"I Will Follow (Live 1982)" - U2


Track Listing:

Background Information

“I Will Follow (Live)” was released—in The Netherlands and Germany only—in September, 1982. On May 14 of that same year, U2 performed a concert at T’Heem in Hattem in the Netherlands. That performance was broadcast on TV by the station Veronica as part of the Countdown program. The show was especially well-received by the public, creating significant interest in the band. To capitalize on this, U2 elected to release a single from the performance, choosing “I Will Follow” from that night’s set list. It was released in September, with promotional material making mention of the Countdown program in order to draw audience interest. The idea paid off, with “I Will Follow (Live)” peaking at #12 on the Dutch charts on October 2, 1982.

The single was released on 7-inch vinyl with the studio version of “Gloria” on the B-side. The cover image on the single sleeve is clearly not from U2’s performance on Countdown, as the show was performed indoors and the photo was taken during an outdoor performance. The back of the single sleeve does include an image of U2 performing indoors, but they are wearing outfits different from those worn on the Countdown show.

The version of “I Will Follow (Live)” released in the Netherlands includes the following text on a red strip across the bottom of the back of the sleeve: “Recorded live in Holland by Veronica’s Countdown.” This text is blacked out on the German release. In the Netherlands, the single was so popular that it resulted in several 7-inch vinyl re-pressings. The first issue was released with a blue label, with later pressings sporting the generic Island “tree” label. Some of these “tree” labels incorrectly stated that “Gloria” was also recorded live at Veronica’s Countdown, but the error was fixed in a later pressing. The single was not available outside of The Netherlands and Germany.

The Boy album version of “I Will Follow” had been a single in October of 1980 in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, and March of 1981 in North America. The 1982 live version marked the first formal release of the song as a single in The Netherlands and Germany. Other live versions of “I Will Follow” would be released in 1983 to promote Under a Blood Red Sky in the USA, and in 2011 as an iTunes exclusive to commemorate U2’s performance at Glastonbury that year.

Liner Notes

Recorded live in Holland by Veronica’s Countdown.
Produced by Steve Lillywhite.

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