"Stay (Faraway So Close)" - U2


Track Listing:

Background Information

“Stay (Faraway, So Close!)” was developed during the recording sessions for Achtung Baby at Hansa Studios in Berlin. The track was initially titled “Sinatra,” as the Edge had been working on the piano trying to summon the spirit of Ol’ Blue Eyes for inspiration. U2 would go back to that track and rework it while recording the Zooropa album. During those sessions, director Wim Wenders approached U2 for a song for his next film Faraway, So Close!, after U2 had provided the title track for his previous movie, Until the End of the World. The band watched an early cut of the film, and Bono used it as an inspiration for some of the lyrics. The song became “Stay,” with the parenthetical subtitle “Faraway, So Close!” in reference to Wenders’ film. “Stay (Faraway, So Close!)” was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. Interestingly, another song co-written by Bono (and performed by Sinead O’Connor), “You Made Me the Thief of Your Heart,” was also nominated for the 1995 Golden Globes. In the end, both tracks lost out to “Streets of Philadelphia” by Bruce Springsteen.

“Stay (Faraway, So Close!)” was the third single from Zooropa, although in many countries it was the first from that album to see a traditional release. “Numb,” the first single, was only issued commercially on video formats, while second single “Lemon” was only released commercially on CD and cassette in Australia and Japan, with vinyl pressings elsewhere. Even the “Stay” single was not totally conventional, as it was issued as a double A-side with “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” Bono’s duet with Frank Sinatra from Sinatra’s Duets album. Both songs are listed on the “Stay” cover art on some versions of the single, as well as on the spine. In those cases, the spine reads “U2 – Stay (Faraway, So Close!) – Frank Sinatra with Bono – I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” In countries where two versions of the single were released, the version with the Sinatra duet was labeled “The Swing Format,” while the version without the duet was labeled “The Live Format,” due to the fact that live tracks were included as B-sides.

“I’ve Got You Under My Skin” was a Cole Porter song, which Sinatra first performed on his radio show in 1946. He later released a version recorded with Nelson Riddle’s orchestra. The song has been covered by a number of artists over the years and is considered a classic. In 1993, when preparing the Duets album, Sinatra approached Bono and asked him to re-record the song with him as a duet. Bono had initially wanted to do a version of “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’,” popularized by Sinatra’s daughter Nancy, but Sinatra refused. Bono was not present in the studio with Sinatra for the recording of “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” Rather, he sang along to Sinatra’s pre-recorded vocals, and the two takes were spliced together in post-production. When the song was released, Bono received some criticism for his decision to alter some of the lyrics to reference Sinatra himself.

Rounding out the single releases are a number of remixes and live tracks. These include two remixes of “Lemon,” the “Bad Yard Club Edit” by David Morales, and “The Perfecto Mix” by Paul Oakenfold. Two live tracks, recorded a year apart, are also included on some formats. “Love is Blindness” was recorded on August 30, 1992 at Yankee Stadium in New York. “Bullet the Blue Sky” was recorded at the RDS Showgrounds in Dublin on August 28, 1993. Finally, a new studio track called “Slow Dancing” was also included. U2 had performed the song live a couple of times during The LoveTown Tour. Bono had written the song for Willie Nelson, but at the time of the “Stay” single release Nelson had not recorded it. Four years later, a new version of “Slow Dancing” performed by U2 and Willie Nelson together would appear as a b-side on the “If God Will Send His Angels” single.

The video for “Stay (Faraway, So Close!)” was directed by Wim Wenders in October 1993 as a return favor for letting him use the song in his movie. The video was produced by Debbie Mason and edited by Jerry Chater. Set in Berlin, the clip stars German actress Meret Becker, whose stepfather, Otto Sander, was playing a lead role in Wenders’ film. U2 appear in the video as guardian angels who watch over a young band playing their own songs. There are also several shots of the band standing on the statue of Victoria, atop the Siegessäule monument in Berlin. A model of the statue was used for those scenes. Wenders had used the Siegessäule as a place where angels congregate in his 1987 film Wings of Desire (Faraway, So Close! is a sequel of sorts to that film). The final scene of the “Stay” video depicts Bono falling from the statue and landing in the street as he sings the line, “as an angel hits the ground.”

A video was also made for “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” It was shot on November 5, 1993 by director Kevin Godley at Rancho Mirage in Palm Springs, California. The video includes historical footage of Sinatra singing the song while footage of Bono—also singing the song, in-studio—appears on multiple television sets. Also included are shots of the song lyrics being written on a woman’s body, some images from The Zoo TV Tour, footage of Bono driving a car, and images of Las Vegas. As the video comes to a close, we see Sinatra and Bono sharing a limo. The video for “Stay (Faraway, So Close!)” was included on The Best of 1990-2000 video collection. “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” has not been released on any U2 video compilation.

“Stay (Faraway, So Close!)” has been performed in concert starting with The Zoo TV Tour, debuting partway through the tour after the Zooropa album was released. All told, it was performed at approximately 15% of the Zoo TV shows. It was not part of the set list for The PopMart Tour. “Stay (Faraway, So Close!)” returned to U2’s live repertoire two months into The Elevation Tour, in a stripped-down acoustic version featuring only Bono and The Edge. It was played at 42% of the Elevation shows. It was not played on The Vertigo Tour but turned up in the set for roughly a quarter of the shows on The U2360° Tour. A live performance from Sydney, Australia in November, 1993 and used on the Zoo TV Live fan club album and on the Zoo TV Live from Sydney video release. A version recorded live on May 25, 2001 in Toronto, Ontario was included on some formats of the “Walk On” single in Europe and Australia as an audio track, and on the DVD We Know Where You Live Live! In 2011, members of the U2 Fan Club were allowed to vote on 46 tracks recorded during The U2360° Tour for possible inclusion on the double live album U22. As the title suggests, only 22 songs made the final cut. A version of “Stay” recorded in Chicago on July 5, 2011 was among the tracks eligible, and did end up receiving enough votes to be included on the final album. “Slow Dancing” has been performed only a handful of times throughout U2’s career, including twice on The LoveTown Tour, six times during The ZooTV Tour, and twice on both the PopMart and Elevation tours. U2 has never performed “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” live.

“Stay (Faraway, So Close!)” was included on The Best of 1990-2000 compilation and associated promotional releases. It was also included on the promotional CD “Previous Day.” It appeared, along with the rest of the Zooropa album, on the “Super Deluxe” and “Über Deluxe” box set reissues of Achtung Baby in 2011. An alternate version of “Stay,” featuring a longer running time, a different drum track, and additional vocals by Bono, appeared on the Faraway, So Close!” soundtrack album. A remixed version, “Stay (Underdog Mix),” was included on the Melon fan club album. In 2001 Bono re-recorded “Stay” with Craig Armstrong, and that version appeared on Armstrong’s album As If to Nothing. “I’ve Got You Under my Skin” appeared on Frank Sinatra’s Duets album but has not been included on any official U2 release beyond the “Stay” single. It was even excluded from The Complete U2 iTunes release. As previously noted, “Slow Dancing” was re-recorded with Willie Nelson in 1997 and included as a b-side to the “If God Will Send His Angels.” “Lemon” was released as a single and has appeared in various mixes and versions, which are detailed in the entry for the “Lemon” single. The original studio versions of “Bullet the Blue Sky” and “Love is Blindness” can be found on the albums The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby, respectively.

On August 11, 2023, as part of an upgrade of U2’s singles on digital sites “Stay (Faraway, So Close!)” was reissued while the band were promoting the 30th anniversary of Zooropa. The digital single included all of the tracks from both CD-singles, with the exception of “Lemon (The Perfecto Mix)” (Which will be included in 30th anniversary pressings of the album) and the live version of “Bullet the Blue Sky”. A special lyric video was also done to promote the release of the EP. A high resolution version in 44.1kHz/24-bit was also released. For more information see our catalog section below.

Liner Notes

Stay (Faraway So Close) (Album Version):
Words by Bono. Music by U2. Produced by Flood with Brian Eno and the Edge. Engineered by Flood and Robbie Adams. Mixed by Flood.

I’ve Got You Under My Skin:
Music and lyric by Cole Porter. Produced by Phil Ramone. Co-Produced by Mark Cattaneo. From the Frank Sinatra album Duets.

Lemon (Bad Yard Club Edit):
Words by Bono. Music by U2. Produced by Flood with Brian Eno and The Edge. Remix and Additional Production : David Morales for Def Mix Productions. Engineer : David Sussman. Keyboard Programming : Satoshi Tomii for Dex Mix Productions. Percussion : David Morales.

Slow Dancing:
Words and Music: U2. Recorded by Flood. Mixed by Robbie Adams. Engineered by Robbie Adams.

Bullet the Blue Sky (Live):
Words by Bono. Music by U2. Recorded at the RDS, 28/08/93. Mixed and engineered by Mike Robinson and Robbie Adams. Radio Producer: Jeff Griffin.

Love is Blindness (Live):
Words by Bono. Music by U2. Recorded at Yankee Stadium, 30/08/92. Mixed and engineered by Robbie Adams.


Design and Treatments by Works Associates (Dublin).
Original band photography by Anton Corbijn.
Original Siegessäule photography courtesy of the Telegraph Colour Library.

Recognition and Awards

  • Nominated, Best Video (MTV Europe Music Awards, 1994)
  • Nominated, Best Original Song (Golden Globe Awards for 1993, January 1994)
  • #4 Best Single, Hot Press Awards 1993 (Spring 1994)

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Catalog of Releases