"Madison Square Garden (New York NY) Sep 28, 1987" - U2

Live Album

Track Listing:

Background Information

Wolfgang’s Vault is a private music company established in 2003. The company restores recordings in audio and video format and releases them for streaming or for download. The company also sells music memorabilia. The basis of the collection was the collection of the late Bill Graham, born Wolodia “Wolfgang” Grajonca. Graham was a well known music promoter and at times was the promoter for U2 in the USA. This is not the same Bill Graham who was instrumental in the early days of U2 in Dublin.

In 2002, William Sagan bought Bill Graham’s archive from Clear Channel for an estimated $5 million, and immediately set up “Wolfgang’s Vault”. The website started offering recordings by many artists that Graham had promoted and recorded for sale. Other artists such as U2 were streamed on the site but had no recordings for sale. The issue many had was Sagan wasn’t sharing royalties from the recordings with those who had performed the work. In 2006, a group of musicians headed by the Grateful Dead sued Wolfgang’s Vault. In 2008 a settlement was reached with the Grateful Dead, Carlos Santana, Led Zeppelin, The Doors and the estate of Janis Joplin, and those artists had entered into a licensing agreement pertaining to the sale of merchandise.

The Vault had been streaming U2 recordings, all in video since 2007. Included was the May 15, 1981 concert from California Hall, the November 14, 1981 and May 6, 1983 concerts from the Orpheum Theatre in Boston, and a June 15, 1986 performance from Giants Stadium. None of these were made available for purchase, but you could watch the video by logging into the site.

On December 4, 2012, an audio performance by U2 was put up on the site and made available for purchase for $5.00. The show was U2 at the Boston Garden, on September 18, 1987 during the Joshua Tree tour. This was the first U2 recording made available for sale. On March 29, 2013, once again with little fan fare, another recording was made available, this time the September 28, 1987 show from Madison Square Garden, once again on the Joshua Tree. The site listed, “Recorded on the Joshua Tree Tour, when U2 was arguably near the peak of their powers, this remarkable soundboard recording captures the first night of U2’s two-night stand at Madison Square Garden in New York City.” – the full listing for the show is recorded below in the liner notes. The recording is a soundboard recording, released as is, with little editing other than to break it into tracks. Bono’s stage banter between songs is left intact. The concert was released in mp3 format at 320kbps. The show is split into 27 tracks.

It is unknown what legal agreements U2 may have made with Wolfgang’s Vault, but it is expected that there may be one in place, as they are now offering recordings for sale as opposed to just streaming music as they had in the past.

Liner Notes

Bono – lead vocals, guitar, harmonica, kazoo
The Edge – guitar, keyboards, vocals
Adam Clayton – bass
Larry Mullen, Jr – drums

The New Voices of Freedom – choir on track 24

Recorded on the Joshua Tree Tour, when U2 was arguably near the peak of their powers, this remarkable soundboard recording captures the first night of U2’s two-night stand at Madison Square Garden in New York City. A better U2 setlist one would be hard-pressed to find, as they emphasize material from Unforgettable Fire and Joshua Tree, with a few choice oldies and b-sides rounding out the performance.

Passionate performances like this one cemented the bond between U2 and many American listeners, and indeed this night was among those filmed for the Rattle & Hum movie, which celebrates this era. This particular night is also notable for including not one, but two performances of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” – initially surfacing in a powerful rendition early in the set that includes Bono quoting Bob Marley’s “Exodus.” It again turns up during the encore, where the great Harlem gospel choir New Voices Of Freedom join the band onstage.

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