Thursday, April 07, 2011

Hot! Live! Music! (Aborted U2 Album Edition)

So surprise surprise, U2 isn't releasing anything in the next couple of months, which means in all likelihood the band's next album won't be out until 2012 at the absolute earliest, with 2013 as the more realistic option. I swear, if I ever meet Julie Taymor in person, I'm going to straight-up snub her. Like, overtly turn my shoulder and begin speaking loudly to someone else. That'll show her! I may even toss in a 'talk to the hand' gesture.

Since an actual record is apparently off the books, the best we can hope for is an EP of the new songs the band has debuted on tour within the last year. Or, if this EP doesn't happen, then you can just keep this post bookmarked, since here are all the new tunes in all their YouTubed glory. Seven songs...more than enough for a cool EP. Come on, U2! Do it! Do it! Put out new material! It won't kill you.

Return Of The Stingray Guitar
An instrumental that actually opened several concerts on the 360 Tour, I dunno if ROTSG is just an abbreviated part of a longer song, or if this is the whole thing. If it's the whole thing, then fair play, I can see why it wouldn't make an album. This isn't to be confused with the song "Return Of The Sting Guitar," which is about Adam Clayton's quest to return a borrowed bass to the lead singer of the Police. (That joke was terrible.)

North Star
Yeah, I've actually noted this song already in a Hot Live Music post, but you know what, it fits this post's theme. So shut up. If this is put on album, I hope there's a bonus track of Bono and Edge re-enacting the legendary Skinner/Chalmers aurora borealis routine from the Simpsons. I'd pay full album prices to hear that alone.

Every Breaking Wave
This was the reported lead single for the rumoured "Songs Of Ascent" project. I'm not sure if I see EBW as a big lead single type of tune, but still, it's lovely. It'd be a nice departure for U2 to so with a mid-tempo song as a first single after a string of Get On Your Boots/Vertigo/Beautiful Day/Discotheque/Numb/The Fly/Desire. Oh well, I guess the streak stands since we aren't getting a NEW GODDAMN ALBUM...easy, easy, big fella...

U2 wrote this song specifically for the 2010 Glastonbury Festival, which they ended up not attending due to Bono's exploding back. (Or, "spinus erupticus," in medical terms.) But don't fret, U2 are scheduled to make their Glastonbury debut at this year's festival, which should be fucking great. It would hilarious if they omitted this song from their setlist, but still, that's how U2 rolls.

Ah, Mercy. This track has a long and proud history. It was a last-minute cut from How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb since the band felt it they already had one big "U2-sounding" anthem on the record in City Of Blinding Lights. I'd argue that having multiple U2-sounding anthems isn't a bad thing when you're, you know, U2. Anyway, the original version ended up leaking and everyone was pretty much blown away that this gem wasn't considered record-worthy. I dunno what U2 was thinking during those sessions. Stick Levitate, Fast Cars and this in place of Miracle Drug, Man And A Woman and Crumbs From Your Table, and HTDAAB is suddenly a top-tier album. Anyway, the band at least hasn't forgotten about 'Mercy,' and debuted a new version on tour that....well, to be frank, it isn't as good as the original, but still, certainly good enough to merit a proper release. In fact, it actually did get released on U2's Wide Awake In Europe EP, which was a three-song vinyl recording put out last year for Record Store Day. See, come on U2, you've already had one recent EP, do another, fuller one!

Ok, so this one hasn't actually been played live, but it's still a *new* song, sort of. It appeared on the soundtrack of the movie 'Brothers' and was originally going to be on No Line On The Horizon, but was apparently a last-minute cut, over Brian Eno's objections. I'm with Eno --- this song is fantastic. Hell, with a bit of editing, it could've been a great first single. It couldn't possibly have been a worse choice than Get On Your Boots.

Boy Falls From The Sky
And we end things with an actual piece from that accused Spidey musical, performed live I believe just twice by U2 themselves. Not a bad song, though the main guitar riff sounds more than a little like the riff from "Dirty Day." Man, how quality are these IEM recordings? They make a live performance sound studio-ready. If only the technology could be applied to, say, an entire Broadway musical. Then perhaps I wouldn't have to write this post and we'd all HAVE A NEW U2 RECORD IN OUR GRUBBY LITTLE PAWS. Le sigh.

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