"The Million Dollar Hotel" - Various Artists

Film and Home Video Release

U2 Related Tracks (Main Film):

U2 Related Tracks (Bonus Footage):

Background Information

Please note: The U2 discography lists full songs that are not heavily obscured by dialogue, and we do not include partial clips of songs when discussing films, however you can find more information about those below.

The Million Dollar Hotel was a movie, released initially on February 10, 2000. The movie, directed by Wim Wenders was from a story by Bono, with a screenplay written by Nicholas Klein. The soundtrack of the film was executive produced by Bono, heading up a group of musicians known as The Million Dollar Hotel Band. Bono himself was featured in many of the songs on the soundtrack, and we have a discography entry for the soundtrack available here.

The film itself features one full song over the final credits. “Never Let Me Go” plays as the movie ends, and it is an different mix of the song from what is found on the soundtrack. The song does not have any dialog over the start of the music, and the vocals fade out early while the music continues. There are a number of other unique pieces of music throughout the film but are behind dialog. This includes an alternate version of “The Ground Beneath Her Feet” which has a long instrumental introduction which plays under the final dialog of the movie, and an alternate version of “Stateless” which has a different vocal track, and the addition of a saxophone (which can be seen being played in the film.)

Most of the home video releases worldwide for the film have little U2 content in the bonus features. There is a commentary track which features Bono and Wenders discussing the film available via the audio menu, and some behind the scenes footage, as well as the trailer for the film.

A two-disc version however, released via the Concorde Video Collection in Germany, comes with a lot of additional material, including the songs mentioned above. (This is the one pictured above.) This release has a significant number of extras on a second disc, including the documentary called One Dollar Diary. First of all this version contains U2’s video for “The Ground Beneath Her Feet,” accompanied by the album version of the song. A second video is set to an alternate version Milla Jovovich’s version of “Satellite of Love” with footage from the film used for video. This is not the full length version of the song, but rather an edited version of the song.

As part of the One Dollar Diary documentary, only available on the 2-disc version, there are two additional songs. One part of the film shows Bono with The Million Dollar Hotel band recording “Anarchy in the USA” which runs just over 2 minutes. This is not the final version found on the soundtrack, where vocals are handled by Tito Larriva, but here we see Bono attempting the song in Spanish, although we suspect most of it is made up Bonogolese, in an attempt to convey the idea to Larriva what they wanted from a final version of the song. The other song here shows Bono and Daniel Lanois in the recording studio singing “Jump Start My Heart” a song developed for the film but never completed. The song runs about 3 minutes in length but runs out over the end credits and includes some discussion and additional singing after the song itself. The full piece runs 04:27 with this extra commentary after the song runs out. It plays over the final credits of the documentary. Both clips run uninterrupted by voice over or any other interruption.

Also included through the documentary is a number of scenes set to music from the final soundtrack, as well as scenes of the musicians working in Hanover Quay studios, recording the music. There is also an extended musical piece where Bono plays the harmonica, as the documentary shows the video for “Where the Streets Have No Name.” We see Lanois and Bono working on “Falling at Your Feet”, a snippet of an alternate mix of “The Ground Beneath Her Feet” and there is an extended instrumental piece in the film not on the soundtrack which is credited as the “Jon Hassell Theme” in the final credits. Unlike the two tracks separated above, these pieces are often interrupted by dialog or discussion about the film.

The documentary The One Dollar Diary was a documentary directed by Dominic DeJoseph, which documented the making of the film The Million Dollar Hotel. The 95-minute documentary includes a number of scenes from the cutting room floor of the movie. It also includes shots of the soundtrack being created. The documentary showed at Film Festivals in Europe in 2001, aired on European Television on September 27, 2001. Of the documentary, Wenders said, “I think the most privileged moments in movie making are when the work feels as close as possible to making music or poetry. And sometimes shooting can get very close to that indeed. I recently finished producing a documentary by a young American filmmaker, Dominic DeJoseph, who followed the making of The Million Dollar Hotel and the making of the music for it, and he concentrated on the links between the film and its music. In their best moments, the two have a lot in common.”

The version of “Anarchy in the USA” we we see Bono recording, halfway through the documentary, was used to send to Tito Larriva for guidance on what they wanted for the song. Larriva spoke about the song, “What happened was, this director, Wim Wenders, he cast me in a movie, he was a big the Plugz fan, and he cast me in a movie and I got sick and couldn’t do the movie, and then two years later, he called me and said: ‘I’m doing another movie with Bono, and I want you to be in it’. He said: ‘You can’t get sick!’ (laughs). ‘You have to promise me’. So I said ‘Ok, I’ll be in it’, and then Wim kept telling Bono ‘Oh, he’s famous, in a punk band’, and etc., and Bono had heard of the Plugz, and so he said ‘I want you to sing this song in the movie, and we’re gonna record it, maybe you could make some lyrics’, and he sent me a tape of him singing. Bono doesn’t sing in Spanish, but he was pretending to sing in Spanish. I wrote some lyrics but I noticed that the song was “Anarchy in the UK”, and when I went into the studio, and we got together, I said: ‘I wrote the lyrics, but isn’t this “Anarchy in the Uk”? Why can’t we just translate the lyrics?’, and he goes: ‘Oh you know that song!’, and I said ‘Everybody knows it, you gotta be kidding right?’, and he said ok, and we went in, he got on the phone with Johnny Lyden, he was talking with him. I played with Johnny Lyden – Johnny Rotten when they came to LA, with the Plugz, we opened for them. So, I had met him already, and Bono was talking to him saying: ‘We wanna do this in Spanish, is it ok?’, and he said: “Yeah, yeah, do it”, so then he came in, right about the record, I sat there maybe 30 minutes, translated it, and then I started singing it, and Bono was just like sitting in another segment, going ‘Yeah!’, yelling at me ‘Great!’ (laughs), and we recorded it in one day, and it was exciting, it was cool.”

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