New U2 Single Hits Canadian Radio

Jam! Showbiz by John Sakamoto (1997-01-07)

Executive producer, Jam! Showbiz

A big-time radio leak has forced U2’s record label to push up the “official” premiere of the single to this Wednesday. That means Canadian fans will get a chance to hear the highly anticipated dance-flavored confection, titled “Discotheque”, a week earlier than planned.

The change in plans was necessitated after two major stations in the U.S. — KROQ in L.A. and sister station K-ROCK in New York — got their hands on a copy of the song and played it over the Christmas break.

To complicate matters, enterprising fans subsequently posted a high-quality copy of the tune on the Internet, where it has been available for the past week. (Because of the legality — or, rather, illegality — of this enterprising act, we cannot give out an exact address here. Suffice to say, using a search engine to look for the words “U2” and “Discotheque” should yield some useful clues.)

As a result, Island Canada will hand-deliver copies of the single to 97 radio stations across the country on Wednesday morning. The stations can start airing the song as of 9 a.m. local time.

However, because Island has had to abandon their original plans to beam the song to stations via satellite, don’t be surprised if one or two stations manage to jump the deadline up here.

The song won’t be available commercially in Canada until Feb. 11, when it will appear on a five-track CD single, which will feature four mixes of the title tune, plus one unidentified “bonus track,” likely an outtake from the album. (The full album, titled “Pop”, will be in stores in Canada on March 4.)

A video for “Discotheque” will also air this week, possibly as early as Wednesday, though a label spokesperson said it might be delayed ‘til Thursday or Friday.

Meanwhile, U2 will unveil cities and dates for their upcoming world tour on Feb. 11 in New York, Jam has learned. The 1997 portion of the ambitious outing — expected to last 18 months — will be divided into three parts, says Susan Rosenberg, Canadian marketing director for STEP Entertainment, the new name of the company founded by promoter Michael Cohl, who is handling the U2 tour. “It will start in North America, then go to Europe for the (summer) festival season, and
return to North America before the end of the year,” she said in a phone interview Monday afternoon from STEP’s Toronto office.

“There will definitely be Canadian dates,” she added, but refused to reveal how many, or if they would take place during the first or second North American legs.

Rosenberg also wouldn’t confirm speculation that the tour would kick off in March or April, and would say only that a news conference would be held in New York in “mid-February.”

She also refuted reports on the Internet that the band would perform on a round, revolving stage. “All I can tell you is they’ll be using absolute state-of-the-art sound and video equipment.”

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