A Look Back at the Releases of 2018
Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-12-31)
It’s been a busy year of news, and that’s been one of our priorities this year. From tour rumours, to tracking new releases, we spend a lot of time in that area of the site. But the discography is continually maintained and updated in the background as well. As 2018 comes to an end we’d like to take a look back at some of the releases of 2018. First up we’ll have a list of new items added to the U2 discography this year. We will follow that with a look at some of the entries that we have spent time completely overhauling this year, with new information and new research. And finally we’ll list a few of the entries that haven’t been a part of the site in the past that we added this year. If you’re looking to see what you might have missed out on this year, we hope this is a great place to start. If you click on the links, or images, you’ll be taken to the discography in most cases where you can find out additional information about each release.
New Discography Entries for 2018 Releases:
These are new entries added to the discography here for projects that were first released in 2018. This includes solo projects, singles, and promotional releases that were first released in 2018.
JAN 15, 2018: “Summer of Love” Promotional Single
Initially only released to radio in The Netherlands, the song was later sent out to DJs in the UK. Including the radio edit, a total of 22 different mixes were sent out for promotion throughout the year. The song made a strong impact on the Dance Club Songs chart at Billboard, peaking at #7 on that chart. It also did well on the Commercial Pop Chart at Music Week in the UK, peaking at #5 on that chart.
FEB 9, 2018: “A Fanatic Heart: Bob Geldof on W.B. Yeats” Soundtrack
This soundtrack to a documentary “A Fanatic Heart: Bob Geldof on W.B. Yeats” contains three tracks featuring Bono. Two are poetry readings, “September 1913,” and “On Being Asked for a War Poem.” The third track is “September 1913 / Mad as the Mist and Snow,” a musical track, featuring Bono on vocals, reading the first part and singing the latter. The DVD release of this documentary included two additional poems read by Bono, “Politics,” and “He Wishes for the Clothes of Heaven.”
FEB 21, 2018: “Essential Hits Issue 155” – Various Artists
This DJ compilation released in February included the promotional edit of “Summer of Love” sent to radio in The Netherlands in January. The promo was issued by DMC, a UK based supplier of songs to DJs.
FEB 23, 2018: “The Sound of A” Single – Alice Cooper
In 2017 Larry Mullen appeared on a number of tracks on the new Alice Cooper records, and in early 2018 the final single from that album was issued, “The Sound of A”. Larry only plays on the title track.
APR 11, 2018: “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” Promotional Single
On April 11, 2018, “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” was first issued to radio in the USA, first being sent to Adult Album Alternative stations (AAA) and later being more widely distributed. In May 2018, a series of remixes were issued for promotion, and throughout the summer almost weekly there were new remixes sent out to DJs. All told, including the album version initially sent to radio, there were 43 different mixes of the song used for promotion. And there were a handful of mixes that came out that were never officially used for promotion. The whole campaign worked, the song reached the #1 spot on the Billboard Dance Club Songs, peaking there on July 28, 2018.
APR 21, 2018: “Lights of Home” Single – U2
“Lights of Home” was released as a single for Record Store Day in April 2018, with two remixes we had heard previously, as well as a brand new remix by Beck. The Beck remix would also be digitally released a week later in digital storefronts.
MAY 4, 2018: “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” Single
May 4, 2018 saw the release of a three track commercial single of remixes for “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way” by Will Clarke, The Daybreakers, and The Funk Hunters. As the summer progressed we also got stand alone commercial releases featuring an acoustic version of the song, a version remixed by Cheat Codes, and a remix by Beck. Finally in July a three track single of remixes by HP Hoeger and Rusty Egan for the song was released. All of these were commercially available.
MAY 26, 2018: “All That You Can’t Leave Behind”, “Pop” and “Wide Awake in America” Remastered Albums – U2
May 26 saw three new pressings of old material on vinyl, with the release of new vinyl versions of “All That You Can’t Leave Behind,” “Pop,” and “Wide Awake in America”. All three had been remastered, although the remaster of “Wide Awake in America” dates back to the 2009 reissue of “The Unforgettable Fire”. This was the first wave of a number of older vinyl reissued this year.
JUN 15, 2018: “Red Rocks Live” Compilation
This release in June on vinyl and at digital store fronts celebrated the 77th anniversary of the Red Rocks Amphitheater. All of the tracks on the vinyl were recorded at Red Rocks, and U2’s contribution is “New Year’s Day”. This is the first time this has been released in audio, as the version on the Under a Blood Red Sky album was from a concert in Boston instead.
JUL 27, 2018: “Zooropa” (Black Vinyl), “Achtung Baby” and “The Best of 1980-1990” Remastered Albums
The second set of vinyl reissues this year saw new mastered versions of “Zooropa,” “Achtung Baby,” and “The Best of 1980-1990”. All three are labeled as remasters, and all arrived on the same day. “Zooropa” was available on black vinyl, although in just a couple of months U2 would also issue it in blue vinyl.
AUG 10, 2018: “Summer of Love” Commercial Single – U2
The first commercial release of “Summer of Love” came with a four song EP of remixes, with mixes by Robin Schulz, TILT & Danny Stubbs, Howie B, and HP Hoeger and Rusty Egan. That set of mixes was released digitally only. A second set of remixes titled the “Club Remixes” EP was released on November 23, 2018. This time the set included remixes by DJLW, MINDSKAP, Ralphi Rosario and Hardwell. There has been no physical release of “Summer of Love” only digital singles, and digital promotional releases (see above).
SEP 7, 2018: “Live Aid (Live, 13th July 1985)” Digital Release – Various
After years of only being available in video formats, a surprise September 7, 2018 release saw the audio from Live Aid released to a variety of different digital store fronts. The release included U2’s versions of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “Bad” as well as Bono’s appearance singing “Do They Know it’s Christmas?” at this legendary concert.
SEP 25, 2018: “The MOJO Anthology” Compilation – Various
For the 300th issue of MOJO magazine, a special compilation album was included with the issue, and The Edge took a look back at the magazine over the years. The mixed CD contained an alternate version of “Lights of Home” mixed by Mark ‘Spike’ Stent. The new mix is subtle, which changes in the levels of instruments and a grittier sound. It is believed that this mix is the version that had been played for waiting fans at the video shoot for the new song “The Blackout” in Amsterdam in July 2017.
SEP 28, 2018: “The Best of 1990 – 2000” Remastered Album – U2
Collectors bought a lot of vinyl this year with three reissues in May, three reissues in July, and “The Best of 1990 – 2000” getting reissued in September. Like the other releases before it, this is a remastered version of that album, and it sounds great, although it does leave out the alternate vocal version of “Mysterious Ways” found on the original release of this album in favour of the version from “Achtung Baby”.
OCT 12, 2018: “Zooropa” Remastered Album – U2
The last reissues for 2018, “The Joshua Tree” and “Zooropa,” were both on coloured vinyl. Released first in the UK, was a blue vinyl version of “Zooropa” just two and a half months after it was released on black vinyl. Those looking for the blue one, pay attention to the blue sticker on the outside of the package, it had been black for the earlier version on black vinyl. The blue version of “Zooropa” was pushed out early in the UK to reach stores for National Album Day, celebrating the 70th birthday of the album. It was next released in Germany on October 26, 2018, and later released worldwide on November 23, 2018.
OCT 13, 2018: “Souris Calle” Album – Various
One of the odder releases this year was a three vinyl set featuring artists making dedications to Souris, a cat belonging to french artist Sophie Calle, who had died. The vinyl featured Bono recording “Message to Souris” which was a reading of Rainer Maria Rilke’s “Black Cat” read over top of a recording of U2’s own “An Cat Dubh”. The album was also released digitally.
OCT 13, 2018: “Landlady” Promotional Release (Italy Only)
Perhaps a strange release strategy saw U2 debut the song “Landlady” in concert in Milan, where it was played on two nights, and then promptly followed it up with a release to radio, but only to stations in Italy, and a handful of Italian stations outside of Italy. The song was dropped from the set list at the next show, and was only played one additional time at the final show in Dublin. The song did receive strong play in the area around Milan, but little play elsewhere in Italy suggesting this may have been aimed at a specific region in Italy.
NOV 16, 2018: “Homeward Bound” Single – Street Lights
A charity single featuring Bono and other Irish artists covering Simon and Garfunkel’s song “Homeward Bound” was released on November 16, 2018. Bono recorded his vocal on November 9 ahead of the third Dublin show of the tour. He is joined on this single by artists such as Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol, Villagers, Roisin O, and The High Hopes Choir.
NOV 16, 2018: “Unchained Melodies” Album – Roy Orbison
In 1989, Roy Orbison released “She’s A Mystery to Me,” a song written by Bono and The Edge, and recorded with Bono in studio, who contributed guitar and was credited as a producer on the original track. Here, Orbison’s original vocal recorded that day is taken and mixed with an orchestral arrangement of the song by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Totally unrelated to this orchestral arrangement, the original mix of the song was featured in the movie Aquaman at the end of the year.
NOV 23, 2018: “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” Single – U2
The second Record Store Day release from U2 this year saw the release of the new remix of “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” by St Francis Hotel being released on a 12-inch vinyl. The remix features vocals by Gavin Friday and Regine Chassagne of Arcade Fire and was used this year as the intermission during the tour. The vinyl is limited to 7000 copies worldwide. A number of countries including Canada, France and The Netherlands saw delivery of this release delayed by several weeks.
DEC 7, 2018: “Street Lights” Album – Various Artists
Our final entry for this year, the album titled “Street Lights” featuring a variety of acts contributing songs for charities dealing with the homeless in Ireland. The single, “Homeward Bound” released in November, and featuring Bono on vocals is the lead track on this album which also features tracks by other Irish musicians. All proceeds from the album go to three organizations, The Peter McVerry Trust, Simon Community Ireland and Focus Ireland. All three have agreed that money from the album will go directly into rehoming and rehousing at a national level in Ireland. Celtic Collections in Ireland has these for sale at a reasonable shipping fee for international orders if you are interested. It is also available through other online merchants, and can also be purchased in a digital format (although with two less tracks).
Other Notable Releases:
Not all of the releases in 2018 required building a new discography entry, and there’s a handful of things where material was released in 2018, where the original release had been in the years prior such as the “Get Out of Your Own Way” remixes in January, when the original single had been released in December, and new versions of Songs of Experience.
“Get Out of Your Own Way” Commercial and Promotional Release
Although initially the “Switch Remix” was issued in December 2017, in January 2018 a new remix of “Get Out of Your Own Way” was issued, by Afrojack. And on April 6, an acoustic version of the song was released as well. A promotional release of remixes was also issued on January 19, 2018. These featured alternate versions of the Switch and Afrojack remixes.
“Songs of Experience” Alternate Formats
Although “Songs of Experience” was properly released in December 2017, there were two notable issues that were released in 2018 as well. The first is a release in Japan on the SHM-CD format on December 12, 2018. This format uses a material that produces less laser scatter, producing less errors, and the entire U2 catalog had been issued in Japan in this format in 2017.
Also released this year was a special “For Your Consideration” version of the album which was sent to music influencers in late 2018. This version of the album is in a 7-inch booklet, making it look like a 7-inch single. This new printing has additional information in the booklet including information about the album from its producers, and information from reviews of the album from various media. As well there is a letter from U2 in the new printing of the album, explaining the journey from innocence to experience. The release of this version of the album was an attempt to garner nominations for the Grammy Awards, and is a common practice in the music business.
“The Joshua Tree” Gold Vinyl
As we mentioned above in the entry for the blue vinyl version of “Zooropa,” “The Joshua Tree” also got a coloured vinyl release at the end of the year in 2018. It’s not included in the list above, as it uses the same mastering as the 30th edition vinyl pressed in 2017. But the vinyl was new for 2018. “The Joshua Tree” on gold vinyl was initially released on October 26, 2018 in the UK and Germany, and was made available in the rest of the world on November 23, 2018. The vinyl is gold coloured vinyl.
New Additions to the U2 Discography in 2018:
We are constantly going back and looking at older compilations and examining what is on these albums. Those that have unique edits or new versions of the songs get added quickly, although we are close to launching a much more in depth look at all the compilations we are aware of while we build detailed entries. The list below are new entries we added into the discography in 2018, along with a description of what was unique about each entry. As 2019 starts we already have a small stack of these to work on for the new year as well!
- “Irish Music 1990” Promotional Release (1990): This compilation put together to highlight Irish music in 1990 featured two U2 related tracks, first is the common, album version of “Desire” and the second is a slight edit of the Larry Mullen Jr. solo project, “Put ‘em Under Pressure” (Mind Your House Mix). This album was released on U2’s own Mother Records label.
- “Now Dance 92” Compilation (1992): A dance mix compilation with a unique edit of “Even Better Than the Real Thing” (The Perfecto Mix – Radio Edit)
- Ghost in the Shell Project 2501: The Real Image Album Collection: This 1996 album release contained an alternate mix of Passengers’ “One Minute Warning”.
- “In the Mix 90s Hits” Compilation (1996): This dance compilation features a unique edit of “Even Better Than The Real Thing” (The Perfecto Mix).
- “Essential Polygram 1997 Osz-Tel” Compilation (1997): This promotional only release of songs in Hungary contained a unique edit of “Please”. Unlike they shortened edits released in most regions for radio which were edits of the single version of the song, this edit is an edit of the album version of “Please.”
- Pure Dance 1998 (1998): This 1998 mixed compilation contains U2’s “Discotheque” (DM Radio Mix). The U2 track was only available on the US versions of the CD.
- “1998 Nominees: UK & US Favourites” (1998): A compilation of award nominated songs from 1997 produced in South America and Asia, includes a unique edit of “Discotheque” removing 11 seconds at the start of the song and 25s at the end of the song.
- Fields of Hope: Fighting Against Famine (2000): Compilation includes a performance of “Staring at the Sun” taken from Mexico City, December 3, 1997.
- “The Complete Early Years 1980 – 1987” Collection (2002): A six disc album collection produced by Universal in The Netherlands in 2002.
- Mystery Land – The Official Registration (2003): This 2003 mixed CD contains a different remix of “Staring at the Sun” titled the “Rhythm Brothers Rmx).
- “Best Of U2” Video CD-Rom – U2 (2000): A special release with Turkey’s “Blue Jean” magazine, featuring a number of video clips by U2 on the disc, and a unique PopMart era cover.
- “Intermission” Soundtrack Album (2004): We’ve had Intermission listed in our soundtrack list for years, but we just got around to a discography entry this year. The version of “Out of Control” on here isn’t unique, but what is unique is the song is edited so you don’t hear the end of “Into the Heart” at the start like you do on copies of U2’s album version of the song.
- “Amercian Prayer” Digital Single – American Idol Final Six (2007): On one show in 2007, American Idol introduced “Idol Gives Back” where funds were raised for various charitable organizations. As part of the show, Bono mentored the final six contestants, and they performed his song “American Prayer” which was later sold in the iTunes store as both an audio track (studio recording) and as a video (live from the Idol stage).
- “It’s Showtime!” Promotional Release – U2 (2012): A special version of “From the Ground Up” and “U22” given to members of the U2 crew at the end of the U2360 tour. Features a unique book cover and all three discs.
- “Songs of Experience Album Sampler” (2017): Four track promotional sampler given away with special “Goodie Bags” in-store with the purchase of the album.
- “Innocence + Experience Live, 2015 & 2018” (2019): This one is coming out next year, the new fan club gift for subscription is a special two disc mix of live tracks taken from the 2015 and 2018 tours.
U2 Discography Entries that got a Major Overhaul in 2018:
As time goes on we continually go back and update older entries in the discography. We look at what is present, what can be done to improve the entry, and how to make the discography as complete as possible. This year with a tour and a lot of new releases, we spent less time revising older articles, but we have had a chance to look at many of them. The following are the list of entries where we have done significant work.
“I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” Single (2009)
We actually started building U2Songs in the background in 2009, and spent five years researching and rebuilding the discography here. But as part of that, this entry for the commercial single of “I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” was one of the first entries done for the site, and it needed some work. When the “Live from Somerville” version of the song was released to Canadian music services in 2018 (previously it had been an Amazon USA, and iTunes elsewhere exclusive) we started looking at the entry and decided to go back in and revise it. The digital versions of the single and the physical versions were combined into one discography entry. We’ve gone through and updated the digital releases to better reflect what was released worldwide. And we added in the new 2018 releases in Canada. Next up for revision, we’ll do much the same with “Magnificent” next month.
“Snake Charmer” EP (1983)
This was another revision driven by the 2018 release of a new format. In October 2018, this EP was released on CD for the first time, and we took the opportunity to go in and look at this release. We used multiple versions of the release to sort through one and for all what versions have been released in what formats over the years. This included revisions to other related releases by Jah Wobble.
“Million Dollar Hotel” Promotional Releases (2000)
This entry never got finished before the relaunch of U2Songs, and sat with little information since that time. We were able to get the time to finish it off with details about a variety of different promotional releases to support the movie soundtrack, including clarification of which promotional release contains the edited version of “Amsterdam Blue”.
We are excited to see what 2019 will bring. As mentioned above we have a stack of compilations we are working our way through for the New Year, and we already know of several interesting releases that are coming in 2019. As more information about each of these is known we will enter these into our discography.