A Few Non-U2 Releases

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2022-10-25)

While we wait for Songs of Surrender to be officially announced, and released in November, we have a few odds and ends to mention which contain (previously released) U2 content.

Up first is Now That’s What I Call Christmas which is being released on Friday, October 28. This 4-CD collection includes 85 tracks, including Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” and the rarer to find on CD “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” (12-Inch Mix). Although both versions have been released on CD before, the 12-Inch Mix is hard to find as it was only released on singles, and some Japan compilations to date. If you are looking for this one, make sure you are ordering the 2022 edition, the 2021 compilation (3-CD) did not include the 12-Inch Mix.

A 3-disc vinyl collection is being released as well on red vinyl, however that version only includes the single mix of the song, and does not include the rarer 12-Inch Mix of the song. For those interested in vinyl, you’ll have to wait a bit longer as it does not arrive until November 11.

Since 2019, U2 has been featured on another Christmas compilation, called The Greatest Christmas Songs. Both Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” and U2’s version of “I Believe in Father Christmas” are featured on the compilation. You can see our discography entry here.

The compilation is reissued each year in limited numbers in various vinyl colours. In 2019 two versions were released, a copy with white and red records (2500 copies) and a copy with silver and clear records (1000 copies). In 2020 a new version with red and green records was released (2500 copies) and in 2021 a version was released with gold and purple records (2000 copies).

This year they are once again pressing this compilation. This time it is in “snowy white” vinyl and it will be limited to 3000 copies. Like previous versions, it is expected that copies will be individually numbered. (Note, last year they changed the title from The Greatest XMas Songs to The Greatest Christmas Songs and they will use the longer title again this year.

Craig Armstrong is a name that will be familiar to a number of U2’s fans, having provided strings on a number of U2 songs over the years. In 2002 he released an album called As If To Nothing and in 2002 it featured a new recording of “Stay (Faraway So Close!)” with Bono.

That album is now being reissued for it’s 20th anniversary and will include a version on vinyl for the first time ever. A CD version is also available.

The album has been remastered at Abbey Road Studios and the vinyl has been “cut at half-speed to produce a superior sound quality”. The release included new reimagined artwork by designer Christopher Thomson. The release is via Hydrogen Dukebox.

There are three versions being released, a CD version, a black vinyl version, and a clear vinyl version which is limited to 500 copies, and includes an autographed sleeve and an additional single. More information is available here.

U2 have been featured on a number of “Now” compilations of late. So many it’s hard to keep up. The following are the appearances on these compilations in 2021 and 2022 alone:

  • Now That’s What I Call Punk and New Wave (Includes “I Will Follow”)
  • Now Yearbook ’81 (Includes “Fire”)
  • Now Yearbook ’81 Extra (Includes “Gloria”)
  • Now Yearbook ’80 Extra (Includes “I Will Follow”)
  • Now Yearbook ’82 Extra (Includes “A Celebration”)
  • Now That’s What I Call Timeless (Includes “Beautiful Day”)
  • Now That’s What I Call HMV (Includes “Beautiful Day”)
  • Now Yearbook ’84 (Includes “Pride (In the Name of Love)”)
  • Now Yearbook ’83 (Includes “New Year’s Day”)
  • Now The Anthems Live Forever (Includes “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me”)
  • Now That’s What I Call Footie! (Includes “Beautiful Day”)
  • Now Yearbook ’83 Extra (Includes “Two Hearts Beat as One”)

All of these contain easily obtainable edits of songs, mostly album versions, or the single edit in the case of “New Year’s Day”.

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