"Medium, Rare & Remastered" - U2

Fan Club Album

Track Listing (Disc One):

Track Listing (Disc Two):

Background Information

Medium, Rare & Remastered was the sixth CD released by the U2 fan club, and the fourth issued after the establishment of U2.com as the administrator of the club. This was a 2CD set sent to subscribers who signed up for the year 2008. The packaging was similar to that of the subscriber CD for 2006, Zoo TV Live. Each CD came in its own card sleeve with a track list printed on the back. The sleeves fit inside an outer slipcase. The image on the front of the slipcase is a black-and-white photo of the band members dressed as chefs, taken by Anton Corbijn for the Passengers album in 1995. The same image is included on a poster accompanying the set, which can be folded up to fit inside the slipcase along with the two CDs.

The release of this subscriber gift was fraught with problems. On November 17th, 2008 U2.com announced they were working on an annual gift and, aware that subscribers were due to start resubscribing, advised them to do so even though the gift had not been announced—assuring them that everything would be sorted out later. Then, on November 28, U2.com announced that fans’ current subscriptions would be extended so that they would not expire. In this communication the fan club specifically asked fans NOT to resubscribe even if they were to receive a resubscription notice—the opposite of what the previous communication had instructed. Several months later, on February 24, 2009, the new gift was finally revealed, along with an announcement that the price for a fan club subscription had risen from $40 to $50! More than a month later, on March 29, 2009, U2.com announced that the CDs would start shipping soon. The first reports of CDs arriving in fans’ hands occurred on April 6, 2009, over four months after the initial announcement. Fans were not impressed. Numerous reports emerged about members having difficulty resubscribing, CDs not arriving, and other issues.

Adding to the problem was the fact that all of the tracks on the 2CD set had been previously released. The tracks on Disc 1 had been issued digitally on the iTunes-exclusive The Complete U2 box set, specifically on the Unreleased & Rare album. On the plus side, most of these tracks made their CD debut with Medium, Rare & Remastered (the exceptions being “Jesus Christ,” which had previously appeared on the Folkways: A Vision Shared compilation, and “Beautiful Ghost/Introduction to Songs of Experience,” which had previously appeared on the second disc of the remastered The Joshua Tree in 2007).

All of the songs on CD 2 were widely released and easily available. “Saturday Night” was on the second disc of the remastered Boy in 2008. “Trash, Trampoline, and the Party Girl” was included on the second disc of the remastered October and “Angels Too Tied to the Ground” was included on the second disc of the remastered War that same year. “Wave of Sorrow (Birdland)” was taken from the second disc of the remastered The Joshua Tree in 2007. “Always” and “Summer Rain” were b-sides to “Beautiful Day” in 2000, while “Big Girls are Best” was the b-side to “Stuck in a Moment” that same year. All three tracks had also appeared on the Target-exclusive “7” EP and as single-track bonus discs with early copies of All That You Can’t Leave Behind. “Neon Lights” was a b-side to “Vertigo” in 2004, and finally, “Fast Cars (Jacknife Lee Mix)” had been a b-side to “Sometimes You Can’t Make it On Your Own” in 2005.

The readily available tracks, combined with the four-month wait for the CDs and the difficult issues with resubscription, led to many complaints about the gift among U2’s fan base.

Liner Notes

Project Managers: Jeremy Joseph, Candida Bottaci, Martin Wroe, Sebastian Clayton.
Compilation Mastering: Scott Sedillo at Bernie Grundman Mastering.
Audio Post Production: Cheryl Engels at Partial Productions.

Saturday Night:
Produced by Steve Lillywhite. Assisted by Kevin Moloney.

Trash, Trampoline and the Party Girl:
Produced by Steve Lillywhite.

Angels Too Tied to the Ground:
Original recording produced by Steve Lillywhite in 1982. Engineered by Paul Thomas. Additional recording in 2008.

Wave of Sorrow (Birdland):
Produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno. Recorded by Flood. Additional recording and mix by Carl Glanville.

Produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno. Engineered and mixed by Richard Rainey. Assisted by Chris Heaney.

Summer Rain:
Produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno. Engineered and mixed by Richard Rainey. Assisted by Chris Heaney.

Big Girls Are Best:
Produced by Flood and Howie B. Assisted by Rob Kirwan. Engineered by Flood. Programming by Howie B. Original mix by Flood. Final mix and additional production by Tim Palmer at Scream Studios, Los Angeles.

Fast Cars (Jacknife Lee Remix):
Produced by Steve Lillywhite. Recorded by Carl Glanville. Assisted by Chris Heaney. Keyboards by Jacknife Lee. Additional production and mix by Jacknife Lee.

Neon Lights:
Music and Lyrics by Karl Bartos, Ralf Huetter, Florian Schneider Esteben. Produced by U2 and Richard Rainey. Recorded by Richard Rainey. Assisted by Chris Heaney.


Photography by Anton Corbijn.
Sleeve by Shaughn McGrath, Four5One Creative, Dublin.

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