U2 To Release “Three” on Black Friday Record Store Day
Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2019-10-08)
As we told you last month, U2 will release a 12-inch on the Black Friday edition of Record Store Day, being held November 29, 2019. The release was announced today in an announcement of all of the releases for the 2019 event.
For Black Friday 2019, U2 will re-issue their first single, “Three” on 12-inch single. This is the fortieth anniversary of the release of the EP, originally issued on September 26, 1979. On the USA site for Record Store Day, the single release is listed for 7000 copies, however this appears to be an error. The UK site for Record Store Day, U2.Com, ordering information sent to retailers, and the press release sent to media by U2’s press team have all stated that there will be 17,000 copies. This number of 17,000 copies matches the number seen in the image of the sleeve. The singles will be numbered on the front sleeve. At 17,000 copies this will be the second largest pressing for any Record Store Day, with only the black vinyl pressing of “The Blackout” being pressed at higher quantities. (19,250 copies of “The Blackout” were pressed.)
The description for the item is as follows:
Originally released in Ireland in September 1979, the Three EP features three songs recorded at Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin with producer Chas De Whalley – ‘Out Of Control’, ‘Stories For Boys’ and ‘Boy-Girl’. The A-side was chosen via a listener poll on Dave Fanning’s RTÉ (Irish national radio) music show. All songs have been remastered for this numbered, limited edition RSD Black Friday reissue.
“Out of Control”, “Stories for Boys”, “Boy-Girl”
The item is being released with a very different looking sleeve to the original, but does duplicate the look of the original EP on 12-inch, also issued in a numbered sleeve. For more information on the original 1979 release, you can see our recently updated discography entry here.
This follows U2’s previous participation in Record Store Day events releasing the past albums and singles in the past:
- November 26, 2010: Release of the EP “Wide Awake in Europe” [5000 copies, numbered]
- November 29, 2013: Release of the 10-inch single “Ordinary Love” [10000 copies]
- November 28, 2014: Release of a North and South of the River Poster / Map
- April 18, 2015: Release of Songs of Innocence on double 12-inch vinyl [5000 copies, numbered]
- April 22, 2017: Release of “Red Hill Mining Town” as a 12-inch picture disc, also a limited release of a numbered ‘fanzine’ [7000 copies of vinyl, 1000 copies of US fanzine, 500 copies of UK fanzine]
- November 24, 2017: Release of “The Blackout” in 12-inch black and 12-inch coloured vinyl [750 copies limited coloured vinyl, 19250 copies of black vinyl]
- April 21, 2018: Release of “Lights of Home” as a 12-inch picture disc [5000 copies]
- November 23, 2018: Release of “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” as a 12-inch black vinyl [7000 copies]
- April 13, 2019: Release of “The Europa EP” as a 12-inch black vinyl [5000 copies]
Record Store Day is a twice a year event, with the main event held in April of each year, and a smaller secondary event being held in November of each year, to correspond with the USA shopping day known as Black Friday. The event started in 2008 as a way to bring attention to the local independent record store. In 2018 we took a look at some of U2’s releases in more detail in our History Mix column. Adam Clayton in 2010 stated, “We all wanted to get behind Record Store Day. My local record shop introduced me to music I didn’t know and I might never have discovered.”
Below we have a list of some of the common questions we hear with each Record Store Day release.
Can I pre-order / reserve the Record Store Day Release?
Items for Record Store Day are not generally available for pre-order, as the whole point of the day is to get customers into stores. From the recordstoreday.co.uk FAQ: Stores are bound by the Record Store Day code of conduct which prohibits them reserving product for customers or allowing customers to pre order product. Record Store Day is about the occasion and visiting the store is part of the enjoyment so our best advice is get up early and check with stores in advance that they have your product. That being said, some international shops are less strict about the pre-ordering and if you look around you may find some retailers offering this. Have a back up plan ready though, as sometimes these pre-orders do get cancelled closer to the release date.
Can I buy the release online?
Stores are also prohibited from selling online in advance of Record Store Day, in the UK stores are asked not to sell product online for one week after the event has started. But with larger quantity releases this does happen, and many stores do end up listing excess stock that do not sell on the day of release as well.
Why is this release already available on eBay at super high prices?
Shortly after an announcement of anything to do with Record Store Day, listings appear on eBay for high prices, sometimes into the triple digits. Due to the limited nature of these releases, some users of eBay will assume they will get a copy of the vinyl on Record Store Day and list the vinyl in advance in order to get high prices. This is one of the downsides of Record Store Day. These people do not actually have the product to sell in most cases, nor will they be shipping it out before Record Store Day. And in some cases, come the actual day, they will not get their ‘allotment’ and will end up cancelling auctions.
We suggest not getting worried and buying one of these advanced auctions. If you do have to buy on eBay the prices usually come down right after the event happens.
The Record Store Day site lists: “When you see a title listed on an auction site before RSD, it’s almost CERTAINLY someone who has listed something they do not have in hand, and can’t guarantee they will have in hand, because they’re going out to a store to try and get it on 4/22 like everyone else. They call it a “pre-order” but since they’re not getting distributed to, it’s not a pre-order. It’s more like a scam, really. We work very hard to investigate the listings and in the tiny percentage of the time over the past ten years that it has been a store behind it, there have been serious implications for that store.”
Will this item really be worth more than $100?
People have set high prices on eBay now, but its rare that these stay that high. “Wide Awake in Europe” which was released in 2010 in the same quantities as this “Lights of Home” release, and also had a track that was not available anywhere else, can still be purchased for under $100USD at auction. In the past few months these have sold at auction for $75 – $120. The more recent release of “Songs of Innocence” which was released at 5000 copies as well can still be purchased at auction in the $40-$60 range. More recent releases such as “Red Hill Mining Town” and “The Blackout” both released in greater quantities than “Lights of Home” can be found on auction sites for under $20, and are still available in store. A numbered item, where an individual number is placed on the item will typically have more value than an item which is not numbered.
These items will sometimes go up in price, but I don’t expect they will reach the high prices set on a couple of early eBay auctions. Those are set high to try to get the most amount of money possible, before the vinyl is released and more widely available.
Will this release be available in my country?
Record Store Day has expanded over the years, and is more than just a USA event where it started. That being said, not every country has a Record Store Day, and even if they do have a record store day, they may not get all of the releases.
What we do know? The record will be available in the United States, and it is listed among the offerings there. The vinyl was also initially listed on the UK Record Store Day site. In Canada, stores have confirmed they are able to order and will be getting copies in. Our suggestion is to keep checking the links above for further information, as well as checking with your local shop about this release. A list of shops participating can be found by country here at the Record Store Day site. Also available at that page is links to individual Record Store Day pages for Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the UK.
Will All Record Shops get this release?
Stores have to order and receive the titles just like any other new release through the year. They are not given to the stores, and the store must order copies of the U2 vinyl or there will be none for sale. What will happen at times, with a limited release, a store may not get all of the copies that they have ordered. Stores got their lists they can order from this week, so now is a good time to reach out to the store you plan to shop at and let them know you would like to have the album ordered. This is a day organized for independent record stores, and if you are hoping to buy the vinyl at a larger international chain, you may want to check first that they are eligible to participate.
When will I know if my store got copies of this in?
Some stores will post lists of the items they have received in advance of Record Store Day. As they can be penalized for taking advance orders, they still will not be able to take orders for individual items at that time. Exact quantities being shipped may be limited, and may not be known until items actually are received at stores, which happens the week of the release. Other stores will not post confirmation, and you will have to wait until the doors open on Record Store Day to find out what is inside.
It’s not fair U2 doesn’t release this in our region!
We know many of you will not get this release in your own country and will have to explore other avenues to find a copy. This was a big concern in earlier years as well. Record Store Day continues to expand throughout the world, and there are more countries participating now than there were the last time U2 released an album in this manner. As we get closer to the release, and stores do start to offer this item online we hope to be able to share those links with you to make it easier for you to find a copy.