The History Mix: Record Store Day 2018

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-11-24)

Record Store Day is an annual event that started in 2007. The initial event was held in late April on a Saturday each year. It was organized to bring together fans, artists, and the independent record stores around the world. Usually there are a number of exclusive records done specifically for the Record Store Day event.

A second day of the year is now host to a Record Store Day event, on Black Friday, the day after American Thanksgiving, a smaller version of Record Store Day is held. U2’s first participation in Record Store Day events was the 2010 Black Friday Event. To date, they have released items at eight of these events, sometimes making multiple items available. U2 has also released an item at each of the last four events held.

We’re just taking a few minutes to look back at a few of these items all in one spot. How many of these do you own? Which one is your favorite?

Nov. 26, 2010: Black Friday Event: “Wide Awake in Europe”

  • 12-Inch EP containing three tracks on black vinyl.
  • Individually numbered
  • 5,000 copies (Some copies numbered higher due to damaged sleeves)
  • No download card, no digital release, streamed for U2.Com subscribers.
  • Distributed in USA, Canada, limited numbers at Tower Records in Dublin, and 20 copies on U2.Com
  • Discography Entry

U2’s first release for any Record Store Day event was this three track EP, featuring three live songs recorded in Europe. It’s the first place U2 released their song “Mercy” and to date, the only place where you can find an official release of that song. The vinyl was limited to 5000 copies, however fans found numbers well into the 6000s. The record label confirmed there was a print of additional covers to replace damaged covers.

Nov. 29, 2013: Black Friday Event: “Ordinary Love”

  • 10-Inch single containing two tracks on black vinyl
  • Not numbered
  • 10,000 copies
  • Included a download card
  • 6500 copies available in North America, and 3500 copies sold outside of North America.
  • Discography Entry

Although “Wide Awake in Europe” had some limited release in Europe, this version of “Ordinary Love” was the first one widely released in Europe. The European release was done on December 2, a few days after the Black Friday event in the USA.

This is the only Record Store Day release from U2 that featured a download card, which allowed purchasers to also download a digital copy of the tracks. The single featured two tracks, “Ordinary Love” and “Breathe” (Mandela Version), a very different version of “Breathe” from the version found on the album.

Nov. 28, 2014: Black Friday Event: North and South of the River Poster

  • Paper map of “U2’s Dublin”
  • Not numbered
  • Unknown number of copies

A replica of the map that had been included in the fan club gift, North Side Story. It is slightly different however, in the fan club released map the black bar under the title lists “DRAWN FROM MEMORY” but in the map for Record Store Day it says “SON GS OF INNOCENCE” instead. Also at the bottom of the title on the fan club issued release is a note that the map is not to scale and that it is not accurate. On the release for Record Store Day this is replaced with the logo for the Record Store Day website. Other than these small differences the maps are identical.

Apr. 18, 2015: Record Store Day: “Songs of Innocence” Black Vinyl

  • 12-Inch double album on black vinyl
  • Individually numbered
  • 5,000 copies
  • No download card
  • Available worldwide where Record Store Day is celebrated.

This set featured the album Songs of Innocence released on black vinyl. The widely available commercial version of the album had been pressed on white vinyl instead. The sleeve here is done to resemble the digital release of the album through iTunes. Also different about this release? It included the bonus tracks, and acoustic sessions on the second vinyl which had not appeared on vinyl previously.

A number of issues with this set was reported. A number were packaged so that an internal image was visible instead of the label of the vinyl. Three copies were sold with a Tool EP inside, instead of the U2 album.

Apr. 22, 2017: Record Store Day: “Red Hill Mining Town” Picture Vinyl

  • 12-Inch picture disc including one track
  • Not numbered
  • 7,000 copies
  • No download card, but released digitally on April 21, 2017.
  • Some stores received a limited edition “Joshua Tree Fanzine” limited to 1500 copies (1000 copies of US printed version, and 500 copies of EU printed version)
  • Discography Entry

This 12-inch picture disc was widely available, and was perhaps overshadowed by a limited “Joshua Tree Fanzine” produced by Amp Visual that had been produced in two different versions, a European version and an American version, limited to 500 and 1000 copies respectively.

This vinyl included the new version of “Red Hill Mining Town” on both sides of the vinyl.

Nov. 24, 2017: Black Friday Event: “The Blackout” 12-Inch

  • 12-Inch black or coloured vinyl including two tracks
  • Not numbered
  • 20,000 copies in total.
  • 19,250 copies in black vinyl sold worldwide where Record Store Day celebrated.
  • 750 copies of limited coloured vinyl (black and white) sold at Third Man in Nashville and Detroit, Rough Trade in London (150 copies), and Freebird in Dublin (100 copies)
  • No download card. Not digitally released.
  • Discography Entry

This release was done in conjunction with Third Man Records, and saw a widely available 12-inch in black vinyl being pressed for sale in most locations. Third Man also pressed a very limited, 750 copies only black and white vinyl. These were sold at Freebird Records in Dublin (100 copies), Rough Trade in London (150 copies) and the remaining copies were sold between the two Third Man Records shops in Nashville and Detroit.

Apr. 21, 2018: Record Store Day: “Lights of Home” Picture Vinyl

  • 12-Inch Picture disc with three tracks
  • Not numbered
  • 5,000 copies
  • No download card. Only exclusive track was digitally released on April 27.
  • Discography Entry

U2’s second picture disc in this list, this one features the silhouette of Bono and Edge’s son and daughter, overlaid with a photo of Dublin from space, taken on St. Patrick’s Day 2017. The vinyl included three mixes, two of which had been available on deluxe versions of Songs of Innocence. The only track exclusive to this release didn’t stay exclusive for long. The Beck remix of “Lights of Home” was released worldwide to digital storefronts and streaming services just a week after release.

Nov. 23, 2018: Black Friday Event: “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” 12-Inch

  • 12-Inch black vinyl with two tracks
  • Not numbered
  • 7,000 copies
  • No download card. Not yet digitally released, and no known plans.
  • Discography Entry

The most recent release is this 12-inch single which features the St Francis Hotel remix of “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” featuring vocals by longtime collaborator Gavin Friday, and backing vocals by Regine Chassagne of Arcade Fire. The black vinyl is packaged in a picture sleeve with picture inserts featuring artwork from the Intermission video used on U2’s last tour, which used this song as backing for this animated video. The B-side is the 2018 remaster of the original remix of the song.

The release was made available worldwide, but widely reported delays struck meaning few stores in Canada, Spain, Australia, France and other countries got copies of this release on November 23. We are told more are still being delivered, so the next couple of weeks should see more copies reach fans in some of these regions.

We have included links to our discography entries for the singles mentioned within. Each of those entries includes additional information about the release for Record Store Day, lyrics, credits for the album, and other background information.

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