Record Store Day, Noel Gallagher with Bono, and The Edge Sparkles

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2021-06-12)

Today Ciara’s Pink Sparkle Pod featured The Edge as a special guest. Ciara who runs the podcast is a first cousin to The Edge, and they discuss their family, advocacy work for Mencap, and much more. It’s a great podcast. The Edge does speak briefly about what the band has been up to, and explains that keeping the band together hasn’t always been easy for 40 years, “Doesn’t mean its always easy. We just finished five years of touring together. We’ve all been enjoying a little bit of a break to pursue our own personal projects and just recharge our own batteries, so that when we come back together we’re fully enthusiastic about working with U2.” The podcast is available online now.

Today was Record Store Day, a day that celebrates the vinyl records and the independent shops which sell them.

U2 were involved in four releases this year.

Fire 40th Anniversary Picture Disc

U2’s own entry for Record Store Day is a 4-track picture disc celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first single taken from October, “Fire”. The single features a photo of a ring of fire on one side of the disc, and a photograph of the band in an apartment in London in 1979 on the back side. It includes “Fire” as well as the original B-Side “J. Swallow” as well as two live versions of “Fire” – one taken from Werchter, Belgium in July 1982, and one from London, England in December 1982. All four tracks have been released on the deluxe remasters in 2008, with tracks appearing on War and October. The record does not come with a download card.

The band supported the Record Store Day release by sharing a video of the song performed at Top of the Pops in 1982. It was the band’s earliest appearance on the show. There was also a special on U2 X-Radio hosted by Rocky O’Riordan where she played the songs from the new single, and discussed the release with Adam Clayton.

Red, Hot and Blue

Originally planned for a 2020 release to celebrate the album’s 30th anniversary, the vinyl version of the album was eventually cancelled and has finally been issued today. This release feature’s U2’s “Night and Day” and the record comes in two coloured discs, one red and one blue. The late 2020 digital release of the album featured the same remastering as had been used for earlier releases. We have not yet been able to confirm that there are any differences with this new vinyl release. A digital download card comes with the record.

Lara Croft Tomb Raider Soundtrack

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the soundtrack a new pressing in limited gold vinyl has been released. (A kind of orangey-yellow colour) This is being called the “Golden Triangle Vinyl” and is limited to 2500 copies worldwide. The vinyl release does not come with a download card.

Back The Way We Came: Vol. 1 (2011 – 2021) – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

A special issue of the new collection of material from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds was released for Record Store Day in the UK and Europe. It was not among the North American items for Record Store Day. The album which celebrates ten years of the High Flying Birds was released yesterday in stores, with a special black and green / yellow vinyl edition today for Record Store Day.

Why is Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds on our list above? Because it’s just been revealed that Bono does backing vocals on one of the tracks. The song, “Blue Moon Rising” was released as an EP in June 2020, but at the time it wasn’t announced who did the backing vocals. It’s inclusion on Back The Way We Came announces very clearly that it is Bono. In the credits for the song, it lists that all instruments are by Noel Gallagher, except drums by Jeremy Stacey, and backing vocals by PDH. PDH = Paul David Hewson, aka Bono. If you are doubting, Noel clears it up in the liner notes for the album, “The bit in the solo section that has become known as ‘The Kate Bush Bit’ is actually the singer from U2 singing it down the phone in his kitchen!!” Bono’s vocals consist of a series of noises in the background of the song.

The video for the song can be seen below:

We’ll be adding this one to the discography here at U2Songs shortly, but for now the song has been available on two releases:

  • Back The Way We Came: Vol. 1 (2011 – 2021) – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (2021)
  • Blue Moon Rising EP – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (2020)

There are four known mixes of the song:

  • Blue Moon Rising (Studio Version) – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (03:43)
  • Blue Moon Rising (The Reflex Revision) – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (07:39)
  • Blue Moon Rising (7” Mix) – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (03:08)
  • Blue Moon Rising (Songs of the Desert Remix) – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (07:05)

The first version appears on the EP and the album. The first two remixes are exclusive to the EP. The final remix is available on the 3-CD version of the album, and is not available on the 2-CD version, or on the vinyl versions of the album. Thanks go out to Alan Ivory for bringing this to our attention.

Finally, yesterday, Bono and The Edge were seen joining Martin Garrix for the opening of the UEFA EURO 2020 tournament. The performance featured a virtual singing head of Bono, floating above Martin and The Edge. None of the three performers were in Rome for the performance. The performance was taped in early May in London, and the stage was a virtual creation around the three performers. UEFA has shared the full performance on their YouTube account which can be seen below if you weren’t able to see it when it aired.

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