"Original of the Species" - U2

Promotional Release

Track Listing:

Background Information

In late 2005 it looked like there would be one final single for the album “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb”. That single would have been “Original of the Species”. In the world outside of North America, a late release of the song “All Because of You” had taken place, but there was no corresponding release for North America. In North America “All Because of You” had been released several months earlier. In North America however, a promotional single was issued for “Original of the Species”, that came out as the band were releasing the DVD from the Vertigo tour. The promotional single was a single CD, containing just one track. But the song had been re-recorded for release, and the version featured on the promotional single was the “Single Version” of the track. The promotional single featured full colour front and back inserts as well, which also pointed towards another single being on the way.

In early 2006, versions of the promotional single also appeared in the UK (in a card sleeve). In Australia, copies of the UK CD were distributed with promotional stickers attached announcing the song as the fifth single from “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb” and also promoting the 2006 tour that was due to start. Copies of the USA promotional single were also distributed in Mexico. Some copies in the UK were stickered announcing a release date of February 20, 2006. A video was also filmed by Catherine Owen, set to the “Single Version” of the song, The video was a computer generated animation, featuring wire frame images of a baby, flowers, before breaking into more traditional filmed footage of Bono singing the song, A second video, directed by Mark Pellington, featured Bono performing the song backstage at Madison Square Garden in New York. Some of these images were incorporated into the video by Owen. “Original of the Species” was also used in an advertisement for Apple’s new “Video iPod”. The footage for that advertisement were taken from the footage shot for the live DVD from the Vertigo tour. The silhouette of Bono singing that song was used as an icon in the Apple operating system when they launched the iPod touch and iPhone, and at this writing is still in use.

The “Single Version” of the song was only released on promotional CD, and was never made commercially available in that format. Digital copies of the “Single Version” were sold in digital storefronts in Europe, Australia, Japan, and South America. In North America on February 20, 2006, both versions of the video were made available for purchase through iTunes. A live version of the song taken from the footage used for the Vertigo DVD was released there on October 10, 2005. The videos were also issued in the UK. In the UK, a live version of the song recorded during the Vertigo tour in Milan, was released on iTunes as part of the promotion surrounding the “U218 Singles” album.

Plans to release a commercial CD single in Canada with the b-sides found on the European All Because of You single have never materialized. As well, a remix titled “Killahurtz Casa de Angeles Mix” has appeared on the internet. It is unknown whether this would have been part of a single release that did not happen. This remix featured additional vocals from Bono, so the person responsible for the mix did have access to additional material over what had been released in other formats.

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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