"Jack in The Box" (1980)
“Jack in the Box” is a song that is often identified as belonging to a recording session that U2 had worked on in April 1978. We believe this to be incorrect for a number of reasons, the most prominent because the song did not make its live debut until February 1980, and we know that U2 used studio time at that time to work on the song. The title for the song we believe is actually “Jack In A Box”.
The song title appeared again in 2017 when Dan Hegarty of RTE shared a photo of Ian Wilson holding up a box of studio recordings from the Fanning Show. The songs recorded are “A Day Without Me,” “Jack In A Box,” “Shadows and Tall Trees,” and “Trevor” – placing the recording of these songs in early 1980.
To our knowledge the session with Fanning never aired.
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. “Jack in A Box” is discussed in Part Two.