"The Long Black Veil" - Cheiftains, The

Promotional Release

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Full Track Listing:

  • The Long Black Veil
  • Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?
  • The Foggy Dew

Background Information

This was a promotional CD issued in Germany in advance of the release of the album by The Chieftains, The Long Black Veil. The promotional single was released in a card sleeve, that was stickered with information about the release. The version of the song included here is the same as that found on the album, although there is additional silence found at the end of the track.

If you are looking to hear Bono singing his heart out on a song by The Chieftains, then this is not the track for you. The track “The Long Black Veil” was recorded by The Chieftains and Mick Jagger, and some of the recording took place in Windmill Studios. As the story goes, Bono was around the studios one day and popped in on the recording session by The Chieftains, and that he recorded some vocals which were to be overdubbed with Mick Jaggers on the track. An attempt was made to use Bono’s vocals in harmony with Jaggers but this idea was discarded when it was found it did not work well.

The lead vocals were eventually recorded by Mick Jagger but Bono is still there way back in the mix. Years later, Mick Jagger would record vocals for a song called “Stuck in a Moment” in a recording session with U2. They would leave Mick’s vocals in storage, and re-recorded the song with Bono at the helm.

Bono’s involvement in this track would not even be known, as there is no mention of him in the booklet or any of the press materials included with the CD. Nor is Bono pictured in any of the photographs within the booklet which is made up of photographs of the Chieftains and the other artists who guest on this album. However, Niall Stokes confirms Bono’s involvement in the book Into the Heart and the recording is discussed in The Chieftains: An Authorized Biography by John Giatt. The latter book states: “One night U2’s Bono came into the studio to overdub a vocal track on Mick Jagger’s vocals for The Long Black Veil. Bono had listened to The Chieftains while he was growing up in Dublin and was a long-time fan with a huge admiration for the group. But when Moloney heard Bono’s singing his duet with Mick Jagger, he felt it did not work and mixed it right down although the Irish singer’s voice is still there faintly. ‘I think what he’d been doing that night had been fairly experimental,’ said U2 manager Paul McGuinness.”

Liner Notes

The Long Black Veil
By The Chieftains with Mick Jagger, vocals. Colin James / guitar & mandolin. James Blennerhassett / double bass. Daryll Jones / electric bass. Steve Cooney / didjeridu.

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