"Original of the Species" - U2


Track Listing:

Background Information

“Original of the Species” was released throughout most of the world as the final single from How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb in early 2006. The single was a digital release only, and a physical release of singles was not done. However physical promotional singles were issued in both the US and UK.

The single was a newly mixed “Single Version” of the song, issued to Europe, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South America and other regions on iTunes. In the UK, the song was not issued via iTunes, but was released via other digital retailers such as 7digital. In the USA and Canada, there was no commercial release of the song on digital services. The artwork included in the release was unique to the digital single. Most iTunes stores worldwide also started selling a video of “Original of the Species” on the same day, January 1, 2006. This was also made available in Canada and the USA, but only through iTunes on February 20, 2006. The “Single Version” of the song has since been made available at a wide selection of digital store fronts and streaming services outside of North America. The single version of the song was produced by Jacknife Lee with additional production by Steve Lillywhite, and included additional strings recorded at Wisseloord Studios in The Netherlands.

In November 2006, a second standalone track was issued. “Original of the Species” (Live from Milan) was issued to streaming services and digital storefronts as a standalone track that fades in and out. The iTunes release was initially in 128kbs quality but was later upgradable to 256kbs under iTunes Plus. The 7Digital release was in 320kbs quality. It has since been issued at a number of storefronts in uncompressed quality as well. The artwork associated with this second release is that of the U2 18 album instead of the artwork for the “Single Version” of the song. In the UK iTunes store, the title of the single is “Origin of the Species (Live from Milan)” instead of the correct “Original of the Species” even though the track is named correctly. The live version of “Original of the Species” was also available as part of the U2 18 Singles album, and was included on the deluxe version of that album on the deluxe DVD, as well as in audio format as an Italian exclusive. In both cases, the track does not fade in and out as this single does.

Two versions of the video for the song were issued. The first released by Catherine Owens was released on November 24, 2005, and mixes animated footage of a rotating digital head with flowers growing out of her mouth mixed with motion capture footage of the band, and other material captured in Madison Square Garden by Mark Pellington. The second video debuted on January 11, 2006, and features the live footage shot by Pellington mixed with footage of a pregnant dancer. More information about both of these videos can be found linked below.

Live, “Original of the Species” made sporadic appearances during the first two legs of the Vertigo tour in 2005, and became more common on the third leg during 2005 in North America. It also appeared a handful of times in 2006 after its release as a single, appearing in Monterrey, Mexico City, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires. A alternate live version is featured on the Vertigo 2005//Live from Chicago home video release.

Liner Notes

Original of the Species (Single Version):
Music by U2. Lyrics by Bono. Produced by Jacknife Lee. Additional production by Steve Lillywhite. Recorded by Carl Glanville, Robbie Adams and Werner Pensaert. Assisted by Chris Heaney, Arjen Mensinga, and Huub Reijnders. Mixed by Jacknife Lee. String arrangment by James Banbury. Strings recorded at Wisseloord Studios, Hilversum, Holland. Piano and synthesizers by The Edge. Additional synthesizer by Jacknife Lee.

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