Modern Rock Radio, January 29 for Hot AC)
  • December 8, 2017: “Get Out of Your Own Way” sent to radio in Europe
  • January 19, 2018: “Get Out of Your Own Way” remixes sent to DJs
  • February 2, 2018: “Summer of Love” pushed to radio in The Netherlands
  • February 21, 2018: “Summer of Love” pushed to club DJs in the UK.
  • March 16, 2018: “Lights of Home” pushed to radio in Poland.
  • April 11, 2018: “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” pushed to radio in the USA (Official add date April 23, 2018 for AAA)

The versions of “Lights of Home,” “American Soul” and “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” all appear to be the album versions of the song that have been delivered to the radio, “Summer of Love” was a slightly edited version of the track. “Get Out of Your Own Way” was a full edit of the song that was sent to radio.

The band seems to be playing with songs in smaller markets to see what may work. “Get Out of Your Own Way” first appeared on stations in Poland on November 2, 2017. This was the radio edit of the track and was supplied direct from Universal as a digital file. It was tested there for three weeks before there was a wider release of the song in the USA, but the song was staggered in release in the US, with a push date in December for Adult Album radio, mid-January for Modern Rock Radio, and late January for Hot Adult Contemporary. The late January date for Hot AC coincided with U2’s performance of the song on The Grammy Awards.

But that isn’t the only song to be “tested” – “American Soul” was sent to radio in the UK in November, 2017. It has not appeared to be pushed at radio in any other country at this time, so perhaps it was a test of the song and how it may perform outside of America. “Summer of Love” was pushed to radio in The Netherlands at the start of February. It was also pushed to DJs in the UK in late February. The song has been doing respectfully in The Netherlands. And now, most recently, “Lights of Home” has been sent to radio in Poland in mid-March. To date it appears to be the only market that has received the song. Why Poland and The Netherlands? Both have a strong presence by Universal Records, and also a strong U2 fan base that have been supportive of the band throughout their career.

Songs besides these have been played on radio, but in most cases this is not a track being pushed by the record label / band, but rather the choice of an individual DJ playing a song from the album. “The Blackout” does show up in a considerable number of airplay charts as the song was out before the album, but it has not been issued as a radio single.

Song Releases:

As far as commercial singles go, “You’re The Best Thing About Me” and “Get Out of Your Own Way” have both had a number of releases on iTunes and other digital services. “You’re The Best Thing About Me” was first released as the album version in advance of the album, and then there was a remix of the song with Kygo, and finally an acoustic version was released. “Get Out of Your Own Way” has been released as two different remixes, and an acoustic version. With the first, the tracks were released over a period of less than a month. With “Get Out of Your Own Way” the releases have been over three full months.

After each song release mentioned above there has been a physical release for Record Store Day. U2 released “The Blackout” on November 24, and will release “Lights of Home” on April 21. Both singles include additional tracks, with “The Blackout” containing a remix by Jacknife Lee, and “Lights of Home” containing the string version found on the deluxe version of the album, and a new remix by Beck.

The band has also issued a number of videos as part of the promotion for this album. The same songs have gotten focus, “The Blackout,” “You’re The Best Thing About Me,” “American Soul” and “Get Out of Your Own Way”:

Videos:

Known Unreleased Videos:

  • Amsterdam filmed version of “You’re The Best Thing About Me” with girl on stage
  • London filmed version of “Get Out of Your Own Way” with protest signs
  • Mexico city filmed version of “Get Out of Your Own Way” on rooftop

“You’re The Best Thing” has had four different videos released, including two versions of one of these videos. A fifth video is known to have been filmed in Amsterdam but not yet released. “American Soul” has had two videos to date, a lyric video released last fall at the same time the song was being tested on UK radio, and a more recent video featuring animation by Broken Fingaz and live footage of U2 performing on a barge in the Hudson river. The more recent video was released as U2 was being featured heavily in advertisement for the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament in the USA. To date, only one video for “Get Out of Your Own Way” has been released, but it is known that the band has filmed two other versions including a version filmed on a rooftop in Mexico City in October, and a second video filmed as part of a concert in Trafalgar Square. Whether or not these versions ever air remains to be seen, but with last weeks release of an Acoustic version of the song maybe there is still hope. The final video released to date was the live version of “The Blackout” filmed in Amsterdam in front of a small audience of 137 fans and their guests.

Other Media Promotion:

  • October 2017: U2 used for all of the bumper music during the World Series (Major League Baseball), and studio version of “The Blackout” debuted in the Opening of the World Series October 24. “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” “Elevation,” “Beautiful Day,” “Desire,” and “The Blackout” heard during the series.
  • November 28, 2018: U2 songs used throughout a number of NFL Broadcasts, including “You’re The Best Thing About Me” and Bono features on NFL Networks, “Good Morning Football” speaking about the video.
  • February 16, 2018: “American Soul” is used as part of the advertisement for NCAA March Madness Tournament, and throughout February and March.
  • March 30, 2018: “American Soul” is used as part of the ESPN advertisement for Major League Baseball’s Opening Day.
  • “You’re the Best Thing About Me” (U2 vs Kygo Mix) being used in World Cup 2018 Advertisement in Italy
  • A BBC Production, “Live from the BBC” or “Live In London” featured a number of songs performed live with an Orchestra and aired in a number of countries.

There’s been a heavy promotion for the album with sports events in the USA for this current album. “The Blackout” and “American Soul” are likely becoming very familiar to sports fans. We heard today that “You’re the Best Thing About Me” is being used in some promotion in Italy for the upcoming Fifa World Cup, which perhaps isn’t a surprise, as U2 has been involved in promoting the World Cup for a number of years. Here in North America U2 seems to be working with a variety of outlets including basketball, baseball and football. Beyond the promotions mentioned above “Lights of Home”, “You’re The Best Thing About Me” (U2 vs Kygo) and “American Soul” also feature on ESPN’s College Football playlist.

The band has also used “The Little Things That Give You Away” in a variety of promotional ways. The song first appeared on the 2017 tour on opening night as a taster of the album, and fans at that concert were the first to see the final album cover for Songs of Experience revealed. The song was part of a series “Spotify Singles“ which features artists performing one of their own songs and a cover song for Spotify. A version of “The Little Things That Give You Away” live from Seattle in 2017 was also streamed on U2.Com just a week before the album was released.

It may be difficult to figure out what song is a single anymore, and we may never get that clarity again. But the band is out actively promoting these songs in a variety of markets and in a variety of ways. They aren’t containing themselves to just one song, which means currently they are promoting “Lights of Home” in Poland and “Love is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way” in the USA, and “Summer of Love” in the Netherlands and UK all at the same time. They launched the promotion of things with “The Blackout” and “You’re The Best Thing”.

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SPOILERS: U2eiTOUR Rehearsal Day Three Report: April 11, 2018

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-04-11)

WARNING: As the tour rehearsals progress we will be posting spoilers about songs on the site itself. We will try to give advance warning about these in this fashion. THIS STORY CONTAINS SPOILERS. If you continue reading below you will find spoilers about songs that were heard at the venue, as well as rehearsal timing and other information some fans may not want to hear. We would ask that you remember some fans do not want spoilers before the start of the tour, and use caution when posting about this story on your social media feeds.

U2 are rehearsing for the upcoming eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour in Laval, Quebec, just outside of Montreal. Rehearsals began April 9, 2017 at Place Bell, a small arena. The arena is a newer one, opened in 2017. Today marked the third day U2 are on site in Laval working on the upcoming tour.

The band was at the venue this afternoon. The Edge was the first to arrive and Bono the last. Gavin Friday was seen at the venue today as well. Friday, a long time friend of Bono’s, and former Virgin Prune, was listed as Executive Producer and Band Consultant on the most recent The Joshua Tree 2017 tour. He has been a creative influence over many tours. Security was much heavier today than on previous days and a number of fans were asked to move out of the general area by security. Fans were able to speak briefly with Brian Murphy as he entered the venue. The weather is cold in Laval hovering around the freezing mark these last few days.

For those who have asked, the band have not been meeting with the fans waiting outside. They have been driving in vehicles with darkened windows, and driving right into the venue, and the doors are often closed before they even exit the vehicles. They are often not even seen, and thus there are no photographs of them at this time that we have seen.

If you continue beyond here we will be spoiling song titles. Some fans don’t want to know what is happening until opening night, so we ask you to please respect that and refrain from posting song titles without a spoiler warning.

We are told that there was some music heard early this evening after the band had arrived. There was a number of trials of the song “Acrobat” that could be heard, but these did not appear to be live, and it is expected that this was playback of previous recorded efforts, perhaps even last night’s performances.

The band did not have the venue to themselves this evening. The rinks in the building were in use, first for a small team of kids practicing their hockey skills, and later a couple of practices for older players. As there was a lot of traffic in and out of the building from these sports practices the band may have chosen not to do any live rehearsal work for the early part of the evening, and instead worked on the production itself instead of songs. The only vibrations that could be heard for most of the evening was the Zamboni machine cleaning the adjacent ice surfaces, leading to some fans singing “Zam-Bone-I” to the tune of “Volcano” while they waited.

At 9:30 the band was heard starting rehearsal. They started while practice was still happening on the other rink, and music from that rink made hearing U2’s practice difficult.

Tonight they started with “Pride (In the Name of Love)” which was done a few times. All four songs heard tonight are rehearsed in Canada for the first time at tonights rehearsal. To the best of our ability to pick out what they performed, U2 played the following:

  • “Pride (In the Name of Love)” (1st time rehearsed in Canada)
  • “Pride (In the Name of Love)”
  • “Get Out of Your Own Way” (1st time rehearsed in Canada)
  • “American Soul” (1st time rehearsed in Canada)
  • “City of Blinding Lights” (musical transition into this song from “American Soul”) (1st time rehearsed in Canada)

At this point the rehearsal went silent. We do not know at this time whether or not the band will restart. If we get further information, we will post it in the morning. But at this point it appears that the rehearsals have finished for the evening, or can no longer be heard.

Many thanks to Talie, Karin, Annouche, Jean-Paul, Antoine, Jason and a few contributors who wished to remain unnamed for sending information to us over the last few days. Earlier reports on the progress of rehearsals are linked below:

Earlier stories:



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SPOILERS: U2eiTOUR Rehearsal Day Two Report: April 10, 2018

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-04-10)

WARNING: As the tour rehearsals progress we will be posting spoilers about songs on the site itself. We will try to give advance warning about these in this fashion. THIS STORY CONTAINS SPOILERS. If you continue reading below you will find spoilers about songs that were heard at the venue, as well as rehearsal timing and other information some fans may not want to hear. We would ask that you remember some fans do not want spoilers before the start of the tour, and use caution when posting about this story on your social media feeds.

U2 are rehearsing for the upcoming eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour in Laval, Quebec, just outside of Montreal. Rehearsals began last night with all four members of the band arriving in Laval and going to the venue, Place Bell, a small arena. The arena is a newer one, opened in 2017.

There was little activity today through the day, with crew seen coming and going. Additional security barriers are now in place around the venue blocking off access to certain areas close to the facility. The media has started reporting on U2’s arrival and a number of press are at the arena, perhaps more press than fans. Local fans who are at the arena have been asked for many interviews.

Today the band arrived in the late afternoon. Unlike yesterday the volume has been turned down, and the music being rehearsed is more difficult to hear. Rehearsals started shortly after the last member of the band arrived (Larry).

If you continue beyond this point there will be spoilers about songs. You have been warned.

SPOILERS BELOW!

last warning…

Rehearsals today started in full with “Acrobat” which had also been performed yesterday on the first day of rehearsals. The Edge practiced the beginning a few times before the full song was played through twice. The band then moved into rehearsing “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses,” which was played in rehearsals in Europe, but was not played on the first day of Canadian rehearsals. The band then ran through a number of songs, and then took a short break. From there our clarity of what was played is a little bit sketchy but we think there was some work done on “The Fly”, “Desire” and “The Showman” and possibly a bit of work on “The Lights of Home”. Our information here is not 100% confirmed at this time.

The band then took a much longer break returning just before 9pm to do some additional songs.

To the best of our knowledge this is the tracks played tonight, in a rough order that they were played. We know there was some music early on that was difficult to hear and could not be identified. As well in the middle section of the first ‘set’ we may have missed some items:

  • “Acrobat” opening multiple times
  • “Acrobat” (2x)
  • “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses”
  • “Acrobat”
  • “Until the End of the World”
  • “Acrobat”
  • (Break)
  • Possibly “The Fly” (Riffs only)
  • Possibly “Desire”
  • Possibly “The Showman (Little More Better)”
  • Possibly “Vertigo” (Riff only)
  • “Lights of Home”

At this point there was a break for a long time. No clear music was heard, and we’ve received no information about what may have been worked on next. It is possible that work continued and was not heard. After a while the band returned to play the following:

  • “Cedarwood Road”
  • “Song for Someone” (confirmed it wasn’t “13”)
  • “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses”
  • “Acrobat”
  • “Until the End of the World”

It appears that rehearsal may have ended there just before 10pm EST, although there may have been additional songs at the end that were not heard. If they continue again after this point, we will report on that tomorrow if information is available.

“Acrobat” is a song that the U2 community has long hoped to hear live in concert. The song, first released on Achtung Baby in 1991 has never been performed live in concert at any U2 concert, although it was rehearsed just prior to the third leg of the Zoo TV tour. On April 14, 2015, U2 fans from all over the world participated in #U2Request – during that time over 39,000 tweets and retweets naming songs they wanted to hear, “Acrobat” was the clear favorite in that list of requests for songs to hear live. This is the second night in a row this song has been heard, and tonight it is clear that the band that is performing the song.

Along with “Acrobat” a number of other songs from Achtung Baby were played throughout the evening. This included “The Fly” (Last played on U2’s U2360° Tour at the final night of that tour in Moncton, NB or in Glasgow on the U2ieTour in 2015 if you want to count Bono singing it), “Until the End of the World” (last played at the final show of U2’s 2015 tour, iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE), “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses” (not played last night, new for tonight.) There were also a couple of songs from 2015’s Songs of Innocence including “Cedarwood Road” and “Song for Someone” (it has been confirmed that this was not the new song “13” and it was the lyrics from “Song for Someone” being sung – the two songs share some lyrics). A couple of newer songs were also possibly played with “The Lights of Home” and “The Showman” and an old standard, “Desire” also popped up.

Bono once spoke about innocence being the time before The Joshua Tree, and then they experienced the craziness of catapulting to the top of the charts with that album, and experience was everything that followed. The playing of songs post-Joshua Tree album certainly plays into that idea. No song on The Joshua Tree or earlier has yet to be practiced to our knowledge.

The upcoming tour is using the stage from 2015’s iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour, but has been advertised as including a new screen at 9x the resolution of the 2015 screen. The tour has been tipped as using Augmented Reality in a recent article in Rolling Stone, and that we took a closer look at in March.

Many thanks to Talie, Karin, Annouche, Jean-Paul, Antoine, Jason and a few contributors who wished to remain unnamed for sending information to us over the last few days. Earlier reports on the progress of rehearsals are linked below:

Other Related Stories:



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SPOILERS: U2eiTOUR Rehearsal Day One Report: April 9

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-04-10)

WARNING: As the tour rehearsals progress we will be posting spoilers about songs on the site itself. We will try to give advance warning about these in this fashion. THIS STORY CONTAINS SPOILERS. If you continue reading below you will find spoilers about songs that were heard at the venue, as well as rehearsal timing and other information some fans may not want to hear. We would ask that you remember some fans do not want spoilers before the start of the tour, and use caution when posting about this story on your social media feeds.

U2 have arrived in Laval, Quebec, just outside of Montreal, and have possibly started to rehearse for the upcoming eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE tour which will start May 2, in Tulsa Oklahoma. The band is rehearsing at the small arena, Place Bell, in Laval, a newer venue which opened in 2017, and holds 10,000 people. The venue is a multi-rink complex, and one of the rinks is still covered in ice, and will be used for an upcoming Laval Rocket hockey game on Friday evening. U2 are working in another part of the complex at this time.

We are told all four members of U2 were present at the venue yesterday.

If you continue beyond this point there will be spoilers. This is your last chance to turn around.

Bono and The Edge flew in from Dublin yesterday afternoon. Bono was spotted entering the venue around 6pm in the evening accompanied by Brian Murphy. We are told that the other band members were inside at that time. Bono did not stop for autographs or photos. Throughout the early evening a number of songs could be heard coming from the venue, but it is unknown as to whether this was members of U2 performing, or possibly technicians playing the songs. At this early stage it could be either. During that time a number of songs were heard from Achtung Baby. This included some riffs of “The Fly,” work on “Until the End of the World,” and “Acrobat”. The new song “Lights of Home” was also heard.

Again, this may have been technicians setting up equipment. It was however, not album music being played over the PA, and sounded as if it was being worked on live. Although Bono was seen entering the venue, all of the band were able to leave without being seen. The crew had mostly wrapped up and had finished and were leaving the venue around 9pm.

“Acrobat” is a song that the U2 community has long hoped to hear live in concert. The song, first released on Achtung Baby in 1991 has never been performed live in concert at any U2 concert, although it was rehearsed just prior to the third leg of the Zoo TV tour. Leading up to the start of the tour, the band practiced in Hershey PA, and “Acrobat” was heard being practiced prior to the opening of the tour. However, the dress rehearsal on August 7, 1992 saw the band drop the song from the set list, and it has not been played since. On April 14, 2015, U2 fans from all over the world participated in #U2Request – during that time over 39,000 tweets and retweets naming songs they wanted to hear, “Acrobat” was the clear favorite in that list of requests for songs to hear live.

The Fly“, another song from Achtung Baby, was last played on U2’s U2360° Tour at the final night of that tour in Moncton, NB in 2011. “Until the End of the World,” also from Achtung Baby was last played at the final show of U2’s 2015 tour, iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE. These songs join “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses” from Achtung Baby, which the band performed during rehearsals in Monaco and posted about on social media a few weeks back. “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses” song was not heard in rehearsal yesterday. Again, these songs may have just been technicians setting up, and may not have been U2 performing. As well, like “Acrobat” on the Zoo TV Tour, often songs are rehearsed extensively in rehearsals but may not appear in the actual shows.

The upcoming tour is using the stage from 2015’s iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour, but has been advertised as including a new screen at 9x the resolution of the 2015 screen. The tour has been tipped as using Augmented Reality in a recent article in Rolling Stone, and that we took a closer look at in March.

The band is expected to rehearse in Laval until April 24, at which point the band and the crew will relocate to the BOK Center in Tulsa. The band will not be loading into that venue until after April 26 as Judas Priest is performing at that venue that night.

Many thanks to Talie, Karin, Annouche, Jean-Paul, and a few contributors who wished to remain unnamed for sending information to us over the last few days. Earlier reports on the progress of rehearsals are linked below:

Other Stories:



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U2eiTour Rehearsal Update: April 9, 2018

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-04-09)

WARNING: As the tour rehearsals progress we will be posting spoilers about songs on the site itself. We will try to give advance warning about these in this fashion. This story should be SPOILER FREE for song titles, but does specify where the band is rehearsing and some of the timelines.

Up until the end of last week, the crew working on the #U2eiTOUR were located at the IZOD Center in New Jersey testing out the stage, the screen and other aspects of the tour. The band was not present in New Jersey, although a number of creative personnel were present. Last last week the tour gear was packed up and left for Canada.

The band’s final rehearsals before Oklahoma will take place in Canada, in the city of Laval, near Montreal in Quebec. The band started moving equipment into Place Bell, an arena in Laval on Friday evening. Place Bell is a new arena in the Montreal area, in the city of Laval. The arena was completed in 2017, and is a 10,000 seat arena. This is comparable in size to a few of the smaller stops on the upcoming eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE tour. The arena is home to the hockey team, the Laval Rocket, who do have a scheduled hockey game in the arena on Friday April 13.

On April 7, friends were kind enough to check out the arena and identified there was little activity that could be seen around the arena, but also identified a red truck from Upstaging. The red Upstaging trucks are a common site to U2 fans, and U2 have used the transportation and lighting company extensively on past tours.

The band are still not in Laval. They are expected to begin arriving early this week.

Today a number of new things were identified. First the familiar faces of some U2 crew members were seen last night at the venue and around town. And yesterday and today we have seen black Mercedes vans with a U2 logo in the windows parked outside the venue, which are being used for pick up and deliveries. The red Upstaging trucks are coming and going to the venue, and we believe that it was a different truck seen today than was there earlier in the week.

Inside the arena, one of the two ice surfaces at Bell Place is still covered in ice, and this is likely for the hockey game being held at the venue on Friday evening. The Laval Rocket call the venue home, and have one last home game on Friday, before the venue is empty until May 1. The next scheduled event is a Kygo concert on May 1 at this time.

The band are expected to be in Canada for rehearsals until April 24, at which time they will relocate to Tulsa for final set up. Judas Priest is performing at the BOK Center in Tulsa, so the band will not load into the venue in Tulsa until April 27 giving U2 five additional days for rehearsals if required.

Merci beaucoup to friends Talie, Karin and Annouche for providing some of the information above. We look forward to continue bringing news and information about the rehearsals. Please read the spoiler warnings at the start of future articles if you wish to know what type of spoilers are present before reading the full article. We will attempt to keep these off of our social media feeds.

Update: April 9, 2018 6pm EST:

U2 are all now in Laval. Bono arrived late this afternoon and has been by the arena already. Adam has also been seen at the venue. Although not spotted, both Larry and the Edge are reported to be in Canada now as well. Rehearsals should start over the next couple of days. We’ll bring you updates as we can.

Other Stories:



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American Soul Instrumental

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-04-09)

Here’s a special share from us to celebrate our birthday this week, the upcoming tour, and more fun to come.

The previously unreleased instrumental version of “American Soul”:

We apologize, this has now ended. We hope you enjoyed.

Fill in your own vocals. Or just sing “Volcano” or “Glastonbury”! And why not follow our YouTube channel when you’ve finished listening?

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U2eiTour Rehearsals: Minor Spoilers Ahead

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-04-08)

WARNING: As the tour rehearsals progress we will be posting spoilers about songs on the site itself. We will try to give advance warning about these in this fashion. This story should be SPOILER FREE for song titles, but does specify where the band is rehearsing.

Yesterday we woke up to a tip that the band would be rehearsing at Place Bell, in Laval, Quebec, instead of the previously rumoured Videotron Centre in Quebec City. The tip came from a previously reliable source and we have followed up and confirmed that this is indeed likely the rehearsal location.

Place Bell is a new arena in the Montreal area, in the city of Laval. The arena was completed in 2017, and is a 10,000 seat arena. This is comparable in size to a few of the smaller stops on the upcoming eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE tour. The arena is home to the hockey team, the Laval Rocket, who do have a scheduled hockey game in the arena on Friday April 13.

Yesterday, friends were kind enough to check out the arena and identified that there was very little activity that could be seen from outside the venue. However, there was an Upstaging Truck being unloaded. The red Upstaging trucks are a common site to U2 fans, and U2 have used the transportation and lighting company extensively on past tours, as do other acts touring with Live Nation. It’s a sign that there is a concert / musician taking up residence in the building, but the first act scheduled to play the arena after the hockey game on Friday night? It’s Kygo, on May 1, 2018.

We’ve had further confirmation that the band is indeed planning on rehearsing in this arena in Laval. The band is expected to arrive early this week to start rehearsals. U2’s crew started to work in the venue yesterday morning. The venue holds two different rinks so it is possible to hold rehearsals at the same time that the game is underway, and move to the full sized area when the hockey game is finished.

Today the red Upstaging truck is still present at the venue, and today it has been joined by a couple of larger vans with blacked out windows, and additional crew members were seen in the area.

The band have not yet arrived in Laval. They are expected to begin arriving early this week.

The band are expected to be in Canada for rehearsals until April 24, at which time they will relocate to Tulsa for final set up. Judas Priest is performing at the BOK Center in Tulsa, so the band will not load into the venue in Tulsa until April 27 giving U2 five additional days for rehearsals if required.

Merci beaucoup to friends Tallie and Annouche for providing some of the information above. We look forward to continue bringing news and information about the rehearsals. Please read the spoiler warnings at the start of future articles if you wish to know what type of spoilers are present before reading the full article. We will attempt to keep these off of our social media feeds.

Additional Stories:


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The History Mix: U2 Songs at 23.

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-04-07)

The History Mix isn’t just a place to look back on the history of the band for us, we’ve looked back at others connected to the band, and we’ve also looked back on our own history from time to time and sometimes forward. And since today is our 23rd birthday of providing a U2 page on the internet I selfishly am taking a look back at us. Twenty-three days ago today instead of handing in my final computer studies project on disc, I instead uploaded a U2 page to the internet. It was just a basic discography called “Aaron’s U2 Cave” at first, moving on to be a PopMart resource in 1997, and becoming a full blown discography and lyrics collection once PopMart ended.

We had a good year at U2Songs.com this past year. We brought you news of The Joshua Tree and the eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE tour, the release of “Red Hill Mining Town” as a single, and provided you with the release date of the new album months before it was announced. We have a lot of people that help us out and provide us information, and I would like to thank each and every one of them. We ended up at many shows, and met many new faces, and caught up with many old. And we’re looking forward to doing the same again this year on tour. We also launched our new Demos section, tracking the old demo titles the band has spoken about over the years.

But there’s someone I do have to single out and thank. We’ve got a small staff here at U2Songs.Com – there are six of us who work on the site, but you’ll see a seventh name on the list. I’d like to take a minute to thank Mike Long for his years of assistance on the site. Mike, known better to most of you as Slaneman, has been our lyrics guru for a number of years now. Late last year he expressed an interest to retire, and the rest of us will try to keep up to the high standards he set. You can never truly leave Mike, and we’ve kept your logins active if you ever spot a mistake, and we’re keeping your staff profile active as well. Sending you much love from the whole group of us here at U2Songs.com in your retirement.

I couldn’t do this site without the others on the crew providing help, assistance, ideas, and feedback. I look forward to coming home at the end of the work day and spending a couple of hours with it each night. Brad, Carl, Don, George and Harry – Thank you! (And Harry and Carl – happy birthday to you both this week!)

So what’s up next for us?

We’ve started our coverage of the new tour, and we will follow it through like we have other tours. If you want the full tour coverage, I suggest you find us on Facebook and Twitter, where we have started sharing our countdowns to opening night.

George and I have started discussing some major ideas for the Songs section of the site. A whole new way to look at things! Harry and I are working on some fun ideas for the Videos section that should launch soon. We continue to plug away at the Discography and add 20-30 new images into the releases each week – there’s over 6000 images in there now of U2’s releases through the years, all freshly scanned at high resolution for U2Songs.

And the next new section to launch is coming soon – definitely this year. We’ve actually got two that will probably be launched in the next couple of months. One brings over some material that never transitioned from U2Wanderer.Org, and the other is all brand new and one of the bigger projects we’ve ever tackled. And there’s already some housekeeping and improvements going on around the site. We won’t share all of them with you. Some things are just more fun to stumble across on your own.

Twenty-three years. I don’t think I ever envisioned doing this for so long when I started this as a student at Mount Allison. I want to thank you all for reading, commenting, sharing, and just being friends to us at the site. It has been an amazing journey.

And for those interested, we’ve unearthed the first time we used ‘Cosmo’ with the army helmet as our logo. From 1998, before we even started using the ‘Wanderer’ name. Enjoy!

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Love is Bigger than Any Remix in Its Way

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-03-26)

Another remix of U2 is floating around courtesy of American DJ and producer, Junior Sanchez. Sanchez has put his take on U2’s “Love is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way.” Sanchez is known for remixes of a number of artists in the past, including Madonna, New Order and Katy Perry.

The mix is called “Love is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way” (Junior Sanchez Acid Weekend Remix) and was played on March 23, 2018’s “Twilight on Pulse” with Christian Homan on the RTE radio network. Homan identified the track as something that has been done for the last two weeks, but he was asked to sit on the track, as the DJ had asked them to hold off on the song for a bit. He claimed his play on the song on Friday night was the worldwide exclusive debut of the remix.

The show does stream and can be heard in an archive here, and the U2 song runs from 01:04:35 to 01:08:52 on the program.

There is no confirmation if this is an officially sanctioned remix or something that the DJ has done and circulated on his own similar to the “Summer of Love” (Tilt and Danny Stubbs Remix)

Many thanks to Street Mission Records for the heads up!

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The Crystal Ball: Looking to the Future

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-03-24)

Original Story: March 19, 2018:

It’s been a little while since we looked forward. Now seems like a good time to start with only 44 days to go until the tour opens in Tulsa. (Just over six weeks!)

U2 are currently rehearsing in Monaco, on the Mediterranean, not far from Eze-Sur-Mer where the band have their summer homes. They are working in a small rehearsal area, and should continue to work there over the next few weeks. A video, posted by the band on Friday, show them working in a large open room with a spiral staircase, a chandelier, and all of the bands gear in a small space. All four members of the band are in attendance at these rehearsals.

Last fall, we were told by a source close to the band, that rehearsals will move to the Videotron Centre in Quebec City prior to the start of the tour in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We haven’t heard much since that time in regards to these plans, but the Videotron Centre schedule shows an event on April 7, and then is hosting no events until May 4, which is after the tour has started in Tulsa. If the rumour of Quebec City that was shared with us is true, the venue is certainly available during that time, and expect the band to spend about three weeks in Quebec. These rehearsals should see a full stage setup so the band can practice the full show.

Full rehearsals for past tours have varied in timing. Rehearsals on stage in Vancouver for The Joshua Tree 2017 tour started in May, just weeks before the concert. Like now, the period before the move to the full stage saw the band rehearsing and working on the set list in a smaller rehearsal room. In 2015, the band did full stage rehearsals at the Pacific Coliseum starting in the middle of April, a month before the tour would start at the nearby Rogers Arena.

These rehearsals can be fascinating, as some songs appear, get worked on for days, but never make it to the final stage. In 2015 for instance, the band worked on “Magnificent”, “No Line on the Horizon”, “Moment of Surrender”, “The Ground Beneath Her Feet” and “One Step Closer”. “Magnificent” was the only song to appear, but only once and late in the tour. In 2009 the band worked on “If God Will Send His Angels”, “Sometimes You Can’t Make it On Your Own” and “Drowning Man”, none of which ever made it into the final tour. And the band sent out music for “Ordinary Love” titled the “Virtual Chorus Backing Version” and asked fans to contribute their own vocals in advance of The Joshua Tree 2017 tour, which ended up not used throughout the tour. The actual stage rehearsals for The Joshua Tree 2017 tour had few surprises, as it appears most of the set list was settled in earlier rehearsals, but you can see what was rehearsed in our tour rehearsal article.

What will the band rehearse? The video on Friday suggested “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses” is in the mix, as the band was performing that song. And perhaps that isn’t a surprise. Bono has spoken about The Joshua Tree marking the end of innocence for the band, and everything that came next was experience. The Innocence and Experience tour featured a lot of earlier songs, and The Joshua Tree 2017 tour was set up with early songs to start the shows, then The Joshua Tree, and then more recent material after. If the focus of this tour is more on the Experience era, that would be the material that came after The Joshua Tree. In Rolling Stone, The Edge mentioned that he would like to play songs from Songs of Innocence again, and that they may take a break from the material from The Joshua Tree.

Also with all the remixes the band has been issuing of late, the tour may be the perfect time to reinvent one of the newer songs for the stage like they did with “I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” on the U2360 tour. Kygo has remixed “You’re The Best Thing About Me“ which gave us all a sneak peek at the album in 2016. Jacknife Lee contributed a remix of “The Blackout“ for the release of that single last fall. Switch and Afrojack have remixed “Get Out of Your Own Way“ and Beck is remixing “Lights of Home“ for the upcoming Record Store Day release. What do we know about the tour to date? The press release does confirm that the tour is “a development of the unique and innovative staging of the 2015 tour” and also that the screen for the upcoming tour will be a “super high-res LED screen nine-times the resolution of the 2015 screen.”

During The Joshua Tree 2017 tour, the band did have Anton Corbijn join them in the third leg of the tour in North America, and he directed the filming of a number of shows on the fourth leg tour of South America and Mexico. It is expected that the Mexico City concerts will be used for the basis for the home video release, and additional material from shows throughout South America will be used for additional footage, as well as bonus content.

We’ve asked about The Joshua Tree 2017 home video release, and have been told that the band will not be releasing this performance until later in the year at the earliest, and perhaps even later. The focus for now will remain on the new tour and the new album. But a home video release is still expected for this tour, and the band extensively filmed two shows in Mexico City to form the basis of this video. The Edge told Mexican newspaper Reforma, “We decided to film the DVD (Joshua Tree Tour 2017) here and also the video of our new single because it is important to let the world know that the energy of this country is inexhaustible and fabulous.” The video he mentions appears to have been shelved at this point as a stop motion film by Broken Fingaz was released instead. Don’t expect to see this one soon, but when plans are announced we will let you know.

Not only is the 2017 fan club gift from U2.Com late, the 2018 gift is now late in being announced and delivered as well. That gift should have been announced last fall, and should have started delivery by this time. We are told they are waiting for all of the 2017 gifts to be delivered before making a formal announcement about this next one. As each day goes by more fans are receiving their 2017 gift, and we expect by early April most fans will have their gifts for 2017. Look for an announcement about this next 2018 gift soon.

On the release front a new single should be pushed to North American radio stations in the next few weeks. We are told the most likely song will be “Summer of Love”, and that song has been pushed to club DJs in the UK at the end of February, and pushed to radio stations in The Netherlands in early February to test reactions to the song. A few releases from the back catalog are due for release with All That You Can’t Leave Behind, Pop and Wide Awake in America being released on 180g vinyl on April 13, 2018, and The Best of 1980 – 1990 rumored to follow on July 27, 2018. If sales are good, we are told the next reissues on vinyl could happen this fall. These are being released worldwide. As mentioned earlier, April 21, 2018 will see the release of “The Lights of Home“ on 12-inch picture vinyl for Record Store Day. This release will be limited to 5000 copies, the same number released for “Wide Awake in Europe” and the black vinyl release of “Songs of Innocence”. The compilation album The Joshua Tree – New Roots featuring Irish artists singing songs from The Joshua Tree, as well as U2’s performance of “Red Hill Mining Town” from Amsterdam was more widely released on Friday. If you haven’t been able to stream it / purchase it, now would be the time to check again for these songs.

Update: March 24, 2018:

More information is starting to become available about the tour rehearsals including this information about tour staff in New Jersey from our friends at U2 en España – El libro. Currently a number of staff from the tour are in or starting to arrive in New Jersey. This includes creatives who work on tour designs, as well as other support for the tour. We aren’t sure if the band will move to New Jersey or not from their current rehearsal location in Monaco but a portion of the crew is appearing in New Jersey with more to arrive soon. U2 en España suggests the band will take a rest. It appears that the time in New Jersey will be short and most of these staff will relocate the first week of April to their final rehearsal destination.

That destination, as we shared last week above, was rumoured to be the Videotron Centre in Quebec City last fall, but we haven’t heard any clarification of those rumours of late. That arena is empty for this time frame, and the last event in the Videotron Centre is on April 7. There are no further bookings in this arena until May 4, which is after U2 have started the tour. Mid-week press in Quebec confirmed that the band will not be rehearsing at the Colisée Pepsi in Quebec, but that is a different arena, and was not the original rumour shared with us. The Colisée is an older arena built in 1949, and may not be suitable for rehearsal of this production. The building has sat unused since 2015 with minimal maintenance, although it has yet to be scheduled for demolition.

Crew arrival and final stage setup in Tulsa will be the final full week of April, with the band taking possession of the facility the weekend prior to their show there. This is likely where the final dress rehearsal for the tour will take place.

We can also confirm that the show in Uncasville CT, on July 3 is looking more and more likely to be the final show on the first leg of the tour and that there will not be further dates announced for July. This should be taken as rumour for now, but we are not expecting more dates to be announced at the end of the leg at this time. The band will then take most of July and August off, before resuming the tour August 31 in Berlin. As with the start of any tour leg, expect a few days of rehearsals before the tour begins again in Berlin.

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The History Mix: Samples of U2

Original Story by Harry Kantas / Aaron Sams (2018-03-22)

In music, to sample means to take part of one sound recording and using it in a different song. It could be the full song reused or just a single instrument. Sampling became popular with the rise of DJs in the 1970s experimenting with manipulating vinyl on multiple turntables, and has continued its rise over the years. In 2016, Tim took a look through the use of samples in U2’s own work. Today we’ll take a look at the other side of the coin, work that has legally, or perhaps not so legally, sampled U2’s work. This isn’t meant to be a full list of every song that uses a U2 sample but will attempt to touch on the more well known examples of U2 being sampled into other songs, with a focus on those that obtained legal permission to sample from this material.

Kiss AMC – “A Bit Of…”

The group known as Kiss AMC is widely known as the first group to clear samples of U2 for use in a released track.

Kiss AMC, a British collective from Manchester, borrowed a sample from “New Year’s Day” for their song, “A Bit Of…” The song was issued on Syncopate Records in July 1989 where it was released under the title “A Bit Of…” as the samples from U2 had not yet been fully cleared. The song charted for two weeks under that title. Once the final deal to use the samples was made, the song was quickly re-released under the new title of “A Bit of U2”.

The single itself used a photo of Peter Rowen, taken from the cover shoots for Boy as part of the cover image. Rowen’s eye would also appear on the label for the 7-Inch.

The single is a bit unique because not only do they sample “New Year’s Day” they mention U2 in the song, “We like Indy pop and bands with weird names / Of course it’s only right, just one mixed to two / I talk about James and a bit of U2 / AMC, a bit of U2” and later in the song, “Now that’s an example of what we’re about / You expected U2 but we dropped it out”.

The song spent five weeks on the charts in the UK, peaking at #58.

The single was released on a variety of formats, including a picture 7-inch, 7-inch, 12-inch and CD. A video for the song was also released for promotion. The song was also included in a number of compilations around the time of release.


IMAGE: Clockwise: “A Bit Of…” 7-inch, CD, 12-inch and picture disc

Known Versions:

  • A Bit Of… (Emilio Pasquez 7-Inch Mix) (03:49)
  • A Bit Of… (Emilio Pasquez 12-Inch Mix) (05:50)
  • A Bit Of… (Greg Wilson & David Holmes Remix Edit) (04:26)
  • A Bit Of U2 (Double Trouble Remix) (05:16)
  • A Bit Of U2 (Dubstrumental) (04:28)
  • A Bit Of U2 (The Amazonian Mix) (06:30)

Negativland – “U2”

Negativland is an American experimental music group from San Francisco. They started producing and performing music in 1979. In 1991, Negativland released an EP titled “U2”, featuring a picture of a U-2 spy plane on the cover.

The EP featured extensive sampling of U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, including kazoos, to add to the parodic theme. There are 2 remixes of the song present on the EP. With the release of Achtung Baby near by, and U2’s promotional machine in full motion, Island Records proceeded to sue Negativland, over the use of “U2” on their cover, claiming a deliberate attempt to confuse U2 fans. The lawsuit was over violations of trademark protection with the use of U2’s name, and copyright law, over the use of unauthorized “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” samples.

The “Special Edit Radio Mix” of ISHFWILF adds a sample to an uncharacteristic, profane rant by radio DJ and American Top 40 icon, Casey Kasem. Part of that sample has Kasem trying to deliver a run-down of U2’s line-up, going “These guys are from England and who gives a shit?” (Fun fact: Casey Kasem is also the voice of “Shaggy” in the “Scooby Doo” animated series.)

“U2” was withdrawn and deleted. It was then replaced by another EP, called “Guns”. The cover for “Guns” was very similar to “U2”, retaining the font, colour scheme, the U-2 spy plane, and a gun pointing to it. The back of the EP came with a note to U2, that read: “This recording is dedicated to the members of our favorite Irish rock band, their record label, and their attorneys. The music is two U.”. No sampling of U2’s music was present in “Guns”.


IMAGES: “Guns” Single, Front and Back

The “U2” adventure fueled Negativland’s subsequent launch of Fair Use: The Story of the Letter U and the Numeral 2, a CD and book release, documenting Negativland’s lawsuits with Island Records, including correspondence and legal documents.

While many people, including the members of Negativland at the time, thought U2 were supporting Island Records’ lawsuit against them, that was not the case.

In June 1992, and while U2 were promoting their ZOO TV Tour, R. U. Sirius, publisher of the magazine Mondo 2000, set up an interview with The Edge, and had his friends, Don Joyce and Mark Hosler (both members of Negativland), conduct the interview. Joyce and Hosler started the interview by asking Edge about his views on ZOO TV use of samples and copyrighted material without permission, and then proceeded to reveal themselves. Edge’s response was that U2 were bothered by the raw legal approach Island Records had taken on the matter, and how much of it was done without U2’s knowledge: “By the time we realized what was going on it was kinda too late, and we actually did approach the record company on your behalf and said, ‘Look, c’mon, this is just, this is very heavy…’”. Island Records had reported that U2 never authorized the use of samples from “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, to which Edge replied: “That’s complete bollocks, there’s at least six records out there that are direct samples from our stuff.”.

In August 2007, Joyce provided an audio cassette copy of the Mondo 2000 interview with The Edge to the U2 fan website U2Interview.com. You can find more info on the interview by heading over to U2interview here and here.

The “U2” single (along with other related material) was re-released in 2001 on a “bootleg” album titled “These Guys Are from England and Who Gives a Shit”, released on “Seelard Records” (the bootleg version of Negativland’s record label “Seeland Records”).


IMAGES: “U2” Single, Front and Back

Known Versions:

  • U2 (1991 A Cappella Mix) (07:15)
  • U2 (Special Edit Radio Mix) (05:47)
  • U2 (A Cappella Version – Live) (07:16)
  • U2 (Edited Special Edit Radio Mix) (05:42)

Jeep Grrlz – “Re-Wired”

“Wire” was reissued in February 1, 1999 as “Re-Wired” by the group known as Jeep Grrlz. The group heavily incorporated “Wire” into their song, and were playing the song throughout clubs in Europe when it came to the attention of Island Records. After the issues with the Negativland in 1991, Island wasn’t in a hurry to shut down another act for using U2 samples. They approached U2, and it was The Edge who apparently gave permission for the song to be released, and Island went back to the Jeep Grrlz, and offered them a contact. The mix was tightened up and released on Island Records, home of U2 as well. The song was released on CD single as well as a promotional 12-inch release.

The song uses so much of “Wire” that many have described this as a remix of the U2 song over the years.

The band was made up of D:Stress, Jake Knights, and Love Chocolate. Jeep Grrlz had formed in 1994, and had put out a number of singles independently prior to the Island Records contract. “Re-Wired” was the only single released under that contract, but the song would be featured on a number of compilations on the Universal label, including Pure Dance 4 and Dance Action as well as being featured on a number of label produced promotional compilations. The singles released later in 1999 were on the Music for Lager label.

The song failed to chart in the UK.


IMAGE: “Re-Wired” CD

Known Versions:

  • Re-Wired (7-Inch Edit) (03:31)
  • Re-Wired (Wiseass Mix) (08:03)
  • Re-Wired (2 Sheet Mix) (07:39)

Musique vs U2 – “New Years Dub”

Musique was a duo made up of Moussa “Moose” Clarke and Nick Hanson. If “Re-Wired” saw U2 giving acknowledgement to a sample, the Musique vs U2 track took it a step further with U2 fully embracing the song, including promotion of the song on U2.Com, and appearing in the video for the song.

“New Years Dub” samples U2’s “New Year’s Day” – using music from the U2 track with a new vocal recorded by Barney C. In this case the band gave full permission, and a spokesperson for U2 told Music Week, “The band thought it was a great song which is why permission to use the sample was given.”

Clarke was a DJ with some success at the time of the remix including a song, “Choose Life” that had appeared on the Trainspotting soundtrack. Hanson was also working in music production, and had been responsible for mixing compilations mixes for a number of labels. (Hanson has since gone on to handle A&R at Arista Records). The track was mixed and debuted at the Miami Winter Music Conference in 2001, and was the first release from Musique. The Music Conference coincided with U2’s time in Miami rehearsing and opening the 2001 Elevation tour, and a copy of the song made it back to the band. The band quickly gave permission for the song to be released, and a single was produced and released on May 21, 2001 featuring a variety of remixes of the song.

A video was also released for the song. The video uses footage from Miami taken during the Music Conference, of Clarke and Hanson around Miami, as well as footage recorded at the Elevation opening shows in Fort Lauderdale. Clarke and Hanson were invited backstage, and we can see them hanging out with U2 prior to the concert. The video also includes some crowd footage from the U2 show that was filmed.

The song spent fifteen weeks on the charts in the UK, peaking at #15. It also did well in Ireland, reaching #13, and it broke into the hot 100 in Australia (#74), Italy (#46), The Netherlands (#5), and Switzerland (#93).

The single was released on a variety of formats, including a 12-inch and CD. The song was also included in a number of compilations around the time of release.


IMAGE: “New Years Dub” CD

Known Versions:

  • New Years Dub (7” Radio Edit – 8 Bar Breakdown) (02:56)
  • New Years Dub (7” Radio Edit – 16 Bar Breakdown) (03:13)
  • New Years Dub (Original 12-Inch Mix) (09:07)
  • New Years Dub (Hybrid Mix) (11:03)
  • New Years Dub (Steve Lawler Mix) (08:37)
  • New Years Dub (Mauro Picotto Club Mix) (08:38)
  • New Years Dub (DJ Elite Remix) (06:43)
  • New Years Dub (Skynet Remix) (07:50)

LMC vs U2 – “Take Me To the Clouds Above”

LMC are a British dance group consisting of producers, Lee Monteverde, Matt Cadman and Cris Nuttall. They have performed remixes for Scooter, Erasure, Dannii Minogue, Lasgo, Flip & Fill, Robert Palmer and Shania Twain. LMC is best known for the track “Take Me to the Clouds Above” which featured a sample from “How Will I Know” by Whitney Houston (using only the first two lines), and U2’s “With or Without You”. The vocals in the song were performed by Rachel McFarlane.

All of the members of U2 had to clear the track. Adam Clayton said “It’s a good beat and you can dance to it. I especially like the bassline”.

The track was released in the UK on 26 January 2004 as “Take Me To The Clouds Above” by LMC vs U2. It became the most played track on UK radio and debuted at number one in February 2004, selling 300,000 copies. This gives U2 another #1 record in the UK charts. The original single for With Or Without You, made it as high as #4 in the UK charts. Due to its success, it was also released in other territories, going top 5 in Ireland, top 10 in Australia and New Zealand, top 20 in Germany, Holland, Poland and Norway. It was released in the USA on 6 April 2004 where it went top 20 in the Billboard dance chart.

A remix of the song was released in 2003 before the single. This was titled differently (“Take Me to the Clouds a Dub”). It features on the compilation album, Clubland 4 – The Night of Your Life. Produced and imagined by the Cloud Architect.


IMAGES: Two versions of “Take Me to the Clouds Above” on CD

Known Versions:

  • Take Me to the Clouds Above (Adhesive Mix) (5:45)
  • Take Me to the Clouds Above (Audiolush Remix) (6:20)
  • Take Me to the Clouds Above (Dub Mix) (5:27)
  • Take Me to the Clouds Above (Extended) (7:37)
  • Take Me to the Clouds Above (Flip and Fill Remix) (6:37)
  • Take Me to the Clouds Above (KB Project Remix)
  • Take Me to the Clouds Above (Kenny Hayes Miami Remix) (6:00)
  • Take Me to the Clouds Above (Lee S Remix) (6:01)
  • Take Me to the Clouds Above (Mash Up Kids Radio Edit) (7:30)
  • Take Me to the Clouds Above (Mash Up Kids Remix) (7:44)
  • Take Me to the Clouds Above (Radio Edit) (2:50)
  • Take Me to the Clouds Above (Radio Edit 132bpm)
  • Take Me to the Clouds Above (Scott B Remix) (5:18)

Is that all of the samples of U2 out there? Not, not at all, but those were some of the more recognized samples, with some relation to the world of U2. A number of other songs sample U2, without any fan fare or law suit. Some of the more known samples? Pop Will Eat Itself’s “Menofearthereaper” samples “Until the End of the World” (1994), Enigma samples “Ultraviolet” in their song “The Eyes of Truth” (1993), Bacon Popper and Dynamic Bass both use “New Year’s Day” in their songs “Free” (1998) and “Africa” (1993) and DJ Shadow samples “Sunday Bloody Sunday” on his song “Lost & Found” (1994). In 2010 David Garrett recorded “Vivaldi Vs Vertigo” which makes use of extensive samples from “Vertigo” as the title would suggest. Its an area of U2 that one could easily get lost in for days as you look at samples and cover versions, and those tracks that straddle a line between the two. Do you have a favorite sample of U2 that pops up in another track by another artist? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter or in our forums.

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Pop Muzik: Wake Up Dead Man (UNKLE Remix)

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-03-22)

Pop was released 21 years ago, and we’re still uncovering information about the album each day. For the 21st anniversary we took a look at the album and some of the history of the albums aborted archive edition. We can now reveal that there was a remix that never saw light that has just appeared. The song is “Wake Up Dead Man” and the remix is by UNKLE. UNKLE is a British group founded in 1992 by James Lavelle and Tim Goldsworthy and in 1997 were working with a number of collaborators including Thom Yorke, Mike D, and Richard Ashcroft.

Lavelle now has a monthly radio show on Soho Radio. And yesterday during his monthly show he commented, “Since I’ve been going through the Mo’ Wax Psyence Fiction DATs I found a U2 mix that never got released”. Psynence Fiction was the debut studio album by UNKLE, released on the Mo’ Wax label on August 24, 1998. UNKLE would have worked on the U2 remix at the same time they were recording the album, thus the song’s presence on the DAT tapes for that album.

The song was played on Lavelle’s broadcast, but we warn you, he’s layered in a voice that pops in occasionally to say ‘exclusive’ over top of the song in a number of locations.

How would U2 have gotten hooked up with UNKLE? Most likely through Howie B who helped produce Pop. Howie B had been involved in UNKLE’s 1995 double EP Time Has Come and he worked extensively with acts on the Mo’ Wax label.

Many thanks to Andrew for the heads up on this track.

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#U2eiTour & Augmented Reality: The latest and greatest in software, hardware, and menswear

Original Story by Harry Kantas (2018-03-23)

The latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine, (March 22nd, 2018), makes a mention of U2’s upcoming Experience + Innocence Tour, including a few direct quotes from everyone’s favourite creative director, Mr. Willie Williams. “The staging takes that of its predecessor to a new level. [It will be] the first concert tour to incorporate augmented reality”. And if that was not exciting enough, he adds that the set will include “rarities the band is excited to be playing live for the first time”.

Now, I cannot even begin to think where “rarities performed live for the first time” might take us, but you can dream, so dream out loud. We’re one step closer to knowing, anyhow.

For now, let’s focus on the first teaser Willie Williams gave us: Augmented Reality!

Augmented Reality 101

Not everyone knows what Augmented Reality is, or how it fits into a concert tour, so let’s take a step back, and do a quick primer. (Warning: this could get geeky, and boring. If it does, just skip to the next part!)

Augmented Reality, or AR, is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view. Its closest neighbour, and source of potential confusion, Virtual Reality, is full immersion onto a virtual world, with no physical world elements.

AR has been around since the late 1960s, even though the term “Augmented Reality” wasn’t coined until the early 1990s. Towards 2009, AR broke into the mainstream. Initially on web sites, then on to your smartphone as apps and games, Google Glass, and the explosion of VR and AR headsets in gaming, AR is now more popular than ever.

So how should we expect AR to be incorporated on the #U2eiTour? While Willie Williams hasn’t given any more info on this yet, we can take a look at what’s currently possible with AR. AR can be broadly categorized into 5 types:

  • Recognition based AR focuses on recognition of objects, and then provides more information about the object. A good example of this, is mobile apps that read QR codes and present relevant information on the screen, or real-time translation apps.
  • Location based AR is taking advantage of a smart devices’ location detection features. If you are traveling and want to discover new places, this method will use your location by reading your smart device’s GPS, compass and accelerometer and give you relevant information about what you are looking for on your screen.
  • Outlining AR uses special cameras to outline certain objects on a display. Think of driving a car in foggy weather, and having the road lines outlined on your windshield using infrared cameras, so you can drive safely.
  • Superimposition based AR uses object recognition in order to replace an entire object, or a part of it, with an augmented view. in medicine, a doctor can use this technology to superimpose an X-ray view of a patient’s broken arm bone on a real image and provide a clear understanding of what the bone’s damage actually is.

Boy (Japan) Boy (Japan, translated)
Example of a Recognition based AR app, performing real-time translation.

Augmented Reality on the #U2eiTour

All of the above, while very cool AR applications, need a smart device, or headset of some sort to work. We do not believe that AR in the #U2eiTour will arrive in just that form, for a number of reasons.

  • While cool, using an app on your phone is not really that much of a breakthrough, and we have come to expect only greatness from Willie’s team.
  • Even if a mobile AR app was an option, and might make sense for the people sitting far away in the nose bleeds, in most cases, AR apps require a network connection, and as we all know, 4G/WiFi signals are horrendous inside any venue, so that would end up being a really bad user experience.
  • The screen. The screen in the #U2ieTour was under-utilised. This new AR must involve the screen somehow. And no other devices.

So, hopefully you will not be using your smartphone, or any kind of glasses to enjoy the new tour. (Although, that being said, and if anyone is listening out there, how cool would it be if the Electronic Press Kit (EPK) for the tour was delivered in an AR application, using one or more of the above techniques?) Anyway, I digress. How do we utilise the video-cage for AR?

Enter the 5th type of augmented reality tech: Projection based AR. This type of AR projects artificial light onto real world surfaces, forming digital images. It can be interactive, or non-interactive.

Another interesting application of projection based AR utilises laser plasma technology to project a 3D interactive hologram into mid-air.

Use of Projection based AR and holograms today

Still with me? Good. The hard part is over, now we’re off to the fun stuff!

Summarising from our research above, we have come up with 2 potential applications of Projection based AR for the tour:

  • projecting digital images and artificial light on to the video-cage, which would produce a 3D effect that compliments the video playing, while at the same time keeping the band visible, and
  • projecting 3D holograms away from the stage, and above the crowd.

We may get one of the above, or we may get neither. My money is on a combination of both, though.

Some of the promotional videos for the tour, show images like this next ones, which, even though a mock up, implies the use of holograms:

#U2eiTour 2018
#U2eiTour 2018

Eric Prydz is a Swedish DJ,who does a fantastic job at making ample use of Projection based AR in his shows. He stands behind a transparent LED wall, called a V-through, which forms the shape of a cube. The similarities with U2’s video-cage are close enough to give us an idea of the possibilities:

Prydz also incorporates holograms in his set. The holograms appear above the crowd, mid-air, and are visible across a 15K capacity venue. Again, the similarities with U2’s indoors arena shows and capacities look very promising.

Final Thoughts

While we still have no real information about the AR aspect of the #U2eiTour, aside from the one teaser line from Willie Williams, we went through what AR is, how it could be incorporated in a concert setting, and we looked at what other artists are doing with it, that might give us a small idea of what we are about to see on May 2nd in Tulsa.

Touring with an AR production, on U2’s scale, and in a concert tour, choreographed to complement 4 musicians playing live on stage, is definitely something that has never happened before. But we have come to know, and expect, that if anyone can push the boundaries of, and re-invent live shows, that’s U2, and their amazing team.

We’d love to hear your thoughts here: What would you like to see from this?
A giant hologram of the zoo-baby during songs from Achtung Baby/Zooropa?
Hundreds of laser beams washing the entire venue in red during the intro to “Streets”, all turning white as the song starts?
A gigantic, holographic solar eclipse, as “The Blackout” starts?
Or perhaps the lyrics for “13,” as the show comes to an end?
Let us know what your ideal AR U2 moment would be, on Twitter or Facebook.

Some references

If the geeky stuff at the beginning didn’t scare you away, and you’d like to learn more about Augmented Reality, here is a list of some interesting articles:

u2songs.com was formerly known as u2wanderer.org. Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

Saint Patrick’s Day Contest Rules

Original Story by U2Songs.com Staff (2018-03-17)

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to all.

To celebrate we’re having one of our contests. You have a chance to win a copy of The Joshua Tree – New Roots on CD (Irish pressing). This CD is a number of Irish artists each covering one song from U2’s The Joshua Tree. The album also contains a live performance from Amsterdam of U2 performing “Red Hill Mining Town”. More information about this release can be found in our U2 discography entry.

The rules are simple. You have two ways to enter.

On Twitter:

On Facebook:

That’s it. We’ll draw a winner on Monday evening. There will be one winner drawn for The Joshua Tree – New Roots from all entries. A second, third and fourth prize will also be awarded. These will consist of Christy Moore’s CD single of his version of “North and South of the River”, Gavin Friday’s Catholic album and a copy of the book North Side Story. These will be awarded by random draw as well.

u2songs.com was formerly known as u2wanderer.org. Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

Where Are My Joshua Tree Singles?

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-03-12)

Updated: March 12, 2018:

It’s been two weeks, and once again we polled users on Twitter and Facebook to ask if they have received their vinyl. For the first time since we started looking at things, more users have gotten their vinyl than have not. In the poll started on Sunday, and finished today, 54.9% of respondents have gotten their fan club gift this year. That still leaves a large group of fans waiting, with 45.1% still waiting for their gift.

The good news is the gifts are going out. On January 6, 77% of people were still waiting for this item. On February 25, 68% were still waiting, and now just two weeks later, 54.9% are waiting for the gift. If the fan club can keep up the rate of fulfillment they reached in the last two weeks, it will be mid-April when the last of the gifts are delivered. On our social media feeds, we are seeing more fans each day receiving the vinyl.

The help information on U2.com has been updated to reflect current shipping information as well. That page now reads:

Following dispatch of initial orders, there were unexpected delays in production of the four 10” discs which form The Joshua Tree Singles Vinyl Collection: 1987 & 2017. Production has since resumed and dispatch to all 2017 cycle subscribers is well underway, to be complete in early March. Dispatch to more recent subscribers is also now underway.

Two weeks ago, this message was still saying, “Production is now underway again and dispatch of the gift will begin again in early February.” Please note that it says dispatch will be completed, there will still be a shipment time for these items after dispatch.

Shipment arriving now are using a smaller box, sized closer to the 10-inch vinyl records. Shipments in December and January were in a bigger 12-inch sized box.

On Friday we spoke with an operator at U2.Com and were told that not all of the orders have been shipped at this point, but most are now in a pre-shipment phase and that all of them should go out by the end of the month. Many are being shipped without any email notification, but if you are still waiting, you can see the status of your order by going to U2.Com, choosing ‘Shop’, and then scrolling to the bottom and choosing ‘Order Status’. Find your order number from when you redeemed and you will see either a shipment date or the message “Shipping info for this order is not available.” if it has not yet shipped.

Regardless of whether or not your order has shipped, you can download the tracks from this gift now in your Account Info page at U2.Com. If you are logged in visit http://www.u2.com/profile and scroll down. Under “Subscriber Downloads” on the left you should see “Download all 8 songs from ‘The Joshua Tree Singles Vinyl Collection: 1987 & 2017’ (83MB zip file)”.

The subscriber gift from U2.Com is routinely sent out in December of the year preceding the year the gift is for. The 2017 gift for instance should arrive in December 2016. This time, the gift has been delayed multiple times, and the 2017 gift still hasn’t arrived to all subscribers as of March 2018. The very nature of the gift required a delay, and fans choosing this gift last year were told that shipment would not start before September 2017 due to the inclusion of tracks from The Joshua Tree 2017 tour.

It looks like steps have been taken to get this gift out, and they are now arriving with fans once again. We will continue to keep an eye on this and will report on any developments in this article.

Original Story: From February 25, 2018:

First of all, if you haven’t received your 2017 Fan Club gift from U2.Com you are not alone. Most of us still have not received the gift at this point. We know this is causing some frustration for many, especially as copies start to show up on eBay. We hope the following article will help answer some of the questions that people have to date.

So how many have their vinyl?

We did a little poll on Facebook and Twitter to ask if you had received your vinyl. The poll has now closed, and 2354 people have responded. Right now it appears that 68% of you have not received your vinyl, and only 32% have responded to say that you have.

That is a little better than the situation in early January. On January 6 we did a similar poll, answered by 1764 fans, and at that time 77% of people had not received your vinyl, and 23% had responded to say they had.

What’s the slow down with this gift?

Initially when announced, we were told this gift would ship in the latter part of the year. The gift would include tracks from The Joshua Tree tour which had not yet happened when the gift was announced. We were told that the gift would not ship until September in one area of U2.Com, and in the Fall in another area of U2.Com. We were always told from the time that the gift was announced and details revealed that we would not have this gift until the latter part of the year.

But the vinyl was delayed right from the start. No copies of this gift shipped before December 2017, and the first copy we saw being reported as having been received by any subscriber was December 8, 2017. Had this been a normal gift, it usually takes three to four months from the time the first person receives the gift until they have all been received as they are shipped out in small batches. To make up for this delay, digital copies of the tracks were released in early October, 2017 and are available now for download from your account.

On January 5 we had contact with the Fan Club and asked about the gift. At that time we were told that shipping was on track, and they hoped to have all of the gifts sent by the end of January.

On January 16, an update was made to the U2.Com Help Page in relation to the gift:

What is the status with the 2017 subscriber gift? Following dispatch of initial orders, there were unexpected delays in production of the four 10” discs which form the new limited edition collection The Joshua Tree Singles Vinyl Collection: 1987 & 2017. Production is now underway again and dispatch of the gift will begin again in early February. We’ll email you as soon as your copy hits the post so that you know when to expect it. Don’t forget, qualifying Subscribers can download all 8 tracks today from the Account Info page.

There were few reports of people receiving the vinyl throughout January and early February. But again on February 6, 2018 we started getting notifications from people receiving the gift, and we’ve seen new notifications that the gift is arriving every day since that time.

What is this production issue?

For some reason, U2.Com was unable to get copies of the vinyl to mail out.

Vinyl as a format has had sustained growth over the last decade, and the demand for vinyl is now outpacing the remaining vinyl pressing facilities. Pressing plants are struggling to cope with the surge in demand, and many independent labels are now finding it difficult to find anyone to produce their output.

I suspect that the delay in this gift in the fall was likely the impending Black Friday Record Store Day. Presses were overwhelmed by that event and several delays in vinyl were announced because of these issues. In fact, we suspect that U2’s choice to Third Man Records for the limited pressing of “The Blackout” was because of this demand.

And this gift is not easy, as it requires pressing of four different vinyl, quadrupling the time to make each gift.

Exclaim.ca explains, “Record Store Day regularly faces criticisms of clogging the market with unwanted reissues and gimmicky picture discs and colour variants. Some records fly off the shelves and fetch hefty resale prices on online resale sites; others languish in bargain bins all year round. Independent labels have complained in the past that RSD causes a backlog at vinyl pressing plants, resulting in painfully slow turnaround times due to the event.”

The more recent delay may be due to other issues. As people started to receive their gift in December and early January so did the complaints that there were issues with the vinyl set received. We’ve heard from a number of readers who got two copies of one of the singles, and were missing another. For some this can be seen because the sleeves were wrong, but for others, this error could not be seen until the gift was opened, as they received the proper four sleeves, but the vinyl inside the sleeve were not correct. If this mistake was wide spread there may have been a decision made to halt shipment until rectified, or it is possible there have been other delays of which we are unaware.

With 68% of the fan club still waiting, and now getting anxious about their gift, U2.Com is getting a large amount of inquiries about this gift at this time. They are currently telling people calling that there was a production delay, and that things are now shipping again, and asking that people be patient. They are also claiming that subscribers will get an email when their vinyl ships. However, most are not getting email notifications of shipment, unless they live in the USA.

Is this because…?

We’ve seen a lot of people coming up with theories that this is because of where a subscriber is located, or when they resubscribe, or other reasons for the delay.

We can confirm that the vinyl has been received worldwide with readers telling us it has arrived in South America, Australia, Asia, and throughout Europe. But with close 70% of these left undelivered, we can also report fans in each of these regions are also still waiting for their gifts to arrive. This is a worldwide issue at the moment, and the fan club has not chosen just to fulfill orders in one region.

We can also confirm that it does seem to be independent of renewal date based on those we have spoken to.

When will I get mine?

It usually takes three to four months to send out all of the gifts. The longest fulfillment time in recent years was with the lithographs which took almost six months to send out from start to finish. Currently it appears that about one third of the vinyl has been sent out, and they’ve had approximately a month before the manufacturing delay. If there are no further delays, I’d expect it will take 2-3 months to fulfill all subscriptions based on past wait times. Shipments started appearing again in early February, so I would expect the last of these to be delivered by the end of April. That would be seven months late, based on the originally announced date of September 2017, but as we’ve seen these gifts usually appear in December of the year before the year the gift is for, that would mean to many this gift would be 16 months late if they do finish shipment by April. This is by far the latest that a gift has ever been from the fan club.

Asked about the 2018 subscription gift, that we should have gotten in December, an operator at U2.Com stated that they would announce that gift only after they have finished shipping the current gift. So we may be a while off from knowing what the gift we signed up for this year actually is.

We will follow up in a few weeks time with another poll asking about the vinyl.

Associated Links:

u2songs.com was formerly known as u2wanderer.org. Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

“Lights of Home” Confirmed for Record Store Day on April 21, 2018

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-03-06)

Record Store Day is falling on April 21 this year, and what would it be without a U2 release? U2 is set to release a 12-inch picture disc single of “Lights of Home” for Record Store Day 2018. The single will be released in a clear sleeve allowing the vinyl image to show through. The release is limited to 5000 copies worldwide. The sleeve will be stickered (which is what we can see in the image below) with the titles, and we are told that a download card will be included as well. Catalog number for this release is 6739348 and UPC is 602567393481.

There will be three songs on the single:

  • “Lights of Home” (Album Version)
  • “Lights of Home” (St. Peter’s String Version)
  • “Lights of Home” (Free Yourself / Beck Remix)

The “Free Yourself / Beck Remix” version was remixed by Beck, who had joined U2 on The Joshua Tree 2017 tour for the third leg in the USA. It is a new mix of the song done specifically for this release.

The vinyl can be seen below:

The image on the vinyl is by Shaughn McGrath and is a silhouette of the image of Bono’s son Eli and Edge’s daughter Sian holding hands which was used for the cover of Songs of Experience. Over top you can see the lights of Dublin shining at night from above.

The photo being used for the ‘lights of home’ appears to be this photo by French astronaut Thom Pesquet from the International Space Station. The photo was taken on St Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2017. (Thanks to Valerie and her sharp eyes for that one!)

The listing of this release on the Record Store Day website is here. This is the 11th year that Record Store Day has offered a list of rare exclusives to record stores in April, many limited in quantity, that sell out quickly on the day of release. The event has been so successful it has been spun into a second day on Black Friday each year.

The official list was announced today in events in New York, London and other locations around the world.

“Lights of Home,” like “The Blackout” which was released for RSD Black Friday last year, has not been released to radio for promotion. The band currently is promoting “Get Out of Your Own Way” in North America, and has started to promote “Summer of Love” with DJs in the UK and Europe and on Dutch radio.

U2 has been participating in Record Store Day for a number of years:

  • November 26, 2010: Release of the EP “Wide Awake in Europe” [5000 copies, numbered]
  • November 29, 2013: Release of the 10-inch single “Ordinary Love” [10000 copies]
  • November 28, 2014: Release of a North and South of the River Poster / Map
  • April 18, 2015: Release of Songs of Innocence on double 12-inch vinyl [5000 copies, numbered]
  • April 22, 2017: Release of “Red Hill Mining Town” as a 12-inch picture disc, also a limited release of a numbered ‘fanzine’ [7000 copies, 1000 copies of US fanzine, 500 copies of UK fanzine]
  • November 24, 2017: Release of “The Blackout” in 12-inch black and 12-inch coloured vinyl [750 copies limited coloured vinyl, 19250 copies of black vinyl]
  • April 21, 2018: Release of “Lights of Home” as a 12-inch picture disc [5000 copies]

Our 2016 History Mix looked back in more detail at many of these releases.

We will update the news here as more information is available and will set up a discography entry shortly. Record Store Day falls on April 21, 2018 this year. When you are popping into your record store, we expect you’ll be able to find the recently announced reissues of Pop, All That You Can’t Leave Behind and Wide Awake in America, which are being released eight days earlier on April 13, 2018. Below we have some questions and answers about this upcoming release.

How Much will the “Lights of Home” Release Cost?

Stores are allowed to set their own pricing on Record Store Day items, so the price may vary depending on what store you go to. However, Record Store Day guidelines ask that stores pay attention to list pricing and stay within 20% of the price. This one is being priced at $22.97 (USD, Bull Moose Records) and £15.99 (GBP, Pie & Vinyl) and is appears to be priced higher than the last RSD Picture disc release at Bull Moose at least.

(The “Red Hill Mining Town” picture vinyl had been listed at $13.97 (USD, Bull Moose Records) and £15.99 (GBP, Pie & Vinyl)

Can I pre-order / reserve “Lights of Home”?

Items for Record Store Day are not generally available for pre-order, as the whole point of the day is to get customers into stores. From the recordstoreday.co.uk FAQ: Stores are bound by the Record Store Day code of conduct which prohibits them reserving product for customers or allowing customers to pre order product. Record Store Day is about the occasion and visiting the store is part of the enjoyment so our best advice is get up early and check with stores in advance that they have your product.

Can I buy “Lights of Home” online?

Stores are also prohibited from selling online in advance of Record Store Day, in the UK stores are asked not to sell product online for one week after the event has started. But with larger quantity releases this does happen, and many stores do end up listing excess stock that do not sell on the day of release as well.

Why is “Lights of Home” already available on eBay at super high prices?

Shortly after an announcement of anything to do with Record Store Day, listings appear on eBay for high prices, sometimes into the triple digits. Due to the limited nature of these releases, some users of ebay will assume they will get a copy of the vinyl on Record Store Day and list the vinyl in advance in order to get high prices. This is one of the downsides of Record Store Day. These people do not actually have the product to sell in most cases, nor will they be shipping it out before Record Store Day. And in some cases, come the actual day, they will not get their ‘allotment’ and will end up cancelling auctions.

We suggest not getting worried and buying one of these advanced auctions. If you do have to buy on eBay the prices usually come down right after the event happens.

The Record Store Day site lists:

When you see a title listed on an auction site before RSD, it’s almost CERTAINLY someone who has listed something they do not have in hand, and can’t guarantee they will have in hand, because they’re going out to a store to try and get it on 4/22 like everyone else. They call it a “pre-order” but since they’re not getting distributed to, it’s not a pre-order. It’s more like a scam, really. We work very hard to investigate the listings and in the tiny percentage of the time over the past ten years that it has been a store behind it, there have been serious implications for that store.

Will this item really be worth more than $100?

People have set high prices on eBay now, but its rare that these stay that high. “Wide Awake in Europe” which was released in 2010 in the same quantities as this “Lights of Home” release, and also had a track that was not available anywhere else, can still be purchased for under $100USD at auction. In the past few months these have sold at auction for $67 – $99. The more recent release of “Songs of Innocence” which was released at 5000 copies as well can still be purchased at auction in the $40-$60 range. More recent releases such as “Red Hill Mining Town” and “The Blackout” both released in greater quantities than “Lights of Home” can be found on auction sites for under $20, and are still available in store. Unlike “Wide Awake in Europe” and “Songs of Innocence” we are told this item will not be numbered.

These items will sometimes go up in price, but I don’t expect they will reach the high prices set on a couple of early eBay auctions. Those are set high to try to get the most amount of money possible, before the vinyl is released and more widely available.

Will “Lights of Home” be available in my country?

Record Store Day has expanded over the years, and is more than just a USA event where it started. That being said, not every country has a Record Store Day, and even if they do have a record store day, they may not get all of the releases. “Lights of Home” is a Record Store day Exclusive which is defined as “Exclusively available on Record Store Day at Record Store Day participating stores. Will not be available anywhere else in the same format.”

RSD UK: http://www.recordstoreday.co.uk/
RSD IRELAND: http://recordstoreday.ie/
RSD GERMANY: http://www.recordstoredaygermany.de/
RSD BELGIUM: http://www.recordstoreday.be/
RSD NETHERLANDS: http://recordstoreday.nl/
RSD FRANCE: http://www.disquaireday.fr/
RSD MEXICO: http://discotecaonline.net/rsd/
RSD ITALY: http://www.recordstoreday.it/
RSD SPAIN: http://www.recordstoreday.es/
RSD AUSTRALIA: http://www.recordstoreday.com.au/

Canada does use the same site as the USA for Record Store Day, and does not have a separate website. Stores participating in Canada are found here.

What we do know? The record will be available in the United States, and it is listed among the offerings there. The vinyl was also initially listed on the UK Record Store Day site. In Canada, stores have confirmed they are able to order and will be getting copies in. Our suggestion is to keep checking the links above for further information, as well as checking with your local shop about this release.

Will All Record Shops get this release?

Stores have to order and receive the titles just like any other new release through the year. They are not given to the stores, and the store must order copies of the U2 vinyl or there will be none for sale. What will happen at times, with a limited release, a store may not get all of the copies that they have ordered. Stores got their lists they can order from this week, so now is a good time to reach out to the store you plan to shop at and let them know you would like to have the album ordered. This is a day organized for independent record stores, and if you are hoping to buy the vinyl at a larger international chain, you may want to check first that they are eligible to participate.

You can find a list of stores that participate in Record Store Day in the US here and the UK here. Similar lists are available on international Record Store Day sites (links above).

When will I know if my store got copies of this in?

Some stores will post lists of the items they have received in advance of Record Store Day. As they can be penalized for taking advance orders, they still will not be able to take orders for individual items at that time. Exact quantities being shipped may be limited, and may not be known until items actually are received at stores, which happens the week of the release. Other stores will not post confirmation, and you will have to wait until the doors open on Record Store Day to find out what is inside.

Are numbered copies sent out randomly around the world?

We are being told that this release will not be numbered.

It’s not fair U2 doesn’t release this in our region!

We know many of you will not get this release in your own country and will have to explore other avenues to find a copy. This was a big concern in earlier years as well. Record Store Day continues to expand throughout the world, and there are more countries participating now than there were the last time U2 released an album in this manner. As we get closer to the release, and stores do start to offer this item online we hope to be able to share those links with you to make it easier for you to find a copy.

u2songs.com was formerly known as u2wanderer.org. Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

U2 Record Store Day Rumours: 2018

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-03-03)

Record Store Day is just around the corner, falling on April 21 this year, and what would it be without a U2 rumour?

This is the 11th year that Record Store Day has offered a list of rare exclusives to record stores in April, many limited in quantity, that sell out quickly on the day of release. The event has been so successful it has been spun into a second day on Black Friday each year.

The official list is due to be announced on March 6 in events in New York, London and other locations around the world. The list should be announced at 6pm London time / 1pm New York time. Until such time that these are officially announced, any information below should be taken as rumour.

We are told by a reliable well connected source that U2 will be producing a 12-inch vinyl record for Record Store Day this year. It will be a single and we are told that “Lights of Home” is likely to be the featured song. We do not have any information on the exact track list, or the quantities that will be pressed at this time.

While we expect that the release could be announced formally on Tuesday, in the past U2 has sometimes been announced after the main announcement, as part of a separate press release. Last fall, “The Blackout” was released for the Black Friday RSD event, and that vinyl was announced nine days after the initial release list was announced. “The Blackout” was released in two formats, an all black vinyl release and a release in black and white vinyl limited to just 750 copies worldwide. Between the two formats we are told 20,000 copies were pressed of “The Blackout”

“Lights of Home”, like “The Blackout” has not been released to radio for promotion. The band currently is promoting “Get Out of Your Own Way” in North America, and has started to promote “Summer of Love” with DJs in the UK and Europe and on Dutch radio.

U2 has been participating in Record Store Day for a number of years:

  • November 26, 2010: Release of the EP “Wide Awake in Europe”
  • November 29, 2013: Release of the 12-inch single “Ordinary Love”
  • November 28, 2014: Release of a North and South of the River Poster / Map
  • April 18, 2015: Release of Songs of Innocence on double 12-inch vinyl
  • April 22, 2017: Release of “Red Hill Mining Town” as a 12-inch picture disc, also a limited release of a numbered ‘fanzine’
  • November 24, 2017: Release of “The Blackout” in 12-inch black and 12-inch coloured vinyl

Our 2016 History Mix looked back in more detail at many of these releases.

We will update the news here as more information is available. Record Store Day falls on April 21, 2018 this year. When you are popping into your record store, we expect you’ll be able to find the recently announced reissues of Pop, All That You Can’t Leave Behind and Wide Awake in America, which are being released eight days earlier on April 13, 2018.

Many thanks to Alan who passed this information our way.

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Pop Reissued: Remastered, Collected, and Dreams

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-03-03)

It was announced earlier this week that U2 would reissue a number of items on vinyl, including the albums Pop and All That You Can’t Leave Behind. Today marks the 21st anniversary of Pop, first released in 1997 on March 3 in Europe and most of the world, and March 4 in North America. That album spawned a massive world tour of stadiums in 1997 and 1998. The vinyl being released on April 13 is a two vinyl set like the original and will feature remastered audio. Wait…Remastered? When did that happen? Are we getting a deluxe set soon?

Sadly the answer is no. There is no deluxe set planned at the moment, and the vinyl release of Pop will just be the album with no additional tracks.


IMAGE: Alternate covers by Four5One for Pop when it was known as 10 New Songs or 12 New Songs From U2

In 2007 to celebrate The Joshua Tree reaching its 20th anniversary, U2 assembled an archive team to work on that project and others. The project was headed up by Nick Stewart and Associates. The Nick Stewart and Associates team works in music management and promotion and is based out of London. A large focus is the marketing and promotion of catalog titles for artists. If the name Nick Stewart sounds familiar to you it should, as Nick Stewart started work for Island Records in August 1979. His first two acts signed to the label were U2 and Killing Joke. He and his team have been responsible for repacking and reissuing the back catalogs for other artists such as Rod Stewart, Dire Straits, and Elton John.

Nick Stewart and Associates was formally set up in October 2007. The release of The Joshua Tree 20th anniversary edition was the first project after the company was incorporated to find release, being issued in November 2007. Since that time Nick Stewart and Associates were responsible for work on the 2008 reissues of Boy, October, War and Under a Blood Red Sky. They also worked on The Unforgettable Fire and Achtung Baby for their 25th and 20th anniversaries in 2009 and 2011 respectively. And the team worked up until the end of 2013 on other projects for U2.


IMAGE: Alternate covers by Four5One for Pop when it was known as Miami

Three more albums were planned as part of the reissues. Rattle and Hum, All That You Can’t Leave Behind and Pop would have finished off the albums to be released under the original plan. Rattle and Hum was proving difficult with some of the limitations with the original contract with Paramount, but work had continued regardless. Research and planning was done on these albums, and as part of the work on the full collection, The Edge also participated in overseeing remastering these three albums. The group had also been working on one possible additional title which would be an archive of previously uncollected live material, and not a strict remaster of existing albums.

In 2013 with the shift in management, and the sale of Principle Management to Live Nation, the remastered / reissue project was disbanded (the recent 2017 issue of The Joshua Tree was put together by a different team under Gavin Friday’s watchful eye). Sales had been on the decline. The work on further releases was shelved for the moment. The remastering work overseen by The Edge was put aside as well. But those remasters reappeared last year when Apple reissued U2’s entire catalog digitally as part of the MFiT program for Apple. In the digital booklets accompanying that set, three stood out as they listed they had been remastered, and that The Edge had overseen the remastering, with audio engineering by Scott Sedillo. Those three were Pop, All That You Can’t Leave Behind and Rattle and Hum the same albums that had been planned to finish out the archive collection. The remasters originally done for the archive project were used in the creation of those releases. The credits list: “Directed by The Edge. Remastering Engineering by Scott Sedillo at Bernie Grundman Mastering. Audio Master Transfer Director: Declan Gaffney.” At the time work was being done on the archive program, there was no plan to go beyond All That You Can’t Leave Behind, and later albums were not worked on, and in the MFiT set, and with last years vinyl release of How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, that album was not remastered.

We suspect, but do not yet have confirmation, that it is these remasters that will be used for these new vinyl editions of Pop and All That You Can’t Leave Behind. We have confirmed that the 2009 remastering job of Wide Awake in America for the 25th anniversary release of The Unforgettable Fire is being used for that vinyl pressing. One interesting note? The MFiT version of All That You Can’t Leave Behind does include “The Ground Beneath Her Feet” worldwide for the first time, instead of just being a bonus track in certain regions. The albums are available in iTunes now if you wish to preview what these newly remastered versions of the albums sound like.


IMAGE: Alternate covers by Four5One for Pop when it was known as Staring at the Sun, The Sun The Moon and The Stars or Godzilla

So here we are, 21 years after Pop was released. There’s a remastered version of the album available on iTunes and coming soon on vinyl, but no deluxe set. That album has so many tracks that could be included for such a set. Its staggering when you look back at it. And we will.

Under the demos section at U2Songs we list 28 different titles for the Pop album. These include some songs that were released, or other songs that were renamed during the recording process such as “MFRR” which developed into “Mofo” and “Hymn to Mr Universe” which became “The Playboy Mansion”. The list of demos includes a number of songs we would hear later in life, such as “Scott Walker” which became “City of Blinding Lights” finally released in 2005, and “She’s Gonna Sleep Like A Baby” which finally popped up in 2014. We would love to hear some of these early versions. Who doesn’t want to hear the song “Lord of the Apple Mac”?


IMAGE: Alternate covers by Four5One for Pop when it was known as Novelty Act

There were a number of tracks by U2 that were released in that era as well, as B-Sides, or on projects such as soundtracks. “Holy Joe,” “North and South of the River,” “Pop Muzik” were all used as B-Sides to the singles from the album. Bono also participated with Larry Mullen on a song called “Dreaming With Tears In My Eyes” for a tribute album, and it is one of my favorite songs they’ve participated in. The band also recorded “I’m Not Your Baby” with Sinéad O’ Connor during this time.

U2 Tracks Used for B-Sides and Solo Outings:

  • “Dreaming With Tears in My Eyes” (Studio Version) – Bono (featuring Larry Mullen) (03:40)
  • “Happiness is a Warm Gun” (The Gun Mix) – U2 (04:45)
  • “Holy Joe” (Garage Mix) – U2 (04:21)
  • “I’m Not Your Baby” (Soundtrack Version) – U2 and Sinéad O’Connor (05:50)
  • “North and South of the River” (Studio) – U2 (04:39)
  • “North and South of the River” (1995 Studio Recording) – Christy Moore, Bono and The Edge (04:14)
  • “Pop Muzik” (Pop Mart Mix) – U2 (08:51)
  • “Slow Dancing” (Studio Version II) – U2 and Willie Nelson (04:02)
  • “Two Shots of Happy, One Shot of Sad” (Studio Version) – U2 (04:13)
  • “Your Blue Room” (Studio Version) – Passengers (05:28)

The band has also recorded a number of alternate versions of the songs from Pop. On the singles from Pop a number of the songs were re-recorded while U2 were on the Pop Mart tour, and these were featured rather than the album versions on single releases. There was also a censored version of “Wake Up Dead Man” for one international market that frowned on Bono’s lyrics, which bleeped out a line of the song. Do we really need to hear that? Probably not, but we’re listing it to be complete.

A number of later recordings were also done and released as well. In 2002, Bono recorded a version of “If You Wear That Velvet Dress” with Jools Holland and His Rhythm and Blues Orchestra. And for The Best of 1990 – 2000 a number of songs were remixed by Mike Hedges for that album instead of using the original album versions.

Alternate Versions 1997:

  • “Discothèque” (12” Version) – U2 (05:10)
  • “If God Will Send His Angels” (Single Version) – U2 (04:35)
  • “Last Night on Earth” (Single Version) – U2 (04:16)
  • “Please” (Single Version) – U2 (05:49)
  • “Wake Up Dead Man” (Studio Version – Censored) – U2 (04:53)

Later Recordings:

  • “Discothèque” (New Mix – Mike Hedges) – U2 (04:42) [2002]
  • “Gone” (New Mix – Mike Hedges) – U2 (04:34) [2002]
  • “If You Wear that Velvet Dress” (Studio Version II) – Bono, Jools Holland and His Rhythm and Blues Orchestra (06:22) [2002]
  • “Staring at the Sun” (New Mix – Mike Hedges) – U2 (04:49) [2002]

Just including the above would fill 95.2 minutes of space, and mixed in with some earlier demo material it would be easy to fill out two full CDs with just this type of material.


IMAGE: Alternate covers by Four5One for Pop when it was known as Atomic, Super City Mania or You2

The album was also supported with a number of live recordings. Tracks were recorded at concerts in Rotterdam, Edmonton, Sarajevo, and Mexico City and released in audio formats. “One” live from The Tibetan Freedom Festival is also available on a compilation. We list 47 minutes below but it would be easy to make up a CD of these tracks, especially if one were to fill it out with additional tracks from Edmonton, or recordings such as “Please” at the MTV Awards which were available on DVD releases.

Live Tracks:

  • “Discothèque” (Live from Mexico City, Dec. 3, 1997 – Fade In) – U2 (05:17)
  • “If You Wear that Velvet Dress” (Live from Mexico City, Dec. 3, 1997 – Fade Out) – U2 (02:36)
  • “Last Night on Earth” (Live from Mexico City, Dec. 3, 1997 – Fade In/Out) – U2 (06:30)
  • “One” (Live from New York, NY, Jun. 7, 1997 – Fade Out) – U2 (04:50)
  • “Please” (Live from Rotterdam, Jul. 18, 1997) – U2 (07:12)
  • “Staring at the Sun” (Live from Rotterdam, Jul. 18, 1997 – Without Intro) – U2 (05:33)
  • “Sunday Bloody Sunday” (Live from Sarajevo, Sep. 23, 1997) – U2 (03:50)
  • “Where the Streets Have No Name” (Live from Rotterdam, Jul. 18, 1997) – U2 (06:33)
  • “With or Without You” (Live from Edmonton, Jun. 14, 1997) – U2 (04:41)

More tracks from Mexico City are available as well on the fan club CD Hasta La Vista Baby, and on the home video release of the PopMart concert from that city.

But we’d also like to remember that there exists a full recording of the Sarajevo concert. It wasn’t Bono’s best night for his voice, but most will agree it was a monumental night in the career of the band, and I would love for it to be included if they were to ever do a box set.


IMAGE: Alternate covers by Four5One for Pop when it was known as Miami

But Pop is also remembered by fans for one other thing, the remixes. They were endless during that period. Each single and promo added more mixes. Mixes were given out to magazines, and to various artist promos. At the end of the article we will list the full list that we’ve pulled together. The total length to include all of the remixes and edits? 226.3 minutes. It would require three CDs to include all of these, but with some judicious editing a lot of these tracks could be eliminated as many are just different edits of the same mix. For those interested in more information about any of these mixes listed at the end you can find information through our By Song section for these songs.

If you’ve made it this far how many discs are we up to now? Yes, I’m far beyond wanting a two-disc archive set. Some day I’d like a full on box set. An Uber set if you will. The album remastered, two discs of B-Sides and alternate recordings, a disc of live recordings, a two disc set taken from Sarajevo, three discs of remixes, and as many demos and unreleased recordings as they could find to fill out another couple of discs. At least 10 discs should do it. Throw in some DVDs, add some fun things like some Pop Mart poker chips, or some replicas of Pop Era merchandise like the kaleidoscope, and you’d have the collection I’d really want. Sadly, for now, we have to settle for just the album on vinyl. But hopefully someday we’ll see a Pop collection of our dreams. And as a side note, the images we’ve used throughout the article are unused cover ideas for the Pop album, shared by Amp Visual in their book Stealing Hearts at a Traveling Show (written when they were still Four5One) – there’s more than enough of them to give each CD in our dream box set a unique cover don’t you think?

The Remixes:

  • “Dirty Day” (Bitter Kiss) – U2 (04:33)
  • “Dirty Day” (Junk Day) – U2 (04:43)
  • “Discothèque” (DM Deep Beats Mix) – U2 (03:59)
  • “Discothèque” (DM Deep Club Mix) – U2 (07:01)
  • “Discothèque” (DM Deep Extended Club Mix) – U2 (10:06)
  • “Discothèque” (DM Deep Instrumental Mix) – U2 (06:59)
  • “Discothèque” (DM TEC Club Mix) – U2 (07:21)
  • “Discothèque” (DM TEC Radio Mix) – U2 (03:46)
  • “Discothèque” (David Holmes Mix) – U2 (06:15)
  • “Discothèque” (Hexidecimal Mix) – U2 (07:23)
  • “Discothèque” (Hexidecimal Mix – Best of Edit) (05:45) – U2
  • “Discothèque” (Hexidecimal Mix Edit II) – U2 (04:12)
  • “Discothèque” (Howie B, Hairy B Mix) – U2 (07:40)
  • “Discothèque” (Radio Edit) – U2 (04:36)
  • “Happiness is a Warm Gun” (The Danny Saber Mix) – U2 (04:52)
  • “Holy Joe” (Guilty Mix) – U2 (05:09)
  • “If God Will Send His Angels” (The Grand Jury Mix / Big Yam Mix) – U2 (05:45)
  • “If God Will Send His Angels” (Research Hook) – U2 (00:11)
  • “I’m Not Your Baby” (Promo Version) – U2 and Sinéad O’ Connor (04:38)
  • “I’m Not Your Baby” (Skysplitter Dub) – U2 (05:47)
  • “Last Night on Earth” (First Night in Hell Mix) – U2 (05:52)
  • “Mofo” (Black Hole Dub) – U2 (06:49)
  • “Mofo” (House Flavour Mix) – U2 (07:19)
  • “Mofo” (Matthew Roberts Explicit Remix) – U2 (08:45)
  • “Mofo” (Mother’s Mix) – U2 (08:58)
  • “Mofo” (Romin Remix) – U2 (05:52)
  • “Mofo” (Phunk Phorce Mix) – U2 (08:46)
  • “Mofo” (Phunk Phorce Edit) – U2 (05:20)
  • “Numb” (The Soul Assassins Mix) – U2 (03:57)
  • “Please” (Song Hook) – U2 (00:12)
  • “Please” (US Edit) – U2 (03:59)
  • “Please” (UK Edit) – U2 (04:31)
  • “Pop Muzik” (PopMart Mix – Radio Edit) – U2 (04:04)
  • “Staring at the Sun” (Brothers in Rhythm Club Mix) – U2 (09:42)
  • “Staring at the Sun” (Brothers in Rhythm Ambient Mix) – U2 (05:29)
  • “Staring at the Sun” (Lab Rat Mix) – U2 (05:06)
  • “Staring at the Sun” (Monster Truck Mix) – U2 (05:08)
  • “Staring at the Sun” (Rhythm Brothers Rmx) – U2 (04:54)
  • “Staring at the Sun” (Sad Bastards Mix) – U2 (06:21)

The discography entry for the Pop album contains information about these songs and where to find them, as well as information about the album, videos, and more. Last year for the 20th anniversary of Pop U2Songs took a look at the album through a series of articles, we link them here for your interest as well:

2017-03-07 – 5 Albums: PopMart Mix! by Don Morgan
2017-03-05 – The History Mix: Pop Muzik by Aaron J Sams
2017-03-03 – You Can’t Bag It: A look at POP’s Promotional Items by Harry Kantas

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U2 to Reissue Four Albums on Vinyl

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-03-01)

This is an update of an earlier story, posted February 11, 2018

U2 are reissuing four recordings this year on 180g vinyl. All four vinyl have been out of print. The four recordings include two albums, Pop and All That You Can’t Leave Behind, the compilation The Best of 1980 – 1990, and the EP Wide Awake in America. Pop, All That You Can’t Leave Behind, and The Best of 1980 – 1990 have all been out of print since the initial releases in 1997 – 2000, and command three digit prices at auction, as they weren’t pressed in large quantities when originally produced.

Three of the four of these releases are now listed for pre-order on Amazon.Co.UK and all three list a release date of April 13, 2018. Universal is listing a release date of April 6, 2018 for the three. All That You Can’t Leave Behind is listed at £26.99 for a single vinyl, Wide Awake in America is listed at £24.99 for a single vinyl, and Pop is listed at £37.99 for a double vinyl. The Best of 1980 – 1990 is not listed yet, but it is expected to be released in July and thus will be listed later for pre-order. Although only currently listed on Amazon in the UK, these will be available worldwide and should begin to show up for order in other stores worldwide over the next few days. The following links are the links at Amazon to pre-order these:

These three will be issued with new catalog numbers. All That You Can’t Leave Behind will be released under the catalog number 5796988 (Original 2000 release was U212/524653-1), Pop will be released under the catalog number 5796999 (Original 1997 release was U210/524334-1) and Wide Awake in America will be reissued under the catalog number 5797084. The UPC for these new releases will be 602557969887 for All That You Can’t Leave Behind, 602557969993 for Pop and 60255797084 for Wide Awake in America.

The descriptions for these items are as follows:

All That You Can’t Leave Behind, the tenth studio album from U2, garnered multiple Grammy awards following its release in October 2000 and shot to #1 in 32 countries. Produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, and recorded in Dublin (HQ, Windmill Lane, Westland and Totally Wired) and the South of France, it includes the singles Beautiful Day, Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of, Elevation and Walk On. Remastered and pressed on 180gsm vinyl, this reissue also includes a download card. The artwork comprises a 16-page booklet featuring lyrics and photography by Anton Corbijn.

3rd March 2018 marks the 21st anniversary of Pop, U2’s ninth studio album, which reached #1 in the UK, US, Ireland and 26 other countries around the world following its release in 1997. Produced by Flood, with Howie B and Steve Osborne, the album was recorded in Dublin (Hanover Quay, Windmill Lane, The Works) and Miami (South Beach Studios). It features the singles: Discothèque, Staring At The Sun, Last Night On Earth, Please, If God Will Send His Angels and Mofo. Remastered and pressed on 180gsm vinyl, this reissue includes a download card. The artwork has been faithfully reproduced from the original release, including a gatefold sleeve, printed inner sleeves and a lyrics insert.

Wide Awake In America is a four-track half live/half studio EP from 1985. Originally released only in North America and Japan, it was subsequently re-released internationally in the late 1980s. Side A features live performances of A Sort Of Homecoming and Bad from UK shows on The Unforgettable Fire tour in late 1984. Side B features two B-sides from the 12” single of The Unforgettable Fire – The Three Sunrises and Love Comes Tumbling. Remastered and pressed on 180gsm vinyl, this reissue includes a download card and the artwork is a faithful reproduction of the original.

Last March we were able to tell you about a plan to reissue U2’s albums on vinyl. At that time two releases were released on vinyl, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb and a new version of War. When we spoke with Universal they confirmed that this was part of a bigger planned reissue, and that if sales were good, additional albums would be issued. We were told at the time that All That You Can’t Leave Behind would possibly be released in the fall and that Pop would be close behind. Last summer a new version of The Joshua Tree was also issued on vinyl as well as other formats to celebrate the 30th anniversary of that album. This release of The Joshua Tree and later Songs of Experience caused the reissues of other albums to be put on hold according to sources at Universal, delaying the planned Fall 2017 release of All That You Can’t Leave Behind until now. All three releases in April are listed as being remastered in the Amazon listing. The Edge recently directed remastering of All That You Can’t Leave Behind, Pop, and Rattle and Hum for the 2017 MFIT Editions on iTunes. It is not known if this is the mastering that will be used or if there was additional work done for these vinyl pressings. Wide Awake in America was remastered for the 2009 release of The Unforgettable Fire and was included in the deluxe edition of that album, and this was the version used for the 2017 MFIT Edition. Pop will be a double vinyl set, as was the original 1997 release. All That You Can’t Leave Behind and Wide Awake in America will both be single vinyl sets as were the original releases.

Vinyl has grown to be a big industry in recent years, and is one format of music where there is growth in sales year after year. Universal has been pressing U2 vinyl over the last few years to meet the growing demand for this format. These new releases would join Boy, October, War, Under a Blood Red Sky, The Unforgettable Fire, The Joshua Tree, U218 Singles, Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience as albums being kept in print by Universal Music at this time. This represents the entire U2 catalog with the exception of No Line on the Horizon, The Best of 1990 – 2000, Achtung Baby, Zooropa and Original Soundtracks 1. (Achtung Baby was available in 2011 as part of the re-issue campaign but has become difficult to find.) The Best of 1990 – 2000 is also not currently in print in a vinyl format.

These new pressings were originally announced in early February 2018. (We first wrote about them on February 11, 2018) A listing of upcoming records at the Jungle Records record store in Denmark first listed the four reissues with a release date of April 6, 2018. Prices listed on the Jungle Records listing were 30.84 Euro / 37.80 USD (Pop and The Best Of), 24.14 Euro / 29.58 USD (All That You Can’t Leave Behind) and 16.09 Euro / 19.72 USD (Wide Awake in America). A second site in Denmark, the Record Pusher site listed that The Best of 1980 – 1990 release would not come out until July 27, 2018. Both listings were premature and both stores were asked by Universal to remove these listings. The Amazon listings today are listing a new release date of April 13, while Universal is still telling us that these will be released on April 6.

Many of these albums have been out of print for a number of years, making them popular on the collector market. However this has also meant that bootleg copies of these albums have been pressed and sold in recent years. Both Pop and All That You Can’t Leave Behind have been pressed in low quality picture disc formats. These pressings are not legitimate pressings by Universal and have not been authorized by U2 or by Universal Records. While the picture disc pressings make these bootlegs easy to identify there are also reports of bootlegged versions of these albums on black vinyl, which are far more difficult to distinguish from the original. We urge caution if ordering these new pressings on vinyl, as some secondary sellers using Amazon do appear to have the bootleg versions listed for sale.

If these four are coming, it is likely that Universal is using The Best of 1980 – 1990 and Wide Awake in America to test the market for further releases of the non-album back catalog. We are told that additional reissues could be scheduled for this Fall.

Many thanks to Edgar / nahuise for the initial information on these releases.

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U2: War: The Singles

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-03-01)

War was released on February 28, 1983. But the first taste of U2’s third album came with the release of first single “New Years Day” on January 10, 1983. “New Year’s Day” was released around the world on 7-inch and 12-inch. A CD single would also be released, but not for many years, eventually seeing light in the early 1990s.

The sleeve for “New Year’s Day” in most regions featured Peter Rowen, the boy pictured on the sleeve of Boy and War as well. On the cover he is holding a flag pole and looking at the camera with mouth slightly opened. The text on the front cover varied from grey to black, to red and orange. A few sleeves used different images. In Japan the cover of War was used, a 12-inch in France had a unique photo of the band, and the 12-inch in Portugal zoomed out on the photo of Rowen allowing us to see more of the overall photo.

The single did well in the charts, reaching #36 in Australia, #41 in the airplay charts in Canada (but failing to reach the sales charts), #2 in Ireland, #32 in New Zealand, and #10 in the UK Official charts. In the USA the song reached #53 in the Hot 100, #28 in the Rock Albums, and #2 in the Rock Top Tracks. In most cases these were the highest positions U2 had obtained to date, and the single was considered a success. “New Year’s Day” was kept from the top of the Irish charts by “Down Under” by Men at Work, preventing U2 from getting their first number one single with this release.

“New Year’s Day” has received many accolades over the years. In Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, it was ranked at #427 in December 2004, and at #435 in April 2010. Pitchfork also lists the song as part of their “500 Greatest Songs from Punk to Present” and the song was featured on John Peel’s Festive 50 in 1983. “New Year’s Day” also finished well in the Hot Press yearly awards, being listed at #2 for best single and #2 for best video.

The next single from War was released on March 21, just three weeks after the album. The song in most regions was “Two Hearts Beat As One.” This single was released worldwide, but not in The Netherlands, Germany, Spain, or Brazil, where “Sunday Bloody Sunday” was the second single instead. Japan released both singles. The single was released in 7-inch and 12-inch formats. No CD single was ever issued for “Two Hearts Beat As One.”

The single sleeve was a callback to the Boy album cover, with Peter Rowen standing with his hands behind his head. A red bar was used above the photo of Rowen for titles and other text, except in France where yellow was used instead.

The single didn’t do as well as “New Year’s Day” in the charts. In Australia the song reached #53 on the ARIA Charts. The song failed to chart in Canada and the USA. In New Zealand “Two Hearts Beat As One” reached #16, and it achieved that same number in the UK Official Charts. In Ireland the song reached #2, the same as “New Year’s Day.” This time it was David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” that prevented U2 from taking the top spot for the first time. (“Pride” would also miss the #1 spot in Ireland, and the first song that did chart at #1 at home was 1985’s “The Unforgettable Fire”).

“Two Hearts Beat as One” has few accolades, although it was ranked the #5 single of 1983 by Rip It Up magazine, placing it on a chart which didn’t include “New Year’s Day.”

In The Netherlands, Germany, Spain, and Brazil, “Sunday Bloody Sunday” was War‘s second single. That release used the same cover as “Two Hearts Beat as One” featuring Rowen. The song was also released in Japan, where a series of band photos was used instead to distinguish it from the “Two Hearts Beat as One” single. Unlike “Two Hearts,” “Sunday Bloody Sunday” was issued on CD in the early 1990s.

For a single that wasn’t widely released, “Sunday Bloody Sunday” has a number of impressive awards. On the Rolling Stone list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time it placed at #268 in December 2004 and at #272 in April 2010. The song is also listed on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame list of the “500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll” and was listed at #18 on the 40 Best Tracks of the 1980s by Q Magazine in 2006.

Those three songs were the only singles originally planned for the album. Then on August 20, 1983, U2 performed at the Rockpalast summer festival at the Loreley Ampitheatre in St. Goarshausen, Germany. The festival had been organized by the television station WDR and televised in Germany. The band’s strong performance at the festival garnered a lot of positive press for U2, and they were urged to capitalize on that press by releasing something quickly in Germany.

Accordingly, a commercial single was prepared for War‘s final track, “40.” The release was pressed exclusively for the German market. It contained a slight edit of the album track, and the b-side was “Two Hearts Beat As One,” which had not been issued as a single in Germany. The front of the sleeve featured a promotional note that read “Die Entdeckung der Loreley ’83” which translates to “The Discovery of Loreley ’83.” The single was rushed into production and was released in Germany on August 29, 1983. On the cover, the song is titled, “>40< (How Long).” The single failed to chart in Germany but it helped cement that country’s affection for U2, a feeling that continues to this day.

One interesting release in 1983 was a cassette single issued in Japan titled “For You.” This release featured a unique cover with a photo of the band, and featured a generous seven tracks collected from both the “New Year’s Day” and “Two Hearts Beat As One” single releases. The format was a bit of a novelty at that time, and we believe it is the earliest cassette single of U2’s career, as the cassette format for “Three” did not appear until 1985.

There was another single issued in 1983, one final release for the USA market to support Under a Blood Red Sky. The live version of “I Will Follow” was released to radio and commercially, with a special edit for radio that reduced the crowd noise that could be heard on the track. “I Will Follow (Live)” reached #81 on the Billboard Hot 100.

If you are interested in more information about any of these releases, including track listings, alternate covers, and other variations, we suggest a visit to our discography for the entries related to War:

We’ve also published a couple of other articles celebrating the 35th anniversary of War:

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“Summer of Love” Pushed to DJs in UK

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-02-28)

“Summer of Love” is now also being made available to club DJs in the UK as a new track, soon to be released as a single. The song being delivered in the UK is a slight edit of the album version, and is shorter by 4.75 seconds. This is due to an earlier fade out of the song, and the removal of the silence that is found at the end of the album version. About 1.68 seconds of this audio removed is the end of the song, and the remainder is silence that is removed.

“Summer of Love” is available on the Essential Hits Issue 155 compilation from the label DMC (Disco Mix Club.) The service started in 1983, issuing mixes of popular tracks of various artists. These remix labels were popular means for DJs to obtain the latest songs. By 1994 there was a flood of these remix services, and the RIAA got involved and notified these services that they needed to have clear permission from publishers, or they would face legal action, shutting down many of these services. The ones that survived now work with labels. The labels provide copies of the latest songs that they want promoted, and the DJs in return help break these tracks as part of these compilations. DMC is registered under the British Phonographic Industry and are licensed to release music.

DMC made it through the issues of the 1990s, and today produces a number of legitimate promotional releases, such as the “Essential Hits” series of CDs highlighting the newest tracks released by the label. They also do produce a line of “Bootleg” CDs as well which do contain mashups, and mega-mixes, which are not legitimate remixes, but they are tolerated by the label in return for the promotion done of other materials. Access to the CDs are for music professionals who can apply through the DMC to buy music as downloads or as physical copies. If you are not a DJ or music professional, you are unable to access these musical releases.

DMC releases are aimed at the commercial club DJ, and are not usually for radio DJs.

“Summer of Love” appears on the Essential Hits Issue 155 compilation” which includes tracks from the Mid-Month UK chart and “pre-releases” of songs intended to be a single. They appear on the disc alongside artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Justin Timberlake, Stereophonics, and Simple Minds. The disc was made available to DJs last week, on February 21.

Earlier this month we brought the news that “Summer of Love” had also been formally released to Dutch radio. Dutch DJ, Ruud de Wild claimed on air that U2’s next single would be “Summer of Love”. On Friday, February 2, the song was digitally delivered to radio in The Netherlands, but only in the Netherlands. (Please note: No promotional CD has been issued, this delivery was fully digital and there were no CDs or CD-Rs produced for promotion in The Netherlands.)

The song has only been getting a large amount of airplay in The Netherlands, and Caribbean islands which are part of The Netherlands with 77.2% of recorded airplay being in these regions. The song has gotten a small amount of airplay in other countries as well most notably in Westen Europe, Belgium, as well as in Spain in the Gran Canaria and Costa Blanca regions. Only sparse airplay is being recorded anywhere else in the world.

“Summer of Love” has also appeared on the Media Markt Tipparade, the measure used for chart success in The Netherlands. This particular chart is the listing of songs outside of the Dutch Top 40. Currently the song is listed at #17 on this chart. The song has been steadily climbing on this chart since its debut six weeks ago. That means “Summer of Love” has already surpassed both “You’re The Best Thing About Me“ and “Get Out of Your Own Way“ in these Dutch charts. “You’re the Best Thing About Me” had peaked at #21 on this chart of songs outside the top 40.

“Summer of Love” was also recently remixed by TILT and Danny Stubbs, and that remix has been also getting some airplay, and notice.

At this point it looks like the next single to get the full release treatment from the album is likely “Summer of Love.” “Get Out of Your Own Way” is still being pushed at American radio but expect the push for that song to wrap up soon and focus move to promotion of the next song shortly.

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5 Albums: War 35th Anniversary Edition

Original Story by Don Morgan (2018-02-27)

February 28, 2018 marks an astonishing 35 years since U2’s War first appeared on the scene. It was the band’s third album but the first to be considered a “hit” in terms of chart success, ascending to the #1 position in the UK (knocking Michael Jackson’s Thriller off the throne) and earning a respectable #12 on the US charts. Several songs, including “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” “New Year’s Day,” and “40,” remain critical and fan favorites and are considered classics to this day.

To help celebrate its 35th birthday, we’re traveling back to 1983 for this special 5 Albums installment that looks at War‘s key contributors and collaborators and explores some of the other projects they were involved in at the time.

Kid Creole and the Coconuts/Tropical Gangsters


Members of US-based “tropical disco” band Kid Creole and the Coconuts appear on two of War‘s tracks. The Coconuts (backing vocalists Adriana Kaegi, Cheryl Poirier, and Taryn Hagey) sing on both “Red Light” and “Surrender,” while trumpeter Kenny Fradley plays on “Red Light” as well (another vocalist, Jessica Felton, also appears on these tracks but was not a member of the group). While U2 was recording War in 1982, Kid Creole and the Coconuts (who, like U2, were signed to Island Records) were touring Europe to promote their 1982 album Tropical Gangsters, a massive hit that had peaked at #3 in the UK and spawned three top-ten singles. Stories of how this unique and unexpected collaboration between U2 and The Coconuts came about are conflicting. Some accounts say Steve Lillywhite invited the singers to the recording session after seeing the group perform in Dublin the night before. Others say Paul McGuinness phoned Adriana Kaegi directly and invited the group to Windmill Lane. In any event, Kaegi and Poirier recounted their experience with U2 in John Jobling’s book U2: The Definitive Biography:

“Not what we had in mind,” recalls Kaegi, “but we agreed anyway, only to find a bunch of very young innocent lads at the studio who turned bright red when Cheryl told them she sings better in the nude and started taking off her pullover. She was just having fun…” Poirier adds: “They were young, shy, and polite—uncommonly polite for early 80s rockers… When we recorded ‘Red Light,’ Bono kept telling us to sing softer and softer, until the words sounded like whispers. So, after a bunch of takes and retakes I figured out what he wanted and blurted out, ‘Oh, you want it to sound sexier, sort of orgasmic, right?’ Then there was a hush in the control room… not a word from the guys… oops… I was unaware of their strong religious beliefs and had stepped out of bounds rather bluntly!”

The Waterboys/This is the Sea


The distinctive tones of Steve Wickham’s electric violin grace two tracks on War: “Drowning Man” and, most notably, “Sunday Bloody Sunday.” Young Steve was still living at home in Dublin in 1982 when he recognized The Edge at a bus stop. He introduced himself and asked if U2 needed a violin player on their next album. He gave Edge his phone number and received a call from him the following week… and the rest is history! Wickham also joined U2 on stage for a few dates during the Pre-War and War tours in late 1982 and 1983, performing not only during “Sunday Bloody Sunday” but also, at times, during “Tomorrow,” “Into the Heart,” and “The Electric Co.” Shortly after recording with U2 for War, Wickham became a founding member of In Tua Nua, the first band to release a single through U2’s Mother Records label in 1984. The following year, Wickham played violin on the track “The Pan Within” on the Waterboys’ third album This is the Sea. He became a permanent member of The Waterboys soon after, contributing extensively to 1988’s Fisherman’s Blues, and is largely credited with influencing the band’s Celtic and folk sound. In addition to violin, he also sings and plays several other instruments including concertina, saxophone, guitar, and piano. Wickham has appeared on a number of other studio and live recordings for The Waterboys, and has also collaborated with Sinead O’Connor, R.E.M., Bob Dylan, Maria McKee, and many other artists. Steve has also released two solo albums, Beekeeper and Geronimo.

Midnight Oil/10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1


There have been many comparisons made between U2 and Australian rockers Midnight Oil over the years. Both bands have strong themes of social consciousness, infused with Christian imagery, running through their music. And for both bands, 1983 was a breakthrough year. Just as U2 enjoyed its first UK #1 album with War, Midnight Oil saw 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 (actually released in November of 82) peak at #3 on the Australian charts—and then remain on those charts for an astonishing 171 weeks! Beyond the stylistic and thematic similarities between War and 10-1, both albums share a common denominator in French DJ/producer Francois Kervorkian, who helped both U2 and Midnight Oil bridge the gap between alternative rock and the emerging dance club culture of the 80s. Although Kervorkian did not work directly on either War or 10-1, in both cases his services were enlisted to create dance remixes of singles from those albums. In the case of War, of course, the singles in question were “New Year’s Day” and “Two Hearts Beat As One,” both of which got a “USA Remix” by Kervorkian as well as an additional “Long Mix” for “Two Hearts.” For Midnight Oil, Kervorkian remixed 10-1‘s second single “Power and the Passion” for the US market. This 12-inch remix, sometimes labeled the “Special Version” or simply “Remix,” was initially included only on the US 12-inch release, while the 12-inch single in other countries contained the album version. Later, though, Kervorkian’s remix would appear on a wide range of other Midnight Oil vinyl and CD releases worldwide. Kervorkian also created a dub version of “Power and the Passion” called “Glitch Baby Glitch.” Both bands would work with Kervorkian again in 1985. U2 enlisted him to remix “Wire” (the “Celtic Dub Mix” and “12-inch Vocal Mix,” although the latter didn’t see release until the 2009 reissue of The Unforgettable Fire), while Midnight Oil actually gave him a rare turn in the producer’s chair for their EP Species Deceases.

Big Country/The Crossing


In our separate 5 Albums article for Steve Lillywhite, we have already noted that 1983 was a big year for him with his work on both War and Sparkle in the Rain by Simple Minds. But there is another influential album from that period that bears Lillywhite’s stamp, and that is The Crossing, the debut album from Scottish rock band Big Country. Around the time of War‘s release, U2 was included in a group of upcoming young bands from the British Isles characterized by big sounds and big ideas. The music press at the time considered this passionate, guitar-based music a natural evolution from the post-punk sound. Welsh rockers The Alarm were also a significant part of this musical wave. Steve Lillywhite can rightly be credited with helping to define this anthemic “big music” sound. Team Rock columnist Scott Rowley has said, “In 1983, [Lillywhite] would record War, The Crossing and Simple Minds’ last great album Sparkle In The Rain in that order – three albums that would define the ‘Big Music’ of the 80s.” Not surprisingly, U2, Big Country, and other “big music” bands would often appear on the same bill together during this period, including a famous moment at London’s Hammersmith Palais on the final night of the War Tour, when Big Country’s Stuart Adamson and The Alarm’s Mike Peters joined Bono onstage for a rendition of “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.” Where The Crossing is concerned, Lillywhite helped the band achieve a unique sonic effect in the studio that resulted in what sounded like bagpipes. The most obvious example of this can be heard in the bridge of the album’s iconic hit single, “In a Big Country.” In 2011 Lillywhite told Musicradar: “The guitars sounding like bagpipes? We were totally aware of it. But it wasn’t so much because of their guitars or their gear or anything technical; it had more to do with the parts they were playing. They were very simple, striking, anthem-like lines that just rang out. I have a very special place in my heart for this album.”

The Dubliners/Prodigal Sons


While Steve Lillywhite is widely considered War‘s sole producer, that is not entirely accurate. “The Refugee,” the opening track on Side 2 of the original vinyl, was produced by Irish musician and composer Bill Whelan. With a history in the Irish music industry stretching back to the early 1970s, Whelan had written, produced, recorded, or performed with a number of artists including Planxty, Stacc, Teddie Palmer, and Richard Harris (and he would later go on to work with Van Morrison, Kate Bush, The Corrs, and others). The same year he produced “The Refugee,” Whelan also produced and played keyboards on the album Prodigal Sons, by Irish traditional group The Dubliners. That album included traditional songs and instrumentation as well as original compositions by the band. (Years later, U2 would collaborate with a number of other Irish artists on the charity single “The Ballad of Ronnie Drew,” written in tribute to The Dubliners’ lead singer.) 1983 was a busy year for Whelan, as he also produced the debut (and only) album by Irish synth-pop duo Minor Detail, recorded at Windmill Lane with names that would later appear in U2 liner notes, including Paul Barrett and Kevin Killen. Also in 83, Whelan joined U2 manager Paul McGuinness to form McGuinness Whelan Music Publishing, a successful music publishing company that is still in operation today. Whelan is best known, of course, as the composer of the song “Riverdance” in 1994, which would in turn spawn a full touring Irish dance show (also written and composed by Whelan) and an accompanying soundtrack album.

What are your favorite musical moments from War? And for that matter, what are your favorite albums from 1983? Some other significant releases that year included R.E.M.‘s Murmur, Metallica’s Kill ‘em All, Def Leppard’s Pyromania, New Order’s Power, Corruption, & Lies, The Police’s swan song Synchronicity, Tears for Fears’ The Hurting, Talking Heads’ Speaking in Tongues, OMD’s Dazzle Ships, Bob Marley and The Wailers’ Confrontation, Madonna’s Madonna, Yes’s 90125, Depeche Mode’s Construction Time Again, The Cure’s Japanese Whispers, and, on November 21, U2’s own Under a Blood Red Sky.

Visit the U2Songs Forum or chime in on Facebook or Twitter to share your favorite musical moments of 1983 or to simply join us in saying “Happy Birthday, War!”

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Management Principles

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams / Don Morgan (2018-02-21)

Paul McGuinness, the man behind Principle Management, attended and dropped out of Trinity College in Dublin. He got his start in the entertainment industry while attending Trinity, directing plays and hiring bands for dances. He left school to work in films, and his first big project was as assistant director for a film by John Boorman called Zardoz. His first foray into management in the music business was an Irish folk-rock group called Spud, which he managed for a year.

Then in 1978, McGuinness met U2. They were supporting a band that his sister was managing, The Gamblers. He signed on with U2 and acted as their manager up until 2013. Paul is retired from the music business now, and pursuing other interests, but along the way U2 was not his only client. On March 29, 1984 McGuinness established Principle Management, a company that managed U2 exclusively for a number of years but would eventually branch out to work with a number of other acts. The name Principle Management was chosen because McGuinness wanted to be more principled than other managers and to look out for his clients, not for himself.

When McGuinness stepped down in November 2013, his interest in Principle Management was sold to the band. Over the years, McGuinness and Principle Management worked with a wide range of artists, and we’ll take a look back at a few of them in this article.

Spud (1976)

McGuinness worked with the band Spud in 1976. Spud was an Irish traditional rock band that had released a number of singles and a couple of albums for various labels before McGuinness got involved with them. While working with McGuinness, the band released just one single, “Kitty” on 7-inch vinyl in 1976 on Break Records, BKS 001. After working with McGuinness, Spud would record one further album and a couple of singles, but retired from recording in 1979.

Paul McGuinness’s time with Spud not only marked his first time as a band manager, but also saw him establish Break Records, the label under which the single from Spud was released. When U2 released “Three” in the UK, the label on the 7-inch mistakenly read: “CBS Records are the exclusive licensees for the UK & Eire.” McGuinness would send out copies of that 7-inch single with a note attached, claiming: “Astonishing Label Copy Error. Despite the label U-2 are signed to CBS only for Ireland. The band is free worldwide for recording and publishing. Contact Paul McGuinness, Break Records, 65 Waterloo Rd, Dublin 4. Eire. Tel Dublin 686553 / 687952.”

Interestingly, the label on some early pressings of “Another Day” also list the single as “A Break Records Production.” The only other song released on Break Records would be “The Pride of the Herd” by Shaun Davey in 1978. Davey had been the producer of the single “Kitty” for Spud.

The Pretenders / Chrissie Hynde (1987)

After Spud, the focus turned to U2, and it would be a number of years before Paul McGuinness would get involved with another artist. Principle Management was formed in 1984, and in 1987 McGuinness would move into management of The Pretenders for a short time. The Pretenders were a successful English rock band fronted by Chrissie Hynde. According to the autobiography of Chrissie Hynde, Reckless, Paul McGuinness managed her career for “about two weeks.”

Hynde had worked with U2 in-studio in 1984 singing backing vocals on The Unforgettable Fire. She was married to Simple Minds vocalist Jim Kerr at the time, so in the liner notes she is credited as Ms. Christine Kerr. Her vocals apparently appear in the background on “Pride (In the Name of Love).”

At the time McGuinness was involved, The Pretenders were undergoing a number of changes and the line-up of the band was quite fluid, with the exception of Chrissie herself. It was McGuinness who approached Johnny Marr, formerly of The Smiths, to work with The Pretenders and to appear with them live on the 1987 Joshua Tree Tour.


VIDEO: The Pretenders (with Johnny Marr) “Windows Of the World” from the soundtrack of 1969

Marr relates, “I was writing my own stuff for a record when I got a call from Paul McGuinness, who manages The Pretenders. He told me The Pretenders had some gigs lined up supporting U2 in America, and Robbie McIntosh had left; would I do these gigs? That was an interesting invitation because I’d liked The Pretenders’ early record and without doubt (late Pretenders guitarist) James Honeyman-Scott was a big influence. I met with Chrissie and we got on really well. The gigs were fantastic. To learn 30 Pretenders songs in a few weeks was a real challenge. On a personal level, Chrissie helped me immensely with The Smiths split and dealing with the press.”

The Pretenders didn’t stay with McGuinness for long. But the band did open for U2 on a number of dates in 1987, starting with the show on May 27, 1987 in Rome and doing 16 shows in total, ending with the show on November 18, 1987 in Los Angeles.

PJ Harvey (1993-2013)

After Hynde’s short tenure with Principle Management, it would be a number of years before the company would again reach out to manage other acts. The next artist to join the roster was Island Records’ PJ Harvey, who signed with Principle in 1993 and who would remain there (almost) to the end.

In 1993, PJ Harvey had released two studio albums, Dry and Rid of Me, with the latter being released on Island Records. As she was signed to Island, Harvey secured a number of shows with U2, opening for them in stadiums in Europe on the Zoo TV Tour. She opened seven concerts between July 27 (Copenhagen) and August 12 (London). In each case she would be one of two opening acts, with the shows shared between Utah Saints, The Stereo MCs, and Big Audio Dynamite II. During those performances PJ Harvey left an impression on Paul McGuinness, who was known to frequently watch from the sidelines as opening acts performed.

In the book PJ Harvey: Siren Rising by James R. Blandford, the connection is explained further, “The following month, they supported U2 for a set of their European Zooropa stadium shows, climaxing with two dates at London’s Wembley Stadium. The U2 connection proved to be noteworthy in other ways: U2’s managers Paul McGuinness and Sheila Roche of Principle Management in Dublin were so impressed by her that they offered to take over her management contract, making her only the second act on their books after U2. “He was very interested and excited by my performance at those shows,” said Polly of McGuinness, “and he made a point of saying that if I was ever looking for management, he would be interested. It’s changed everything so much: it’s made things easier for me, because they know their business inside out. What’s more they’re not reliant on me as their source of income, which I’d had in the past and that can be a terrible pressure. I like the way they’re handling everything. I love Dublin and I feel like I’m welcome there because I’m now part of the family.”


VIDEO: PJ Harvey’s “Down by the Water” from 1995’s To Bring You My Love

McGuinness himself spoke to the LA Times about Harvey, saying he was “intensely curious about her. There is something very intriguing, very enigmatic about her. She is a rock’n‘roll artist in a great tradition – a puzzle. I Think she will make a long series of great records and they will all be completely different.”

It didn’t hurt that Polly Jean was a U2 fan, telling The Irish Times in 1995, “Actually, I came to Dublin on a pilgrimage to see Larry Mullen! And it’s great how things have worked out because when I was 14 one of my favourite bands was U2 and I’d buy the records and see the Island logo and think ’If I’m ever to be on a record label I want it to be like that’. And I’d see Paul on the telly and think it must be marvelous to have a manager like him and now I can’t believe it’s all come true…”

In 2001, PJ Harvey once again signed on to open for U2 on the Elevation Tour. Each night as she performed, Paul McGuinness could be seen in the crowd intently listening. As one group of fans showed love for PJ night after night, Paul would stop to thank them for their support of her.

Harvey parted ways with Principle in early 2013, months before it was announced that Paul McGuinness was stepping down and selling the company. While with Principle, PJ Harvey’s career was managed day to day by McGuinness and Sheila Roche (up to her own departure in 2004).

Lazlo Bane (1996-1998?)

Lazlo Bane, the next act signed to Principle Management, was primarily handled by Principle’s US office. The band was an alternative rock quartet based out of Santa Monica, California. They signed on with Principle Management as they moved to the label Almo Sounds in 1996. In August of that year they released an EP titled Short Style and in January 1997 they released their first album, 11 Transistor. On both of these recordings Keryn Kaplan and Paul McGuinness of Principle Management were listed as management.


VIDEO: Lazlo Bane performing “Overkill” with Colin Hay from the EP “Short Style”

The band were later dropped by their label and self-produced their second album in 2002. There is no credit for Principle Management on that release, and it appears that the band left Principle when they left Almo Sounds. That second album contained the song “Superman,” which became a theme to the television show Scrubs.

Sinéad O’Connor (1997-1998)

Sinéad O’Connor has had a controversial and troubled career. Where U2 is concerned, she has gone through cycles where she seems very anti-U2, and others where she is very pro-U2. On August 7, 1997 it was announced that in light of her split from EMI Records and manager Fachtna O’Ceallaigh, O’Connor would be joining the Principle Management organization and would be promoted in America by McGuinness himself. O’Connor’s career had stalled in North America after she infamously ripped up a photo of Pope John Paul II on Saturday Night Live, and she felt that McGuinness could help. A source close to Sinéad said at the time, “Sinéad is very anxious to promote her career in America and has been talking to Paul about the two of them working together.”

The first release under this new arrangement was a track recorded by U2 with Sinéad, called “I’m Not Your Baby,” It was released on the soundtrack of Wim Wenders’ film The End of Violence.


VIDEO: U2 with Sinéad O’Connor perform “I’m Not Your Baby” from The End of Violence soundtrack

The relationship with Principle Management did not last long, and in January 1998 Billboard Magazine announced that Sinéad O’Connor had moved on to Pure Management under Steve Fargnoli, after just a few months with Principle Management.

MyTown (1998-2001)

MyTown was a four piece boy band formed in Dublin in 1996. The group was managed by Eamonn Maguire, then owner of Mobius TV Studios. Maguire gave up his TV career to manage the band full time, which eventually brought him to the attention of Paul McGuinness and Principle Management. Maguire was hired by Principle, and MyTown signed with the company in early 1998, just as the band was making a push for exposure in the United States. The band signed a contract with Universal and Cherry Records and started releasing singles worldwide. When Cherry Records was dropped from the Universal label, MyTown was released from their contract, and their album was never released in Europe, although it was released in North America and Australia.


VIDEO: “Party All Night” by MyTown

MyTown parted ways in 2001, but two members, Mark Sheehan and Danny O’Donoghue, went on to form their own band, The Script. Their first album was released in 2008 to considerable success in Europe. The Script opened for U2 at their July 27, 2009 concert in Croke Park.

Paddy Casey (1998-2008)

Paddy Casey is an Irish singer-songwriter from Dublin. He got his first guitar at the age of 12 and started performing around Ireland. He left home at the beginning of his teens to busk throughout the country, finding a lifestyle in Galway playing gigs in pubs where he wasn’t even old enough to be served. He returned to Dublin at age 20 and took to busking in the streets. One day, when he was just 24, he was playing at the International Bar in Dublin when he was approached by Sony Records and offered a recording contract. He signed with Sony.

Paul McGuinness was at that same show and offered to be Casey’s manager. Initially, Casey turned him down, thinking he could do things himself.

Casey told Brian Boyd at the Irish Times, “At first I wasn’t really that interested. Up until then I had done everything myself – absolutely everything, so I didn’t think that there would be anything for Principle to do, but the more I saw of the music business, the more I realised how much I needed someone to look after things that I had no idea of.”


VIDEO: Paddy Casey performing “Addicted to Company” from Addicted to Company (Part One)

Casey would later tell the Irish Independent that he enjoyed working with Paul McGuinness and Susan Hunter at Principle. “I want to focus on making the best music I can and not think too much about how to reach a bigger audience. I’m happy to do the work for it, of course. But I don’t want to think this whole thing is planned out too much. I’m not very good at the promo side of things. I can’t network. Paul is great at that. He knows everybody. The Pope would probably take a call from him. With me, I don’t mind meeting people but I’d rather just chat away to them and not know what the fuck they were doing. I find the whole thing very uncomfortable. When I’m introduced to someone and told ‘This guy is working for you’, it just puts a wall up for me straight away.”


AUDIO: Paddy Casey’s cover of “Mothers of the Disappeared”

Casey remained with Principle Management until 2008. In 2005, Casey opened for U2 in Oslo and at one concert in Dublin during the Vertigo Tour. Casey is still actively producing music. If you manage to track down the compilation Even Better Than the Real Thing Volume 3, an album of U2 covers, you can hear Casey’s rendition of “Mothers of the Disappeared.”

Art of Noise (1999-?)

The band Art of Noise was an art-pop group originally established in 1983. The band included producer Trevor Horn and music journalist Paul Morley. It was Morley who wrote the liner notes for the 2008 remastered edition of Boy. And it was Horn who owned SARM West studios, which he loaned out for the recording of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” He also remixed the 12-inch version of the song.


AUDIO: Art of Noise featuring Rakim, “Metaforce” from The Seduction of Claude Debussy

Art of Noise was not with Principle Management from the beginning, in fact the band predated Principle by a year. But in 1999, seeking new management, they landed with McGuinness for a couple of years. The album The Seduction of Claude Debussy in 1999 was done while the band was signed to Principle, as was the single released with Rakim, “Metaforce.”

During their time with Principle, the band was handled by Donna Estes out of the New York office or Susie Smith from the Dublin office. Occasionally their management was taken on by McGuinness himself.

The Rapture (2004-2013)

In February 2004 The Irish Voice announced that Paul McGuinness had once again signed a new band to the roster at Principle Management, called The Rapture. McGuinness was quoted as saying “These people are a dynamite live act, and that’s kind of what I like best about rock’n‘roll.”


VIDEO: The Rapture performing “Get Myself into it” Live in Studio

The Rapture are a rock band that formed in 1998 in New York City. They released a few singles and signed to Sub Pop, releasing an album along the way. They left Sub Pop to sign with Universal Motown Records, and released their second full-length album on that label. That album, Pieces of the People We Love was recorded with Paul Epworth and Dangermouse.

The band stayed with Principle throughout their career, and disbanded some time before McGuinness made the announcement that he was selling Principle Management.

Other Acts

A number of other acts were part of the Principle Management roster over the years, including the production team TOY, which produced recordings for artists such as Maria Nayler, Flatz, and Camoflage. They appeared to be on the Principle Management roster from 2000 – 2010, and possibly beyond.

The Irish artist Mundy was also once handled by Susan Hunter of Principle Management (2000). The magician Keith Barry also used Principle for his management company (2006). Producer Craig Street was also handled by Keryn Kaplan of Principle Management. He produced Meshell Ndegeocello’s Bitter (1999) and Boyd Tinsley’s True Reflections (2003) while working with Kaplan.

Principle Management often worked on other interests of Paul McGuinness, and was listed as 1/3 owner of the Ardmore Television Studios as well. Principle also provided support to artists getting a start on U2’s own Mother Records.

If you know of other acts that Principle Management represented, we would love to hear from you.

Post-Principle Management

In 2013, McGuinness sold his interest in Principle Management back to U2. Once retired, he started pitching ideas to screenwriters and directors for a new television show. The idea McGuinness explained was “Anyone in the world who starts to make a lot of money… tends to come to the South of France to spend it.” McGuinness would know, as he bought his own house in Éze-sur-Mer, where U2 own homes as well. McGuinness enticed Neil Jordan aboard, and they created the show Riviera which was aired on Sky Atlantic. McGuinness explained to The Journal, “Rich people are very keen to keep their privacy and there’s a lot going on in the south of France that is not written about in the newspapers,” he explains. “Lots of rumours, lots of mysteries and rich people doing terrible things to one another, but out of sight.” Although Jordan was listed as a creator and a co-writer, he pulled out of the series early on and later claimed the two episodes he had worked on were reworked by others. “Riviera” is starting production on a second season in May, and Paul is still involved as an executive producer.

McGuinness has also continued speaking engagements, such as one at the recent International Live Music Conference in London in 2017. At that conference he mentioned he still lurks in the background of the U2 organization but he has no responsibilities. And he does show up from time to time at U2 concerts, having been spotted at shows on The Joshua Tree Tour 2017, and more recently at U2’s appearance in Trafalgar Square last fall. In 2015, he gave an extensive interview with The Irish Times, speaking about life after U2 and his current projects. When asked if he would feel at home in today’s music industry, McGuinness replied “I don’t think I would. I’m curious, but I’m not really involved, except as a spectator and sometimes as a commentator.”

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The History Mix: Passengers Distinctive Forms

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-02-16)

It isn’t very often we find new versions of older songs, and it is always a joy when we do. Thanks to Arthem Kouzmin we have found a new version of a song from the Passengers album, “One Minute Warning”.

Passengers was a project that U2 worked with Brian Eno on, and as Eno was considered as part of the band they renamed themselves Passengers for the album. The album was a collection of songs for imaginary films, and the booklet went into detail about the various films. But not all of the films were imaginary, and some of the tracks appeared in real films.

  • “Always Forever Now” appeared in Heat, and “Plot 180” appeared in a deleted scene from that movie.
  • “Your Blue Room” and “Beach Sequence” appeared in Par-dela les nuages / Beyond the Clouds
  • “One Minute Warning” appeared in Ghost in the Shell

“One Minute Warning” in the film was the same version that features on the Passengers album Original Soundtracks 1. The song in the movie is the same as the album. There are multiple versions of the movie, and the original Japan release and the 2.0 Version don’t include “One Minute Warning” at all. But the English version of the film, and the DVD / Blu Ray releases of the original English movie include the song.

So where is the new version of the song? In November 1996, to celebrate the one year anniversary of the film, BMG in Japan through their LiPop label released Ghost in the Shell Project 2501: The Real Image Album Collection. Real Image Albums were popular in Japan at the time and would contain dialog and sound effects from the film along with music from the soundtrack. The last song on the album is “One Minute Warning” but it is not the version from the film and the Passengers album. Instead this version has alternate instrumentation throughout the song, and instead of the chorus of male voices at the end singing the lyrics, we only hear Holi. The song is slightly longer than the original by 20 seconds, and the lyrics repeat the line “A lonesome soul” additional times at the end.

If you are interested in tracking down the original CD that this one appears on we recommend you check out our discography entry, as unfortunately there are a number of bootleg pressings of this item in Asia. That discography entry is now available and will help you sort out which is the legitimate pressing.

I’ve long been a fan of the Passengers album, and the last thing I expected to be listening to this week is a new version of one of those songs. Thank you Arthem for bringing this to our attention. The extended “soundtrack” version of the song can be heard below, but please note this version has added guitar above and beyond the soundtrack mix, added by the person who uploaded to SoundCloud.


AUDIO: “One Minute Warning” (Soundtrack Version)

As part of a History Mix, we like to look back at a variety of related items, so what other alternate versions of Passengers songs are out there? Turns out there are quite a few. One of the more well known also comes from a soundtrack, this time for the movie Heat. That film uses “Always Forever Now” in the film, and it appears on the accompanying soundtrack. Like the version of “One Minute Warning” the soundtrack version of “Always Forever Now” is longer in length, this time adding an extra 32 seconds of music to the song. The soundtrack to Heat was released in the US in December 1995, just weeks after the Passengers album was released. Another Passengers track, “Plot 180” was used in a deleted scene from that movie, and does not appear on the soundtrack album.


VIDEO: “Always Forever Now” (Soundtrack Version)

Two other songs from the Passengers album appear in film as altered versions. The 1995 film Par-delà les nuages (Beyond the Clouds) by directors Michelangelo Antonioni and Wim Wenders would use the Passengers album in two different scenes in the film. No soundtrack to the movie was released, but the film features pretty complete versions of both tracks.


VIDEO: “Beach Sequence” (Instrumental Film Version)

The first song is “Beach Sequence” and although mostly an instrumental on the Passengers album, we do hear a male voice that says “Time shoots on by” in the lyrics on the album version. In the movie there are no lyrics, but otherwise there are little differences between the two versions.

The movie also uses “Your Blue Room” over the closing credits of the film. They open with a bit of rain from the film over top, but then continue as the credits roll. They remove Adam’s vocal from the end of the song, and instead loop back to the opening verse by Bono at the end.


VIDEO: “Your Blue Room” (Film Version)

“Miss Sarajevo” exists in a couple of different edits. The album version is 5:40 in length, and the single version of the song was cut down to 05:21. An edit for radio is cut down even further at 04:32 in length. There was also an edit done for radio of “Your Blue Room” running 04:32 vs the album version at 05:28. There have been live versions of both released over the years as well on different U2 projects. We won’t focus on those for long as they are well documented elsewhere on the site.

“Elvis: American David” is the name of a poem that Bono had written, and for the Passengers album turned into one of the songs, “Elvis Ate America”. But the poem itself featuring many of the same lines has been read by Bono on a couple of occasions as well.

The first time it was read as a poem was for the Elvis Lives! special, a prime-time special on NBC in the fall of 2002. The show was a mix of commentary and performances that paid tribute to Elvis. Bono reads the poem aloud. On the performance the poem was just called “American David” and Bono is seen reciting the poem over photos and footage of Elvis.


VIDEO: Bono recites Elvis: American David

In 2009 Bono once again read the poem aloud, this time on BBC Radio 4 as part of a tribute program that aired on May 13. The poem was mixed with music, and sound clips of Elvis speaking. This newer version includes additional material not found in “Elvis Ate America” or the earlier reading of the poem on Elvis Lives! and runs just over 14 minutes in length and can be listened to on the BBC site. These readings of “American David” have not been released.

Personal admission? When Bono mentions Elvis’ middle name Aaron? At one point I used a recording of Bono saying that as part of my answering machine message where it asks for your name.

Where did U2 go next? It wasn’t long after the Passengers album was released, that the band started finishing work on Pop, originally planned for a Fall 1996 release. A few years ago director Richie Smyth shared some promotional videos he shot in mid-1996, titled the Hong Kong Mixes, and featuring the band cut with scenes from old movies. The footage features some interesting alternate versions of “Mofo”, “The Playboy Mansion / Don’t Let Me Down”, “Discotheque” and “I’m Not Your Baby”. With the focus on Pop the last few days from official U2 social media accounts we couldn’t resist sharing these.


VIDEO: Pop Demos Hong Kong Mixes

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These Winds and Tides: The Search for a Producer for War

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-02-28)

Soon after October was released, work started on new songs to be featured on the next album. For War U2 wanted to use a novel approach. They were interested in using different producers for each song, and to have a varied sound throughout the album. They felt that a mix of producers would help them get the best sound out of the band as they put together their third collection of songs. It is an idea that the band ended up shelving in the end, going back to Boy and October producer Steve Lillywhite instead. But if you look at recent albums like Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, or even How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, it looks like the multiple-producer idea hadn’t firmly been put to bed. U2 merely saved it for later in their career.

Bono explained the concept to Geoff Parkyn, saying “The idea of War was to possibly use different producers for each song or group of songs so the approach would vary throughout, but in the end it didn’t happen and we sorted it out with Steve. We understand each other and it works well for us. He has helped us grow and mature, to understand recording techniques, and translate our sound and ideas into reality.” The Edge in conversation with Dave Fanning also discussed the idea of multiple producers, telling Fanning “we’ve decided on a few producers, but we’re not sure which one of the many we will pick. I think Steve’s still interested. We’d love to do an album with Steve, but maybe not this one. We’re just looking around.” Bono’s quote came from early in the album development, whereas Edge’s came almost a year later when they were moving closer to a full session to record the album.

Steve Lillywhite, who had worked on the first two albums with U2, had told them of his preference that after two albums with a single band he preferred to move on to keep the work fresh. This had necessitated the search for a new producer or producers to handle the band’s third album. Not everything that the band was working on in 1982 was specifically for a new album. Bono told Dave Fanning in June 1982 “we are working at the moment, on a few projects, we are working on some sountracks to music, music for films, films that we’ve been offered in the next six months. We’re also working on songs, pieces of music for our next LP, and we’re also working on songs for other people.”

How different an album might War have been had the band followed up on the idea of a different producer for each song? It certainly explains a long list of people they worked with and had contact with in 1982. But in the end the album would be produced by Lillywhite, with the exception of one song, “The Refugee.” Below we’ll take a look at some of the others considered for the producer role along the way.

Sandy Pearlman

Sandy Pearlman and engineer Corky Stasiuk worked with U2 in the studio, and were likely the first production team that the band worked with under this new idea of cutting various songs with various producers. But before U2, they had worked with The Clash on their 1978 breakthrough album Give ‘Em Enough Rope. At the time U2 were big fans of The Clash and had approached the producer to work on a single track with them for their new, yet-untitled album. Steve Lillywhite even tells stories of Bono urging The Edge to sound more like Mick Jones of The Clash during the recording of War, so Pearlman was an obvious choice when trying to get that sound. Pearlman, beyond his work with The Clash, was a founder of the band Blue Öyster Cult, handpicking the members of the band and producing their music. He also worked as a full-time manager, managing Blue Öyster Cult, Black Sabbath, Aldo Nova, Romeo Void, and other acts.

Pearlman and his regular engineer, Corky Stasiuk, worked with U2 in November 1981. U2 were in New York to perform and they booked some studio time in late November. The song that they were working on was described by Bono as a “psychotic rockabilly song, with a drum figure that runs from beginning to end.” The idea was to go into the studio, work on one three-minute song, and then to move on to another producer for the next song. The studio, Kingdom Sound, was located on Long Island. The magazine Trouser Press interviewed Bono while the band was working in the studio and asked about Pearlman:

“He saw us lots of times on the last tour. He loves what we’re doing. And he’s crazed; I love a person who yells ‘Wow! Yeah!’ in the studio. He’s got that excitement, that passion, and he’s a musicologist, if you will, besides that.”

The sessions started on November 22, 1981, before U2 performed that night at The Ritz in New York. They spent that day, as well as the next two days working on the song and mixing the track. Over the years some have suggested that the song they worked on was “Be There,” as a near-complete version of that song exists. However, that song was completed with another producer in the sessions for War.

Steve Lillywhite

Although reluctant to work on a third album with the band, Steve Lillywhite was up for working on a song for the album, and agreed to work with the band in December 1981 to get them started. The band were just coming off of the the second leg of the October Tour on December 13, and were due to play London on December 20. With a short break in the schedule, U2 joined Lillywhite at the Basing Street Sudios in London, a facility established by Chris Blackwell of Island Records. The Edge would later remark that the song may have suffered a bit as a result of the band’s post-tour intensity and the fact that they had not yet “come down” enough to properly record in a studio again. The band worked on two songs, “A Celebration” and “Trash, Trampoline, and the Party Girl,” the latter being written and recorded in just 40 minutes.


VIDEO: U2’s “A Celebration” Video

The band was happy enough with the results of “A Celebration” that it was released as a single instead of being held for the War album. The single was released on March 22, 1982, which was when the band took the next steps towards working on music with new producers. However, on release, the song received some feedback that Bono related in an interview in 1983:

And of course a lot of people they heard I believe in a third world war, I believe in the atomic bomb, and they thought it was some sort of, y’know, Hitler Part II. And Europeans especially were (puts on outraged French accent) Ah non! Vive le France! and it was all like, all sorts of chaos broke out, and they said, What do you mean, you believe in the atomic bomb? And I was trying to say in the song, I believe in the third world war, because people talk about the third world war but it’s already happened, I mean it’s happened in the third world, that’s obvious. But I was saying these are facts of life, I believe in them, I believe in the powers that be BUT, they won’t overpower me. And that’s the point, but a lot of people didn’t reach the fourth line.

The song possibly would have been included on War, like “Fire” had been included on October, but the negative reaction resulted in the band choosing to leave it as a single only.

Jimmy Destri

The next producer that U2 worked with in the development of War was Jimmy Destri. Again, the idea was to work on a song or two with Destri, and then move on to other producers for the rest of the album. The sessions with Jimmy Destri took place in March 1982 while the band were once again in the New York area performing.

Destri is probably best known for his time in Blondie. He was one of the principle songwriters of the band, and also played keyboards with them. He is also credited with producing the band, as well as new wave singer Joey Wilson, in the early 1980s.

The session with Destri was productive, resulting in a number of tracks that fans will recognize. In an interview with Noise11 Destri spoke about his production work and how he got involved with U2:

Right after Blondie broke up, I produced the first album for Danny Goldberg’s label, an album by Joey Wilson called “Going Up.” It was a big hit in Billboard and Joey went immediately into AA. Danny went on to become this big media mogul. Because of Joey Wilson I was invited to produce War, the U2 record with Steve Lillywhite.


AUDIO: U2’s “Be There” (Never Released)

U2 worked with Destri on three tracks during the sessions. The song that got the closest to completion was called “Be There.” It has never been released except on bootleg compilations. The other two tracks were works in progress, neither of which made it onto War but did eventually get finished off with other producers. “Endless Deep” was finished for the b-side of “Two Hearts Beat as One.” The third song was a piano piece that would go on to be used to form the intro for “The Unforgettable Fire“ on U2’s next album. On his website, Destri lists under Producer Credits, “U2 – ‘Being There’ single and various demos (Island).”

On the single “Two Hearts Beat as One“ the producer credit for “Endless Deep” is listed as St. Francis Xavier. Edge discussed the later origin of the track in the liner notes for the deluxe version of War, released in 2008:

Written in a hurry at St. Francis Xavier Hall, Dublin, where we were rehearsing for the next tour, hence the St. Francis Xavier production credit. Larry and I demoed the first version on a 4-track cassette recorder because Adam and Bono were out of town. When they got back we went into the studio and recorded the final version.


AUDIO: U2’s “Endless Deep” (Released as a B-Side)

So the song “Endless Deep” started with Destri in early 1982, and was revisited as the band were getting ready to go out on tour in December 1982. Although the sessions produced some content that U2 would later use, the band decided to not use the material on the forthcoming album, and the song most-finished with Destri, “Be There,” has never been released officially.

Rhett Davies

Rhett Davies was on U2’s list to produce a song for War, if not considered as a producer for the full album. Davies is an English record producer who had worked as a studio engineer for Island Records in the 1970s. In the early 1980s he produced albums with The B-52s and Roxy Music, and U2 had an interest in working with him.

Discussions with Davies were held, but in the end the band never worked with him on the album or any songs. In U2: The Complete Guide to Their Music, Bill Graham reveals that Davies “was rejected for being too much of a neutral engineer.” The band was still looking for a producer who would help shape their sound, not just someone to record the album.

Bono discussed Davies as one of the people they were looking at in a discussion with Dave Fanning in June 1982. “There’s a lot of people who have been on the phone who would like the job. We were interested in a guy called Rhett Davies, who was doing Roxy Music’s last few albums, he worked with old Chris Thomas, another producer we are interested in.”

Chris Thomas

Chris Thomas was mentioned in that same interview with Fanning. It is not known if U2 actually entered into any discussions with him at that time. Thomas is an English record producer who had worked with the Beatles, Roxy Music, and recently in 1982 with The Pretenders.

Thomas would end up working with U2 later in their career, contributing to a number of tracks on 2004’s How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. Thomas worked with the band in 2003, but they were ultimately unhappy with the results of those sessions and turned to Steve Lillywhite to help get them to the finish line on that album.

Brian Eno

Another producer that came out of the discussions with Rhett Davies was Brian Eno. Eno was a member of Roxy Music, a band that Davies had extensively produced. Davies recommended Eno after learning of the band’s desire to find a producer that would be more involved in shaping their music. U2 contacted Eno, but at the time he just didn’t see himself working with a rock band and declined. The band would move on to other choices, but they went back to Eno when it came time to produce 1984’s The Unforgettable Fire and were able to coax him into finally meeting with them.

Eno didn’t come easy even for the next album, and he first suggested the band make use of Conny Plank for The Unforgettable Fire. When he finally did agree to meet with U2, he brought Daniel Lanois with him expecting to sell the band on using Lanois.

Jimmy Iovine

In 1982 Iovine was working on records by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Stevie Nicks, and Bob Seger. But he wanted to work with U2. According to the book Into the Heart: The Stories Behind Every U2 Song by Niall Stokes, while working on War Jimmy Iovine “had phoned repeatedly, insisting that he wanted to produce the band.” Iovine didn’t produce anything for War but he would work on the live album that followed, Under A Blood Red Sky.

Bill Whelan

Bill Whelan is an Irish composer and musician, and one of the producers U2 considered for a track on War. In fact, his song with the band, “The Refugee,” made it to the final album, and is the only non-Lillywhite produced track, although Lillywhite did have a hand in mixing it. Whelan was perhaps best known at the time for his work with Planxty in the early 1980s. But he had ties with a young businessman named Paul McGuinness, and in 1983 went into the music publishing business launching McGuinness Whelan Publishing, which was formally incorporated in 1986. The relationship with McGuinness, lead to the release of Whelan’s “Riverdance” on U2’s record label Son in 1994. That song hit number 1 in Ireland and held the top spot for 18 weeks, and was later developed into a very successful musical.

In the early 80s, however, looking for producers, McGuinness lead Whelan to the band he was managing—U2.

Whelan was the last of the rotating producers that U2 worked with before taking to the studio for the full War recording sessions. When it came to “The Refugee,” Bono remembered the sessions as being difficult in an interview with Radio City in March 1983, saying “he fought hard to get the vocal” on the track.


AUDIO: U2’s “The Refugee”, produced by Bill Whelan

With the band running out of time and the session with Whelan being a tough one, they called up old friend Steve Lillywhite and asked if he’d come in to do their third album. But they also brought “The Refugee” with them, generally pleased with the results, and Steve agreed it was pretty good and agreed to do a final mix on the track for inclusion on the album he was now producing.

Steve Lillywhite

With all the investigations into different producers, U2 ended up back with the man they had worked with on both Boy and October, Steve Lillywhite. In a Japanese Radio interview in November 1983, Bono spoke about that decision. He said “Boy, October and War complete a cycle, and Under A Blood Red Sky was a full stop at the end of a sentence. Steve Lillywhite was a fifth member of the band during that cycle.”

In an interview with Trouser Press in 1983, Bono said that the band felt changing producers would help them strip down their sound, but eventually realized that Lillywhite was the best choice to get them there. “I rang up Steve, and in a flash he said, ‘I’ll be over.’ He said we’re his favorite group.”

Even today, when in a pinch, U2 call in Steve. As recently as 2017, when they wanted a new mix of “You’re the Best Thing About Me“ at the last minute, they sent him the recordings and gave him a day to produce the new version. He’s helped out on more albums than he hasn’t throughout their career.

Steve was joined in the studio for the album by engineer Paul Thomas, and they were assisted by Kevin Killen. The album was recorded in Windmill Lane.

The search for producers would continue as U2 started work on The Unforgettable Fire. While the band continued to court Brian Eno as a producer, they would also look at options including Conny Plank (suggested by Eno) and Colin Newman of the band Wire. We can only look back and guess at what an album made with some of these other producers would have sounded like. The experiment of approaching other producers may have ended unsuccessfully for War, but that concept of working with multiple voices in the studio is something U2 has embraced on more recent albums.

(Many thanks to Harry Kantas and Don Morgan for their assistance with this article.)

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Summer of Love Delivered to Dutch Radio

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-02-05)

On January 16, 2018, Dutch Radio DJ Ruud de Wild claimed on air that U2’s next single will be “Summer of Love.” De Wild is a well known DJ in The Netherlands and hosts a regular show on NPO2. It appears that this has indeed been the case at least in The Netherlands where airplay of “Summer of Love” has spiked since Friday afternoon. But it appears that the song has only been released in The Netherlands at this time, with most of the airplay worldwide being in that country. Dutch radio stations have been responsible for 76% of the worldwide airplay of the song to date, a number that is growing with every play on radio.

The song is also seeing airplay in other countries that make up the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In Curaçao it has about 8% of the worldwide totals, and there is airplay also being reported on island of Aruba. Both island countries are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

A small amount of airplay is being seen in other countries, but in the single digits for any specific country, and for any specific station, which suggests it hasn’t been released as a promotional single at this time in those regions.

So far the stations with the most airplay reported for the song “Summer of Love” in the Netherlands are Favoriet FM in Zevenaar, SkyLine FM in Uden, Magic 96.5 FM in Oranjestad (Aruba), Omrop Fyrsland in Leeuwarden and WOS Radio in ‘s-Gravenzande. Each station has played the song multiple times since they started play late on Friday.

The track is being pushed to radio including the cover art from the Songs of Experience album. The version being used for radio is the same as is found on the album. A new image has not accompanied this push to radio.

Airplay numbers in other countries are very low to date. So what is going on?

When U2 launched “Get Out of Your Own Way” it was delivered to radio in Poland for adds long before it was sent out anywhere else. This wasn’t a case of Polish Radio stations deciding to play the song, as they were delivered a special edited version of the song. The song was first delivered in Poland on November 2, 2017. A wider release to radio in Europe was done on December 8, 2017. And the song was pushed to AAA (Adult Alternative Albums) in the USA on December 4, 2017. That first month the song was delivered to Poland by itself, and was probably used to understand how the song would do at radio, and what type of stations would add the song. Expect that they are now doing the same with “Summer of Love” with a wider roll out in a few weeks time if it does as expected in The Netherlands.

“Summer of Love” has also been showing up in a remixed form on Oakenfold’s podcast of late. The mix by TILT and Danny Stubbs first made an appearance on BBC Radio back on December 7, 2017, and has been appearing in Oakenfold’s Planet Perfecto podcasts the last two weeks.

To date “You’re The Best Thing About Me,” “Get Out of Your Own Way“ and “The Blackout“ have been commercially released. Additionally “American Soul” had been issued to UK radio as a promotional track on radio in early December, but does not seem to have been added in other regions, so it is possible that “Summer of Love” may yet stay a limited release for promotion.

The band is still actively promoting “Get Out of Your Own Way” in worldwide markets, with a video release on January 18, 2018, a new remix release on January 26, 2018, and a push to Hot AC Radio set for last week, starting January 29, 2018.

Many thanks to @gertdewit79 for the initial heads up on this.

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The History Mix: Summer of Love, Oakenfold and Perfecto

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-02-01)

“Summer of Love” To Be Next Single?

Signs are mounting that “Summer of Love” will be the song that follows “Get Out of Your Own Way” for promotion of the album Songs of Experience. “Get Out of Your Own Way” started being pushed at radio stations as early as November 2017, but it was a couple of months later that the video for the song, as well as a couple of remixes were released, and a big push was done at radio.

It looks like “Summer of Love” is getting that early push now. Recently Dutch DJ Ruud de Wild announced on his radio show on NPO Radio 2 that “Summer of Love” was U2’s new single. It looks like as with “Get Out of Your Own Way” they may be testing the single a bit earlier in some markets.

Another sign a new single is coming? The inevitable remixes, and that leads us here as one has already popped up!

The “Summer of Love (TILT & Danny Stubbs Perfecto Remix)” made its debut on December 7, 2017 featured on a show by Will Atkinson on BBC Radio 1. The track was also featured by DJ Rusty Egan on his Artefakt Radio broadcast in Mexico on January 5, 2018. More recently DJ Solarstone has included the song on his “Pure Trance Radio” show on January 24 (Episode 122). Long time friend of U2’s, Paul Oakenfold has also been including the song in his recent Planet Perfecto podcasts, debuting on January 22, with the 377th episode of Planet Perfecto, and also being included in episode 378 last week. Tilt and Danny Stubbs have worked extensively with Oakenfold’s Perfecto label in the past, and the U2 remix includes Perfecto in the title. The song has also been uploaded to YouTube at the Tilt Official account, making it easy to share the song directly:

Stubbs is an audio engineer and record producer from Stoke on Trent in the UK. Tilt have been active in the clubs for 25 years and are signed to Oakenfold’s Perfecto label. The duo are made up of Mick Park and Nic Britton who also originate from the UK. Mick Park has previously worked with U2, being part of Killahurtz, which produced the Killahurtz Fly Mix of “All Because of You” which was included on the 2005 single “City of Blinding Lights”. Another remix by Killahurtz, “Original of the Species (Killahurtz Casa De Angeles Mix)” has never been officially released. Mick Park was also thanked for the remix of “Vertigo” called the Redanka Power Mix, although he is not credited on the track beyond a thank you.

A few links should you want to listen to this “Summer of Love (TILT & Danny Stubbs Perfecto Remix)” as part of one of these mixes:

Does this make the remix an official track? At this point it hasn’t been released by Universal for promotion. The remix is being shared by the DJs behind the remix, Danny Stubbs and TILT, to friends in the industry such as Rusty Egan, Paul Oakenfold and Solarstone. They then promote the song. Sometimes the remixes sent around this way end up released, but in other cases the remixes are never officially ‘sanctioned’ and released.

The Perfecto Podcast

The “Perfecto Podcast” has been a great place to hear new remixes of songs, and all have only been heard through that podcast and never released. Paul Oakenfold is the man behind Perfecto and most of us know the two have a long past working together. Paul continues to feature U2 in his own project when they have new music to promote. The podcast is produced weekly and features Oakenfold and a number of guest DJs mixing tracks, resulting in a two hour mix of songs. The podcast is available at a number of locations on the internet including iTunes, Tumello, SoundCloud, and is also archived at Oakenfold.libsyn.com.

The songs by U2 that have been featured on the “Perfecto Podcast” over the years are as follows:

“Summer of Love” (Tilt & Danny Stubbs Perfecto Remix)

  • Episode 378, January 29, 2018
  • Episode 377, January 22, 2018

“Raised by Wolves” (Adam White Remix)

  • Episode 278, February 29, 2016
  • Episode 271, January 11, 2016
  • Episode 265, November 30, 2015
  • Episode 259, October 19, 2015
  • Episode 257, October 5, 2015
  • Episode 255, September 21, 2015

“Beautiful Day” (OdelaF Bootleg)

  • Episode 210, November 10, 2014

“Beautiful Day” (Mat Zo Remix)

  • Episode 096, January 1, 2011

“Magnificent” (Club Mix)

  • Episode 088, November 6, 2010

“I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” (Christopher Lawrence Club Bootleg)

  • Episode 048, January 30, 2010

    “With or Without You” (Mash Up)
  • Episode 029, September 19, 2009

“Magnificent” (Adam White Remix)

  • Episode 027, September 5, 2009
  • Episode 025, August 22, 2009
  • Episode 024, August 15, 2009
  • Episode 021, July 25, 2009
  • Episode 020, July 18, 2009
  • Episode 019, July 11, 2009
  • Episode 015, June 13, 2009
  • Episode 014, June 6, 2009
  • Episode 011, May 16, 2009

Songs may feature on multiple episodes of the podcast, and the most played so far has been a remix of “Magnificent” by Adam White which was played nine times in total between May and October 2009. As it is a continuous mix, the songs bleed into the song before and after, and different portions of the song may be heard in different episodes. None of the songs are things that have been officially released to date. So being featured in a “Perfecto Podcast” does not mean the song will be released, but the podcast does use a mix of released and unreleased music from other artists in the mix.

Ordinary Love

We’d be remiss in looking at Oakenfold’s work with U2 without a mention of his remix of “Ordinary Love”. Haven’t heard it? We’ll give you a moment.

The remix was done by Oakenfold and posted in April 2014. That was five months after the song had been released on a 10-Inch record for the Black Friday Record Store Day event in 2013. In March 2014, the song had been nominated for an Oscar, but failed to win the award. U2 did perform the song on the televised award show. We’ve often wondered if the song had won, if the existence of this mix at the same time isn’t evidence they may have considered a release of a single at that time as a follow up to “Invisible” which had been released in February of 2014.

Other Perfecto Remixes

Oakenfold has been involved in a number of remixes for U2 that have been released, many carrying the Oakenfold name. He’s been involved in multiple remixes of “Even Better Than the Real Thing,” “Lemon,” and “Beautiful Day” all released in multiple edits on different projects by the band and by Oakenfold. Oakenfold accompanied the band on some of the tour stops of the Zoo TV tour and would spin records prior to the opening acts performance. During this time they struck up a friendship that has lasted through the years and resulted in Oakenfold being given access to a number of songs to work on.

Disappointed with the reaction to his remix of “Lemon” Oakenfold decided to revisit it. He took the music from his version, adjusted the speed and started using it in his own performances. He saw a great response so he approached U2 to ask the band if they would be ok with him releasing the music on his own under an alternate name. The band gave permission and Oakenfold brought in vocalist Dominique Atkins. Under the name “Grace” he released the song “Skin on Skin” and the instrumental mix was called the “Orange Mix” a nod back to U2’s “Lemon” and the song was released. The song recorded by Grace reached #21 in the UK charts in February 1996. The song was released on the album If I Could Fly from Grace.

u2 themselves weren’t done with the remix of “Lemon” and in 1997 and 1998 they used the song each night as they boarded their lemon as part of the PopMart Tour playing the remix over the PA system in the stadiums. The song would be accompanied with a video of performance artist Leigh Bowery dancing on the screen while the band was getting into the lemon that would transport them to the B-Stage. Bowery had passed away in 1994, so the video footage was not created specifically for the PopMart Tour, and Bowery was not dancing to “Lemon” in the original clip.

Daddy’s Gonna Pay

Back in the 1990s when everyone was just starting to find U2 on the internet, many of us subscribed to lists such as Wire (u2-List) would hear of another Perfecto remix that had once been played on radio and that remix had been for “Daddy’s Gonna Play For Your Crashed Car” from Zooropa. People would get excited to trade cassettes and get a copy, only to hear really poor sound quality. Mark Reed attempted to reconstruct the original mix from one of those old sources a few years back.

The original files were usually sourced from a 1993 mix that Oakenfold did for BBC Radio 1 in the UK, which aired on November 6, 1993. Those heavily copied cassette copies were what many of us had until 2014 when Oakenfold uploaded a copy of the old broadcast to YouTube. The sound is a marked improvement over what many of us had before. We’ve embedded it below from Oakenfold’s YouTube, it should start off just as “Daddy’s Gonna Pay For Your Crashed Car” starts. If you listen beyond that song, you’ll also hear “Lemon” (The Perfecto Mix) in the mix.

A ha! Sha la!

Many thanks to Andrew for reminding us to finish this this week. Graphic for promotion of this article taken from the Facebook page of TILT.

u2songs.com was formerly known as u2wanderer.org. Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

Songs of Experience: Your Answers (The Songs) Part Two

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-01-28)

On January 8, 2018, we asked a series of 24 questions related to the album Songs of Experience, roughly a month after the album had been released. We gathered answers from our readers until January 23, 2018. The questions were available for two full weeks. In that time we received nearly 2000 responses. We have to take a minute to thank everyone for the responses, and hope you had some fun thinking about your answers. We will present the answers here in two different articles. We won’t make you wait for the second part, both are being published at the same time. Below are links to this article (The Songs) as well as the other (The Album):

Favorite song on Songs of Experience

We had to ask it. Everyone has favorites that jump out right away. Sometimes they stick around for life as favorites, but other times they will fade into the background as the album is toured and videos are released. A month after the release of the album there is one runaway favorite song. 26.7% of people asked to name a favorite picked “The Little Things That Give You Away”. The song is also one that we’ve known for longest as the band have performed the song in concert on the recent The Joshua Tree 2017 tour. People really seem to be enjoying it with it far out in the lead over other songs. The next most popular song was “Love is Bigger Than Anything in It’s Way” at 14.6%, followed by “Lights of Home” at 9.9% of the respondents, and “Red Flag Day” at 9.4% of the respondents.

Perhaps most surprisingly, none of the four songs used in promotion this far (“You’re The Best Thing About Me”, “Get Out of Your Own Way”, “American Soul” and “The Blackout”) were in the lead in list of favorites on the album. The first one of these songs to be listed as a favorite is the eighth song in the list, “The Blackout” which is listed with 5.2% of the vote.

Least favorite song on Songs of Experience

We also asked what was your least favorite track. Unlike the vote for the favorite track which had a clear out in front leader right from the start of answers being accepted, the least favorite track went back and forth between two different songs throughout the two week period. And they finished pretty close. Overall “The Showman” was chosen by the most number of respondents as their least favorite track with 20.6% of the vote. Just behind that, at 19.9% of the vote is “American Soul”. “13 (There is a Light)” is the third track on the least favorite list with 9.3% of the vote.

Not surprising, since it was a clear favorite, “The Little Things That Give You Away” is the lowest chosen song for least favorite with only 1.7% of respondents choosing that song.

Favorite bonus song on Songs of Experience

The deluxe album came with four additional tracks in most regions, these included two remixes of songs from the new album, one remix of an older song (“Ordinary Love”) and one unique new song (“Book of Your Heart”). The deluxe edition in Japan came with a fifth added track, a remix of “The Blackout” by Jacknife Lee, only released on vinyl elsewhere to date.

It’s probably no surprise that the new song that doesn’t appear elsewhere took the lead here with 46.9% of you picking that as your favorite bonus track. The St. Peter’s String Version of “Lights of Home” got 25.5% of your votes, the Extraordinary Mix of “Ordinary Love” got 16.0% of your votes, and “You’re The Best Thing About Me” (U2 vs Kygo) got 7.4% of the votes. The remix of “The Blackout” which featured only on the Japan deluxe version, and vinyl single releases elsewhere comes in with 4.2% of the vote, but it is also the track which most people will not be familiar with.

Least favorite bonus song on Songs of Experience

The reason we think “The Blackout (Jacknife Lee Remix)” did so poorly above is because of unfamiliarity is because of this question. When asked what peoples least favorite track was, 42.9% chose “You’re The Best Thing About Me” (U2 vs Kygo) as your least favorite of the five bonus tracks. “The Blackout” (Jacknife Lee Remix) only garners 20.6% of the vote.

Favorite song used for promotion to date

So far four different songs from the album have been used in promotion. “The Blackout” was up first as a Facebook only video, and later released to other services such as VEVO and iTunes. “You’re the Best Thing About Me” was the first single, with multiple versions of the song and video being released. “Get Out of Your Own Way” is the second single, with a remix released as a single, a video, and an edit sent to radio. “American Soul” was also sent to radio in Europe, and had a lyric video produced. We asked out of the four songs used for promotion so far, which was your favorite.

This one was close throughout the time the questions were open. In the end “Get Out of Your Own Way” had 33.4% of your vote, and “The Blackout” came second with 33.0% of your vote. “You’re The Best Thing About Me” was third at 23.0%. “American Soul” was the least favorite of the four songs,

Favorite promotional video from Songs of Experience

At the time we were asking the questions, the animated video for “Get Out of Your Own Way” hadn’t yet been released, so the next question, what promotional video did you enjoy the most did not include that as an option. Users were given a choice between the lyric video for “You’re The Best Thing” (the books with lyrics inside), the U2 vs Kygo video (where we see Kygo performing a DJ set in a tropical setting, the New York video for “You’re The Best Thing” and the couples documentary for that song, as well as videos for “The Blackout” (Live in Amsterdam), “American Soul” (Lyric Video) and we allowed users to pick the Mexico City version of “Get Out of Your Own Way” as promotional clips in early December made it look likely it would be released.

42.8% of the votes for a favorite video went to the live version of “The Blackout” that launched the album campaign back in August. The video of U2 in New York for “You’re The Best Thing About Me” came in second among the choices with 26.7% of the vote. 9.2% of you chose the short clip of “Get Out of Your Own Way”, which placed it ahead of several finished clips in the poll. The remainder of the videos were as follows, “You’re the Best Thing About Me” (Lyric Video) at 8.6%, “American Soul (Lyric Video)” at 7.2%, “You’re the Best Thing About Me” (Couples Documentary) at 4.2% and “You’re the Best Thing About Me” (U2 vs Kygo) with the lowest number of choices at 1.0%.

A few people asked us about some of these videos throughout the period the questions were open. We have a full list of videos by the band at the videos section of the site.

What song not used for promotion to date make a great single?

With the above four mentioned songs already used for promotion we asked what the remaining songs from the album would be your choice for the next single off of the album. A number of songs split the majority of the vote. Most users chose “Red Flag Day” at 20.9% of the votes. Four others songs had respectable results, 18.5% for “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way”, 16.2% for “Summer of Love”, 15.9% for “The Little Things That Give You Away” and 13.2% for “Lights of Home”. This was an interesting question as many users chose “The Little Things That Give You Away” as a favorite song on the album, but when asked what would make a good single, “Red Flag Day” comes out ahead.

What songs didn’t do as well? “The Showman” came in with 5.5%, “Landlady” came in with 3.9%, “Book of Your Heart” came in at 2.6%, “Love is All We Have Left” at 1.9%, and “13 (There is a Light)” had the least number of votes, with 1.3%.

What would make a great opening song on tour?

We all love to discuss set lists and what we would like to hear live. We wanted to ask a few things about your thoughts on what might work for this upcoming tour. The first question we asked was “what song would be a perfect opener for a concert?” In this category “The Blackout” was the runaway. 40.9% of people responded that “The Blackout” would be perfect for an opener. 24.7% chose “Love is All We Have Left” as a perfect opener and 9.6% chose “Lights of Home” as the perfect opener. What song didn’t get many votes? “Book of Your Heart”, “The Little Things That Give You Away”, “Landlady” and “Summer of Love” all got less than 1% of the vote.

What song would be the perfect song to close a concert?

It appears that heavier songs are the popular ones when suggesting a song to open the show? What about for closing a concert? We asked if there was a song on Songs of Experience you thought would be the perfect song to close the concert.

The clear winner here is “Love is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way” chosen by 34.2% of you as the perfect song to close things. Perhaps many of you were inspired by the television broadcast of “Live At the BBC” where this song was performed with a full orchestra and closed the program in a spectacular performance.

The next most popular answer was “13 (There is a Light)”. The opening song on the album was chosen as the second answer in the question about what song you would like to see open the shows, and the closing song of the album was chosen as the second answer in the question about what song you would like to see closing. Placement on the album may influence our decision on where we think things should fit in concert.

The third most popular answer was “The Little Things That Give You Away” a song that many of us saw close concerts on The Joshua Tree 2017 tour.

What song do you look forward to hearing live the most?

What one song do you want to hear above all others this tour from the new album? This one was interesting as we didn’t get the same answers as what was your favorite song. Even though a song may be someones favorite it doesn’t mean its the one song people want to hear live. The song with the most votes for the one song people had to hear live was “The Blackout” with 18.9% of the survey respondents choosing that song. A close second? “Love is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way” with 17% voting for that song. People are also hoping to hear “Red Flag Day” with 15.4% of the vote.

What songs didn’t fare well in this question? Very few of you listed “You’re the Best Thing About Me” (1.4%) or “13 (There is a Light)” (1.9%) as songs you looked most forward to hearing live. Those two songs gained the least amount of the vote, with bonus track “Book of Your Heart”, not even on the main album, coming in with a 4.5% of the responses.

If you had to pick one song not to hear live what would it be?

This was the one question no one wanted to answer. We got several comments on Facebook and Twitter about how people wanted to hear every song on the album. But we asked you “If you had to pick one song not to hear in concert what would it be?” The answer that the most respondents chose was “The Showman (Little More Better)”. 17.9% when faced with picking a song they had to leave out of the upcoming concerts chose “The Showman”. Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise, as when asked what the least favorite track on the album was 20.6% had chosen “The Showman” making it the most chosen song in that category. But in that category “American Soul” had 19.9% of the vote, so as least favorite songs they were close. But when asking what song people wouldn’t want to hear, “The Showman” comes in at 17.9%, and “American Soul” while still second, came in at 12.9% of the answers, so the difference between the two songs is larger here. “The Showman” you don’t like, and don’t want to hear it live. “American Soul” gets a bit of a break when it comes to hearing it live.

Third in the answers was “Landlady” at 11.1% of the answers.

Both “The Little Things That Give You Away” (1.5%) and “Lights of Home” (2.1%) got very few votes in this category, although neither song was among the top vote getters in the songs you had to hear live.

What is your favorite version of “You’re The Best Thing About Me”?

Finally we asked some questions about the two songs that have been most pushed as singles, with a variety of different mixes available. First up was the first single from the album, “You’re The Best Thing About Me” and we asked what version of the song was your favorite. There were four choices given, the single mix / album version, The Sci-Fi Soul Mix which was a remix done by Jacknife Lee which was used for promotion at radio, The Acoustic version which was released for sale at digital store fronts and streaming services, and the U2 vs Kygo Version which was released as a bonus track on the album.

The clear favorite was the album / single mix at 63.2% of the vote. The next most favored was The Acoustic version with 16.6% of the vote, followed by the U2 vs Kygo version at 11.8% of the vote. The version least chosen was the Sci-Fi Soul Mix, at just 8.4% of the vote, but many commented on Facebook and Twitter that you had not even heard this version of the song.

What is your favorite version of “Get Out of Your Own Way”?

The other song that has had a variety of mixes released was “Get Out of Your Own Way” and while the survey was running three versions were available, the version from the album, a radio edit without Kendrick Lamar, and a remix called “The Switch Remix”. Another remix has since been commercially launched, “The Afrojack Remix” but that song was not available while these questions were actively accepting answers. Your favorite choice here again was the version from the album with 71% of the votes. The radio edit which removes Kendrick Lamar’s voice at the end and has a shorter fade in garnered 27.5% of the vote. And the Switch Remix even got some votes, 1.5% of you chose that as your favorite version of the song. We were surprised anyone would pick that version, but we did have votes for it.

The other half of the questions you answered dealt with the albums themselves. How it compares to other albums, how you have been enjoying it, and so on. Those answers are available as well, and can be accessed in Part One of this article. Again we would like to take the time to thank everyone who took the time to answer our questions. It was very much appreciated. We invite you to discuss these answers with us and other fans via Facebook, Twitter, and in our forum.

u2songs.com was formerly known as u2wanderer.org. Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

Songs of Experience: Your Answers (The Album) Part One

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-01-28)

On January 8, 2018, we asked a series of 24 questions related to the album Songs of Experience, roughly a month after the album had been released. We gathered answers from our readers until January 23, 2018. The questions were available for two full weeks. In that time we received nearly 2000 responses. We have to take a minute to thank everyone for the responses, and hope you had some fun thinking about your answers. We will present the answers here in two different articles. We won’t make you wait for the second part, both are being published at the same time. Below are links to this article (The Album) as well as the other (The Songs):

Have you listened to Songs of Experience?

The first question we want to look at was have you listened to U2’s new album, Songs of Experience. 95.7% of the respondents replied with “Multiple Times”, 2.6% replied with “Once or twice” and 1.7% replied with “Bits and pieces of it”. No replies chose the answer “Not yet”, so everyone who took the questions has listened to at least part of the album. Which is good, because it would be difficult to answer some of the questions if you had heard none of the album. The majority of the people taking the survey have listened to the album multiple times, which is to be expected.

Have you bought Songs of Experience?

So we have a large percentage of people who have listened to the album, and we wanted to know whether or not they had paid for the album, had some sort of streaming in use, or if they had acquired the album in another manner. Those responding to the survey have paid for a copy of the album, whether a physical copy or a digital copy, and 86.4% said “Yes, I purchased the album in at least one format.” Another 9.5% of you are streaming the album using some method of streaming. 7.5% of you report that you are streaming the album on a paid service, and 2.0% of you are streaming the album on an unpaid service. 4.1% of the respondents answered “no, I obtained the album in another way”. The bulk of those responding are still buying a copy of the album to keep rather than choosing just to stream these things on networks like Apple or Spotify.

What format of Songs of Experience did you buy?

So what format of the album did you buy if you bought the album?

First of all, there’s more than 2000 responses here for a good reason, not only are respondents buying the album, but in many cases they’ve bought multiple copies of the album. Here’s a look at the numbers:

First the results of those who bought the CD in a physical store or online, when it was not part of a ticket offer:

  • 14.7% of respondents bought the album on vinyl.
  • 10.7% bought the regular 5-Inch CD without the bonus tracks.
  • 39.5% bought the deluxe 5-inch CD with the extra bonus tracks.
  • 5.2% bought the deluxe 5-inch CD from Japan which included an extra bonus track.
  • 27.8% bought the deluxe box set with the deluxe CD and vinyl.
  • 19.4% opted for the digital download.

With this album, when you bought a ticket on the first leg for the Experience and Innocence tour you automatically were eligible to either download or receive a copy of the physical regular CD without bonus tracks. Not everyone who bought the tickets would have redeemed this option, so it was possible to buy a ticket and not get a copy of the album.

  • 7.4% of you told us you bought the album as a digital download with your concert ticket.
  • 27.8% of you told us you bought the regular 5-inch CD with your concert ticket.

It appears that the physical format was more popular with the tickets with those who read our site.

Finally 8.3% of those answering the question told us you had not bought the album in any format.

What do you think of Songs of Experience so far?

The next question is “So far what do you think of the album?” and the overwhelming response here was positive. 93.7% of the response was positive with those answers split between “Enjoying it very much” (65%) and “Enjoying it” (28.7%). 3.7% of those taking the questions responded “no real opinion either way yet” answering neither negative or positive. We did have a handful of negative responses, with 2.7% choosing a negative reaction to the album. 2.2% chose “not enjoying it” and a further 0.5% chose “really dislike the album.” Over all though the response to the album is favorable among those who answered our questions.

How does Songs of Experience compare to U2’s other albums?

We did want to know how readers were ranking the album in comparison to U2’s other albums after a month of listening to Songs of Experience. We gave listeners an out if they had not felt they had enough time to answer this question by allowing an answer of “haven’t listened enough to say” and 5.3% of those answering chose this answer. But the rest of those answering were willing to share where they thought the album ranked against other U2 albums. 48.7% felt that the album was in the top five albums U2 had released. 37.6% said the album fell somewhere in the middle of the pack when it came to U2 albums. And 8.4% said that the album would fall in their bottom five favorite albums if ranking U2 albums. Almost half of you were wiling to say the album was in your top five albums after just a month of listening. Don’t worry, we will follow up down the road to see how it has aged. Expect us to ask that again at a later date!

Which do you prefer? Songs of Experience or Songs of Innocence?

The album Songs of Experience is a sister album to 2014’s Songs of Innocence, so it is hard not to compare the two. We asked which album participants were enjoying more after a month of listening to Songs of Experience and having had three years to live with Songs of Innocence. 30.3% of you chose that you enjoy both equally, and 4.5% of you want more time to listen to the new album and answered “haven’t listened enough to say”. But 54.8% of people answering the questions did have a favorite, and chose Songs of Experience. Only 10.4% who had a favorite chose Songs of Innocence. At this point in time it appears that Songs of Experience is the favorite.

Which guest voice on Songs of Experience did you enjoy the most?

The Songs of Experience album has a lot of vocals from other artists mixed throughout, something that doesn’t happen often on U2 albums. Kendrick Lamar appears with a spoken word piece on “Get Out of Your Own Way” and “American Soul”. Lady Gaga can be heard in the background of “Summer of Love”. The group Haim appears on backing vocals for “Lights of Home” and the song even borrows from one of their songs. Julian Lennon appears in the backing vocals for the song “Red Flag Day” and Andy Barlow and Ryan Tedder, both who worked on production of the album, also appear on backing vocals. Ryan Tedder (most known for his work with OneRepublic) appears on “Get Out of Your Own Way”, “Red Flag Day”, “The Showman” and “Summer of Love”. Andy Barlow (most known for his work with Lamb) appears on “Book of Your Heart” one of the bonus tracks on the album.

The clear favorite here among those answering? Kendrick Lamar who received 32.5% of the vote. Perhaps it is no surprise as it is the most clearly heard added vocal on the album, and can be heard on two songs that were used in promotion before the album was released. Lady Gaga finished with 20.5%, Julian Lennon with 14.1%, Ryan Tedder with 13.3%, Haim came in with 12.9%, and Andy Barlow came in at 6.7%, but with a song that was only available on the deluxe edition of the album.

What streaming bonus did you enjoy the most?

Along with the album, a number of bonus items were released on different streaming services. Hope someone is paying attention to how many of us actually like to buy things, rather than just stream them in the above questions, but this is a question about those things that did stream. We asked what your favorite was between a choice of different options.

  • Spotify’s “Singles” where U2 performs “Little Things” and a cover of “What’s Going On” lead the pack with 24.6% of the vote.
  • Apple Music’s “Liner Notes” where Bono reads the liner notes with video and remixes of songs came in second with 23.9% of the vote.
  • Amazon Music’s 6 Hour “The U2 Experience” featuring interviews and exclusive live track came in third with 8.2% of the vote.
  • Spotify’s “Making of” Videos came in fourth with 4.7% of the vote.

We allowed the option of “I don’t have a favorite” and 11.9% of you picked that option. Perhaps surprising was how many people had not seen any of these, 26.7% of those taking the questions did not see any of these items. Wondering now if it was disinterest, or not knowing about all these exclusives scattered around the internet. The “Liner Notes” video, perhaps my own personal favorite, has now been launched on YouTube if you do want to check it out.

Which throw back to Songs of Innocence did you enjoy most?

There’s many moments on this album where previous work is mentioned or alluded to. We chose to avoid some of the less direct mentions, like the lyrics about waves that harken back to “Every Breaking Wave”. But three songs have direct references to Songs of Innocence in the lyrics. Some of the lyrics from “Iris” have been borrowed for “Lights of Home”. Some of the lyrics from “Song for Someone” appear in “13”. And some of the lyrics from “Volcano” reappear in “American Soul”. We asked what of the three was your favorite, and the overwhelming favorite was “Song for Someone” / “13” at 54.9%, followed by “Iris” / “Lights of Home” at 31.6%, and at the back is the “Volcano” / “American Soul” combo, with 13.5% of the vote. “American Soul” spent a lot of time in the lead of the least favorite song question, and finally finished second in that question, so perhaps these results are not a surprise.

What did you think of the television special “Live in London” / “Live at the BBC”?

Another bonus was a televised concert filmed at the Abbey Road Studios in London featuring U2 and an orchestra performing a mix of new and old songs. The special has aired in a number of countries at this point including Canada, France, Spain, UK, Australia and Ireland among others. As of yet the special has not aired on American television. We asked about the special, and 23.6% of you said you had not seen it. Of the remaining answers, 63.5% saw it and “loved it”, 12.2% saw it and “thought it was ok” and 0.7% of you answered that you saw it and did not enjoy it. Seems the reaction was generally positive among those who saw the special, but there was a small number who didn’t enjoy it at all.

Would you buy a copy of “Live in London” on home video?

A second question about the live performance at Abbey Road Studios in London asked whether or not you would buy a home video of the performance. Overall 82.4% said you would buy a copy of the video, but of that number 40% clarified that they only wanted to purchase it if it had all of the songs that were performed. (A number of the television broadcasts only presented a small number of the songs.) 17.6% had no interest in purchasing the video.

Overall the questions regarding the album seem to be painting the album in a favorable light. People seem to be enjoying the album, and are ranking it quite high when measured against other albums. It is early yet, with just six weeks passing since the album was released at this time, so we shall see if that general happiness with the album continues long term. The questions also revealed that a number of us prefer to buy the album if given the choice (86.4% purchased a physical or a digital copy of the album) and a number of users did not see any of the streaming exclusives (26.7% saw none of these). To us that suggests the fan base that was answering the questions may not be as ready to adopt streaming, or that some of these streaming bonuses were not easily accessible. We also see that our audience not only will buy an album but they will buy multiple formats of the album given a chance. We even had a couple of people who chose every single format listed in the poll question.

The other half of the questions you answered dealt with the songs themselves. Your favorites, your least favorites, the ones you want to hear live, and so on. Those answers are available as well, and can be accessed in Part Two of this article. Again we would like to take the time to thank everyone who took the time to answer our questions. It was very much appreciated. We invite you to discuss these answers with us and other fans via Facebook, Twitter, and in our forum

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Ireland Rumours, Additional Shows and More for U2 Tour

Original Story by U2Songs.com Staff (2018-01-26)

With today’s General On-Sale for tickets for leg 2 of the eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE off to a good pace, several new shows have already been announced as happening at U2.Com/Tour.

These include shows at:

  • Berlin, Saturday, September 1 (A second show for Berlin)
  • Cologne, Wednesday, September 5 (A second show for Cologne)
  • Paris, Wednesday, September 12 (A third show for Paris)
  • Lisbon, Monday, September 17 (A second show for Lisbon)
  • Madrid, Friday, September 21 (A second show in Madrid)
  • Hamburg, Thursday, October 4 (A second show for Hamburg)
  • Amsterdam, Monday, October 8 (A second show in Amsterdam)
  • Manchester, Saturday, October 20 (A second show for Manchester)
  • London, Wednesday, October 24 (A second show for London)

These shows will be going into pre-sales next week (starting Tuesday, January 30), and stay tuned for further updates on when these shows will be sold. Late last week retailers in Denmark and The Netherlands both confirmed that the retailer code should be good for any additional shows. So there should be both U2.Com membership pre-sales (starting Tuesday) and a retailer pre-sale for those who pre-ordered the album at select retailers (starting later in the week). The first shows announced were for Paris, Amsterdam and Madrid. They were quickly followed by the shows in Germany and then later a show for Lisbon. Much later in the day additional second shows were announced for London and Manchester.

The pre-sale information for Madrid is as follows:

  • Tuesday, January 30, 10:00 U2.Com Fan Club Sale
  • Wednesday, January 31, 10:00 Retail Pre-Sale
  • Friday, February 2, General Sale

Expect other cities to follow the same schedule. The General sale for these added cities will be next Friday, February 2, and expect it to be at 10:00 for most cities, and earlier for shows in the UK if second shows are announced.

A second show for Manchester was accidentally seen during pre-sales at one point, so expect that city to be one of the ones getting an additional show.

There will be no new cities announced today. Only cities that previously have shows listed will be announced today. Expect additional second shows to be added today as well. Other shows are already showing low inventories of tickets, so expect other announcements shortly.

——

We also have some information that we can report, that should be considered a rumour until such time that it is confirmed by official sources. This information comes from previously reliable sources who have shared correct information in the past.

The two shows mentioned in the first tour announcement for Leg Two are imminent to be announced. Both Dublin and Belfast shows for U2 were mentioned in the announcement but dates were not given. We are told they should be announced early next week, most likely on Monday.

——

When would Dublin and Belfast happen? We are told that the information published last week that Dublin would happen in September is wrong.

Belfast would happen first, following London at the end of the current known schedule at the end of October.

Dublin is being booked so there could be room for four shows, but only two will be announced on Monday. We are told that the dates will be November 5 and 6 for these two shows, BUT UNTIL ANNOUNCED THIS SHOULD BE CONSIDERED RUMOUR and should not be used to book reservations that cannot be changed. Our source is reliable, and has shared accurate information in the past, but things have been known to shift and change right up to the announcement of dates. Addition of a third and fourth show for Dublin would be done if sales for the first two are good. (And yes, we are aware another act has the venue booked in Dublin for the night of the 4th.)

——

For more information on the tour please visit the following links:

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New Remixes of “Get Out Of Your Own Way” Coming Friday

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-01-24)

On Friday, January 26, 2018, we are told U2 will release new remixes of “Get Out of Your Own Way”. The remixes are being done by Afrojack. Afrojack, is a Dutch DJ, record producer and remixer, and runs his own label Wall Recordings, and has worked with artists including David Guetta, Madonna, Beyonce and Pitbull. In a 2014 interview Afrojack first mentions aspirations to work with u2 someday saying, “With U2, I’d want to make the most beautiful song in the world. They could just do that by themselves, but I’d love to be a part of it.”

Two versions of the Afrojack mix exist, a “Afrojack Remix Radio Edit” at 04:06 in length, and an “Afrojack Remix Extended” at 05:08 in length. The songs are being circulated with two different versions of the remix of the song by Switch, the previously released version at 03:41 in length and a longer version at 06:38. The shorter Switch remix was released as a single to streaming sites and to digital storefronts on December 27, 2017. The longer mix had not previously been released. The mixes are currently being shared in digital promo formats, and no physical promotional CD is available.

At this time we are unsure if all four remixes will be commercially released or if just the Afrojack remix will be released commercially on Friday.

The remixes are released in conjunction with U2 appearing on the Grammy Awards on Sunday, January 28, 2018. The band are expected to perform “Get Out of Your Own Way” on the Awards ceremony, and the song will be pushed to Hot AC (Adult Contemporary) Radio the following day on January 29, 2018. The song had previously been pushed to AAA (Adult album alternative) Radio (December 4, 2017) and Modern Rock Radio (January 16, 2017) in the United States, and in various European markets (Poland on November 2, 2017 and Italy on December 8, 2017 for instance, as well as being featured as a BBC track of the week in early November). U2 also released a video for the song last week. We are told another video is coming for the song as well and will launch in conjunction with the Grammy Awards appearance.

Update: We are told that the mix released on Friday will be one of the Afrojack mixes, and that there will be other mixes coming in the near future. The song being released on Friday will be the 04:07 edit of the Afrojack Remix and it will be labeled simply as “Afrojack Remix”. The song will be available on digital store fronts such as iTunes, as well as streaming services.

Our lyrics entries for these new remixes are below, when we confirm what contents are being released on Friday we will update the discography entry for the single:

Below is the cover of this release, like the Switch release before it, it uses a blue-black pattern as used in other artwork, with the name of the remix on the front.

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U2 and Kendrick Lamar Plan for the Grammy Awards

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-01-23)

Updated: January 23, 2017

Word has reached us via a reliable source in the entertainment industry that U2 and Kendrick Lamar will be performing together at the upcoming Grammy Awards. The Awards are being held next Sunday, January 28 in New York City.

The show will be opened by a performance by Kendrick Lamar of his song “XXX” from last year’s chart-topping album DAMN. Bono, and possibly the rest of U2, will join Lamar for the performance of this song. On the album version of the song, Bono sings a number of lyrics which he would later use in “American Soul.” The entire band, U2, is credited on the song, although only Bono actually appeared on the Kendrick Lamar recording. This performance of the song by Kendrick Lamar and U2 would mark the first time they have performed the song together. This song will be performed live.

On “XXX” Bono sings “It’s not a place, This country is to be a sound of drum and bass, You close your eyes to look around.” The same lines repeat in U2’s own “American Soul” released on Songs of Experience which features an introduction by Kendrick Lamar.

Later in the show U2 will return to perform their own song, “Get Out of Your Own Way” which may feature Kendrick Lamar as a special guest. On the album version of the song, Kendrick Lamar is featured on the outro of the song. Last Thursday, January 18, U2 released a video for this new song which is also being promoted at Modern Rock Radio in North America this week. The video version of the song does not feature Lamar’s outro, nor does the version that has been delivered to radio. A remix of “Get Out of Your Own Way“ was released commercially on December 29, 2017. U2 will not be performing this song live at the ceremony and this will be a pre-taped appearance, although the band will be in attendance at the awards. This is likely the performance previously mentioned by Craines New York Business which mentioned “a performance by Bono floating on a barge in the Hudson River during the telecast”.

Don’t tune out after the two performances, as U2 are also possibly giving out an award late in the show, and we are told it may be the final award of the night.

This year is the 60th anniversary of the Grammy Awards. They are being held in New York City and telecast on CBS stations on Sunday January 28. The broadcast will be from 7:30 – 11pm ET, or 4:30 – 8pm PT. The awards are being held at Madison Square Garden, which is the first time the Grammy Awards have returned to that arena since 2003, and the awards show has been held in Los Angeles for the past 14 years.

U2 are not nominated for any awards in this years categories. The only song from their new album eligible for nomination was “You’re the Best Thing About Me” as it was released before the Grammy cut off, but failed to garner any nominations. To date U2 have won 24 Grammy Awards, including the special Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 2014 for The Joshua Tree.

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U2 Experience + Innocence Tour Leg Two Questions and Answers

Original Story by U2Songs.com Staff (2018-01-21)

U2 experience and innocence tour questions and answers

Last Updated: January 29, 2018, 7:35pm GMT

All times mentioned below are local times to the venue unless otherwise noted.

U2 announced the second leg of the eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE TOUR on January 15, 2018. This will be the second leg of the tour, following a North American leg that was announced last November. Additional dates were added to the second leg of the tour, and these were announced on January 26, 2018 and January 29, 2018. An additional show has been planned for every city. Added dates for Belfast and Dublin were also announced in this second wave of dates.

While we here at U2Songs.Com will try to answer questions about this new leg, your first source of information on the tour should always be U2.Com. Here are some useful links at that site which you should read fully before asking for further information:

A tour commercial video was debuted as well. We have that at the end of the article if you scroll down.

For the tour dates so far you can check our U2 Experience + Innocence Tour Poster graphic below:

Tour Info

Is this the same tour as before?

  • The band is saying that they are returning indoors to pick up where the 2015 tour ended.
  • Stage configurations for the North American shows showed a similar stage set up to 2015, with a round stage at one end of the arena and a rectangular one at the other end.
  • They have announced that the show is “staged in the round” and features “multiple performance areas”
  • A new super high-res LED screen nine-times the resolution of the 2015 screen will be featured.
  • The seat map for leg two in the Royal Arena in Copenhagen looks very familiar:

We’ve compiled an image of all the stadium maps revealed at this time, and you can see that below. Each shows a stage very similar to the 2015 stage, with a walkway between a rectangular and a round stage. (Click to enlarge)

What will tickets cost?

  • The pricing range for tickets for Belfast is £38.00 – £185.00 + fees (mid-range pricing not known yet.)
  • The pricing range for tickets for Dublin is listed as €39.05 – €201 + fees (mid range pricing cannot be seen yet.)
  • Pricing for all cities during the initial Experience pre-sale can be found in the chart below (click to enlarge):

Ticket Sales

When are tickets on sale?

There are a variety of pre-sales prior to the main sale. The pre-sale times are still being changed, so check back at these times often.

  • The U2.Com eXPERIENCE sale starts on Tuesday January 30 at 10am for all cities except Dublin and Belfast (9am on Jan 30) and Lisbon (3pm on Jan 30)
  • The U2.Com iNNOCENCE sale starts on Wednesday January 31 at 10am.
  • The Retail sale for having purchased a copy of the album in advance starts on January 31. Currently it is listed as starting at 10am in Germany and Copenhagen, and at 12noon for Dublin, Madrid and Belfast. As this overlaps the U2.Com iNNOCENCE sale we expect that these times may change to 12 noon for all cities.
  • The general sale starts on Friday February 2, at 10am for most of Europe, and 9am for the UK and Ireland.
  • All times mentioned above are local to the venue.
  • You should check the tour page at U2.Com for any changes to these dates and times.

When is my U2.Com pre-sale?

  • Experience Pre-sale will start on Tuesday January 30, see information on times above.
  • Innocence Pre-sale will start on Wednesday January 31 see information on times above.
  • Experience members are members who have had a continuous unbroken fan club membership at U2.Com since December 24, 2016. Anyone who joined after that, or who let their subscription lapse and signed up again later than that will be in the Innocence group.
  • The December 24, 2016 date is the day before the first mention of The Joshua Tree 2016 tour.
  • Experience pre-sale codes will start with U2EIA, Innocence pre-sale codes will start with U2EIB.
  • Codes given out for the first leg, that are unused, will not be valid for these sales, new codes are being issued.
  • You can now check what group you are in by logging into your U2.Com profile.
  • Subscribers in the eXPERIENCE group will enter pre-sales prior to those in the iNNOCENCE group. Both of these pre-sales will be completed before other pre-sales start.
  • Please note, U2.Com has updated their FAQ with the following information: “If I already purchased tickets for 2018 U2eiTour shows, may I use my code again for recently announced additional shows? If you already used your unique code to purchase 2 tickets for U2eiTour shows, you are not eligible to purchase tickets in presales for additionally announced shows. Code use is audited and anyone found to be abusing presale privileges risks cancellation of ticket purchases and U2.com subscription.”

When will I get my pre-sale code?

  • Pre-Sale codes are available in your U2.Com accounts now and can be seen at the tour page as well as your profile page.
  • Everyone can see codes at the moment and none are showing as crossed out. But if you have previously used your code to purchase tickets you are not eligible to purchase tickets for these additional shows according to the U2.Com help page. “If you already used your unique code to purchase 2 tickets for U2eiTour shows, you are not eligible to purchase tickets in presales for additionally announced shows. Code use is audited and anyone found to be abusing presale privileges risks cancellation of ticket purchases and U2.com subscription.”

Can I join U2.Com now and get a pre-sale code?

  • Yes, you can subscribe now. But you will get an Innocence code for the second day of pre-sales, and not an Experience code for the first day of pre-sales.

How do I get Verified for Pre-sales?

  • The good news is you do not have to.
  • The U2.com help site says: “Verified Subscriber / Verified Fan process was only for the North America pre-sales.” so you do not have to sign up for any verification process at all.
  • You also do not need to worry about signing up for SMS messages. The U2.com help site says “SMS message were for the North America shows and will not be used for EU/UK shows. We do plan to email subscribers codes and info the night before your pre-sales begin.”
  • The added Dublin and Belfast show also do not use the verified fan system.

How many tickets can I get through the pre-sale option?

  • A pre-sale does not guarantee you tickets.
  • However, you get an access code which will allow you to buy up to two tickets for the tour.
  • At this time it has not been announced whether you can split your two tickets between two shows, or if they will have to be used for one show. In the past in Europe, at times, the codes could not be used for multiple shows. But more recent tours such as the 2015 tour, and the 2017 tour allowed users to split the code between two shows. Pay attention to U2.com for more information on this.
  • Yes, two tickets is less than last time. U2.com has been giving pre-sale opportunities for 2 tickets in arena shows, and 4 tickets in stadium shows since the U2360 tour. So The Joshua Tree Tour allowed for a total of four tickets because it was a stadium show. This show is in arenas so it will be limited to two tickets, like it was in 2015.

What are the ticket limits per show?

  • Not all retailers have published ticket limits at this time. Expect some not to post until the event goes on sale.
  • Ticketmaster in the UK have published the following (Expect the limits to be similar elsewhere): “There is a ticket limit of 4 tickets per person and per credit card on this event. Please adhere to published ticket limits. Persons who exceed the ticket limit may have any or all of their order(s) and tickets cancelled without prior notice by Ticketmaster in its discretion. This includes: orders associated with the same name, e-mail address, billing address, credit card number or other information.”
  • If you are buying two tickets for the pre-sale through TM, you may not want to buy more than two in the general sale, staying under the four ticket limit, as this will go over the stated limits and could result in ticket cancellation if audited.

Date Information

When does the tour happen?

  • The second leg of the tour is listed to start on August 31 in Berlin, Germany.
  • The current final date of the tour listed is November 6, in Dublin Ireland.
  • It is possible that additional dates may be added and the tour may be extended beyond November 6.

Will more dates be announced?

  • Yes it is possible that additional dates may still be announced. Expect that these will not be announced until the current shows go on sale on Friday, February 2.
  • Early rumours suggested the tour would start in North America, then will move to Europe, and will finish 2018 in Australia, New Zealand, and Asia. There has been no mention of Australia, New Zealand and Asia in any communications from U2.Com, however Bono and The Edge have both commented they want to take the tour in that direction.

Other Non-U2.Com Pre-Sales General Information

Please note at the bottom of this section are some notes about all of these pre-sales, but first we are presenting the details for each one individually.

RETAILER PRESALE: JANUARY 31

  • The retailer pre-sale starts on Monday, January 31
  • The start time of this sale is currently listed as noon for Dublin, Belfast and Madrid and the German shows. The earlier 10am time would have overlapped with the iNNOCENCE start time so was likely an error. Expect all shows to update this going forward.
  • This pre-sale is for people who pre-ordered the album prior to November 30, 2017 at select retailers. This offer has now ended, you cannot buy the album now and participate. The offer offered a chance to “purchase tickets for yet-to-be-announced  European tour dates in a city near you in 2018, while availability lasts.” and did not promise the ability to buy tickets in your own country.
  • The retailers participating were Fanfire/U2.Com (UK, Ireland), Universal Music (Germany, France), FNAC (Spain, Portugal), Amazon (Italy), Gaffashop (Denmark), Bol.Com (The Netherlands) and Empik (Poland)
  • If you weren’t from one of the nine countries listed you could buy in one of these offers and would receive a code.
  • Users in Poland were part of this pre-sale, and have been told with no concert in their country, they can choose from any country in the offer that has a concert.
  • The FAQ for this offer when users were purchasing states “I have pre-ordered my album via one of the official partner links listed above, but want to visit a show in another country on the forthcoming tour (yet to be announced). Will my code be valid?
    Yes, all codes will be valid for redemption for any of the forthcoming European tour, while availability lasts.”
  • The pre-sale for pre-ordering the album is being called the “Retail Pre-sale” in some markets and users are being asked to ensure they pick that option from any lists when purchasing on Monday.
  • The codes are personalized. Each is individual to the person receiving them.
  • Although some retailers stated initially only one code would be available per person, some retailers have sent out multiple codes to users if multiple purchases of the album were made (such as Italy and Portugal)
  • The UK recipients of the email were sent to a link on Ticketmaster for the first salewith individual pre-sales for multiple countries being listed including countries not selling through Ticketmaster.
  • Italian recipients of the email are being directed to the TicketOne.It site, and not to Ticketmaster.
  • Retailers such as bol.com and gaffashop have confirmed that there is a second retail pre-sale for these additional cities and dates.
  • Emails state that the codes can only be used once. This suggests they cannot be used to buy two tickets at different shows, as that would require using the code twice.
  • The codes can be used to buy tickets in any market included in the pre-sale. You can use a code from the UK retailer to buy a ticket in Spain for example. But the email with the code for some markets, such as Italy, leads users to a site where only the Italian dates are listed. The link to the UK above should list most of these shows tomorrow.
  • If you have not received your pre-sale code by email at this point you should check your spam folders, make sure that its not there, and if it is not contact the retailer asap. A number of people who expected codes in the UK and Ireland have not received them. Please note, you did not get a code for just pre-ordering the album, you had to follow the proper pre-order link from the front of U2.Com and order from the specific retailers listed. The list of retailers is above.

O2 PRIORITY PRE-SALES FOR THE UK

  • O2 will have a pre-sale in advance of the general on-sale – this is for O2 mobile customers for the shows in Manchester and London.
  • More information about this sale can be found on the O2 Priority Ticket site.
  • This sale has been announced to start at 12 noon on Wednesday January 31 for both cities.

LIVE NATION PRE-SALES: FEBRUARY 1
There will be special Live Nation pre-sales for Italy and the UK, and possibly other countries. We suggest looking at the Live Nation site for your country to see if such an offer exists.

UK:

  • Members of www.livenation.co.uk will have a pre-sale opportunity outside of the U2.Com one and the pre-order of the album opportunities.
  • To sign up for this opportunity you can sign up here. You must sign up to their site in advance to take part in this opportunity.
  • The Live Nation pre-sale will start at 9am on Thursday, February 1, and will continue until 5pm the same day. This falls after the U2.Com pre-sale, and after the pre-order of the album opportunity.

Italy:

  • A Live Nation pre-sale will be available to those in Italy who register at www.livenation.it.
  • The Live Nation pre-sale will start at 9am on Thursday, February 1, and will continue until 5pm the same day. This falls after the U2.Com pre-sale, and after the pre-order of the album opportunity.

3PLUS PRE-SALES FOR DUBLIN: JANUARY 31

  • There will be a 3Plus pre-sale in advance of the general on-sale – this is for Three mobile customers for the shows in Ireland.
  • More information about this sale can be found on the 3Plus Pre-Sale Site.
  • This sale has been announced to start at 12 noon on Wednesday January 31.
  • The current start time is listed for 9:00 for this sale, but that would put it at the same time as the U2.Com Innocence Sale. We have seen in the past that the U2.Com sale will happen first and others will be pushed back, so do not be surprised if this sale is delayed to later in the day. (The O2 sale which is similar in the UK is set for Noon on that day)

Other Pre-Sales Questions

Didn’t all the tickets sell out in the U2Com Pre-Sale?

  • No, none of these shows are sold out. Only a limited amount of tickets are available in any pre-sale which ensures that there are tickets available for the General Public when that sale happens.
  • There will be tickets set aside for each of these pre-sales.
  • There are also tickets set aside for the general sale. The bulk of tickets for any concert are still sold in the general sale, regardless of how many pre-sales exist.

Will there be GA tickets in these other sales?

  • Maybe yes, maybe no. In the past some pre-sales have only had limited options for tickets such as certain seating types.
  • Last week many people were successful at getting GA tickets in the retail sale.
  • There will be GA tickets available in the general onsale. They may be tough to get but there will be some available.

I’ve bought tickets in another pre-sale can I buy tickets in these?

  • Yes, you can. But be aware, some retailers set a ticket limit per show across all sales.
  • For the shows serviced by Ticketmaster in the UK, the limit is published as a total of four tickets per person and per credit card. So if you bought two tickets in another pre-sale, you can only buy two tickets for that show under your name and using the same credit card.
  • Ticket limits may not be enforced at the time of purchase, and the system may allow you to buy more than four tickets for one show, but if you do this you risk having them cancelled after the sales end if the sale is audited and you are caught.

Other General Questions:

What do I need to know about Dublin and Belfast?

  • There is an added FAQ specific to the Dublin and Belfast shows. The following information is taken from there.
  • Only a very limited number of tickets will be onsale at the venues and these will be General Admission only.
  • Credit card used for purchase will be needed for entry to the venue on the night of the show for tickets on the floor.
  • The card you use to purchase will be swiped as you enter the venue. If your card expires between now and then the expired card will work.
  • There are age restrictions for both shows. In Dublin, under 16s must be accompanied by an adult and no under 14s will be allowed in the standing area. In Belfast, under 14s must be accompanied by an adult and no under 14s will be allowed in the standing area.
  • The ticket limit is 2 tickets per person / per card / per postal address in the pre-sales and 4 tickets per person / per card / per postal address in the general sale.

What’s a collector ticket?

  • A collector ticket will be offered in some markets. You will see this option as you are checking out. We’ve been told these will be available in Denmark, France, all three cities in Germany and Amsterdam, and expect them to be available in other countries as well.
  • The ticket is a credit card sized piece of plastic, which has the tour logo printed on it, and your barcode for entrance into the show.
  • The back of the ticket usually has your personal information such as name and ticket information such as seat number.
  • In 2015 there were some reports of these being problematic to scan. They were offered again in 2017 for Europe, and we saw few issues with them there.
  • They usually come with a lanyard, and can be purchased for any type of ticket, GA, or seated.

What VIP Tickets Packages are available?

Each tour, U2 puts a number of special packages on sale. This tour is no exception. The following are listed for the package details, and we’ve included some pricing as well.

  • The Silver Hot Ticket (Includes one seated ticket to see U2 live, souvenir lanyard and laminate, merchandise item designed exclusively for package purchasers, designated check-in and on-site staff) (Pricing: Copenhagen: 1578kr, Amsterdam: 215.00 Euro) Note: In the UK this will include a ticket that sold without the package would be £100
  • The Gold Hot Ticket (Includes one seated ticket to see U2 live, souvenir lanyard and laminate, merchandise item designed exclusively for package purchasers, designated check-in and on-site staff) (Pricing: Copenhagen: 1578kr, Amsterdam: 215.00 Euro) Note: In the UK this will include a ticket that sold without the package would be £190
  • RED ZONE: The (RED) Zone gives you access to an exclusive VIP area directly adjacent to the Stage with special amenities and dedicated staff, all while raising money in support of (RED) and the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa. Includes a barricaded area immediately adjacent to the stage, extremely limited capacity, VIP entrance to the venue, collectors souvenir ticket, an opportunity to be selected for a backstage tour, access to purchase pre-show refreshments, and a portion of the proceeds supports the (RED) campaign. (Pricing: Copenhagen: 3100kr, Amsterdam: 320.00 Euro)
  • The Club VIP Package: Includes one seated ticket to see U2 Live, collectible U2 laminate and lanyard, designated check-in and on-site concert host, pre-show party with complimentary food and drinks, and a DJ set before the show. (Pricing: Copenhagen: 2949kr, Amsterdam: 400 Euro)
  • The Premium VIP Package: Includes a top priced seated ticket to see U2 live, merchandise item designed exclusively for package purchasers, collectible U2 laminate and lanyard, designated check-in and on-site concert host, pre-show party with complimentary food and drinks, and a DJ set before the show. (Pricing: Amsterdam: 525 Euro) Note: In the UK this will include a ticket that sold without the package would be £190
  • The upper price on VIP Packages for the UK is listed to be £476.20 for Manchester and £476.75 for London, this would be for The Premium VIP Package.
  • On the past two tours the merchandise item designed exclusively for package purchasers was a tour book with souvenirs, replica posters and other content.

Help I Can’t Get Things to Work?

  • Your first stop should be the U2.Com help page. This page is continually being updated so you may find an answer there that wasn’t there a few days ago.
  • If you are unable to find answers there log into the Zootopia Message boards at U2.Com and ask one of the moderation team for assistance.
  • You can find us on Twitter and Facebook. Give us a shout if you want.
  • Other sites offer up assistance and help as well such as U2Start.Com, U2360gradi.it and U2Tour.De. We’ll try to make a list of help areas for these other sites as they are set up.

I’m still looking for more information what resources are out there?

Many of the sites which will be selling tickets are still setting up information about the concerts and sales. Below we’ll try to list a few of the current ones we’ve found:


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The Crystal Ball: What’s Coming Next?

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-01-12)

Updated: January 14, 2017

Achtung Tour Babies!

With the flurry of rumours going around about tour dates and tour cities, we checked in with our sources, and have been told the tour announcement will happen next week. As of yesterday some dates were now finalized, but at that point they were still trying putting the final details together about a few dates. That included choosing between two different cities for one set of dates, as both have currently been booked for the same time. So there could still be a few changes between now and the announcement, thus any dates you are seeing should still be treated as rumour for now, as there is still some uncertainty in the final itinerary. Looks like they are coming right down to the wire on some of these dates being confirmed and still making some final decisions. But we are told the whole thing should be announced ‘next week’.

We have also been told that two additional shows for North America were planned, but not announced before Christmas. It is possible that those may still be announced as well. But very little has been mentioned of the North American tour lately.

The tour is said to run from early September until late October in Europe. They will be playing indoor venues. The North American dates are currently set to end on June 29th, so it appears the band will be taking July and August off before resuming the tour. Over at U2Start, they are tracking a few city rumours at this point. It does look like only the second leg of the tour will be announced at this point, and the expected third leg is still being plotted.

Although the final itinerary is said to be not settled at this point, we can share that it is likely that the opening dates will be in Cologne, Germany, with that city receiving two dates in early September. At the time of announcement, only one of these will be announced, with the second show being announced only after sales have started.

Other cities? Manchester, Paris, Madrid, and Belfast are all being mentioned. We are told that there will be 12-13 cities announced next week, with most cities being left open so two shows can be played in each city. Initially, when the announcement is made only one date per city will be announced, but room is being left to add a second date. Only a small number of cities would more than two shows, and early rumours for Paris say they will receive 4 shows, if the shows sell well. We expect more information to leak out over the next few days if the announcement will be next week.

The announcement will outline when tickets will go on sale for these dates, as well as the details of the pre-sale from U2.Com and how to register. At this point, there isn’t much you can do until the announcement, but you can take the opportunity to log in at U2.Com and check out your profile so you are aware of when your account expires. A second pre-sale, which will happen after the U2.Com pre-sale, was made available if you pre-ordered the album through certain retailers, and those details will be made available next week as well.

We are told that the first pre-sales will happen this coming week as well, with them starting the day after the announcement (which suggests they will start on Wednesday). These pre-sales will be for U2.Com members who are in the Experience category. (Maintaining a current subscription since December 24, 2016 was the criteria for the Experience category in North America for leg one). It is not expected that there will be a fan verification process in place for the second leg of the tour for shows on the general sale, which should mean no system for the fan club pre-sales either.

Get Out Of Your Own Way

On December 11, 2017, a month ago, the video for “Get Out of Your Own Way” directed by Jonas Åkerlund and filmed in Mexico City in October while the band was there, was teased on a variety of social media platforms. On January 5, 2018 and January 9, 2018, video from U2’s performance of that song at Trafalgar Square in London which was filmed for a video has also been teased on U2’s social media platforms. But fans are left asking when the video will debut.

In the meantime, a remix of the song, called the Switch Remix, was also delivered to digital store fronts and streaming services worldwide on December 29, 2017.

The video is coming. And we are told at least one version of the video should debut next week, with the video being available for purchase on iTunes next Friday, January 19th. We don’t know which video will debut first, whether it will be the version filmed in Mexico, or the one filmed in London, but both are said to be coming soon.

Further, the song, “Get Out of Your Own Way” is being pushed to Modern Rock Radio in North America on January 16, which is next Tuesday. Makes sense that a new video would be part of the push for this song.

Promotional Stops

The Grammy Awards are being televised on January 28, 2018. Rumours that U2 will appear and will perform have hit our ears, and Adam Clayton even teased an appearance at the Grammys on U2’s social media accounts, with a post that was swiftly deleted. The post appeared on January 8, and was attributed to Adam Clayton and read “Winter walk thinking about Grammys in N.Y.” In the post was a bridge with a lobster.

We are told that the band will use the time in New York City to potentially do a few other media appearances to continue promotion of the new album. Keep your ears open. We’ll hopefully be able to share a bit more next week.

Questionnaire

Finally, have you had a chance to take our questionnaire about the new album yet? We’re asking 24 quick questions that ask for a variety of information about the new album and your favorites. Once we close the questions, we will summarize the results here on U2Songs, so please take an opportunity to take the questions yourself. Many thanks.

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Exploration of Experience

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-01-08)

u2songs.com was formerly known as u2wanderer.org. Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

Fan Club Vinyl: Most Still Waiting

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-01-07)

If you haven’t yet received your 2017 gift from U2.Com, don’t panic yet! Most of us haven’t received the vinyl set yet. Although some copies have started to ship and are turning up in mailboxes daily around the world, the majority of those expecting this vinyl set have not yet received them yet.

We’ve taken to Twitter and Facebook to ask whether or not subscribers of U2.Com have received the vinyl today, and as of writing this we’ve heard back from 1764 fans. The results show that 77.1% of the people expecting the vinyl have not yet received the vinyl. Only 22.9% of respondents have received the vinyl. It’s easy to get worried when you see the vinyl start showing up in early December and you still don’t have your copy a month later. But at the moment there are far more people still waiting for the vinyl than have received the vinyl at this point. Calls to the help desk confirm that they have not even finished sending out all of the copies of the vinyl, and that copies are still being sent throughout January. The person we spoke to claimed that they hoped to have all of the copies mailed by the end of January.

Thank you for the quick reply in these polls. Both polls are still open, and accepting votes, so if you haven’t and want to let us know whether or not you received your set you can do so here:

(When these close tomorrow, we will update this story with the actual final numbers)

What’s taking so long for the vinyl to arrive?

Honestly, if they have all the copies of this mailed out by the end of January it will be one of the quickest turnaround times to send out all of the fan club gifts in recent years. Over the last few years we’ve kept an eye on social media as these gifts are sent out. From the first reports that they have started to arrive, until the time that we stop seeing subscribers asking when they will get their gift traditionally takes about three months from the time the first gift appears. The last set of 10-inch vinyl, Another Time Another Place took about four months to arrive from start to finish. Many of the smaller gifts, such as the CDs in past years have arrived from start to finish, over about three months. The gift that took the longest seemed to be the lithographs, where it took almost six months from the start of them arriving, until everyone seemed to have their copies.

The delay in sending these out happens every year. Not everyone’s gift is sent on the same day, and it takes months for the entire subscriber base to be fulfilled. In the first month, traditionally only a small percentage of people receive these. The first reports of The Joshua Tree Singles vinyl arriving happened on December 8, 2017. So at this point we are still in the first month of people receiving the gifts. Thus far from our poll mentioned above, it appears that about 22% have received gifts. These were shipped out during the Christmas season as well, when there are higher volumes of mail, and closures of mail service on a number of days due to the holidays.

So is this usual?

Last year’s gift has appeared to be problematic since the start. Typically a fan club gift is announced in November of the year ahead of the year that the gift is for. That means the gift for 2017 should have been announced in November 2017 based on previous offerings, but in December, a notice was posted that the gift was delayed with no further details. The gift choice of The Joshua Tree Singles was not announced until May 3, 2017. Already we were five months into the year. Prior to that, the latest a gift had ever been announced was for the 2009 subscriber year, and that gift was announced on February 24 of that year.

Originally, when announced in May, we were told that this gift would be late. The announcement on May 3, 2017 informed subscribers that the gift would contain tracks from the upcoming Joshua Tree Tour which had not even started yet, and that due to these performances being taken from the upcoming tour the set would not ship until September. In another location on U2.Com posted the same day the set was listed to ship in Autumn.

On October 5, 2017, after missing the original September date, the eight tracks on the vinyl set were made available for download from U2.Com. If you haven’t received your vinyl yet, and haven’t yet found these, you can find the eight tracks on your profile page here on U2.Com and you can download them right now. At the time, U2.Com announced that the vinyl would not “begin shipping” until December.

They did keep their word on shipping date this time, the vinyl did begin shipping in December, and the first copies arrived on December 8, 2017. However, due to the usual long delays in shipping all of the product, it means subscribers are now receiving the gift in the year following the subscription year, 2017, and in many cases are starting to have subscriptions come up for renewal without having received their last renewal gift.

So does this happen every year?

The subscription gifts haven’t exactly always arrived on time, but they’ve never appeared as late as they have this year. In most years the gift is announced in mid to late November. Out of 12 gifts to date, half of them were announced in November, and three of them were actually announced earlier than expected. Only the gifts in 2009 (Medium, Rare and Remastered), 2016 (Lithographs), and 2017 (The Joshua Tree Singles) were announced late. This year’s gift, remains unannounced as well so joins the list of those announced late.

Fan Club Gift Timeline 2006 - 2018

In most cases the gifts arrive in December of the year ahead of the subscription year. This was the case for the first three gifts, as well as the 2013 gift. Another four gifts arrived within four months of the start of the year. The longest delays in gifts prior to the current issue were the U22 live release (June), the vinyl set Another Time Another Place (July) the lithographs (June). With a twelve month delay, The Joshua Tree Singles is starting to arrive when the 2018 gift should have been arriving at mailboxes. Perhaps another gift should have been found for 2017, and these vinyls used for the 2018 gift.

So what happens next?

Only 23% of subscribers seem to have received their vinyl based on a poll. So many of us have no choice but to sit and wait for last years gift. (Yes, that includes me, my set has not arrived). In the meantime, we can download the audio and have a listen, and we’ve shared some images and information on the releases. The good news is there are more people each day reporting seeing these arriving, and that includes people in Australia, UK, The Netherlands, Spain, Canada to date.

As reported earlier, U2.Com is reporting that they hope to have all the vinyl being shipped by the end of January. My personal guess based on past gifts is that we will see gifts still arriving throughout February as well. If you reach March, and still have not seen a copy of the vinyl, then I would suggest it is time to get worried about what happened to your shipment.

And for those of you who got last years gift? Save us a spot in the queue waiting for news on the 2018 gift. Many thanks.

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The History Mix: Joshua Tree 2017 Merchandise Oddities

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2017-12-30)

Hard to believe one year ago today we were still waiting for news where the new tour, The Joshua Tree 2017 would visit. Before The Joshua Tree 2017 fades into everyone’s memories, we thought we would take one final look back to look at some of the merchandise that many may not have seen along the way. Some of the odd bits and pieces related to the tour, but not available at every merchandise stand or every venue. T-shirts, patches, plastic drinking cups. Some of the oddball stuff not necessarily found at the merchandise booths.

Tour Token


IMAGE: The Joshua Tree Tour 2017: Wooden Token / UPS Promo

UPS was the official Logistics provider of the tour, and these small wooden tokens with the tour logo were given out at a number of stops during the tour including stops in North America and Europe. But only limited numbers seemed to be available each night.

The token is wooden, and has a design burned in, with the Joshua Tree 2017 tour logo on one side, and the other side the logo for the UPS Fan Experience. The tokens are four centimeters in diameter. In each case we know of, the tokens were given away and not sold, usually for completing some activity.

In Louisville, KY they were given out at the UPS booth to fans who entered a promotional contest that night. In Belgium, 100 of these tokens were given out to the first 100 people to arrive by bicycle and use the bicycle park at Avenue Houba-de Strooper. We are told in another location they were given out when fans used a reusable water station to refill a bottle.

Final Leg Patches


IMAGE: The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 Patches: Mexico, Columbia, Brazil

The final leg of the tour visited Mexico and South America. During that leg they played Mexico City in Mexico, Bogota in Colombia, La Plata in Argentina, Santiago in Chile and Sao Paulo in Brazil. At least four of those countries got at least one additional item at the merchandise stands, a round patch featuring the silhouette of the Joshua tree used on the album cover, with a background that reflected the colours of the flag of the country.


IMAGE: The Joshua Tree Tour 2017: Argentina Patch

We know that Mexico, Colombia, Argentina and Brazil all had these patches, as can be seen from the photographs. Please get in touch with us if you have information about Chile, and whether or not there were patches for this country as well.

The patches are embroidered and quite nice. Many thanks to Agu2arts for the photograph of the Argentinian patch.

Two VIP Books


IMAGE: The Joshua Tree Tour 2017: Two VIP Books

Like the 2015 tour, there was a book given out this year with VIP tickets purchased on The Joshua Tree 2017 tour. The book included a replica tour harmonica, a metal coin and a bunch of replicas of old posters, and ticket stubs.

Many aren’t aware that there are two different print runs of this book, and three total variations of the book. The first one was printed for the initial tour, and numbered 25,000 copies. Each of these copies are hand numbered. These were used throughout the first and second leg of the tour, as well as for early dates on the third leg of the tour.

The original print run was done before the tour was expanded to a third leg, and later a fourth leg, and although 25,000 copies would have been sufficient if the tour had stopped at two legs, it wasn’t with these added shows. Additional copies were needed to finish out the tour. A second print run saw an additional 7,500 copies of the book produced, and again these are individually numbered but out of 7,500 in the back cover.

A third variation does exist. As the tour moved into Mexico and South America, the booklet included was printed in Spanish as well and included in the book. These books with the Spanish booklets were part of the 7,500 print run.

Working T-Shirts


IMAGE: The Joshua Tree Tour 2017: A Selection of Crew Shirts

The working T-Shirts for the tour featured an image of the screen lit up where U2 stand in front as “Where the Streets Have No Name” starts. Larry is behind his drum kit, and the others have their instruments. Behind the band, on the screen, is the name of the area the crew would be working in. A full list of shirts may still be unknown but here’s a list of some of the colours and the positions associated (Not all of them are shown above):

  • Black – Riggers
  • Black – Truck Loaders
  • Black – Fork Lift Drivers
  • Blue – Blue Steel
  • Blue – Sound
  • Blue – Universal
  • Green – Green Steel
  • Green – Carps
  • Grey – Front of House
  • Orange – Video
  • Purple – Pushers
  • Red – Red Steel
  • Red – Lighting
  • Red – Platforms
  • Red – Power
  • White – Backline
  • White – Runners
  • Yellow – Dressing Rooms

Most of these crew T-shirts appear to have been produced in size XL.

Wristbands and Passes


IMAGE: The Joshua Tree Tour 2017: Wristbands

When the tour started, every venue had wristbands for those on the floor of the venue. These either had chevrons or stripes and were one of seven different colours, making for fourteen wristbands in total. The seven colours were yellow, green, orange, purple, pink, brown and two shades of blue, a light and a dark blue. At some locations the print was considerably darker and closer to a burgundy colour.

Each had a golden embossed Joshua Tree 2017 tour logo on the band. Each night the tour would switch back, using squares one night, and the chevrons the next, and a rotating colour scheme was used throughout the tour.

As the tour moved to Europe, these wristbands were used for some shows but not all, and many floors had no wristbands at all, or were just limited to the first 300 – 500 people who lined up.

There were also a variety of other wristbands used on the tour, including those for the (RED) Zone, and working wristbands, one of which can be seen in the image above. The (RED) wristbands in use were fabric in most locations with a plastic slider to lock them in place.

Stick on patches were also used throughout the tour for access to some locations. Below is an image of one of the passes used for the photography pit during the Amsterdam show. These too changed colours as the tour progressed, and were also stamped with the date of the show they were to be used for. Each is fabric, on a sticky background allowing the patch to adhere to clothing.


IMAGE: The Joshua Tree Tour 2017: Photography Pass

Guitar Picks


IMAGE: The Joshua Tree Tour 2017: Guitar Picks

Sometimes at a tour stop you will get lucky, and The Edge will throw out a pick. Other times the techs who set up the equipment and pack it away will throw some picks from the stage.

Often these are generic, but sometimes they are printed with tour designs. On The Joshua Tree 2017 tour, one design is pictured above. The dark grey pick is printed on both sides with gold foil, showing a Joshua Tree on one side and “U2 JTT 2017” on the other.

An alternate version of the pick had the same images on either side of the pick, but they are printed in black on a clear pick, thus you see one image through the pick as you look at the other side.

Plastic Cups


IMAGE: The Joshua Tree Tour 2017: Plastic Cups

Starting with the second leg of The Joshua Tree Tour, many venues offered plastic cups with the logo of the tour for a small deposit. You could keep these as a souvenir, or you could at some venues return them for a reduced price on your next beer in the cup. Some venues allowed you to purchase the cups separate, others required that you buy a drink. The idea behind the cups was to reduce waste at the venue, by offering a collectible that people would take home with them.

There were five different designs that we know of sold throughout the tour.

The one on the far left was sold in Barcelona only, and is a clear large cup, with the tour logo in shiny gold, grey and white ink.

The one second in on the left was produced for shows in Sao Paulo, Brazil. This cup had a gold band around the top, and the cup is a gold plastic. These list the city name below the tour logo on the front. On the back is another silhouette of The Joshua Tree, as well as an image of Bono taken from behind.

The third cup pictured (in the middle), in black, was actually the first one we saw being sold. It appeared in London at the first show on the second leg of the tour, and was sold throughout a number of concerts in Europe on the second leg of the tour including Barcelona and Paris. On the back of this particular glass there are measurement marks so bartenders know what level to fill a drink.

The fourth cup, black with a clear base, was sold throughout the third leg of the tour in the United States, at most shows, and also sold at several shows on the fourth leg, including both concerts in Mexico.

Finally the fifth and smallest plastic cup, in black, was sold in Barcelona, one of three different designs present in Barcelona. This is the smallest cup of the five, and was only present at the Barcelona shows.

Local T-Shirts

On the first leg of the tour, in most cities, a T-shirt that was city specific was designed and available on the merchandise stands. These shirts were in grey and gold ink on black fabric, and featured a large silhouette of the tree in grey with the venue location printed over the tree in gold. Above the tree was a “U2” in an oval. These shirts were discontinued after the first leg, and were not seen in Europe or later legs of the tour.

However there were a couple of unique T-shirts we’d like to spotlight.


The first was produced for the final four shows in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and is blue with a yellow tree silhouette, with the city name, the dates, and the year on either side of the trunk of the tree, and the stadium name printed on the trunk. These were sold at the final four shows. Like the plastic cup, and the patch, these items were produced specific for the concerts in Brazil.

The other shirt of interest, was a red t-shirt produced for shows in New Jersey towards the end of the first leg of the tour.

The T-shirt was red, with U2 in black, similar to what you see during the tour when “Where the Streets Have No Name” would start, and the band is silhouetted against the red screen. In the image Bono’s hand is raised, and in the black of the stage below the band is listed “The Joshua Tree” in red, and there is a white “U2” above the band’s heads.


The shirt is not marked as venue specific, and don’t list the dates of the shows, however, it was only at the shows at the end of the first leg of the tour where these were available. The shirts were not seen in Europe on the second leg of the tour.

Unlike the IE tour, where venue specific shirts were produced for most cities as the tour wound through Europe, these two shirts above were the only two that popped up for this tour that we are aware of. Some shirts were rarer than others however, such as the green camo shirt (second leg) and the blue camo shirt (third leg) and the Luminous Icons shirt (end of the third leg)

With a tour the size of The Joshua Tree, there are bound to be many other items as well that people will prize and enjoy that don’t necessarily come from the tour merchandise stands. This includes ticket stubs, collector cards used for entrance, tour signage, and other printed materials. We can’t show you everything along the way, but it’s nice to be able to have a look at some of these materials before the tour passes into memories.

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U2 Live in London / U2 Live at the BBC

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2017-12-28)

There have been a number of variations of U2’s “Live in London” special, also known as “Live at the BBC” that have been shown. We attempt below to track down the variations in these specials.

CTV Canada: “Live in London”
Playback: https://www.ctv.ca/U2-Live-in-London/Video (region restricted)
Originally Aired: Sunday December 17, 2017
Time: 48 minutes (Aired over one hour with commercials)
Songs Shown: “Beautiful Day” (“Starman”) / “Lights of Home” / “With or Without You” (“Love Will Tear Us Apart”) / “Get Out of Your Own Way” / “One” / “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way (“All You Need is Love” / “Father and Son”)
Notes: The first airing of the special in the world, the CTV broadcast showed a mix of interview footage in studio with Cat Deeley, as well as a clip of Cat with the band filmed in Brazil, culminating with some footage of “Where the Streets Have No Name” being played in Brazil.

BBC One: “U2 at the BBC
Playback: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09jxnlg (region restricted)
Originally Aired: Tuesday December 19, 2017
Time: 59 minutes (Aired in one hour without commercials)
Songs Shown: “Beautiful Day” (“Starman”) / “Lights of Home” / “With or Without You” (“Love Will Tear Us Apart”) / “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of” / “Get Out of Your Own Way” / “One” / “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way (“All You Need is Love” / “Father and Son”)
Notes: The first airing on the BBC contains one additional song over the broadcast in Canada, “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of”. The program also contains added interviews in the Abbey Road studios with Cat Deeley, and an extended clip of Cat’s visit to São Paulo to hang out with the band.

RTE One: “U2 At Abbey Road”
Playback: https://www.rte.ie/player/ca/show/u2-at-abbey-road-30005063/10820554/ (region restricted)
Originally Aired: December 26, 2017
Time: 51 minutes
Songs Shown: “Beautiful Day” (“Starman”) / “Lights of Home” / “Every Breaking Wave” / “13 (There is a Light)” / “With or Without You” (“Love Will Tear Us Apart”) / “You’re The Best Thing About Me” / “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of” / “Get Out of Your Own Way” / “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way (“All You Need is Love” / “Father and Son”) / “All I Want is You” (“Walk to the Water”)
Notes: The broadcast for Ireland is shorter than the BBC broadcast, but includes a number of additional songs including “Every Breaking Wave”, “13 (There is a Light)” and “All I Want is You”. These songs are able to fit in as there were no interview clips, and there were no clips from Brazil in the broadcast on RTE. “One” was not shown in this version of the program — it had been in both Canada and in the UK.

BBC One: “U2 at the BBC: Special Edition”
Playback: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09m6cdj
Originally Aired: Tuesday December 19, 2017
Time: 75 minutes
Songs Shown: “Beautiful Day” (“Starman”) / “Lights of Home” / “Every Breaking Wave” / “With or Without You” (“Love Will Tear Us Apart”) / “13 (There is a Light)” / “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of” / “Get Out of Your Own Way” / “One” / “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way (“All You Need is Love” / “Father and Son”)
Notes: Although U2.Com announced that this airing would include “The Little Things That Give You Away,” “13 (There is a Light)” and “Every Breaking Wave” as well as additional interview footage, “The Little Things That Give You Away” was not shown. This airing is also missing “You’re The Best Thing” and “All I Want is You” which were shown on the RTE broadcast in Ireland, and also “Ordinary Love” which we are told was performed that night, but has not aired on any other broadcast.

Channel 9: “U2 at the BBC

Playback:
Originally Aired: Sunday, December 31, 2017
Time: 59 minutes (Aired in one hour without commercials)
Songs Shown: “Beautiful Day” (“Starman”) / “Lights of Home” / “With or Without You” (“Love Will Tear Us Apart”) / “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of” / “Get Out of Your Own Way” / “One” / “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way (“All You Need is Love” / “Father and Son”)
Notes: This airing on Channel 9 in Australia contains the same songs as the first airing on the BBC.

Other songs:

On top of those shown so far, fans attending the performance also said that there was a version of “Ordinary Love” performed during the initial performance on November 16, 2017 at Abbey Road Studios. To date that performance has not appeared in any broadcast. As of this writing, “The Little Things That Give You Away” has also not been seen but is expected to be aired in tonight’s version on the BBC.

Below we include some performance footage not included in the original broadcasts, courtesy of Duane. These are hosted on YouTube and are not here on U2Songs.Com, so we apologize if you are unable to view, but that is out of our control:


VIDEO: “You’re the Best Thing About Me” (Live from Abbey Road)


VIDEO: “13 (There is a Light)” (Live from Abbey Road)


VIDEO: “Every Breaking Wave” (Live from Abbey Road)

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U2 Live from London Special First Airing

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2017-12-17)

Tonight, Canada network CTV is showing a special presentation, “U2: Live from London”. While originally advertised as being aired at 10pm ET, a last minute change in scheduling saw it air in the Atlantic Region and Montreal at 7pm ET instead.

The content of the show is the performance that U2 recorded on November 16, 2017 at the Abbey Road Studios in London, England. Accompanying U2 is a chorus, and a 38 piece orchestra.

During the program six shows were shown in full from this performance:

  • “Beautiful Day” (with a snippet of Bowie’s “Starman”)
  • “Lights of Home”
  • “With or Without You” (with a snippet of Joy Divisions “Love Will Tear Us Apart”)
  • “Get Out of Your Own Way”
  • “One” (with the “No them there’s only us” ending)
  • “Love is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way” (with a “All You Need is Love” snippet and a opening snippet of “Father And Son” by Cat Stevens)

In the original performance, the band also performed “All I Want is You” with a snippet of “Walk to the Water” which has been used for previews of the performance, but that performance was not part of the special shown in Canada, which ran about 45 minutes with commercial breaks.

There were only two very short interview sessions with Cat Deeley filmed at Abbey Road. In the initial set, Cat interviewed all four members of the band, and in the second section she only interviewed Larry and Adam. We did see one segment from her time with the band in Sao Paulo, but we did not see the clips where she goes record shopping with the band, or where she asks who packs the luggage, both used for promotion of the BBC show.

The special opens with Bono, Adam and The Edge entering Abbey Road. Bono enters through the front door, while Adam and The Edge have to use a side door. In the later interview clip with Cat Deeley Bono tells a story of how Paul McCartney told them that they had to enter by the tradesman’s entrance when they started going to Abbey Road, and it was only later in their career they were allowed to use the front door.

Bono speaks about how the idea of doing a full night with a 38-piece orchestra seems a little self-indulgent. But that doesn’t stop them. “Beautiful Day” uses the chorus effectively for the “see the lights” mid section of the song. “Lights of Home” see the orchestra lit by bare light bulbs, and opens with Edge on acoustic before later switching out to electric, while Adam took an opportunity to sit like he did on this past tour for “Red Hill Mining Town”. Bono breaks into a lovely snippet of “Love Will Tear Us Apart” during “With or Without You” but his voice sounded a bit strained.

In the introduction to “Lights of Home” and “Get Out of Your Own Way” as well as in the interview with Deeley Bono speaks about the idea that many of the songs on the album are letters to people. At the start of “Get Out of Your Own Way” the Edge asks for some pyro, and Bono has to disappoint him telling him there will be no pyro. Bono gets the megaphone out for the ending of “Get Out of Your Own Way,” but it is not the megaphone he sometimes uses with MacPhisto inside. The megaphone comes out again during “One” as Bono sings the “No them, there’s only us” lines of the song.

“One” is introduced as a song the band wrote in Germany as walls were coming down, that they now had to sing as walls were going up. The final song aired on CTV was “Love is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way” and introducing it Bono offers some advice, “Find a girl, settle down, get married, look at me, I’m old, but I’m happy” which is taken from Cat Steven’s “Father And Son”. The song includes a snippet of the Beatles’ “All You Need is Love.”

The one and only clip of Cat Deeley in Brazil with the band starts out with the band taking her to see graffiti and rapidly being surrounded by fans. They move inside to a furniture shop, where Bono and Larry have some fun pretending to be on phone calls, and then we see a shot of the crowd running into the stadium. Cat is joined backstage by The Edge and Adam for a backstage tour. Edge’s dinner of meatballs is waiting so Adam shows her around, and telling her that soccer stadiums typically have a strong smell of men, which he’s not particularly fond of so they have the dressing rooms “fumigated” and put up nice curtains.

Adam shows off Larry’s 28-inch waist jeans, and his own kimono, before The Edge returns to take Cat on a tour of the underworld, where she asks why he has so much more space than the rest of the band. He explains he has six strings and Adam only has four, so it’s obvious he needs the space. He then takes her on stage to the approval of the roaring crowd. And then we see the band walk out on stage, and the start of the performance of “Where the Streets Have No Name” in Brazil.

The first interview session at Abbey Road with the whole band includes Cat asking who picks the set list (Larry offers that he lets the scientist do it, and points to The Edge), and a discussion of the letters concept, and some discussion of the Beatles and Abbey Road. During the second interview session with just Bono and The Edge, they talk about the new album and how it is a second part to Songs of Innocence, and Bono says that they have a much bigger audience since Apple gave away the album in 2014. Bono said their only mistake was that instead of leaving the bottle of milk outside the door, they let themselves in and poured it right into the cornflakes.

Embedded below is the preview for the BBC special, with the band performing “All I Want is You”, which was not featured in tonight’s presentation on CTV in Canada. That suggests there may be differences between what was used by CTV and what will air on the BBC on Tuesday night.

The special will air on CTV in Central Canada at 10pm ET tonight, and in Western Canada at 10pm MT tonight. The special “U2 At the BBC” will air on December 19, 2017 on the BBC in the UK and other countries at 9pm GMT in a one hour format, and again on December 28, 2017 at 11:10pm GMT with an additional fifteen minutes. The special will air on Ireland on the RTE on December 26, 2017, at 11:00pm GMT, and will air on Movistar in Spain, on December 31, 2017 at 11:10pm CET.

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A Look Back at the Songs of Experience Singles to Date

Original Story by Brad Hood (2017-12-17)

Back in August of 2015, we took a look at U2’s single releases, or rather lack thereof, in support of Songs of Innocence. To date, it remains their first and only LP for which no retail physical singles were produced. The band did finally come through in September of that year with a digital single for “Song for Someone,” complete with a live version as a B-side, albeit only on streaming services with the exception of one download store in Czech Republic. The paucity of singles for Songs of Innocence was largely due to the unconventional album release. As you will certainly recall, U2 infamously surprise delivered the standard album to the libraries of all iTunes users in October 2014, precluding the need for a customary lead single.

U2 has returned to a more traditional album release cycle for Songs of Experience, so it stands to reason that their single release strategy would also see somewhat of a return to form. Interestingly, the band chose to introduce their fans to two new songs within the span of a week to kick off the pre-album stretch. U2 had elected to introduce their previous three albums with hard-driving rock tracks, but for Songs of Experience, the more pop-minded “You’re The Best Thing About Me“ was selected as the lead single. However on August 30, U2 premiered a live video for “The Blackout“ on Facebook, perhaps to reassure fans that the new album wouldn’t be entirely pop-centric. But at the same time, it was emphasized that the “true” lead single would drop on September 6.

You’re The Best Thing About Me“ was delivered to streaming services and digital store fronts on the promised date, shortly after Dave Fanning’s time-honored first play on Irish radio. Though there was no physical release, this was a more typical lead single than “The Miracle” in that two remixes and an acoustic version were also produced. In previous years, these different versions would likely have been spread across physical formats such as one or two CD singles and a 7-inch vinyl. In the digital age, they were instead added individually to streaming/download services over the next few weeks, and one of the remixes was a promotional only release. Different artwork accompanied each of the digital releases. “You’re The Best Thing About Me” also received three different videos: a lyric video, a video with the band performing and exploring New York City, and a short film reflecting themes from the song.

U2 were rumored to be preparing a physical release of “You’re The Best Thing About Me” for Record Store Day Black Friday on November 24, but when the list of titles was published on October 17, there was no mention of any contribution from U2. Nine days later, on October 26, a special announcement was made that a 12-inch version of “The Blackout“ would be the Black Friday release, pressed by Jack White’s Third Man Records and backed with a remix by Jacknife Lee. The single was touted as “the first physical release from U2’s upcoming new album,” which it indeed turned out to be. The 12-inch vinyl was pressed in two versions. The standard black vinyl was distributed to all participating RSD shops, and though no exact number of copies was quoted, the supply was apparently more than enough to satisfy the initial demand. The black and white vinyl version, designed to look like a corona surrounding the “eclipse” of the black label, was limited to 750 copies; sold only at the two Third Man stores in the US and one shop each in London and Dublin. The studio version of “The Blackout” was initially released on November 1, the same day that album preorders became available. Depending on the streaming/download service, the track was alternatively offered as a pre-release album track or a standalone “single,” but in either case it was accompanied by the album cover art. The physical single was sold in a plain black sleeve, though custom artwork had previously been featured with the live video release in August.


The Songs of Innocence era forced us to ask some existential questions regarding what constitutes a single release. It’s hard to dispute a physical release, obviously, but some of the other factors to consider include whether the track was offered as an individual download, if unique cover art or a music video were produced, and whether the song was promoted for radio. A couple of other Songs of Experience fall into this grey area. “Get Out of Your Own Way” and “American Soul” were both available to fans who preordered the album. “Get Out of Your Own Way,” like “The Blackout,” was available to download on November 1, while “American Soul” officially became available on November 16. (Some customers who preordered from U2.com were able to download “American Soul” on November 1, apparently in error.) Also similar to “The Blackout,” both tracks were available for individual download on some digital storefronts, but only with the album cover art. What is a bit confounding about these two tracks is that they appear sequentially on the album, and a spoken-word passage by Kendrick Lamar spans the transition between them. Each track therefore has difficulty standing alone as presented, because each contains only a portion of this passage. An edit of “Get Out of Your Own Way,” fading in after this transition, was pushed to radio in North America and Europe, but the version of “American Soul” that went to radio is essentially identical to the album version. “Get Out Of Your Own Way” was delivered with a promotional photo of the band as cover art. U2 have released a lyric video for “American Soul,” and a performance video for “Get Out of Your Own Way” shot in Mexico during the Joshua Tree 2017 tour has been teased for release in the very near future, so the plot continues to thicken.

The first Songs of Experience track that fans were introduced to was actually “The Little Things That Give You Away,” which was debuted on May 12 at the opening show of the Joshua Tree Tour 2017 in Vancouver. The song was played several times during the tour, including a televised performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live on May 24. On Black Friday, one week prior to the release of Songs of Experience, U2.com streamed a live version of “The Little Things That Give You Away (May 14, Seattle),” reminding fans that the song gave us “our first clues about the new album.” On December 13, an exclusive streaming single appeared on Spotify, featuring a live-in-studio take of the track, recorded at Neptune Studios in Los Angeles. The streaming single also included a B-side, a cover of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” recorded at the same session. While U2 had not previously recorded “What’s Going On,” Bono and The Edge had contributed to a 2001 charity-single EP featuring several versions of the track, of which Bono has the most mic time performing a duet with Chris Martin. While it is not a trend that I am particularly happy about, I am sure that we haven’t seen the end of streaming-only singles.

No original tracks have been included as B-sides with the Songs of Experience singles to date, and indeed the trend seems to be to include session tracks that didn’t make the final cut for an album as deluxe bonus tracks rather than B-sides. This has been the case for “Book of Your Heart” for the current album, as well as “Lucifer’s Hands” and “The Crystal Ballroom” for the previous cycle. In fact, U2 has not offered an original track as a B-side since “Are You Gonna Wait Forever?” (on the Vertigo CD single and 7-inch) in 2004. This is also a trend I expect to continue as physical singles are quickly becoming a thing of the past.

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Jingle Balls Playlist by U2: Deezer

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2017-12-12)

U2 have contributed a playlist of Christmas favorites on the music streaming service Deezer. The playlist is called “Jingle Balls: the U2 Christmas Cracker“ and the information for the list is as follows: “This Christmas selection by U2 is a throwback to their ‘Jingle Balls’ residency in Dublin in the late 70s.” The full playlist contains twenty tracks and runs 1 hour and 6 minutes. It is not known what members of U2 might have participated in the creation of this playlist, although from the selections we expect Bono and The Edge were involved.

The playlist comes complete with a ‘cover’ for the playlist which features a recent promotional image of U2 on a couch and the title “Jingle Balls by U2”.


IMAGE: Digital Image Accompanying Playlist

The tracks included are as follows:

  • “Must Be Santa” – Mitch Miller & The Gang from Holiday Sing Along with Mitch (02:40)
  • “Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town (Single Version)” – Bruce Springsteen from Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town (04:27)
  • “I Believe in Father Christmas” – Greg Lake from I Believe in Father Christmas (03:32)
  • “Blue Christmas” – Elvis Presley from Rock & Roll Christmas (02:08)
  • “Silent Night” – Sinead O’Connor from Silent Night (03:45)
  • “Fairytale of New York” – The Pogues ft. Kirsty MacColl from The Ultimate Collection (04:23)
  • “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” – Andy Williams from The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (02:31)
  • “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” – John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band from Classic Rock Christmas (03:32)
  • “Merry Xmas Everybody” – Slade from 100 Essential Christmas Songs (03:24)
  • “Last Christmas” – Wham! from Last Christmas (04:23)
  • “Peace On Earth / Little Drummer Boy” – David Bowie and Bing Crosby from A New Career In A New Town (1977-1982) (04:26)
  • “Santa Baby” – Eartha Kitt from Santa Baby (03:22)
  • “Frosty the Snowman” – The Ronettes from Frosty the Snowman (02:09)
  • “2000 Miles” – The Pretenders from The Singles (03:39)
  • “Run Rudolph Run” – Chuck Berry from Rock & Roll Christmas (02:45)
  • “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)” – Ramones from The Chrysalis Years Anthology (02:09)
  • “Don’t Shoot Me Santa” – The Killers and Ryan Pardey from Don’t Shoot Me Santa (04:03)
  • “I Want You for Christmas” – Cheap Trick from A Very Special Christmas 25th Anniversary (04:06)
  • “White Christmas” – Bing Crosby from Gold (2CD Set) (03:03)
  • “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – U2 from A Very Special Christmas (02:09)

Included is U2’s very well known cover of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home” which was released in 1987. It is far from the only Christmas song that U2 have been involved in over the years, and the very first History Mix we did for the site looked at a number of U2 forays into Christmas songs including “Do You Know It’s Christmas”, “The Darkest Midnight”, their cover of Greg Lake’s “I Believe in Father Christmas” and more. That History Mix includes video and may interest you as well.

If you have an interest in other playlists that U2 have chosen over the years for various media, we maintain a section which tracks many of these.

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Swag from An Experience of Songs (New York)

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2017-12-06)

Bono has spoken a lot about the lyrics on this new album, Songs of Experience, and how they are letters. Back in September he told Rolling Stone, “I know U2 go into every album like it’s their last one but even more this time I wanted the people around me that I loved to know exactly how I felt. So a lot of the songs are kind of letters, letters to Ali, letters to my sons and daughters, actually our sons and daughters…There’s a song called “The Showman” which is a letter to our audience…There’s a letter to America called “American Soul.” And one that I didn’t realize until too late that I was writing to myself, “It’s the Little Things Give You Away.” In all of these advice type songs, you are of course preaching what you need to hear. In that sense, they’re all written to the singer.

Perhaps it is no surprise then that the promotional materials for the new album are picking up on the letters theme.

At the recent listening party in New York City, titled “An Experience of Songs,” attendees were given a swag bag at the end of the event. We are taking a look at some of the items included in the bag. If you would like more information about the event itself, Kelly McNamara has written about her experiences at the Experience.


IMAGE: The Swag Bag

The whole thing came in a black bag with a foil print embossed line of text in silver, “U2: An Experience of Songs”, with the now familiar silhouette logo of Eli and Sian on the bag. The bag contained a number of different items.


IMAGE: Writing Paper and Envelopes

The first item one notices is Songs of Experience stationary. The paper is white with a grey print of the silhouette logo of Eli and Sian. Accompanying the paper is a number of envelopes with the logo in black on the back flap of the envelope.


IMAGE: Notebook and Pencil

That’s the paper and a means to send a letter. But how do you write a letter? The next item in the bag is a journal. On the cover in the same font as used on the album is “U2: Experience of Songs”. And attached to the side is a black pencil. A notebook to compose your ideas, and a pencil to write your letters with.


IMAGE: Numbered Poster

The final item in the bag is a limited edition small poster in white, with a black silhouette of Eli and Sian, that is dated and reads, “U2: An Experience of Songs” across the top, with the name of the city and the date below the logo. These are numbered on the front by hand.


IMAGE: Wristband

Other items from the evening was a rubber wristband which reads “U2: Experience of Songs – New York”, this was given to attendees for entrance into the event.

As it was the last listening event in North America, attendees were told they could help themselves to the decorations for the evening which had included posters, books, and more. We present a couple of images of those items as well at the end of the article. Also handed out at the event were postcard-sized handouts that listed the song titles on one side, and featured the image of Sian and Eli on the other.


IMAGE: Song List Handouts

Swag bags were also given out at the event in Los Angeles. The items included in the bag were the same, although the numbered poster and the rubber bracelet both listed Los Angeles instead of New York.


IMAGE: Room Decorations including Book and Posters

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A Sound of Drum and Bass: The U2Songs Staff Reviews Songs of Experience

Original Story by Don Morgan (2017-12-05)

Sometimes the hype surrounding an album release gets so big that the music gets lost in the shuffle.

Here at U2Songs we’ve been bringing you the latest updates on the launch of SOE, from listening parties in Los Angeles and New York to a promotional contest in Poland. We’ve got articles on single releases, artwork, packaging, and of course, the Great Ticketing Discussion.

But what about the music itself? At the end of the day, that’s what brings us all back. So the U2Songs team (along with U2Songs contributor and friend Cindy, for some much-needed female perspective) is taking a quick breath to just talk about the album itself… the music, the lyrics, the experience of Songs of Experience. Every fan’s tastes and opinions evolve as they spend more time with an album, but here are our first impressions after spending a few days with SOE:

Aaron:

I’ve sat down a number of times to try to write something about this album, but I’m struggling with it. It’s too fresh and too new to give it a good review. I like to live with things for a bit longer to see what gets under my skin. But the initial impressions of Songs of Experience are good. Really good. I’ve been enjoying it as an album. I don’t find myself skipping songs and jumping around, I enjoy listening to this one as a whole, start to finish. I find myself really drawn to “Summer of Love,” “Red Flag Day,” and “The Showman” in the middle of the album. Those are a U2 we know, but one that’s fresh at the same time. I love the slow opening of the album. That song sets up everything that comes next. I do hear the influences that Bono loves to talk about as I listen. There’s a touch of the Beach Boys in there, a bit of The Beatles. David Bowie dances around in places. And I can’t help but hear Leonard Cohen in my head as I listen to “Book of Your Heart.”

Early favorite would have to be “The Blackout,” that song got under my skin, and just makes me want to jump around. Biggest clunker on the album for me is the end, “13 (There is A Light),” while fine as a song, I get thrown every time the “Song for Someone” lyrics come in. Personally I think I would have preferred “Book of Your Heart” to make the final album track listing instead of “13.”

Harry:

While Songs of Innocence had some great tracks, and a clear theme, it did not feel like an album, a unity. Songs of Experience does. Not only that, it also brings unity to SOI. Remember, the two were meant to be parts of a double album. The musical and lyrical bridges across them, “Lights of Home”/”Iris,” “American Soul”/”Volcano,” “13”/”Song for Someone,” make them a whole.

U2 have almost coined the term “defiant joy”, and nobody does it better than them. But that’s not all they have to offer. Some of the lyrics are brilliantly dark. “Summer of Love.” “Red Flag Day.”

Trying not to single out any songs just yet, but man, “Red Flag Day”— the intro just sets me back to pre-Boy songs, like “Touch” or “The Fool.” There’s a nod to some early The Cure in there, too. I can’t get past “Red Flag Day” easily right now…

And the best part, every single one of those songs will sound even better LIVE, 2018 can’t come soon enough!

Brad (on the left!):

Well, let me start by saying that SOI and SOE are not my favorite flavor of U2. That would be The Joshua Tree/Unforgettable Fire followed by Achtung Baby/Zooropa/Pop. The last two albums have been a mix of what I call adult contemporary U2, which I don’t particularly care for, and a smattering of rock and pop. The non-AC songs skew more towards rock on SOI, but more towards pop on SOE, so I actually prefer the former. “The Blackout” is definitely my favorite track on the new album. I like where “American Soul” goes musically, but the lyrics are just too cringey. I have heard a lot of people say that they were disappointed in the singles, but that those are not the best tracks from the album. I actually agree with the singles choices, but “Best Thing” and “Get Out of Your Own Way” are a bit too poppy for my tastes.

I’m not sure I’m ready to do a track-by-track breakdown. I don’t think I have heard the album enough times yet to really digest everything, though I will admit that I am warming to “Summer of Love” and “Red Flag Day.” Even caught myself humming the latter earlier today.

I will make a plug for referring to the bonus track as “Lights of Home (Burn The Witch Version).”

Don:

For me SOE wasn’t as immediately satisfying as SOI. I don’t think there’s anything on SOE that rises to the level of “The Troubles” or “Sleep Like a Baby Tonight.” And when it comes to album outtakes, I’d pick “The Crystal Ballroom” over “Book of Your Heart.” I’m also sad that U2 felt the need to insert Donald Trump into SOE. We hear enough about him already, and it dilutes the continuation of the personal themes of SOI (what happened to “The Morning After Innocence” for example?).

That said, SOE does sound pretty consistent despite the presence of 9 different producers and I think it holds together better than SOI as a full album. Some people don’t like “Get Out of Your Own Way” but I think it’s the most obvious hit single on the album. Catchy in the best possible way. The Kendrick Lamar segue from GOOYOW to “American Soul” is amazing… it’s the one point on Songs of Experience where I feel an Achtung Baby-esque electricity. I wish there was more of that. I love the band dynamics on “Summer of Love” and “Red Flag Day,” two favorites for me. Unfortunately they are followed by “The Showman,” which I can’t bring myself to like no matter how hard I try. “The Little Things That Give You Away” lifts off in a way it didn’t during the JT Tour… the coda is Bono at his most heartfelt. “Sometimes the end is not coming, the end is here.” Wow. I love the big emotions of the final two tracks as well. “Love is Bigger…” is like a 21st century Beatles song and a sequel to “Kite.” As a father of two girls, it wrecks me… only to be wrecked again when “13 (There is a Light)” comes on. A great ending to the album.

Cindy:

I usually get excited about new albums, but nothing has grabbed me lately like U2’s newest. I’ll listen once or twice and they usually have to grow on me. I have to get to know them, get used to them, and remember them. With Songs of Experience though, my feeling was different. I already was in love with “You’re the Best Thing About Me” and had a feeling the rest of the album would be good. “You’re the Best Thing About Me” was catchy and memorable; I could picture it live in the arena or stadium. The same goes for the rest of the album. I can’t get “Get Out of Your Own Way” out of my head since I’ve heard it. I visualize “American Soul” as an arena/stadium rock anthem, with the audience going back and forth with Bono singing “You are rock and roll/You and I are rock and roll/You are rock and roll” and the audience loving it. That may be my favorite track on the album. Songs of Experience was MADE to be performed live!

I found myself singing along to “Summer of Love” after only hearing it 2-3 times. For some reason the songs on this album are hooking me in right away. “Red Flag Day” makes me think of old U2, which I love. At first I thought the words of “Song For Someone” were strange in “13 (There Is A Light)” but I guess that’s how it ties back to the companion Songs of Innocence album. “Love Is Bigger Than Anything In It’s Way” is exactly what would be expected of U2 at this point, but the world needs a song like that right now. I feel the album is the perfect vehicle to get people excited for a tour. U2 really delivered this time!

Carl:

Overall I feel this is the strongest album as a whole since Pop – it’s an interesting synthesis of the 21st century U2 and the sound they had before without playing to nostalgia. “Love Is All We Have Left” is a brave unusual start – quiet and moody, and the autotune is used to good muted effect vs. an eye-rolling attempt to stay relevant. It thematically segues into “Lights of Home” – which plays on the imagery of seeing a white light before you die and the light in the eyes of those that love you as home… powerful stuff which makes “You’re The Best Thing About Me” feel a little less pop while still allowing it to lift the mood (and I do love the key change on “why am I walking away?”).

Next we start looking outwards with “Get Out Of Your Own Way” and “American Soul” – some nice playful lyrics and imagery, for the seriousness of the subjects. This flows into the “sunny” middle section of the album – “Summer of Love” flows from “American Soul,” referencing thinking of the west coast of Syria during a cold UK winter. I also feel it’d be a great song for a commercial showing off the beaches of Perth during said winter. The slight surf beat / 80’s feel of “Red Flag Day” works really well, and I like the different levels to the lyrics – it’s probably the song I keep coming back to. “The Showman” again adds a twist with golden oldie style backing vocals, but a classic vocal line grounds it and it’s my favorite of the self-deprecating Bono songs/lines (Napoleon in high heels, etc) because it digs a little deeper than most. It’s also the deepest of the sort of fun acoustic songs on an album (looking at you “Wild Honey”).

“The Little Things That Give You Away” brings us back into “classic U2” territory sound wise – it’s refreshing to just hear the The Edge being the The Edge. There’s a lot to the lyrics that I like, though I feel like it would have made for a much better transition into “The Blackout” than “Landlady.” “Landlady” is… charming, but probably not one I’ll go back to often, though Larry’s drumming is great (he’s busting out some technical chops there in the background). It feels a bit more like a Song of Innocence, to be honest. “The Blackout” is a great fun song and kicks in a bit of energy that’s been lacking. The lyrics are a bit problematic… current politics aren’t quite that dire, so climate change impacts? The collapse of late stage capitalism? People find who they are in times of stress, but in a true extinction event people probably aren’t going to be exploring “the light they can really be.” The ties to being at a live concert give it a nice balancing positive imagery. My major qualm is with “Love Is Bigger Than Anything” – it’s sonically generic and doesn’t say anything that hasn’t been said already on the album. Why it wasn’t swapped out for the superior “Book of Your Heart” on the bonus tracks I’ll never know. “13 (There Is A Light)” is a lot more moving and covers some of the same ground.

Like any good U2 album, Songs of Experience has elicited a wide range of opinions among fans — and the U2Songs staff is no exception. What are your favorite SOE moments? What lyrics move you the most? What would you change if you were in charge of putting the album together? Let us know on Facebook or in the U2Songs Forum!

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Promo Appearances and Howard Stern

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2017-12-04)

The promotional appearances are finishing up in North America today with an appearance on the Howard Stern show. Bono and The Edge spoke with Stern for over an hour, and played a few songs acoustic in the studio including “You’re The Best Thing About Me” and “Sunday Bloody Sunday”.

The band are taking off for Europe next and there are a few things coming up to watch out for:

  • December 6, 2017: Bono and Edge will be in Berlin for a Question and Answers session with fans. Contests are being held for entry to the session. The venue is not yet known.
  • December 10, 2017: Bono and the Edge will appear on the television show Che Tempo che fa and will start at approximately 20:30 at Rai Uno.
  • “U2 at the BBC” will air in the evening of December 19, 2017 on the BBC, hosted by Cat Deeley and produced by Ed Wells. This was recorded at Abbey Road Studios last month on November 16, 2017, and U2 are said to have played “Beautiful Day,” “Every Breaking Wave,” “All I Want is You,” “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out of,” “With or Without You,” “Lights of Home,” and “Love is All We Have Left”.

A preview of the U2 at the BBC show has been made available on YouTube of U2 performing “All I Want is You” with a long snippet of “Walk to the Water”:

For those who missed the Howard Stern appearance we live tweeted the interview and tried to capture some of the highlights of the interview. You can see our twitter feed below, but we’ve also copied the tweets over here:

http://www.twitter.com/u2songs/

  • Bono and The Edge are now on the air with Howard Stern. He says they make him nervous.
  • Bono: “Are we not living proof that video didn’t kill the radio star?”
  • Talking about the mullet. Talking about the fact Bono and The Edge like each other and don’t fight with each other (like the Stones, Van Halen)
  • Edge: “We were friends before we were in the band”. Also says they know it’s not a competition, better together than apart. Bono telling stories about Edge trying to knock Bono out, in defense of Larry.
  • Talking about the early days. Note on school board. Labels turning them down. People being fired trying to sign them.
  • Memories of Joey Ramone. Playing Ramones songs and passsing them off as their own. Writing their own stuff. Influences from Europe / Germany such as Kraftwerk.
  • Bono says his dad didn’t want him to dream, because he didn’t want him to be disappointed. Wanted him to get a real job.
  • Edge was into explosives when he was young. He and his brother were fascinated with fire and explosives. Used to borrow compounds from the chemistry lab, potassium permanganate…a petrol bomb scarred his brother.
  • “The names were an attempt to describe the vibe…the essence of someone…” – Bono on the Lypton Village nicknames. Bono’s father called him Paul and refused to use Bono.
  • Bono wanted to take Iris off the album, sounded too ‘sissy’ but it was too late, it was already delivered to Apple. Then he realized it may be anniversary of her death. Texted his brother who wasn’t sure of the date. The day Iris went into the world was the anniversary
  • Bono now watches rugby, and his kids come in and watch him shout at the telly like he used to watch his own dad and Norman shout at the TV.
  • Edge used to have cheese sandwiches every day for lunch. Needed something to shake life up. Explosives. Drums. Eventually guitar.
  • This interview so far with Bono and The Edge on Howard Stern has firmly been focused on the 1970s, and the early formation of U2. Great look back at the early days.
  • Bono finds it difficult to listen to the earlier stuff. Edge loves it and thinks Bono sounds amazing. Bono says he’s more of a singer now, he can make the text change depending on the reading of it, like Sinatra could.
  • Stern catches the fact that “The Hype” was because Bowie’s first band was called “The Hype” – Bono now singing Bowie lines from Blackstar.
  • Now asking about Bono getting a hobby, and starting an investment group. Bono returning with the never playing golf story. Finds math quite relaxing. Learned commerce through his work in Africa.
  • Edge “We’re not fussy. A great idea, wherever it comes from will be used”. Write solo. Write together. “We use the studio like a songwriting tool.”
  • Edge now playing “You’re The Best Thing” on acoustic, with Bono singing…
  • Bono hasn’t yet seen Springsteen on Broadway. (Wonder if he couldn’t get verified? Haha – AJ)
  • Stern saying the band looks like true friendships, a real family. Bono says the organization is run by women. Stern says they’ve really respected women.
  • Bono said if they got out of line, they had lots of women around to “slap them around”. (Names Sheila Roche, Karen Kaplan, Ellen Darst)
  • Stern now playing song clips and getting response. Bono says they started getting worried with October, that they would be dropped for their faith.
  • While Bono was on honeymoon, Edge went off and developed songs for War. Bono says while he was making love, Edge was making war. SBS was one of the songs Edge put together.
  • Bono and The Edge now performing an acoustic version of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” (“real slow”)
  • Bono says he’s realizing the experience of being in the front of the crowd, and the roar of the crowd, is screaming for their own experiences with the songs, and not the band. That the people are screaming for themselves.
  • Stern is playing songs through the 80s. Bono says he can’t stand listening to “With or Without You” when Stern plays it.
  • Bono tells a story about him and Larry in Jamaica at the bar commiserating that they didn’t quite get to the end point on recording The Joshua Tree…not realizing how big it would be.
  • Edge speaking about the ultimate live tune. Had a week off and came up with chords. Figured out how to go from slow to fast tempo. Playing opening to “Streets” on guitar now.
  • Edge took the opening to the band. Got the band into a room, and they figure out the song. Adam is next, ‘do something that works with these chords’ then Larry hops on the kit.
  • The backing track that Eno tried to destroy for “Streets” is actually what went onto the album.
  • They are going back through U2’s history almost year by year. Now covering “Rattle and Hum” in passing, and hopping to the 90s and moving to Berlin “The Grand Madness”
  • Bono prefers when Mary J Blige sings “One”. Edge loves covers of their songs, especially as muzak in elevators.
  • Now starting to talk about the new album as time is getting short.
  • Edge “We still believe in the album, but we know its under threat.” Edge still listens to great albums.
  • Edge makes fun of Bono showing people the album cover on radio.
  • Bono struggling to speak about the brush with mortality. Bono says he doesn’t want to talk about it. Had “a few warning shots.”
  • Bono says he can’t get away with talking about it where he comes from, and he doesn’t “have the courage” to talk about it.
  • U2 is not on twitter, they prefer Instagram. Adam goes on art hikes. Edge takes lovely photos. Bono avoids reading blogs.
  • Bono mentions his daughter’s ‘brittle heart’ which lead him to write “Get Out of Your Own Way”. Bono and Edge performing it next. Edge said this album has been one of his favorites from the beginning.
  • Bono wants to do the song lower so he doesn’t sound like a girl and asks Edge to back up.

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Poland Promotional Challenge

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2017-12-01)

Universal Poland sure knows how to engage fans in fun activities surrounding new U2 releases. Our friends at U2Blog have posted some photos of some of the activities going on in Poland to promote the new album, Songs of Experience.

In Warsaw, there were three deluxe box sets hidden around the city starting at 9am on December 1, 2017. Those box sets, hidden by Universal Music Polska were hidden in boxes decorated with artwork from U2’s new album Songs of Experience. Three hints were provided by Universal, “The Three Sunrises,” “Zoo Station” and “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses”. The song titles were clues to find the box sets!

The clues were solved as follows:

“Zoo Station” refers to the railway station in Warsaw called “Warszawa Zoo”. A railway station in Berlin with a similar name had inspired “Zoo Station” on Achtung Baby.

“Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses” refers to the place that U2 played in 1997. The PopMart tour was set up at a horse track in Warsaw.

“The Three Sunrises” was a clue that referred to the number 3, as in Radio 3, where the third box was located.

A fourth box was also given away at a listening session in Trójkowym Studio at Agnieszki Osieckiej hosted by Universal Music. The location is the home of the Polish National Broadcasting Radio 3. The event started on November 30 at 11pm. Invitation to the listening session was available through U2Blog. The session was hosted by Piotr Stelmach, an influential journalist in Poland. The listening session was only announced on the day of the event. The stage was decorated with album artwork and other promotional material including copies of older U2 releases.

Universal in Poland is known for fun fan events, and this looks like another interesting way to spark interest in the new album. U2Blog has additional photos of the contest winners and from the listening party on their Facebook group.

All photos courtesy of U2Blog.

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SOE New York City Listening Party

Original Story by Kelly McNamara (2017-11-30)

Nothing to stop this being the best day ever…

The opening line of “Love is All We Have Left,” the first song on Songs of Experience, seemed pretty appropriate when it was played at the NYC Listening Party last night at the Back Room, a cozy speakeasy on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

About 25 radio contest winners and their plus-ones lucky enough to be in attendance were treated to cocktails served in teacups and mugs, with beers in brown paper bags. A table at the bar had loads of snacks, cheeses, and stuff to pick on while the wait staff passed around various hors d’oeuvres.


IMAGE: The Back Room (Image courtesy of backroomnyc.com)

The fireplace was lit, and photos from different stages of the band’s career were posted up on the walls. A small stage was set up with three easy chairs and an image of the Songs of Experience album cover with a track listing on the left side. To the left of the stage, there was a bookshelf along the wall, which was actually a hidden doorway apparently leading to the green room for the event.


IMAGE: The Listening Room (Image by Kelly McNamara)

The dimly lit atmosphere felt very lounge-like. Couches, chairs, and tiny ottomans had been set up in casual rows with bar stools making up the back row of this intimate gathering.

Around 8pm a brief announcement was made and the album was played straight through on a great sound system set up just for this event. Watching the crowd, it was easy to tell those who had already heard a leaked copy of the album those and who hadn’t.


IMAGE: Outside The Back Room (Image by Kelly McNamara)

It was interesting to hear some cheering after “You’re the Best Thing About Me” was played. I heard someone mention that they heard elements of “Beautiful Day” during the opening notes of “Get Out of Your Own Way.”

Hardcore fans getting a first listen seemed to have the same look on their face during “American Soul,” trying to place the familiar sound of “Volcano.”


IMAGE: The Track Listing Displayed (Image by Kelly McNamara)

When “Summer of Love” began, the lights brightened a bit to yellow and seemed to really catch everyone’s attention, resulting in applause as it finished playing.

“Red Flag Day,” my personal favorite, really got the crowd going… a resounding “WOOHOO!” was heard as it segued into “The Showman (Little More Better).”

During “The Blackout,” a few fans got up and tried to ‘reenact the video’ with some celebratory dancing.

As “Love is Bigger than Anything in Its Way” was beginning, the book shelf door opened and Brian Murphy came out. Everyone straightened up a bit in their seats.

As “13 (There is a Light)” and the album came to a close, the lights came up to a round of applause and Morgan Spurlock, the political activist filmmaker behind the documentary Super Size Me, took the stage and told us what a fan of the band he was. Morgan then welcomed U2 to the stage, as two additional chairs were brought up! FULL BAND!!

As Edge and Adam walked out to a standing ovation, the bookshelf remained open… it took a few minutes, but Bono and Larry walked out, just as the audience had started to settle down a bit.

Once all four were settled in their seats, Guy Oseary came out. He quickly and quietly made his way to the back of the room and never came to the stage.


IMAGE: Drinks at The Back Room (Image by Kelly McNamara)

The format was similar to that in Los Angeles earlier in the week; fans submitted questions and Morgan read them off of an iPad.

A fan named Kerry asked a question about what songs might have surprised the band in their popularity. Adam explained that he was going to answer the question a bit differently, and talked about “Red Hill Mining Town” being played throughout The Joshua Tree 2017 shows and how he felt the song was rediscovered for him, with the new arrangement being a highlight.

Edge discussed “Bad” and how it was written in the studio. He said he was amazed at how the song just seems to get better and better each time it is played live.

Larry elaborated on Edge’s thoughts, explaining how audience reaction is a big deal and how taking any song from the studio and playing it live is a big leap of faith and rather terrifying. He noted that ultimately the audience is the arbiter in the end.

Bono took “Bad” and wanted to share a story he said they haven’t discussed publicly before, explaining where the title of the song came from. As teenagers trying to “feel arty,” they went to go see an Andy Warhol film entitled Bad. Afterward, Bono had an argument about the film with a friend who was a heroin addict. The title of the song references that friend, that movie, and the argument that ensued.

Another question posed brought up the 37-year anniversary of U2’s first appearance in NYC at The Ritz. Larry and Adam reminisced about how big the room felt and Larry explained how “size does matter.”

Bono spoke about heading to the The Mudd Club in TriBeCa after the show that night, which was the hottest club at the time…and they weren’t allowed in. Their promoter scaled a fire escape and snuck in through the kitchen. Still waiting outside, the band heard some crashing and then the door opened and their promoter was promptly tossed out, looking a bit worse for the wear.

A fan named Patricia asked the Edge about set lists and how the process goes in selecting which older songs are played on a tour. He explained that as huge music and concert fans, they know what great shows sound like; they are transcendent. The band members are just hoping for moments like those that will ignite and connect with the crowd. Edge continued by saying that while it is done by consensus, Bono is largely responsible for the final result as he is the one putting himself out there in front.

Bono spoke about the fact that U2 is not a “jukebox band—any requests?” and referred to Bruce Springsteen as one of the greats who does just that. He explained that U2 works on the effect of the collection of songs and trying to take the audience to “another place. He said the band just tries to play the “best night of our lives every single night.”


IMAGE: The Album Cover at The Back Room (Image by Kelly McNamara)

Mark asked Adam about new artists that were currently inspiring him. Adam mentioned Kendrick Lamar and Jay-Z and his new album, commenting that the lyrics were “extraordinary.” He mentioned a band out of the UK called The Horrors and mentioned that when they were in LA, he was listening to a lot of 21 Pilots. Bono brought up Royal Blood and Imelda May. They also joked about a “new artist” named Noel Gallagher having an album out.


IMAGE: The Album Cover (Image by Kelly McNamara)

A fan named Vicki asked Larry why NYC has always had a special place in U2’s heart. He explained that in the 80s in Dublin, nothing seemed possible, and NYC and the dream of NYC was full of possibilities. He went on to discuss how, thankfully, Dublin and Ireland have changed while NYC hasn’t. He’s lived in NYC for 25 years now and is happy to call it his second home.

After about an hour of Q&A, the evening ended with a group picture, some handshakes, and some Songs of Experience swag bags for the contest winners—keepsakes of a night they will never forget.

[Ed.: Kelly attended the listening event for Songs of Experience on November 29, 2017 in New York City, and we want to thank her for taking the time to write up her experiences from the evening. Users had to surrender their phones and cameras upon entering the venue but we will have some photos of the swag bag items at a later date. — AJS]

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High-Res Version of SOE Coming?

Original Story by Don Morgan (2017-11-30)

A German web site called High Res Audio is listing an audiophile version of the deluxe edition of Songs of Experience. Like all other formats of the album, the release date is set for December 1.

A high-resolution release of the album would mark something of a departure for U2, as the band traditionally hasn’t released its albums in high-res formats, which are higher than CD quality. (High Res Audio does offer the single or 2-disc download of the 2011 Achtung Baby release, but it is not available in all territories, including the USA.) The site offers this explanation of the audio specifications of its releases:

Designed, edited and operated in Berlin and Hamburg, Germany, HIGHRESAUDIO is the first commercial music download service for audiophiles offering only music recordings in high-resolution audio standard at 24-bit. The selection and offerings are available worldwide depending upon the licensing and territorial agreements with the license holders. Available are only albums in its native sampling rate from 44.1kHz up to 384kHz. HIGHRESAUDIO doesn’t offer any up-sampled, technically manipulated and tweaked recordings.

Even if you’re not interested in venturing beyond CD quality when it comes to your U2 listening, it’s worth noting that High Res Audio’s listing for Songs of Experience includes a full preview of the booklet for the deluxe edition, so you can go right now and check out all of the lyrics, credits, photos, and Bono’s heartfelt essay in the liner notes.

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The U2 Experience on Amazon

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2017-11-30)

On November 28, 2017, Billboard announced that U2 had teamed up with Amazon.Com to offer an “Immersive online radio ‘experience’”. The ‘experience’ started on November 29, 2017, at 6pm ET, and was a six hour chunk of programming, which repeated four times. As we write this, the final cycle is now airing. The broadcast was available to all customers with an Amazon Music account in the USA, UK, Germany and Austria. Listeners in other countries were able to sign in using a USA Amazon.Com store login.


IMAGE: Cover of The U2 Experience

The ‘experience’ was hosted at http://www.amazon.com/theu2experience. It could also be accessed via the Amazon Music app, and for Prime subscribers via Alexa on the Amazon Echo device by asking “Alexa, play The U2 Experience.”


IMAGE: Cover of U2: 100 Greatest

Featured as part of the effort was the six hour broadcast, titled The U2 Experience, a previously available special on Amazon Music titled Side by Side U2 which has been streaming since earlier this year, but now features additional songs and commentary for songs like “Get Out of Your Own Way” and “American Soul” and also a 100 Greatest U2 Songs feature, containing 7 hours and 22 minutes of music curated by Amazon’s “Music Experts”.

During the six hour broadcast of The U2 Experience, songs are mixed with interviews from throughout the years. There are even some new tracks included in the broadcast. All four of the tracks from this year’s U2.Com fan club gift, the four live songs were featured. Also featured was a live version of “The Little Things That Give You Away” from Seattle, which recently streamed on U2.com. The broadcast also featured the studio version of “The Little Things That Give You Away” which had not previously been released. Another ‘new’ track was a live recording of “You’re The Best Thing About Me” taken from U2’s concert in Sao Paulo, Brazil, recorded on October 25, 2017. That song has not been released elsewhere in that format. One other odd song pops up as “new” – a demo version of “A Day Without Me” that starts with Bono singing “causing a landslide” instead of “starting a landslide”…

Although most of the six hours was fresh, some of the content did repeat, with some songs being repeated a second time. The full list of songs played in the order that they played is:

  • I Will Follow
  • Breathe
  • The Fly
  • Two Hearts Beat as One
  • Sometimes You Can’t Make it On Your Own
  • Bullet the Blue Sky
  • With or Without You (Live from Foxboro, June 25, 2017)
  • Stand Up Comedy
  • Walk On
  • Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
  • In Gods Country (Live from Miami FL, June 11, 2017)
  • Rejoice
  • The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)
  • Staring at the Sun
  • The Blackout (Live from Amsterdam, July 28, 2017)
  • “40”
  • Lemon
  • Shadows and Tall Trees
  • Beautiful Day
  • Where the Streets Have No Name (Live from Louisville KY, June 16, 2017)
  • Get On Your Boots
  • Angel of Harlem
  • Mysterious Ways
  • Elvis Presley and America
  • Red Hill Mining Town (Live from Amsterdam, July 29, 2017)
  • All Because of You
  • 11 O’Clock Tick Tock
  • Discotheque
  • Every Breaking Wave
  • You’re The Best Thing About Me (Live from Sao Paulo, October 25, 2017)
  • I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
  • Tomorrow
  • One
  • The Unforgettable Fire
  • The Little Things That Give You Away (Live from Seattle, May 14, 2017)
  • I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight (Album Version)
  • Desire
  • Another Time Another Place
  • Acrobat
  • I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (Live from Washington DC, June 20, 2017)
  • Grace
  • Wire
  • Pride (In the Name of Love) (Live)
  • Vertigo
  • The Blackout (Live from Amsterdam, July 28, 2017)
  • Sunday Bloody Sunday
  • The Fly
  • A Day Without Me (Unknown Demo Version)
  • Numb
  • In Gods Country (Live from Miami FL, June 11, 2017)
  • In A Little While
  • Cedarwood Road
  • I Threw a Brick Through A Window
  • The Little Things That Give You Away
  • With or Without You (Live from Foxboro, June 25, 2017)
  • Gone
  • One Tree Hill
  • Shadows and Tall Trees
  • Zoo Station
  • You’re The Best Thing About Me (Live from Sao Paulo, October 25, 2017)
  • MLK
  • Babyface
  • When Love Comes to Town
  • Gloria
  • The Little Things That Give You Away (Live from Seattle, May 14, 2017)
  • Mofo
  • With or Without You
  • Stranger in a Strange Land
  • The Blackout (Studio Version)
  • I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (Live from Washington DC, June 20, 2017)
  • MLK

(Unless noted, the tracks above were mostly the more common album versions of songs.)

The music was mixed with interview tracks between each song, and other than advertisement for U2’s albums, and the special itself, it was free of advertisement. One of the interviews was conducted by Amazon Music’s global head of programming, Alex Luke, and that interview took place during U2’s stop in Sao Paulo, Brazil on the recent The Joshua Tree 2017 tour.


IMAGE: Cover of Side By Side: U2

In a press release accompanying the announcement of this special, Luke said “Few bands have as storied a career as U2, and we saw an incredible opportunity to build a broadcast for their fans. This all goes back to voice innovation, and what we’ve built is an immersive, ephemeral listening experience for our customers, with a wealth of interviews and content going back nearly 40 years.”

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The Blackout and Record Store Day Wrap Up

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2017-11-23)

Another Record Store Day event arrived today with the 2017 Black Friday promotion starting this morning, and copies of U2’s “The Blackout“ being available in two vinyl formats at a variety of locations. The record was a 12-inch vinyl which features the album version of “The Blackout” on one side, and “The Blackout (Jacknife Lee Remix)” on the other. It is the fourth time U2 participated in the Black Friday event, having released “Wide Awake in Europe” in 2010, “Ordinary Love” in 2013, and a special map of “North and South of the River” in 2014. This year marks the first time that U2 actually took part in the main Record Store Day in April (”Red Hill Mining Town“) and the second Black Friday event.


Two different vinyl versions of the single were available. Both contain the same label, the same markings, and the same packaging. But on one, the vinyl is completely black from the center to the edges. On the other, the vinyl is black, but has a white sunburst in the middle using white vinyl. The label is placed over the white area, creating an effect that looks like a solar eclipse. Once placed in packaging, there is no exterior way to tell what version is in the package except for a small notation on the UPC sticker affixed to the vinyl. The black only vinyl says “Standard Vinyl” under the UPC. The one with the white eclipse effect in the vinyl is labeled “Limited Run Vinyl.”

The vinyl is packaged in a generic white sleeve, and then inside of a generic black sleeve. The only text visible is the black label. The label on both versions is the same, with a catalog number of TMR – 522, although the limited colour release was referred to as TMR – 522X in marketing materials. We are told that 20,000 copies were printed in total of this release, with only 750 of those being the limited coloured vinyl. This has created a strong demand for the “eclipse” version, and a much lower demand for the all black version. There was a high number of copies distributed in Europe this time out of the black-only version as well.

The limited black and white version of 750 copies was distributed at Freebird Records in Dublin (we’re told close to 100 copies), at Rough Trade East in London (150 copies), and at both Third Man Record storefronts, one in Detroit and one in Nashville.

We’ve gone back to when the release was first announced, and tracked the eBay activity on this item, right up until this afternoon. We tracked only actual sold items, and are not looking at listings that are still underway, or that ended without a sale. The release was first announced October 26, 2017. Within a few days the earliest listings appeared on eBay. And not knowing how limited this release would turn out to be, copies also sold quickly. The first copy sold on October 30th in the listings we are able to see. And for the first few weeks, the vinyl was coming in close to $100USD when sold. Prior to the start of Record Store Day, the most expensive copy sold for $178.50, and the least expensive copy sold for $40.88 — with the lowest being on the day before copies were made available to the public.


IMAGE: Sale Prices to Date for Black-Only RSD Vinyl

We often get asked, how do people sell these limited edition vinyl before they hit the streets for sale? It’s speculative selling. The seller expects to be able to access the vinyl, so they put up a sale for the item, even though they do not yet have it. As you can see from the graph above, these prices usually start high when first listed, and people want to ensure they get a copy, and usually come down in price closer to the time of the sale. You will also see a huge drop off in price once the main vinyl is released. The average price this item sold for on eBay today is $25.95USD, a huge drop off from the average $100USD it was fetching when it first appeared online.


IMAGE: Average Price on RSD – November 24 (Black-Only Regular Pressing)

A little closer look at the prices throughout the day today of the all-black version of the vinyl shows that the prices actually came down throughout the day as well. The points in the graph are an average of all the standard versions of the vinyl sold for that hour. Time is Eastern Time. We’ve dotted in a line for where the majority of shops open in the UK and Europe, and again when the majority of shops on the Eastern coast in North America would be opening.

It shows a spike in prices up to $47.32 on average as the shops were opening in Europe. This is when many of these vinyl are first put on eBay and sellers and buyers are not sure at what prices these will eventually settle. Throughout the day, the prices decline as the inventory on eBay go up and buyers are presented with a wider selection to choose from. Once shops open in North America and a further amount, and by far the largest amount hit eBay, the price reduces again, and by 4pm ET, the vinyl had settled out on average for $21.21 on eBay, but be warned, these prices are without shipping, so the total you may pay is higher should you go that route.

We expect that the price for this item will stay around $20USD in the future. With such a large quantity there are likely to be many copies for sale for years to come. The “Red Hill Mining Town“ vinyl which was limited to 7000 copies is still quite plentiful and not that difficult to find, and there are more than twice as many copies of “The Blackout” that have been pressed, although with the inclusion of a new song that will not be on North American and European copies of the album, there may be slightly higher interest in this release.

But what happened with the limited edition coloured vinyl copy that was pressed in a small quantity of only 750 copies? Unlike the black only vinyl copy the limited edition black and white version did not get sold on eBay prior to its release today. Only one copy was available by auction prior to today’s onsale that we were able to identify. That auction closed after the vinyl went on sale today (it’s still running), giving the seller an opportunity to cancel the auction if they could not get a copy. The first copy of the limited pressing actually sold, was sold from the UK, for a total of 250 GBP or approximately $333.54USD. The sale took place at 10:20am local time, just twenty minutes after Rough Trade East opened this morning, the retailer of the vinyl in London.


IMAGE: Average Price on RSD – November 24 (Colour Pressing)

With far less copies pressed and available, we only counted 15 copies that had been placed on eBay and sold, by 4pm ET. We graphed the average price for these items in the graph above. The first three listed went for the highest prices of the day, being the first to appear on eBay as collectors waited patiently for a copy to appear. The first two both went for $333USD, but the third one on eBay actually sold for $665USD, making it the copy that fetched the highest amount throughout the day. Prices from that point onward started to drop as more became available. Toward the end of our look at pricing they had settled in around $250USD. We will have a few additional looks through the week to see if this price drops further.

The whole speculation market in these types of releases makes many fans (us included!) upset. Fans were out early today to buy copies of the album, in the hopes they would get one. Luckily with the black vinyl fans are reporting finding the copies they want, and highly stocked stores. My own store in Canada which only received five copies of “Red Hill Mining Town” received 25 copies of “The Blackout” on black vinyl today. Lucky for the fans this time around, the limited nature of the coloured vinyl was tempered with good quantities of the all black vinyl.

And its been fun to watch fans who have lived in London, Dublin, Nashville, Detroit, or areas nearby getting in line early and doing what they can to get a copy of the limited edition of the vinyl. Kudos to those fans who have gotten copies of this into hands of other fans for a fair and reasonable price today. You are our favorite kind of people.

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U2’s Promotional Tour Continues

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2017-11-22)

U2 will continue promotion for the new album Songs of Experience in the upcoming weeks in the United States.

  • November 27, 2017: Los Angeles, CA, Contest through iHeart Radio Stations. This will be a listening session for the new album, with the band in attendance with a small studio audience. No performance is expected. More information is available here.
  • November 28, 2017: Hollywood, CA, Jimmy Kimmel Live! Bono will appear with Bryan Cranston, Alicia Keyes and DJ Khaled as part of the annual (RED) show. Only Alicia Keyes and DJ Khaled are listed as musical guests, Bono is not. The show is taped at 6840 Hollywood Blvd, across from the Dolby Theatre. Bono tends to appear annually, and as this is for product (RED) his focus may not be on the album.
  • November 29, 2017: New York, NY, Contest through iHeart Radio Stations.This will be a listening session for the new album, with the band in attendance with a small studio audience. No performance is expected. More information available here.
  • December 1, 2017: Worldwide, the new album Songs of Experience is released. It would be a good day for them to do some sort of surprise appearance, but we have no details at this time.
  • December 2, 2017: New York, NY, Saturday Night Live. It is now confirmed that the band will appear on Saturday Night Live the day after the album is released. The host will be actress Saoirse Ronan. The show is taped at Rockefeller Center, in New York City.

We can also reveal that Bono and The Edge are expected to appear on Howard Stern’s talk radio program, and that it would be taped while the band are in New York City. The Howard Stern talk show airs on Sirius XM Radio. We have not yet confirmed the day that this will tape / air. This would be Bono and The Edge’s first appearance on Howard Stern, but for now should be considered a rumour until officially announced.

The promotional tour is expected to wrap up on December 3, 2017, for the Christmas season. A further special to be shown on the BBC was taped in London recently. Further interviews with radio and magazines are also expected throughout December.

Also of note, on Sunday night, November 26th, the band will be featured on 60 Minutes Australia in a pre-taped interview. See the clip below:

Thanks to Andrew for some of the information used to compile the above. We will update as further information is made available.

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Two Songs Sent to Radio: “Get Out of Your Own Way” and “American Soul”

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2017-11-22)

On Monday we wrote a quick piece about “American Soul” being sent to radio in the UK. Since that time we’ve received a few pieces of information which leads us to update the article at this time.

Back in late August fans were left wondering what U2 were up to when they delivered “The Blackout” in video format and “You’re The Best Thing About Me” to radio. The Edge later explained that they wanted to make sure that people knew there was a mix of sounds on the album, and the poppy first single wasn’t the only sound. However, they were clear, “You’re The Best Thing About Me” was the single.

Now it appears for their second single from the album they are doing something similar. Both “American Soul” and “Get Out of Your Own Way” have been released to radio. Like the first time around one song is poppy (“Get Out of Your Own Way”) and the other is a rocker (“American Soul”) and it is likely that each are being delivered to different radio formats.


Image: Release Information for Radio Delivered Digital File

“American Soul” has been delivered in the UK to radio starting on Monday, November 20. The track is being sent out with the album cover attached as digital art, without the blue border. The song is the same length and the same edit that is currently available on iTunes and other digital services, although the mix is a little lower in volume.


IMAGE: Single artwork from “American Soul” as delivered to UK Radio

“Get Out of Your Own Way” is being delivered in the USA as of today Wednesday, November 22, and is being pushed on AAA radio in that country first. The single is being sent out with the picture of the band on the beach staring off into the distance. The official add date for the song is December 4, 2017. There is a note that some stations will be adding the track early. The song was also sent to radio in Poland on November 2, although it has had very little play at this time so stations may have been asked to hold off on play until a later date. In both cases the song is an edit of the album version, and the edit runs 03:21 in length, and does not include Kendrick Lamar at the end. This edit of “Get Out of Your Own Way” can be listened to on the Interscope Promotional site.


IMAGE: “Get Out of Your Own Way” Artwork from Interscope

Both songs are related, as “American Soul” follows “Get Out of Your Own Way” on the album, and Kendrick Lamar does a spoken word piece that bridges from one song to the other.


VIDEO: “American Soul” (Lyric Video)

“American Soul” is also being promoted with a lyric video for the song. The video, released to the Vevo service is done by the street art group Broken Fingaz. More information about the video can be found in our earlier article, including some interesting tidbits from the video. “Get Out of Your Own Way” has had two videos filmed that we know about to date. When in Mexico in October, U2 filmed one video on the rooftop of the Expo Reforma building. At the time, it was identified to Mexican media that the song would be the next single from the album. A second video was filmed in London in November, as U2 performed in Trafalgar Square in advance of the MTV EMAs. That video featured the crowd holding up a variety of protest signs. As “Get Out of Your Own Way” is expected to be added to radio on December 4, expect to see a video possibly released on December 1, the same day the album is released.

To further confuse the issue of which single is released next, “The Blackout“ is being released commercially on Black Friday, November 24, 2017. The live video, previously only available on Facebook, was uploaded to the U2 Vevo account on November 13, 2017 in a higher quality than what was previously available.


VIDEO: “The Blackout” (Live Video)

As more stations add the tracks “American Soul” and “Get Out of Your Own Way” we will have a clearer picture of the promotional efforts for this next single. We expect they will each be sent to different types of stations, to which they are best suited, “Get Out of Your Own Way” to poppier stations, while “American Soul” may be used at more rock oriented stations. All are available now when streaming or pre-ordering the album on most platforms. “Get Out of Your Own Way” and “The Blackout“ both became available with the announcement of the album on November 1, 2017. And although “American Soul” was accidentally made available through U2.Com that same day, the song became widely available on most services on November 17, 2017.

Please note, we are seeing a large number of promotional items listed on eBay for these new songs, claiming to be promotional CDRs for these new releases. We have been told that most of these are fake items and that the promotional songs are now being delivered digitally. Buyer beware.

u2songs.com was formerly known as u2wanderer.org. Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

U2 Manager Guy Oseary Responds to Fans’ Concerns of E+I Tour Pre-Sales

Original Story by U2Songs.com Staff (2017-11-22)

Late Tuesday, U2 manager Guy Oseary sent a formal response to fans’ concerns over the band’s eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour ticket pre-sales process. A group of U2 fans worldwide — many of whom work on U2 fan sites — presented those concerns to U2 and its management last Friday in a letter that addressed, among other issues, how pre-sale codes were distributed, how pre-sale tickets were allotted and a perceived lack of transparency over the pre-sale ticketing process.

In order to be transparent with our readers, the fans and fan sites involved in this process present below both our letter to U2/management and Guy Oseary’s reply. Both of those are shared in their entirety.

Our Letter to U2 / Management:

Dear Adam, Bono, Edge and Larry,

We write to you today on behalf of your many fans who are troubled by their experiences during the November 14 and November 15 presales for the 2018 eXPERIENCE and iNNOCENCE Tour.

While we don’t expect you to know the minutiae of what transpired, we feel it is important that you are aware of the aftermath.

For years, one of the most coveted benefits of membership in the official U2 fan club (i.e., a paid subscription to U2.com) has been the access it affords subscribers to ticket presales during touring years. While subscribers know the special presale codes they receive do not guarantee them tickets, they always have understood the codes to guarantee them a shot at buying tickets. In the days leading up to the presales this week, U2.com reassured subscribers they would be “at the front of the queue” and “first in line when it comes to ticketing presales.”

Unfortunately for everyone, that proved not to be entirely true.

Many fans learned (some of them after presales had begun) they would not receive special presale codes, that their subscriptions made them “eligible to receive an invitation” to the “U2.com Subscriber Presale“— i.e., that their subscription effectively only bought them entry to a lottery for the chance to buy tickets. As a result, more than a few subscribers—including decades-long fan club members dating back to the early days of Propaganda—were shut out of the presales and as yet have been unable to purchase tickets for the 2018 tour.

Please understand this goes beyond fans’ disappointed about not getting tickets. Because these developments contradicted information provided by U2.com, many felt blindsided and have expressed dismay about a perceived lack of transparency in the presale process.

There were a number of problematic issues with the presales, all of which we have documented extensively and can make available to you. Most, if not all, relate to actions by Live Nation/U2.com and Ticketmaster. They include:

  • The rescinding of presale access. Many fan club members received emails from “the U2.com team” confirming their registration for the presales and telling them to expect presale codes to arrive by text, only to receive a second email hours later rescinding the first and informing them they would not be receiving an access code (i.e., they would not be able to participate in that presale).
  • Inconsistent, incomplete, and/or contradictory information. In communication with subscribers, the language used to describe presales before they began was imprecise and confusing. At no point leading up to the presales were paid subscribers told (explicitly or otherwise) that they would be entered into a lottery or pool to determine access to ticket presales—a significant change to historical subscription benefits. Subscribers who contacted customer service representatives seeking clarity about the terms of the presales—before, during, and after they took place—received information that was, at best, unsatisfactory. Customer service reps gave different, sometimes contradictory answers to questions, and offered inconsistent resolution options to subscribers.
  • Delays in issuing codes. Some subscribers received their access codes only after presales had begun—in some cases up to 48 hours later—when ticket inventory was depleted, or gone.
  • Confusion about subscription renewals and Verified Fan. Information about ticket presales posted on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 led to much confusion amongst subscribers. The Verified Fan process was introduced but never actually explained to subscribers who were left to their own devices to find information about what it is and why it was being used for presales. Some found having to share personal data as a requirement for presale access off-putting—even more so when, after parting with their data, they were shut out of presales because their access codes never arrived or arrived too late.
  • Ticket allocation. Many fans have raised concerns about the seeming disparity between the ticket limits imposed for U2.com subscriber presales (2 tickets) and those imposed on cardholders in the CITI presale (4 tickets). For example, restricting subscribers to a single pair of tickets makes it nearly impossible for families to see your shows together. Additionally, GA tickets were unavailable for many in the Nov. 15 (“Innocence”) presale, but were available the next day in the CITI presale.

The Verified Fan process has been invoked to keep tickets in the hands of real fans— a noble goal that we support. And yet, when exorbitantly marked-up tickets show up on resale sites anyway—StubHub actually emailed its members with instructions for how to sell their U2 tickets and the show markets with the highest demand—we question its efficacy.

We know that music is a business. You have the absolute right to conduct it in any way you choose. But as U2 fans, we believe we’re more to you than “just” a business. We’re a tribe— your tribe—a community, a church without walls built upon trust and loyalty. You’ve earned ours, and we’ve earned yours over these many years. At the moment, many in our tribe feel mistreated. They are hurting.

We are as sure this was not your intention as we are that you will find a way to correct the system and make it right. We would be happy to collaborate with you to find a resolution. A final word of thanks to Guy Oseary for his recent direct outreach to affected fans. It is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

AJ (U2Songs.com)
André Axver (U2Gigs)
Andrew Smith (Interference.com)
Angelo D’Arezzo (U2NewsIT/U2360GRADI.IT)
Antoine B. (U2achtung)
Beth Nabi (U2 Tattoo Project)
Brad (U2songs.com)
Claudia Espinosa (U2.com 2004–2015)
Davide (U2start.com)
Don (U2Songs.com)
Christoph Beller (U2tour.de)
Eleonora Pisoni (U2Place.com)
Ezequiel (bit.ly/U2News Argentina)
Fernando (U2Valencia.com & Vertigo Radio)
Gerard (U2start.com)
Harry (U2Songs.com)
Hans Becker (U2tour.de)
Javi (U2Valencia.com & Vertigo Radio)
John Noble (U2.Com/Zootopia Community Manager)
Joyce (U2start.com)
Jo D. (U2Achtung)
Jose Manuel (U2Valencia.com & Vertigo Radio)
Judith T. (U2Achtung)
Mark Baker (U2Brothr)
María José (U2Valencia.com & Vertigo Radio)
Matt McGee (atu2.com)
Matthias Mühlbradt (U2Gigs)
Matthew Atkin (U2Gigs)
Max Tsukino (U2.com / Zootopia Community Moderator)
Michelle Johnson (U2.com/Zootopia Community Moderator)
Nicole (U2start.com)
Oliver Zimmer (U2tour.de)
Paul (U2start.com)
Pere (U2Valencia.com & Vertigo Radio)
Raul (U2Valencia.com & Vertigo Radio)
Régis “Clad63” B. (U2achtung)
Remy (U2start.com)
Roberto Robles (u2mexico.com)
Rodrigo (@U2Uruguay)
Sabine Schieweck (U2tour.de)
Sergio (U2start.com)
Sherry Lawrence (atu2.com)
Tassoula K. (atu2.com)
Team of U2EastLink (U2EastLink.com)
Tim (U2start.com)
Tim Neufeld (atu2.com)
Veronica Salazar (U2mexico.com)

The following fans have joined in support of the letter, but were not present when the original document was signed:

Carl (U2Songs.com)
iChris (atu2.com)
Pancho (U2Chile.net)
Rudy (U2place.com and team)

U2 manager, Guy Oseary’s reply to the letter above:

Dear John and everyone that worked on putting together a very helpful overview of thoughts and questions..

thank you for getting in touch with me and the management team, I appreciate this line of communication..

As mentioned before, this ‘Verified Fan’ process is about ensuring real fans get tickets and not scalpers or bots. This has never been attempted at such scale. We have learned a lot thru this process.

I’m going to try and address the key issues you’ve raised one by one but first up, as you’ve seen, a series of second dates in many North American cities were announced earlier today and any verified subscribers who’ve not yet used their presale codes will be able to enter presales for those shows. More than a few people were frustrated with their experience last week and ended up with no tickets – this is a small compensation, a second chance to enter the presale.

Ahead of day 1 of the presale longtime subscribers were sent an email confirming that they were ‘verified’ and this was followed by a text message with the code they needed in order to take part in the presale. It was a smooth process for these people and they got the tickets they wanted. A group of legitimate subscribers got caught up with the emails of some ‘bad actors’ ( ie brokers, scalpers etc) and they received an email rescinding verification. This was down to an algorithm error and as soon as it was discovered these names were researched individually, multiple known brokers removed and then the text message with presale code was sent to this group. Unfortunately because of the time this took, they received their code later and their choice of ticket was reduced in some venues. Since then we’ve reached out individually to several hundred people with information on how they can get the tickets they need and that work continues.

The letter mentions ‘inconsistent, incomplete and/or contradictory information’ and I’ve looked into this. Some subscribers, who contacted Customer Services when their code hadn’t arrived, were told that the Verified Fan programme has a ‘lottery’ element and doesn’t offer a guarantee of participation in the presale. This was erroneous information coming from some CS people who seem to have confused our Verified Fan programme for the e&i tour with those of other artists.There is no lottery element. Once a subscriber has filled out the verification details and the Setup Complete form turns GREEN, the verification process kicks in and as soon as someone is verified they are automatically emailed. Subscribers are sent emails confirming verification status the night before presales begin. Everyone verified gets the presale code, it’s not a lottery.

As this algorithm was imperfect (see above) more data has now been added to improve it but when someone is flagged in this process as a broker, we will now build in more time for them to be individually reviewed by a real living human being so we can be certain this isn’t flawed information. We want to be absolutely sure the process of verification does not inadvertently eliminate genuine subscribers in the process of eliminating scalpers. If and when genuine subscribers don’t get the verification email and code, they can contact us and we will work to quickly get them a code.

There wasn’t any delay in the issuing of codes, except the group I mentioned above. The Verified ‘experience’ group of longtime subscribers was messaged with codes 2-4 hours before the day 1 presale and the ‘innocence’ group 2-4 hours before the day 2 presale. It’s possible that not everyone realised that in the process of verification, the ‘Setup Complete’ form turning green is when the process of confirmation begins. Only when an email arrives confirming verification is the process complete, triggering the unique code to be sent by text. Multiple emails explaining the verification process were issued but we’re now explaining this process more clearly in case it was the cause of any confusion.

Finally the letter raises the question of ticket allocation and the U2.com subscriber allocation being two tickets while the CITI presale offered four. Two is what we have always offered when the band are playing indoors in arenas with smaller capacities and what we wanted to do this time was ensure that subscribers were FIRST in line for presales which they have been. Meantime everyone is working tirelessly to reach any subscriber who hasn’t yet got the tickets they were after last week, and with these new shows being added hopefully everyone will be taken care of in the next few days.

I really value the wisdom and insight that the group of you have brought to this process and would like to suggest that through John we set up a mechanism so that every so often we can convene around a band-related subject. Maybe we can get your take on a new idea or fans can offer their thoughts/suggestions on a route management might like to consider. It would be good if something positive came out of this – and thanks again for your support for the band.

Sincerely, guy

u2songs.com was formerly known as u2wanderer.org. Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

For Love Or Money? General Sales & Verified Resellers

Original Story by Harry Kantas (2017-11-21)

We ran an experiment today. We wrote a little program, that monitored a ticket reselling site’s U2 listings throughout the day (outside of TM), before and after the General Sales started for the public.
During the Ticketmaster General Sales, the Verified Resale tickets were also enabled, basically allowing the reselling of tickets from within Ticketmaster.
The resulting data was fed into graphs, each of which has a story to tell.

Going forward, we will refer to the non-TM sites as “resale market site”, to keep a clear distinction from Ticketmaster’s own Verified Resales, and compare the 2 sources.

Each graph consists of 3 lines, and a single point:

  • Blue, the total number of tickets available for sale on the reseller site at the time of the poll

  • Orange, the lowest price listed for a ticket (in USD)

  • Green, the highest price listed for a ticket (in USD)

  • Red single point, to signify the start of the General Sale for the public for that show

  • All data was gathered on November 21st, 2017, first day of General Sales on Ticketmaster.


    TD Garden, Boston, MA (21/06/2018)

    Resellers Market - Boston

    After the General Sale started on Ticketmaster, we can see a small uptick in tickets available on the reseller market.
    Around 250 tickets in total are available, with a lowest price of $104, and a highest of $253.
    On Ticketmaster’s website, the lowest available price for a Verified Resale ticket is $150. The highest is $1022.

    Ticketmaster - Boston


    Madison Square Garden, New York, NY (25/06/2018)

    Stubhub - Madison Square Garden - NY

    MSG was very quickly sold out. After the General Sale started, we see the ticket quantity going down in the resale market, which implies that fans resorted to buying their tickets from there. Over 20 tickets were sold shortly after the General Sale opened to the public.
    Around 200 tickets in total are available, with a lowest price of $81, and a highest of $188.
    On Ticketmaster’s website, the lowest available price for a Verified Resale ticket is $123. The highest is $1897.

    Ticketmaster - MSG NY


    BOK Center, Tulsa, OK (02/05/2018)

    Stubhub - Tulsa

    This graph is an interesting one. As soon as General Sales started, we see a decrease in prices in the resale market. The highest price dropped from $278 to as low as $110. This is also reflected in TM’s Verified Resale listings, where the prices remain low, compared to other shows, as demand is also lower.
    Approximately 290 tickets in total are available, with a lowest price of $74, and a highest of $278.
    On Ticketmaster’s website, the lowest available price for a Verified Resale ticket is $66. The highest is $1238.

    Ticketmaster - Tulsa


    Bell Centre, Montreal, QC (05/06/2018)

    Stubhub - Montreal

    Tickets for Montreal are sold via Evenko, a TM partner site. As a result, there Is no option for a Verified Resale via TM.
    Approximately 290 tickets in total are available on the resale market site, with an uptick after the General Sales started, and since there is no Verified Resale via TM.
    Prices remain quite static, with a low of $90, and a hight of $174.
    Ticket prices on Evenko ranged between $42-$277.


    The Forum, Los Angeles, CA (15/05/2018)

    Stubhub - Los Angeles

    The Forum in Los Angeles is always a wanted ticket. As a result, prices were not affected by the General Sales commencing.
    Approximately 210 tickets in total are available in the resale market site, with a lowest price of $81, and a highest of $182.
    On Ticketmaster’s website, the lowest available price for a Verified Resale ticket is $80. The highest is $2403.

    Ticketmaster - The Forum LA


    SAP Center, San Jose, CA (07/05/2018)

    Stubhub - San Jose

    Approximately 270 tickets in total are available in the resale market site, with a lowest price of $83, and a highest of $170.
    On Ticketmaster’s website, the lowest available price for a Verified Resale ticket is $76. The highest is $930.

    Ticketmaster - San Jose


    Conclusion time
    On all occasions, the Ticketmaster Verified Resale tickets are (far) more expensive that what’s on offer on the resale market, which is quite disturbing.
    As the General Sales open up to the public, we see the resale market acquiring more tickets, which is to be expected, but prices also tend to drop, except for the popular markets.
    Will the second shows that were recently announced follow the same pattern, or will the increased demand change things?
    We will keep monitoring, and report back, should we notice any changes worth mentioning.

    u2songs.com was formerly known as u2wanderer.org. Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

    U2 Experience and Innocence Tour Questions and Answers

    Original Story by U2Songs.com Staff (2017-11-21)

    Last Updated: November 21, 2017 6:52EST

    U2 announced the eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE TOUR on November 1, 2017. The only announced dates are those for North America at this time. While we here at U2Songs.Com will try to answer questions, your first source of information on the tour should always be U2.Com. Here are some useful links at that site which you should read fully before asking for further information:

    There is a dedicated thread in the Zootopia boards where moderators will attempt to help users with questions. Also please remember the moderators are there to help us, but may not have all the answers themselves right away! This is likely still fresh for them as well. We suggest you ask questions and post any issues you find there in that forum.

    Second Shows

    Timeline:

    • November 24, 2017: If you wish to participate in the U2.Com pre-sale you must complete your account setup by 6am PT / 9am ET. If you have previously completed setup you will not have to do the setup again.
    • November 28, 2017: eXPERIENCE Sale for U2.Com Members starts at 10am local time, ends Thursday at 5pm local time.
    • November 28, 2017: If you wish to participate in the Citi pre-sale or the General Sale you must register before 10pm PT. They are now listing that if you have done this previously, you will not have to repeat the process. On the Citi site and on the TM site now list: “Fans who were previously selected and did not purchase tickets DO NOT need to register again.”
    • November 29, 2017: iNNOCENCE Sale for U2.Com Members starts at a variety of times, check show listing.
    • November 30, 2017: Citi Verified Fan Pre-sale starts. Start time is listed at 9am local time, ends Saturday at 5pm Local time.
    • December 4, 2017: Verified on-sale for Washington DC, Chicago, Montreal, Philadelphia
    • December 5, 2017: Verified on-sale for New York and Boston, and Las Vegas.

    We suggest you take a few minutes and read http://www.u2.com/help fully as it has been updated today to reflect information about the second pre-sale in Montreal. There will be additional U2.Com pre-sales, and if you have not used your full pre-sale allotment you will be eligible for pre-sales for these second shows.

    If you have already purchased two tickets in the pre-sales, buying a new subscription will NOT make you eligible for further pre-sales.

    What Will the Show Be Like?

    • The tour is a continuation of the Innocence and Experience tour in 2015, now rebranded the Experience and Innocence Tour.
    • Seat maps at Ticketmaster to date have revealed very little information.
    • The following seat map from Madison Square Garden in New York show a similar configuration to the 2015 tour, including the location of (RED) Zones

    Date Information

    • The tour will start in Tulsa, OK on May 2.
    • The current final date listed is Newark, NJ on June 29
    • When announced 15 shows were announced.

    Pricing Information

    • Ticket prices will range from $41.00 – 331.00 in the USA, there is some variation from show to show in the listed prices (Uniondale: $45.50-$329.50, Washington: $45.00-$329.00, New York: $47.00-$331.00
    • Ticket prices will range from $54.25 – $354.50 in Montreal. This is Canadian dollars.
    • Seats should fall around $45, $110, $175, and $329 in most US cities. General admission floor tickets will fall around $80. Pricing and price levels have not yet been confirmed by individual venues.

    Will More Dates Be Announced?

    • The rumours suggest the tour will start in North America, then will move to Europe, and will finish 2018 in Australia, New Zealand, and Asia.
    • The only dates announced so far are for North America, however documentation at U2.Com mentions there will be European dates, and that you can enter into pre-sales for these dates by pre-ordering the album now. Pre-sales for the European dates are expected to happen after January 1, 2018.
    • Dates for Europe, and other continents will be announced later.

    What about Pre-sales?

    • There are multiple pre-sale opportunities.
    • To date we know about a pre-sale for U2.Com subscribers for the first leg of the tour, for Citi Bank cardholders for the first leg of the tour.
    • There are also pre-sales for pre-ordering the album for the second leg of the tour.
    • See our story about the first round of presales.

    First Leg Citi Bank Pre-Sale

    • There will be a pre-sale for Citi Cardmembers only. You must register for this before November 14 at 10pm. This pre-sale starts November 16. This is not tied to your U2.Com account and is run through Citi bank if you hold one of their cards.
    • This pre-sale starts two days after the U2.Com pre-sale starts.
    • The link for the Citi Cardmembers sale registration is here. This is not tied to your U2.Com account but be aware going over ticket limits in a combination of pre-sales, can result in tickets being cancelled.
    • Verified Fans will receive a unique verification code to purchase tickets. Must use your Citi credit or debit card to purchase tickets.
    • There will be a four ticket per code limitation on the Citi pre-sale.
    • Registering does not guarantee you will receive a code or have the ability to purchase tickets.
    • Unlike the U2.Com pre-sale, you have to register for each city individually that you wish to purchase tickets in.
    • Once registered for the Citi Pre-Sale you will receive a confirmation email. Receiving a confirmation email only means your registration has been submitted. It does not mean you will receive an offer code.

    First Leg U2.Com Pre-Sale

    • There will be a pre-sale for U2.Com subscribers. You must register for this before November 12, at 7pm PST. This pre-sale starts November 14. It is the earliest pre-sale that will open.
    • There is an article about the process for registering for the U2.Com member pre-sale here which should answer many of your questions.
    • The article above clarifies that “you can only take part in Subscriber pre-sales and general on sales for North America if you have become a Verified Fan.” If you do not complete the process you will not be able to participate in the pre-sales.
    • To register you will need a a North American Ticketmaster account and a mobile phone that can accept text messages
    • You do not need to complete the “Facebook Connect” steps to be verified.
    • As a U2.Com Verified Fan you enter the pre-sales ahead of all other verified fans in other pre-sales such as the Citibank one.

    How will the First Leg U2.Com pre-sale work?

    • Once you have become a verified fan, you will be placed in one of two priority groups.
    • The eXPERIENCE group subscribed to the fan club prior to December 24, 2016, and have not let their subscription lapse.
    • The iNNOCENCE group subscribed to the fan club on December 25, 2016 or later.
    • You can now check what group you are in by logging into your U2.Com profile.
    • Subscribers in the eXPERIENCE group will enter pre-sales prior to those in the iNNOCENCE group.
    • Subscriber pre-sale codes will be sent via SMS on the mobile phone number provided during the registration process.
    • U2.com says they will be in contact to let us know if we will have access to pre-sales in advance of the codes being sent. “You will be subject to Ticketmaster’s FanScore® verification system. If eligible, the eXPERIENCE group and the iNNOCENCE group registrants will receive an email with details and instructions on Code redemption on the evening of November 13, 2017” [Link]
    • U2.com FAQ says “ If you subscribed to the fan club and went through those things (subscribed, connected TM account, gave mobile phone number) it is not Verified Fan, it is Verified Subscriber. Verified Subscribers get access to pre-sale code (not guaranteed a ticket) that can be used prior to other sales.”
    • You do not receive a confirmation email that the process has completed. But once finished you should see “Setup Complete” on your account page.
    • U2.com pre-sale access does not guarantee tickets.

    How many tickets can I buy in the First Leg U2.Com Pre-Sale?

    • The pre-sale limit is two tickets. Other pre-sales may have different ticket limits.
    • The two tickets can be bought for one show, or can be split so you buy one ticket for two different shows. (Link: U2.Com Zoo Mods)
    • Yes, for The Joshua Tree shows we could purchase four tickets. U2.Com explains that the limit for stadiums per membership is four tickets, but for smaller arenas, the limit is two tickets. For the Innocence and Experience shows in 2015 we were limited to two tickets as well. U2.Com has not offered four tickets for an arena show since 2005’s Vertigo Tour.

    First Leg, General Sales

    • There will be a general on-sale, you must register for this before November 18 at 10pm. This sale starts on November 20. You must completed the verified fan process to take part in the general sale in the opening days.
    • The link for the general on-sale registration is here. This is also not tied to your U2.Com account. Be aware going over ticket limits in a combination of pre-sales, however, can result in tickets being cancelled.
    • Yes, you have to go through this link and register to participate in the general on-sale the day it happens. If you do not, you will not be able to enter the general sale on the day they first go on sale.
    • There will be a 4 ticket limit per access code in the general sale.
    • You must register for each city that you want to buy in for the general sale. This is different than the fan club system where you only have to register once.
    • Registering does not guarantee you will receive a code or have the ability to purchase tickets.

    What about Pre-sales for the Second Leg through U2.Com?

    • There will be a Pre-sale for U2.Com members for the second leg, that will happen before other pre-sales that are offered in Europe.
    • The U2.Com procedures for the second leg have not been determined yet, and if you are not attending the first leg, you may not need to register for the current pre-sales. On U2.Com’s Zootopia forums, a moderator says: “This part of the pre-sale is for the North America leg – If you are outside this region but plan to attend any of these shows, please complete all the steps. For Europe, please wait until the procedure is published. Thanks.” But the moderators are also suggesting in the same thread it wouldn’t hurt to link the accounts and follow the process if you can at this time.
    • The pre-sale and verification process at U2.com is for shows in the US and Canada only according to the FAQ at U2.com

    What about other Pre-Sales for the Second Leg? (Not through U2.Com?)

    • Select retailers in Europe, such as FNAC in Portugal and Spain offer the opportunity to join a pre-sale that will happen after January 1, that is not the U2.Com pre-sale, but is a separate pre-sale.
    • To participate in that pre-sale you will need to pre-order the album prior to November 30, 2017. More information about these offers can be found on U2.Com – look for the red links part way down the page. Fans in UK, Ireland, Germany, France, S