"A Straight Line" - Hutchence, Michael

Promotional Release

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Full Track Listing:

  • A Straight Line (Album Version) (3:36)
  • Let Me Show You (Album Version) (3:35)
  • Possibilities (Album Version) (4:29)
  • Slide Away (Album Version) (4:20)

Background Information

Michael Hutchence had been the lead singer of INXS up until his death in November 1997. INXS had been a band who had come to stardom along a similar timeline to U2. Over the years Bono had become a good friend to lead singer Hutchence, and the two had even been known to go out and have a few drinks. One infamous night came while INXS worked on the “Elegantly Wasted” album where Bono, Hutchence, and Liam Gallagher of Oasis went out drinking in Dublin. There was an altercation between Gallagher and Hutchence that evening and it is said that that evening inspired some of the lyrics in the song “Elegantly Wasted” on the album of the same name. News of Hutchence’s death hit U2 hard, with Bono discussing “Hutch” nightly from the PopMart stage. Bono would go on to write the song “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of” about Micheal Hutchence, and he still speaks of his friendship with “Hutch” in concert quite often.

Before he passed away, Hutchence was working on his own solo album. He had started recording work on the album in 1995 and then left it unfinished to work on “Elegantly Wasted”. In 1997 after his death, producers Andy Gill and Danny Saber worked to finish the album from what had been recorded. Bono recorded new lyrics for the song “Slide Away” which were combined with Hutchence’s in the studio, and the song was used in the promotion of the album. The album was released in late 1999 in Australia and throughout Europe, but was held for a February 2000 release in North America. This promotional single was issued in the USA in February of 2000 as part of the promotion of the “Michael Hutchence” album. “A Straight Line” was released in other regions, but only the version issued for promotional use in the USA contains “Slide Away”. “Slide Away” was also released as a promotional single.

In 1999, a remix of the “Slide Away” song was released on the internet, titled the “Saber Mix” and listed as being remixed by Danny Saber. It was released on various “Micheal Hutchence” sites with ties to Tina Hutchence, sister of Michael, including a myspace page, and facebook page. The song was used over a video of photos of Hutchence. The release was timed to coincide with the anniversary of Micheal Hutchence passing. No known audio or video releases, either promotional or commercial are known of this remix.

“Slide Away” does make a short appearance on a U2 release. The album “U22” released through the fan club, features 22 songs voted upon by members of U2’s fan club. One of the songs “All I Want is You / Love Rescue Me” was recorded at a concert in Sydney Australia on December 14, 2010. At the end of “All I Want is You” Bono starts to sing “So slide over here, give me a moment, need to let you know, you’re one of my kind, you’re one of my kind. And they could never tear us apart. They could never tear us apart. They could never tear us apart.” and then plays a bit of harmonica before adding “I just want to slide away, and come alive again. I just want to slide away and come alive again.” These snippets are included in memory of Hutchence while playing Australia.

Liner Notes

Slide Away:
Michael Hutchence, Bono: Vocals; Jonathan Cohen: Cello; Gail Ann Dorsey: Backing Vocals; Andy Gill: Bass, Guitars and Programming; Susan McGill: Violin; Steven Price: String Arrangements; Natalie Thompson: Violin. Mixed by Tim Palmer. Produced by Andy Gill.

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