"Get on Your Boots" - U2


Track Listing:

Background Information

“Get On Your Boots” was the first single released to promote U2’s 2009 album No Line on the Horizon. The song was initially developed by the Edge in his home studio under the working title “Four Letter Word,” as can be seen throughout the documentary It Might Get Loud. The song was later re-titled “Sexy Boots,” and finally “Get On Your Boots” for the eventual album release. An early version of the track, recorded outside Bono’s home in Eze, France during a listening session, was bootlegged and uploaded to YouTube.

The world radio premiere of the finished song was set for January 19, 2009 on the Irish radio station RTÉ 2fm by the band’s longtime friend, Dave Fanning. He was due to appear on The Colm & Jim-Jim Breakfast Show at 8:10am to play the song. However, when a 30-second snippet of the track was leaked on the Internet, “Get on Your Boots” was made available in the iTunes store worldwide prior to being played on RTÉ. This marked the first time that U2 had made a single available on iTunes on the same day that it was delivered to radio. Up to that point, iTunes releases had been timed for release on the same day as the physical single. Later that day the song also began to stream on U2.com at the address, http://goyb.u2.com/. (No longer available)

Also on January 19, pre-orders of the album started, and if you pre-ordered the album you were able to get the song immediately. If you pre-ordered the album, the single downloaded immediately and came with artwork that was white, with the U2 logo in grey and title in black. However, if you just bought the single direct, it came with artwork that was black, with the song title in white and the U2 logo in grey. After the single was commercially released on February 16, 2009, these were both replaced with either the commercial artwork for the single or the album, depending on what was purchased. As well, on February 16, 2009, the song “No Line on the Horizon 2” was also made available for download.

A second digital single appeared on February 12, 2009, outside of North America on services such as iTunes and 7digital. This was a one track remix single, featuring “Get On Your Boots (Crooker’s Remix)”, remixed by the Italian DJ duo, Andrea “Bot” Fratangelo and Francesco “Phra” Barbaglia, who have worked together since 2003 as Crookers. In North America, the song was only available if you pre-ordered the full album, and was never made available separate. It was released with the same artwork as the physical single.

The release of the physical single occurred on February 16, 2009. Sleeve artwork for the CD featured a photo of the band sitting on a couch. Instead of a multiple-format release (typically, two different CD singles and a DVD single throughout most of the 2000s), most countries received just one CD. The exception was Europe, where a second CD format was also issued. Tracks on both CD formats included the album version of “Get On Your Boots” along with “No Line on the Horizon 2,” an alternate recording of the album’s title track featuring different lyrics and instrumentation and set to a different tempo. A 7-inch vinyl single with these same two tracks was also issued in the UK and EU. The second CD released in Europe also featured a link to download the promo video for “Get on Your Boots” at http://www.nolineonthehorizon.com/bootsvideo/ as a 67MB mp4 file. (The offer has since expired, and the link is no longer active.)

The main video for “Get On Your Boots” was directed by Alex Courtes. It features footage of the band performing on a sound stage in London in front of a background of collages. The video was initially scheduled to make its world premiere on the Irish Independent web site on January 30, 2009. After much promotion of this date, the premiere was delayed until 5pm on February 6, 2009, with Universal Music issuing a statement that the video had not yet been completed. An unfinished version of the video was leaked to YouTube on January 29. This rough version still had “Getty Images” watermarks in some places where artwork had not been cleared, as well as a few unobstructed shots of topless models. In the final version of the video, the models’ breasts are obscured, a few other sexually suggestive shots have been toned down, and the watermarks are gone.

Two other versions of the video have appeared. One, directed by Martyn Pick, features the same band performance footage from the Courtes video, but with a very different background treatment. The colours are more muted, consisting primarily of reds and yellows. In addition, the images used are far more cartoonish, bringing to mind pop art. Another video was posted at Amazon.com to promote the new album. It was set to a longer mix of the song, opening with Bono’s “da da da da” bit, which he also used to open the song during live performances. The footage for this mix, directed by Catherine Owens, was the same video footage used by the band for early promotional performances of the song, such as at the Grammy Awards and the Brit Awards.

As the first single from No Line on the Horizon, “Get On Your Boots” was played heavily during the promotional tour for the album. It was also performed every night during the U2360° Tour. In 2011, members of the U2 Fan Club were given the opportunity to vote on 46 live tracks recorded during the U2360° Tour, with the top 22 songs to be included on a live album, U22. “Get On Your Boots” was one of these choices. In the end, however, the song did not receive enough votes to appear on the final live compilation. The following year, the Edge picked his favorite tracks from the remaining 46 live tracks, and “Get On Your Boots” recorded in Foxborough MA on September 20, 2009 was included on From the Ground Up: Edge’s Picks. A live version of the song is available on the U2360° at the Rose Bowl video.

Three remixes of “Get On Your Boots” were released. The first, the “Crookers Remix,” was an iTunes bonus track for users who pre-purchased the No Line on the Horizon album. It was also available for sale in the Universal Ireland online store, and was released on a promotional CD in Brazil called “DJ 2009,” compiled by Universal. The second remix, and the easiest to track down, was the “Justice Remix,” which was released as a b-side to the “Magnificent“ single and also included on the Artificial Horizon fan club CD and the commercial vinyl release sold through U2.com. Finally, the “Fish Out of Water Mix” by Declan Gaffney and Matt Paul made its debut on Artificial Horizon, and as of this writing is not available elsewhere. The B-side “No Line on the Horizon 2” was included as a bonus track on copies of the full No Line on the Horizon album in Australia and Japan.

Liner Notes

Get On Your Boots:
Music and lyrics by U2. Produced by Brian Eno and Danny Lanois. Additional production by Declan Gaffney. Engineered by Richard Rainey. Additional engineering by Declan Gaffney and Carl Glanville. Mixed by Declan Gaffney. Keyboards by Terry Lawless. Additional percussion by Sam O’Sullivan.

No Line on the Horizon 2:
Music by U2, Brian Eno and Danny Lanois. Lyrics by Bono. Produced by U2. Additional production by will.i.am, Cenzo Townshend and Brian Eno. Engineered by Declan Gaffney. Assisted by Tom Hough. Mixed by Cenzo Townshend. Assisted by Neil Comber. Additional vocals by will.i.am. Synthesizers by Brian Eno.

Get On Your Boots (Video Download):
Directed by Alex Courtes. Go to http://www.nolineonthehorizon.com/bootsvideo with your CD in your computer to download the video.


Cover photography by Deirdre O’Callaghan. Designed by Four5One Creative, Dublin.

Related Promotional Videos

Related News

Catalog of Releases