U2’s The Europa EP Update & Fan Club Release & No Line Release Date

Original Story by Aaron Sams and Harry Kantas (2019-01-17)

Earlier this month our sources shared information with us regarding a new release for Record Store Day 2019 which is being called “The Europa EP.” The 12-inch release will be released for Record Store Day on April 13, 2019. That EP will be a live EP with songs from the second leg of the Experience and Innocence tour.

We are pleased to confirm that side A will open with the opening track from the concerts, a musical piece with elements of “Zooropa” and “Love Is All We Have Left” under a speech by Charlie Chaplin, from his movie, The Great Dictator. The 1940 film speech was used over U2’s music to open all of the European concerts on the Experience and Innocence tour which ran between August 31 and November 13, 2018.

The opening track will continue into a live performance of “New Year’s Day” taken from a concert in Dublin in November 2018. That song was the centerpiece in a stage show that often referred to Europe. For the song, the band would play as a giant Europe flag flew behind the stage.

“New Year’s Day” is a song that U2 has finished while playing it live. Before its release in 1983, during the Pre-War Tour, U2 would play a different arrangement of the song, and use the Lech Walesa inspired lyrics. Ever since its release as a single in early 1983, “New Year’s Day” has become one of those epic, anthemic live songs, that you just don’t touch. And aside from minor lyrical additions, the structure of the song has not changed over the years. During The Joshua Tree 2017 Tour however, U2 added back the missing bridge and 3rd verse. For the Experience and Innocence tour last year, they also changed the arrangement of the song, giving us one of the most fresh, powerful versions of “New Year’s Day” in recent years. The sound is treated to a new, (perhaps inherited from “Get Out of Your Own Way” that precedes it in the live set list), distorted shimmer sound, and a subtle backing track, which adds a higher pitch to the overall tone. This is more audible during the keyboard parts. It is almost reminiscent of Kraftwerk. The timing between the rhythm section and the keyboards has also changed. Adam and Larry enter each verse 1-2 bars after Edge’s keyboard riff in this new arrangement. The keyboards have a longer role in general, as they can be heard during the intro, bridge after the guitar solo, and the outro as well. That fact alone immediately brings the Francois Kevorkian US Remix to mind, originally issued on a single in 1983.

The B-Side of the EP may also feature live songs from the Experience and Innocence tour. The EP will be released for Record Store Day in 2019. The official announcement of this EP should take place in late February, 2019. The cover art for this release, and the quantities that are being pressed are not known at this time.

Also coming in the next few months is the newest fan club release from U2.Com. The release, being called “Innocence + Experience Live, 2015 & 2018“ features live tracks which will be spread between two CDs.

What tracks will be included? The original announcement in November mentioned “The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone),” “Every Breaking Wave,” “Song for Someone,” from Songs of Innocence and “The Blackout,” “Get Out of Your Own Way,” and “13 (There is a Light)” from Songs of Experience. A new poll featured at U2.Com since yesterday adds some additional titles, including “The Troubles,” and “Iris (Hold Me Close)” both from Songs of Innocence, and “You’re the Best Thing About Me,” “American Soul,” and “The Little Things that Give You Away” from Songs of Experience. (“Song for Someone” is named again.)

The poll, which can be viewed here, asks you to decide between six song titles, as to which songs you will be able to digitally download first, in advance of the release of the gift. “Ahead of physical dispatch in the Spring, we’re making a track or two available for download… to anyone who’s already subscribed or resubscribed for 2019. First up we thought we’d ask YOU what two downloads we should start with.” This suggests that the six songs will be featured on the gift, and that two downloads will be coming sometime after the poll closes at the end of the month.

The question has caused some discussion online, as “The Little Things That Give You Away” has not been performed in 2015 or 2018, the two years that are specifically mentioned as part of the description of the CD. The song debuted on May 12, 2017 at the opening of The Joshua Tree Tour 2017, and was played a total of 14 times on that tour, last being performed on July 25, 2017 in Paris. Along the way, U2 also performed the song on Jimmy Kimmel Live in May 2017. The song has not been performed live since the release of the studio version of the song on Songs of Experience. Two alternate versions of the song have been shared as streaming tracks, with a version recorded at Neptune Valley studios streaming on Spotify, and a version from the May 14, 2017 concert in Seattle streaming on U2.Com.

What is the song doing here among the choices of songs from 2015 and 2018? Only time will tell, but perhaps the release will contain live versions of songs from Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, and it is being included here to round out the second CD. To date no mention has been made of songs from anything but those two albums being part of this compilation. There are certainly enough tracks to do something like that. For Songs of Innocence they played all of the album tracks with the exception of “Sleep Like a Baby Tonight” and “This is Where You Can Reach Me Now.” Including bonus tracks “Invisible,” “The Crystal Ballroom,” and “Lucifer’s Hands” would be twelve tracks. From Songs of Experience, they played all the tracks except “The Showman.” Inclusion of bonus track “Ordinary Love” would be an additional thirteen tracks.

The original announcement certainly did not make it sound like any songs from 2017 would be included. The title being used so far references 2015 and 2018, and the announcement mentions this as a document of the “i+e Tour and the e+i Tour” as well as mentioning it documents the tours of 2015 and 2018. But “The Little Things That Give You Away” is one of your choices in the poll, and so far it appears to be the clear favourite to win the poll after several hours of voting.

You can pick what tracks you would like to download first at U2.Com until the end of the month. Downloads are said to start “from January” and shipping of the physical CDs was announced to begin in Spring 2019.

Back on December 12 we told you that “No Line on the Horizon“ would be reissued for the 10th anniversary of that album. On January 8, 2019, the release was officially announced, and we were told that there would be two versions, one on black vinyl and one on clear vinyl, with both being released on February 23, 2019.

It looks like those dates may shift however, as some online retailers have been changing their release information.

Universal in Canada is now listing the clear vinyl on February 15, 2019, and the black vinyl on the original date, originally when announced both were listed for the same day. That is the only store we’ve seen that has moved the date ahead, however. In the UK on Universal, the clear vinyl is now being listed with a March 29, 2019 release date, while the black vinyl maintains the original date. Other stores have started to show these alternate dates. In Italy, Amazon shows March 29 for the clear vinyl. Amazon in France and the UK still show the original February 22, 2019 date for the clear vinyl. In Germany, Amazon shows March 29 for the black vinyl, while Amazon in France, Italy, and the USA still show the original date for this release on black vinyl. U2.Com continues to list the February 22, 2019 date as well.

Based on past history and what we are seeing, we expect that one, or perhaps both editions of No Line on the Horizon may end up delayed in some regions. We will attempt to confirm release dates further and will continue to update the discography entry for No Line on the Horizon if new information is found.

Note: Article was updated on February 12, 2019 with regards to the B-Side.

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