U2 YouTube Refresh

Video Listing

In September 2020, U2 announced a refresh of their YouTube channel. Many of the videos present on the channel were lower resolution, and with the popularity of higher definition televisions and devices, these lower quality videos often look poor when displayed. The announcement said that a focus would be put on updating the content with new, higher resolution videos. These are the commercial video clips used to promote the songs on music video programming.

A handful of the videos have been issued at a 4K resolution. These are videos originally filmed on film or a higher quality digital medium, and where access to the original footage is available. Most of the videos have a maximum resolution of 1080p. These are videos that may have been filmed at a lower quality medium such as videocassette, or where higher quality source material is not available. Some of the videos are being upscaled from a lower resolution

Below you will find the list of the refreshed videos to date, as well as the date they’ve been uploaded, and the maximum quality. Those marked with a (+) are a refresh of an older video, instead of a new upload. Doing so maintains the original upload date of the video, comments, and views, but it also means that the video falls further down the overall list of videos as it maintains the original upload date. The links below lead directly to the video on YouTube, to see our documentation of the videos, including director, locations, and more, see the “Videos by Date” or “Videos by Title” on the right.

2020 Videos:

Before the announcement of U2’s YouTube refresh, three full length songs popped up on the account. The first is at low quality, but the other two are high definition videos, matching the quality of many of the other eventual uploads.

2020 After Announcement:

On September 17 it was announced that U2 were refreshing their YouTube channel with a series of new uploads, and refreshed older videos. This included videos at 4K where possible (3840×2160) and at 1080p otherwise (1920×1080). For the remainder of the year, one or two videos were added each week, with many focused around the 40th anniversary of Boy and the 20th anniversary of All That You Can’t Leave Behind.

2021 Videos:

The 2021 videos started with an upload of “New Year’s Day” on New Year’s Day. The other videos to date have appeared in chronological order of release.

With the announcement of “The Virtual Road“ U2 have also added videos for the following:

At the end of The Virtual Road the band returned to uploading refreshed versions of their song videos in chronological order. This started with The Fly:

Record Store Day saw a break in the uploads of older video content to add the video for “Fire” (Live from Top of the Pops, 1981) to promote the 40th anniversary release of the single for Record Store Day. This video was uploaded on June 11, 2021. After that, uploads of new upgraded videos continued:

+ Denotes a new video that replaced an older upload. Thus the original upload date, views, and comments are maintained.

On June 3, 2021, three videos appeared on streaming services such as Tidal. “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses,” “Lemon,” and “Stay (Faraway, So Close)” but both “Lemon” and “Stay” were quickly removed. Both were added back when they appeared on YouTube. But “Wild Horses” didn’t appear until many weeks later on YouTube. In the meantime the video remained available on these other services. (The videos on Tidal and iTunes are SD, not HD as are being uploaded to YouTube.)

On July 28, 2021, two versions of “Miss Sarajevo” were posted. One labeled “Alternate Version” was a replacement of an older version. A second, titled “Documentary Version” was uploaded at low resolution as a new video. This low quality video was later removed, and the “Alternate Version” was changed to read “Documentary Version” at that time. On August 18, 2021, not only “Last Night on Earth” appeared on streaming services and digital storefronts, “Electrical Storm” (Director’s Cut) also appeared on some services, but appears to have been taken down again on most. It has not appeared on YouTube at this time.

Many thanks to cgmorgan1986 for his help with the list above.

Available at 4K

For those who requested a list of just the 4K versions available, the following videos were mastered at 4K, instead of 1080p which is the quality that most of these videos appeared at. These are sorted by the original release date of the song, and not by the date they appeared on YouTube at 4K: