Songs of Experience Updates: October 25
Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2017-10-25)
With the album nearing release, we’re collecting all the rumours and stories in a weekly update until some of this is concrete and can be moved to the discography entry for Songs of Experience. For now this covers:
- Track Listing
- Track Arrangement
- Album Formats
- Album Promotion
- Guests on the Album
- Release Date
- Album Announcement
- Album Promo Tour
- Resuming the Experience and Innocence Tour
We’ve tried to include links and sources for more information should you want to delve deeper into any section.
Bono, The Edge and Adam Clayton have done a number of interviews since the release of “You’re The Best Thing About Me” in September. The following are the tracks that have been mentioned in that time.
- American Soul
- Get Out of Your Own Way
- Love is All We Have Left
- Love is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way
- Red Flag Day
- Summer of Love
- The Blackout
- The Lights of Home
- The Little Things That Give You Away
- The Showman
- You’re The Best Thing About Me
That’s 12 songs. The Edge has confirmed there will be twelve songs on the album in an interview in Mexico City in early October. We took a deeper look into these songs in an article a few weeks back. At that time “Red Flag Day” had yet to be mentioned,, but the name was mentioned in the recent Q Magazine article..
Two additional songs have been mentioned:
- “The Book of Your Heart” (Appearing on the deluxe version according to Bono on Sirius XM)
- “There is a Light” (Identified in the Q Magazine as being the final track, and as being a letter to Bono’s sons. Previously “The Little Things” had been identified as the final song on the album, and the song “Love is Bigger Than Anything In It’s Way” was identified as a letter to Bono’s sons. Is it possible one of these titles has been changed?)
- Bono has also mentioned one song that has a rock version on the main album would have a strings version on the Deluxe release, it is not confirmed what song he was discussing.
“Love is All We Have Left” is identified as being the initial track in two different interviews now. All along Bono has said “The Little Things That Give You Away” is the final song on the album a number of times in concert, but in the Q Magazine article, “There is a Light” is mentioned as the final track on the album. The lyrics to “The Little Things” includes the line, “A light had been turned on” so perhaps they are one and the same?
In the “Written in My Soul” interview, it was identified that “Get Out Of Your Own Way,” “American Soul,” and “Summer of Love” form a trio of songs and will be on the album in that order. “The Showman” was also identified as the second to last track on the album.
Two editions on CD are listed in material sent to select retailers on October 20, 2017. A deluxe version and a regular version. Both are listed as single CD releases. The regular edition will come in jewel case packaging, while the deluxe version will come with a custom sleeve and have additional songs beyond what is on the regular version. The regular CD will retail around 19 Euro, and the deluxe around 21 Euro.
Two editions on vinyl are listed in material sent to select retailers on October 20, 2017. A regular version on two 12-inch discs, in a gatefold picture sleeve. The deluxe version will be a three 12-inch disc set, released in a bespoke box which will hold all three vinyl. There will be additional tracks on the third disc in the vinyl set, and we are told this version will have more tracks than the deluxe CD version. The regular vinyl pressing will retail around 32 Euro and the deluxe box around 43 Euro. When listed on Amazon in Italy, the box was listed for 43.03 Euro. That listing has since been removed, but those who placed orders through the listing report their orders have not been cancelled.
There will also be digital versions, both a regular and a deluxe version issued.
Bono revealed in an interview that the band have been taking a lot of care with the vinyl set, and that it would be pressed in coloured vinyl. This may have referred to the box set. In another recent interview, Bono revealed that not all of the bonus tracks would be new, as one song with a “Rock version” on the main album, would be present on the deluxe version as a “String version”.
Although not fully announced yet, the album promotion seems to be starting.
- Universal Music posted an opportunity to pre-save your “Songs of Experience” album in Spotify, including a nice photo of U2 at sunset on the beach. This will save the album in your Spotify list, so the day of release you will start to hear the songs automatically without having to remember to add them.
- Last night during The World Series on Fox, a number of U2 songs were used during the broadcast including “You’re The Best Thing About Me (U2 vs Kygo) and more surprising, the studio version of “The Blackout” twice during the broadcast. As the latter has not yet been released we expect this is part of the planned promotion for the album. “Desire,” “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “Beautiful Day” were also heard.
Guests on the Album
Kendrick Lamar will be heard on the album in the introduction to “American Soul” as a “lunatic preacher.” His performance will fill the space between the end of “Get Out Of Your Own Way” and “American Soul”. Pop band Haim will also appear on the backing lyrics to the song “The Lights of Home” and it’s been further revealed that “The Lights of Home” samples Haim’s track, “My Song 5”. In early demos, a female voice could also be heard in the background of “Love is All We Have Left” but it remains to be seen if this is present in the final mix. In our recent “History Mix“ we looked at these guest appearances as well as others.
Q Magazine revealed that the release date would be December 1, 2017. A listing for the box set made in error at Amazon in Italy (now removed) also listed December 1, 2017. Although this listing has now been taken down, orders placed using the listing while it was up have not been cancelled. The New York Times said December 1. We have been sharing the date December 1, 2017 since June of this year. We aren’t sure why it has not been announced yet, but expect an announcement soon.
Bono and Adam Clayton have both agreed with journalists when asked about the December 1, 2017 date that it is correct. The Edge has also confirmed the album will be out before the end of 2017 but has not yet confirmed the date as the other two have. When asked about December 1 on WMMR he replied, “The exact release date is still a little bit up in the air, but you aren’t far off there.” and later on BBC2 he confirmed, “We’ve finished the album, its going to be out this year, we’re very very excited about that.”
“You’re The Best Thing About Me” is the first single, and is still actively being promoted at radio. There have now been five versions of the video released (with one containing errors that has been retracted). A sixth version of the video filmed in Amsterdam this summer remains unreleased. There are four different versions of the song that have been released, the “Acoustic Version” and “U2 Vs. Kygo” versions have both been released for sale along with the version called the “Album Version”. A fourth version of the song, the “Sci-Fi Soul Mix“, mixed by Jacknife Lee was released for radio promotion, but has not been commercially released at this time.
Record Store Day will hold a Black Friday event again this November, and it was highly rumoured that the band would contribute a limited release of “You’re The Best Thing About Me” to this event. However, the official list was announced early last week, and there is NO U2 release listed. It is rare that additional items get added after the Record Store Day list is announced, but not completely unheard of, so we continue to wait to see if this rumour pans out. Perhaps the band are waiting until the album is officially announced before announcing the release.
The next single was identified in the Mexican press as “Get Out of Your Own Way”. While in Mexico City earlier this month, the band filmed a video for the song on the rooftop of a building in the city. The video has a strong Mexican theme. In an interview with Reforma, The Edge said, “We are going to show a vibrant Mexico, one that is unique and fascinating.” From what we have seen the video would tie in nicely with Mexican celebrations of “The Day of the Dead” at the start of November. We are told that the single will likely be released this week (new releases come out on Fridays typically but if tied to a new album announcement it could be moved to an unexpected day of the week).
Another song, “The Blackout” was released as a video, but is not being considered a single from the album. The studio version of the song was heard last night on the World Series broadcast as backing music in the introduction.
Last Friday on October 20, the album was announced to select retailers. The announcement listed expected formats and a release date of December 1, 2017. No song titles were listed in the announcement. Amazon in Italy has published some of this information on their site, but those listings have now been removed. (See Formats above for more information) There has still been no formal announcement of a new album release made to the public through U2.Com.
Album Promo Tour
No promotional tour stops have been announced, but those should start in Mid-November and run through to early December. As we have firm dates we should have more information. U2 are up for a number of awards, awards you can help them win by voting for the band. Our friends at U2360GRADI.IT have summarized some of these awards in an article in Italian. We list these below as well.
- NRJ Awards, France, U2 is nominated for International Band of the Year (You can vote once per day – Awards are held November 4, in Cannes, France)
- MTV EMA Awards, U2 is nominated for Best Live Act, and Best Rock Act (You can vote here for U2 – Awards are held November 12, at Wembley Arena in London,UK)
- American Music Awards, U2 is nominated for Tour of the Year (You can vote here for U2 – Awards are held November 19, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, CA)
- Los40 Music Awards, U2 will receive the Golden Award for Music (You can’t vote for this one, U2 is winning it, they are also nominated for “Tour of the Year”. The Awards are held November 10, at the Wizink Center in Madrid, Spain – Bono and Adam Clayton are confirmed to attend)
Just because U2 is nominated, does not mean they will show up at the awards ceremony. At this time we have no confirmation that they will attend any of these events.
Resuming the Experience and Innocence Tour
In a recent posting on an Interscope promotional site, it was announced that the band would feature on a “Nationwide HEADLINE TOUR: 2018”. Prior to Friday that information was not part of that information page. Interscope is the USA label, and information provided on that page refers to the USA territory, so “nationwide” in this case would refer to a tour of North America. As they are responsible for the US, they may not mention dates outside the USA even if they had information on them. See the image below for the page as it is visible now:
Further in the recent interview with Q Magazine, it was revealed that the band would resume the tour in late-spring / early-summer 2018.
All of our news about the new album and singles are being collected in one location, available at the linked image below.