"Until the End of the World" - Various Artists


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Background Information

Until the End of the World was a 1991 film by Wim Wenders. The film is a science fiction film, set at the turn of the millennium, and was initially released in September 1991 in Germany, and in the following months in the most of the world. The film opened December 25, 1991 in the United States. The film stars William Hurt and Solveig Dommartin.

Wenders had worked with U2 in 1990 on the video for “Night and Day” part of the Red Hot + Blue album and film. When he was putting together the soundtrack for this film, Wenders requested songs from his favourite recording artists, asking that the choose songs that anticipated what music might sound like a decade later in the time that the film was set. U2 contributed “Until the End of the World,” an earlier version of the song than appeared on Achtung Baby. But there are two versions here, one that appears in the film, and another version which appears on the soundtrack. Both are similar but there are minor differences in the two. Both are earlier versions than what appear on Achtung Baby which was still being recorded and mixed when the film was being finished.

A number of different cuts of the film exist. The most recent issue is a 287-minute version of the film, released December 10, 2019 on Blu-ray and DVD as part of the Criterion Collection. In some versions of the film commercially released a poor transfer has been done from 24 frames per second to the faster 25 frames per second PAL standard in use in Europe. This has resulted in a speed up of the film soundtrack, and results in U2’s song running approximately 12-seconds faster than it should on these versions. The time listed above for the song is from a properly transferred copy of the film in NTSC format (24 fps). U2’s song appears over the end credits of the movie, and loaned the title of the song to the film.

U2 would work with Wenders on a number of film soundtracks over the years, including Faraway So Close and The Million Dollar Hotel.

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