Saturday, August 11, 2012

Isles of Wonder CD Release

 Here are some scans from the CD release of Isles of Wonder: Music for the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. The High Contrast Remix of Streets was used during the broadcast of the ceremony.



Friday, June 8, 2012

U22 Final Track List

U22 has been showing up in various places today. Here's the full track listing with locations.

 1. EVEN BETTER THAN THE REAL THING Recorded at Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, 15th May 2011
 2. THE FLY Recorded at Spartan Stadium, East Lancing 26 June 2011
 3. MYSTERIOUS WAYS Recorded at Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town 18 February, 2011
 4. MAGNIFICENT Recorded at Stadion Letzigrund, Zurich, 11 September 2010
 5. UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD Recorded at Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, 14 May 2011
 6. I STILL HAVEN'T FOUND WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR Recorded at FNB Stadium, Johannesburg, 13 February 2011
 7. STAY (FARAWAY, SO CLOSE!) Recorded at Soldier Field, Chicago, 5 July 2011
 8. ONE TREE HILL Recorded at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, 26 November 2010
 9. BEAUTIFUL DAY Recorded at Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb, 10 August 2009
 10. ELEVATION Veltins-Arena, Gelsenkirchen, 3 August 2009
 11. BAD Stadio Olimpico, Rome, 8 Ooctober 2010 DISC TWO
 12. ALL I WANT IS YOU/LOVE RESCUE ME Anz Stadium, Sydney, 14 Dec. 2010
 13. THE UNFORGETTABLE FIRE Ullevi Stadion, Gothenburg, 31 July 2009
 14. ZOOROPA M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, 22 June 2011
 15. CITY OF BLINDING LIGHTS Parc Des Sports Charles-Ehrmann, Nice, 15 July 2009
 16. MLK/WALK ON Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb, 9 Aug. 2009
 17. ONE Hampden Park, Glasgow, 18 Aug. 2009
 18. WHERE THE STREETS HAVE NO NAME Stadion Slaski, Chorzow, 6 Aug. 2009
 19. ULTRA VIOLET (LIGHT MY WAY) Estadio Cidade De Coimbra, Coimbra, 3 Oct. 2010
 20. WITH OR WITHOUT YOU Wembley Stadium, London, 14 Aug. 2009
 21. MOMENT OF SURRENDER Subiaco Oval, Perth, 18th Dec. 2010
 22. OUT OF CONTROL Hippodrome De Montreal, Montreal, 9 July 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Updates

"The Best of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum Live" 3-CD set features U2's performances of "Pride" and "I Still Haven't Found" from the 2005 induction ceremony, not the version of "I Still Haven't Found" performed in 2009 as we previously reported.

That 3-CD set also features "Let it Be" performed by Paul McCartney, and the Rock Hall Jam Band, which featured Bono on stage in 1999 amongst a crowd of dozens. Any video clips I've seen has him far away from a mic, but he was part of the performance. Also featured is the Who and the Rock Hall Jam Band, from 1990, which was the year Bono inducted them into the Rock Hall. Based on footage I've seen from that night Bono was not part of this performance.

In further news, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame released a 10 "disc" set on iTunes called "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Live" which features performances from the various Induction ceremonies from 1986-2009.

Lots of U2 content here on Volume 2. It starts with The Edge performing with the Rock Hall Jam Band in 1992 on "All Along the Watchtower" and "Shout". He also played with Johnny Cash on "Big River" that year. He may also have contributed to "Soul Man" but I was unable to verify footage of that performance, as I was able to with "Watchtower" and "Shout". Volume 2 finishes with Bono's 1994 performance of "One Love" with Ziggy Marley.

Volume 5 features the above mentioned version of "Let it Be" where Bono was a background participant on stage. I have confirmed Bono was not part of the show for McCartney's 2nd performance on that disc, "Blue Suede Shoes". I could not find video of the third song McCartney did with the Rock Hall Jam Band, "What'd I Say". But I expect Bono was only a participant on "Let it Be".

Volume 8 has U2's induction performance from 2005. Two songs were released on the 3-CD set mentioned above, but this digital "disc" has the other two songs as well, "Vertigo" and "Until the End of the World".

Lots of U2 content there on that set. If anyone can help confirm whether U2 performed on other tracks on this set, it would be greatly appreciated. Big thanks to Ian for the tip about this release of digital tracks.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hi-res Achtung Baby and Best of Rock Hall CD

Just a couple of quick release updates. is now offering Achtung Baby in high-resolution 24-bit FLAC, in both the standard and deluxe formats. As far as I know, this is the first U2 release ever in a high-resolution audio format.

Another release that slipped under the radar this week, The Best Of Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame + Museum Live is now out on CD. This is an expanded (3-CD) version of the album released on iTunes back in March. U2's 2005 Rock Hall performance of Pride is included, as well as their 2009 collaboration with Bruce Springsteen on I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For. This is the first time this particular version of Pride has been available on CD.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Baby

I haven't listened to Achtung Baby from beginning to end in quite a few years. As it's 20th anniversary approaches and the Uber/Super/Deluxe box sets are starting to arrive, it was high time for me to give it another listen. So today, I loaded up the new "tweaked and polished" version on my iPod and took it out for a run, literally.

My formative years, musically, were primarily occupied by my father's oldies and country records and my mother's old Beatles and Beach Boys albums. My cousins introduced me to Van Halen and Michael Jackson, and by my early adolescence I was consuming a steady diet of 80's new wave 45's. To say that The Joshua Tree, which was released when I was an impressionable 15, was the greatest album I had ever heard is an understatement. For the next several years (and still, to a degree) I held such reverence for that album that I could never listen to it casually. It was only meant for serious listening sessions when I was in the proper frame of mind to really appreciate it.

I enjoyed (and defended) Rattle and Hum, but I never held it in the high regard that I did The Joshua Tree. As the release of Achtung Baby approached, I was wishing with every fiber of my being for The Joshua Tree Part II. I recognized, primarily because of U2's cover of Night and Day, that they were experimenting with new sounds, and The Fly single drove that point home, but I remained steadfastly confident that the boys would not disappoint, and I would soon be listening to the natural evolution of Streets.

Achtung Baby was released my second semester of college. I bought it at a midnight sale and carried it back to my dorm room. I put the CD in and… Zoo Station was a slap in the face. And as I went through the album track by track, I realized what Bono so eloquently stated years later, "There are no reverse gears on this tank." This wasn't The Joshua Tree Part II, and there was never going to be one. Don't get me wrong, I was excited by the new sound and delighted that my favorite band was exploring new sonic territory, but was this record up to the standard of my favorite album of all time? At that point, I simply wasn't prepared to admit that an album I had put on a pedestal could be surpassed by irony and distortion. And that is essentially the position I have held in all the years since. Achtung Baby is a fabulous album and one of the greatest second acts in the history of music, but The Joshua Tree is and always will be U2's true masterpiece.

Until today. Today I listened to Achtung Baby with new ears, and I don't believe it was the it's-not-remastered-but-it's-tweaked sheen they put on the CD. I really and truly heard it again for the first time, and I was amazed by what I heard. Here is one of the greatest bands in rock history at the peak of their creative and experimental careers, and this is their magnum opus. Irony be damned, this is a rock and roll band in full flight, and this is the greatest record they have ever made. I haven't listened to the whole deluxe set yet, but I have heard some of the outtakes and the "baby" versions. U2 clearly made the right choices with which tracks to include on the album and which direction to take them musically. The alternative versions are nice to have in my library, but Achtung Baby is just perfect the way it is.

Then again, I did cover seven hilly miles today in under an hour, so maybe it's just the endorphins talking.

Monday, October 24, 2011

U22 Tracklist Details

As you have probably already read, the final tracklist for this year's subscriber gift will be decided by the votes of paid members. Titled U22, this will be a two CD set containing 22 live tracks, picked from 46 possible tracks from the U2360° tour. Current and renewing members have until December 2 to vote for their favorites. Members can preview the possible tracks and vote here, and here are further details on the shows the tracks are taken from.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I Will Follow from Glastonbury on iTunes

U2 have posted I Will Follow from last night's Glastonbury performance on iTunes. 100% of the proceeds from the track are being donated to Glasto's three official charities: Oxfam, WaterAid, and the Greenpeace Environmental Trust. It will be available for 30 days only. The track is supposed to be available on the UK, Irish, US, Canadian, and Mexican iTunes Stores. (Confirmed in the UK and US stores so far.)