"I'll Go Crazy if I Don't Go Crazy Tonight" - U2

Single

Track Listing:

Track Listing (Video Components):

Other Components

  • I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight (Video by David O’Reilly) – download link
  • I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight (Video by Alex Courtes) – download link
    (Neither is present on the CD, but a link is provided where you can download the videos as long as the CD is in your drive)

Background Information

“I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” was the third and final single released from No Line on the Horizon. (Initial plans called for fourth single from the album, but those were abandoned.) “I’ll Go Crazy” started life as a song called “Diorama” during sessions with the band and Brian Eno. The final, album version was many iterations later, with Steve Lillywhite as producer. will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas played a significant role in the creation of this track, playing keyboards and also receiving a co-production credit. Jimmy Iovine would later reveal that “I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” lead directly to will.i.am writing the Black Eyed Peas’ chart-topping hit “I’ve Got a Feeling,” and that the melody for that song was inspired by the U2 track.

This single had a staggered release, with a number of different formats being available.

  • August 17, 2009: A single track, live version of the song recorded at the Somerville Theatre in Boston MA in March 2009 was released through Amazon in the USA
  • August 25, 2009: A six track digital single with two videos, and digital booklet was released to iTunes in North America
  • August 25, 2009: A three track digital bundle, and a four track digital single, both with digital booklets released to iTunes outside of North America
  • August 25, 2009: A one track single, with two videos, and digital booklets was released in the UK and select other markets outside of North America on iTunes
  • September 7, 2009: A 7-inch single in the UK, and a 12-inch single in the USA, as well as CD Singles in various regions

The first release of the single was through Amazon.com as a USA only exclusive, as a 256kbps file. It contained just one version of the title track, a recording of “I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” taken from a short concert at the Somerville Theatre in Somerville, just north of Boston. The show had been a surprise show, and the audience was predominantely radio contest winners. The entire performance had been recorded and broadcast in various markets worldwide. The version of “I’ll Go Crazy” here is a live version that is based off of the album version of the song, and not the remix that U2 would later perform during the U2360° Tour. The song was released with an embedded cover which was quite different to the cover being used on the physical releases and other digital releases. The cover here featured U2 shot from above standing in a white studio, looking into the camera. No text is present on the cover image. Although the Somerville recording of the song would be used in a 4-track EP sold outside of North America, the cover on the Amazon exclusive was unique to that release until 2018. In 2018, in a refresh of digital media properties at various services, the white backed cover, one track, former Amazon.com exclusive, was released to digital services in Canada including stores like Tidal, and streaming services like Deezer, Spotify, and Google Play. It has not been made available on iTunes.

On August 25, 2009 a number of additional formats were released worldwide in a digital format. These new releases were released with the more common image associated with the single, a shot of the claw from the U2360° Tour. The releases were different depending on where you were in the world, and what digital store fronts you visited. In North America the release on iTunes was a six track single, featuring the same six tracks that would appear on the forthcoming CD single, as well as a digital booklet in pdf format and two videos. In the remainder of the world, the release on iTunes as a four track release, containing the Single Version, two remixes, and the version of the song recorded live at Somerville Theatre, and would include a digital booklet. In the UK and select other countries (mostly South American) a second release on iTunes featured a single track, the Fish Out of Water Mix, as well as two videos for the song, and a digital booklet. Finally outside of iTunes, a separate digital release was done, featuring the single version of the song and two remixes. For a full breakdown of the releases and what tracks appeared on each please see our catalog section below.

Finally on September 7, 2009 a number of physical versions of the single were released. The 7-inch single was released in the UK and the 12-inch version in the USA, and a number of CD versions were issued in Europe. A unique version of the single was issued in Germany—a 2-track CD featuring “I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight (Single Version)” along with a live version of “Magnificent” recorded during the No Line on the Horizon promotional tour in Boston, MA in March of 2009. This same show was the source of the initial amazon.com live download of “I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight.” Other tracks from this performance were used on various releases. “Breathe”, and “Vertigo” were both released as a b-sides to various versions of the “Magnificent” single.

“I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” was remixed into a “Single Version,” running 4:13 in length, for the commercial release. And edit of this single mix, running 3:49 and appropriately labeled the “Radio Edit,” was issued on some promos. These single versions featured a lower bass line than the album version, as well as other differences. A series of remixes was also included on the single and promotional releases. These included two versions by Dirty South, the “Dirty South Radio Mix” and the “Dirty South Full Remix,” along with multiple versions by Redanka including the “Sparks of Light Dub” and vocal and instrumental versions of the “Kick the Darkness” mix, and a remix by Fish Out of Water.

Two promotional videos for the single were filmed and made available through various digital releases, and as downloads for those who purchased the CD singles. The video files were not actually included on the CD, but the disc did allow users to access and download them from a secure server. The first music video, set to the album version of the song, was animated and directed by David O’Reilly and designed by Jon Klassen. It premiered on July 17, 2009 on U2’s YouTube channel. The video depicts several animated characters in one city undergoing various hardships, and we see how they are interconnected and how they eventually become happy. The second video was filmed live during the U2360° Tour, at the second concert at Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain on July 2, 2009. This version was directed by Alex Courtes and is set to the remixed “Radio Edit” of the song. Attendees of the concert were given notification, via ushers handing out paper cards as they entered the venue as well as in advance of the concert, that a video was being filmed.

The live footage shot by Courtes was also used for a BlackBerry commercial that was set to “I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight.” In the advertisement, we see the band performing the song, with tiny specks of light reflecting off of Bono’s sunglasses and the bands’ instruments and multiplying into a mass of light. The ad ends with the line “BlackBerry Loves U2” and a web address pointing to information about U2’s BlackBerry app, the U2360° Tour, and BlackBerry. The ad was created by the advertising agency ARC/Chicago, the production company Partizan, and director Alex Courtes. The commercial was first released in July of 2009. Most of the band, stage and crowd footage was shot on green screen in Dublin, with the Barcelona footage and a 3D virtual model of the stage added in post production. Both 60-second and 30-second versions of the ad were released.

“I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” was first played live during promotional appearances for the No Line on the Horizon album. The song was also performed on every night of The U2360° Tour from 2009-2011. On the tour, the band would play a version that incorporated live vocals and instrumentation along with elements of both the Redanka and Dirty South remixes. The one exception was the second night of the tour, in Barcelona, where U2 filmed a video for the song and captured footage for the aforementioned BlackBerry commercial. On that night, the band played the “remix” version during the main set and then added a performance more akin to the album version during the encore. The song was not played at any night of the next tour, the Innocence and Experience tour.

Live recordings of the song have appeared on several official releases. The Artificial Horizon fan club remix CD and the US-only “Wide Awake in Europe“ vinyl EP both included a version recorded at Croke Park, Dublin on July 27, 2009 and labeled as “I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight (Live U2360° Remix).” A live version recorded in Pasadena, CA on October 25, 2009 was featured on the U2360° at the Rose Bowl video as well as on the promotional CD accompanying that release. 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. “I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” 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 “I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” recorded in Paris, France on July 11, 2009 was included on From the Ground Up: Edge’s Picks.

Liner Notes

Mastering: Scott Sedillo at Bernie Grundman Mastering, Hollywood. Audio Post Production: Cheryl Engels at Partial Productions.

I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight (Single Version) (4:14):
Music by U2. Lyrics by Bono. Published by Universal Music Publishing BV. Produced by Steve Lillywhite. Additional production by will.i.am. Engineered by CJ Eiriksson. Assisted by Tom Hough. Additional engineering by Declan Gaffney. Mixed by Cenzo Townshend. Assisted by Neil Comber. Cello: Caroline Dale. Violin: Cathy Thompson. Additional keyboards by Terry Lawless and will.i.am.

Magnificent (Live from Somerville Theatre, Boston) (5:08)
Music by U2, Brian Eno and Danny Lanois. Lyrics by Bono and The Edge. Published by Universal Music Publishing BV/Opal Music, except in North America by Upala Music Inc/BMI
Recorded in March 2009 by Jay Vicari and Declan Gaffney. Assisted by Joel Singer. Recorded in Music Mix Mobile Truck. Mixed by Declan Gaffney.

I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight (Fish Out of Water Remix) (4:37)
Music by U2. Lyrics by Bono. Published by Universal Music Publishing BV.
Produced by Steve Lillywhite. Additional engineering by Declan Gaffney. Engineered by Declan Gaffney & Matt Paul. Mixed by Declan Gaffney & Matt Paul. Additional production and programming by Declan Gaffney & Matt Paul.

I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight (Dirty South Full Remix) (7:11)
Music by U2. Lyrics by Bono. Published by Universal Music Publishing BV.
Produced by Steve Lillywhite. Additional production & remix by Dirty South. Additional instruments & drum programming by Dirty South.

I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight (Dirty South Radio Remix) (4:27)
Music by U2. Lyrics by Bono. Published by Universal Music Publishing BV.
Produced by Steve Lillywhite. Additional production & remix by Dirty South. Additional instruments & drum programming by Dirty South.

I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight (Redanka’s ‘Kick the Darkness’ Vocal) (7:30)
Music by U2. Lyrics by Bono. Published by Universal Music Publishing BV.
Produced by Steve Lillywhite. Remix and additional production by Andy Holt. Thanks to the Sarm West Bootboy Choir, PH for extra guidance and BC for putting up with the grief. Recorded @ E-Mission, Tamworth, UK and Pulse Studio, Goiania, Brazil, 2009.

I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight (Redanka’s ‘Sparks of Light’ Dub Version) (7:28)
Music by U2. Lyrics by Bono. Published by Universal Music Publishing BV.
Produced by Steve Lillywhite. Remix and additional production by Andy Holt. Recorded @ E-Mission, Tamworth, UK, 2009.

I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight (Redanka’s ‘Kick the Darkness’ Instrumental Version) (7:29)
Music by U2. Lyrics by Bono. Published by Universal Music Publishing BV.
Produced by Steve Lillywhite. Remix and additional production by Andy Holt. Thanks to the Sarm West Bootboy Choir, PH for extra guidance and BC for putting up with the grief. Recorded @ E-Mission, Tamworth, UK and Pulse Studio, Goiania, Brazil, 2009.

I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight (Video) (4:13)
Directed by David O’Reilly. Designed by Jon Klassen. Track produced by Steve Lillywhite. Additional production by will.i.am. Engineered by CJ Eiriksson. Assisted by Tom Hough. Additional engineering by Declan Gaffney. Mixed by Steve Lillywhite and CJ Eiriksson. Assisted by Dave Emery. Cello: Caroline Dale. Violin: Cathy Thompson. Additional keyboards by Terry Lawless and will.i.am.

I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight (Video) (3:48)
Directed by Alex Courtes. Produced by Malachy McAnenny. Track produced by Steve Lillywhite. Additional production by will.i.am. Engineered by CJ Eiriksson. Assisted by Tom Hough. Additional engineering by Declan Gaffney. Mixed by Steve Lillywhite and CJ Eiriksson. Assisted by Dave Emery. Cello: Caroline Dale. Violin: Cathy Thompson. Additional keyboards by Terry Lawless and will.i.am.

Artwork

Photography by Diana Scrimgeour.
Illustration by David O’Reilly.
Band portraits from the U2360° Tour ‘I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight’ show sequence: Concept by Gavin Friday, Director of Photography: Tom Krueger.

Designed by Shaughn McGrath at Four5°One Creative, Dublin.

Recognition and Awards

  • Nominated, Best Rock Song (Grammy Awards, 2010)
  • Nominated, Best Rock Performance by Duo or Group (Grammy Awards, 2010)
  • #2 Irish Single, 2009 Awards (March 2010)

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Catalog of Releases