"Inside Out" (1978)

Demo Song

Background Information

“Inside Out” is one of the earliest songs that U2 had worked on, identified as having been worked on in the April 1978 session at Keystone Studios. The song has been labeled as “Oh no” on some bootleg records, but that is likely a guess at a title, as there are references to “Inside Out” as the actual title that Bono intends.

We have taken an in depth look at U2’s pre-Island Records demo sessions in two parts. Part One dealt with 1978 – February 1979. Part Two dealt with the latter part of 1979 until early 1980. “Inside Out” is discussed in Part One.

Beyond the demo recordings, the song “Inside Out” is included in a list of songs that are written in Bono’s handwriting, including songs we know U2 had worked on as well as songs from other artists such as “Mannequin” and “Jumping Jack Flash” that they had worked on in live shows. This photograph is from U2 by U2.

In March 1981, Bono lost a briefcase of personal effects in the Pacific North West. The contents of the briefcase were found and returned to him in 2004, and we know that included within was a steno pad with hand written notes by Bono. One page of the pad included possible song names that the band was working on including “Julie Says,” “The Cry,” “Gloria,” “When I Fall Down,” “Pop,” “Cars and Aeroplanes,” “No Man’s Land,” “Talking,” “Spring,” “Father is an Elephant,” “Boy,” “G to E or C to E,” “Shelter from the Storms / The End of Fire,” “Concentration Cramp / Christmas – Gloria,” “Inside Out,” “Beatles,” “Its Just Night Fright” (Fright is crossed out), “Street Mission,” “Drive on John,” “Speed of Life,” “Pete the Chop,” “Love is a Word,” “False Phropfit,” “Beast,” “Instrumentals,” “Is Just As Well,” “Buzz”.

The back of that page has some notes which appear to be partial lyrics to “I Fall Down”: “When I fall down, we all fall down. I shout the fall and falling…” but it also includes some additional notes about “Three voices,” (Possibly “Three Verses”) “Juggle”, “Shelter from the Storm,” and “White”.

Another page in the book had several rough sketches of possible logo designs and some lyrics sketched over the page including “Black Shirt White Hair”, “Beginning – Beauty – The Fall”, “Middle – Status Symbols, Plastic Flowers (Flames?), cars, the bridge silver ware Boy” “Change the face – wall street crash” “Cabaret” “Silver Race”, “Believe in Me,” “War”, “Status Symbols”, “Trumpets” as well as three song names, “Twilight,” “I Will Follow” and “The Ocean”.

On the back of that page are more notes, including “October,” “Rain,” “Shelter from the Storem” again and notes about “Steel”, “Solo”, “Doodle”.

Another page included dates and a note “I Wouldn’t mind being on a windmill”.

It is impossible to know for sure which of these are actual songs they developed, although the first page mentioned is clearly a listing of songs, and the page with beginning and middle noted seem to be an attempt to put together an album.

In the book U2 by U2 Adam discussed working on the song “Inside Out”:

We were booked in to work through the night, because that was the cheapest time. Then Larry had to go at eleven o’clock. We only just got backing tracks down. Jackie wanted us to record our whole set but I think we only came out with one song finished, a track called “Inside Out”. It was great to hear yourself recorded but also it was a bit of shock to realize that it really didn’t sound that good. It didn’t sound like the records we were hearing on the radio.

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