Friday, September 15

U 2 - Raw & Unpolished

Alt. Versions & Demos
various dates & recording info 
**2 separate recordings; 2 separate downloads**
soundboard recordings (variable quality, mostly Ex-)

SAMPLE: Native Son (the song that became Vertigo)

ROB SEZ: As a music blogger, I knew I had to come clean sooner or later about my long-standing love/hate relationship with this band. Now's a good time because, for my money, the guys have just released one of their best singles in a VERY LONG while: "You're the Best Thing About Me" (The other new song — "The Blackout [live]" — grew on me after a few extra spins). I kept listening to "Best Thing" last week and saying, "Yes! ABOUT TIME!! I knew they had it in 'em." Then I started wondering, "So why did it take the band so long?" My eventual answer: some time after The Joshua Tree, the group started second-guessing its best musical instincts. When the quartet became rock stars, they stopped having to worry about recording budgets & release deadlines — so they took way more time than necessary in the studio. Bono, The Edge & an army of engineers & producers started fussing over the recordings, polishing, tweaking, re-mixing, and re-recording them ad nauseum. Whatever musical spark had been there often got snuffed out — second-guessed out of existence. Counter-example: the band had planned to release a very different version of "Best Thing". But they thought better of it at the 11th hour, recording a rocking band version & getting Steve Lillywhite to mix it in an overnight emergency session, just days before it was released. ...Which brings us to this week's musical curio: a collection of what, to my ears, are some of the band's best musical moments — musical gold that, thankfully, got set aside BEFORE the juicy juice was squeezed out. ENJOY!

01 - Levitate (outtake)
02 - Love You Like Mad (outtake)
03 - Smile (outtake)
04 - Xanax and Wine (became Fast Cars)
05 - All Because of You (alternative version)   
06 - Native Son (became Vertigo)
07 - Yahweh (alternative version)
08 - Acrobat (early version, lyrics unfinished)
Note: these are from the Achtung Baby, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb and All That You Can't Leave Behind recording sessions. Most of these appeared on the Complete U2 set from iTunes (long ago deleted from the catalog) and the fanclub-only release Medium, Rare & Remastered. Track 08 is from the Salome boot, which features the best outtakes from the Achtung Baby sessions in Dublin (not Berlin, as previously thought). All of these are raw, unvarnished, and — best of all — not second-guessed.

There aren't many unofficial comps I want to listen to more than once, but whoever put together the Four Wild Irish Roses, Vol. 1 boot was somebody who's on my wavelength. The rarest tracks here are the alternate studio takes from the War album — all of them well worth a listen. So: here's another helping of what I dearly hope we'll be hearing more of when the new studio album appears in December...

1 comment:

  1. Oh — and they’re sounding pretty darn good live these days also…

    U2 - CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA 2017-05-14 (IEM-aud matrix)

    Second Night Seattle - “Take the F***ing Roof Off!"

    Empress Valley Supreme Disc ‎– EVSD-991/992 (2017 - silver manufacturer)

    Origins: IEM rec. + Audience rec.

    Lineage: Unknown sources (IEM + AUD) > Empress Valley Supreme Disc ‎– EVSD-991/992 (2xCD)

    CD 1
    01. Opening
    02. Sunday Bloody Sunday
    03. New Year's Day
    04. A Sort of Homecoming
    05. Bad
    06. Pride (In the Name of Love)
    07. Where the Streets Have No Name
    08. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
    09. With Or Without You
    10. Bullet the Blue Sky
    11. Running to Stand Still
    12. Red Hill Mining Town

    CD 2
    13. In God's Country
    14. Trip Through Your Wires
    15. One Tree Hill
    16. Exit
    17. Mothers of the Disappeared / El Pueblo Vencera (snippet)
    18. Beautiful Day
    19. Elevation
    20. Ultra Violet (Light My Way)
    21. One
    22. Miss Sarajevo
    23. The Little Things That Give You Away
    24. I Will Follow



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