Christ, Faith, Love, Hope and a New Album

Its not our idea to suggest that God has a place within any music however U2 music has always had themes that create conversation about the beliefs of the band. One could say U2 has a strong Christian faith and yet Bono and the boys have denounced uniform concepts of church and one faith. During this interview Bono was asked the direct question do you pray and to whom. Bono said yes I pray to Christ to know the will of God during this interview in 2013. 

Challenging times for the boys as they try to complete their 13th album and find away to reach out and touch that magic that is U2.  Faith has always been centered around ideas that man has failures and if he is willing to raise above he too can experience greater joys in life.  Its a simpler process to create music and remove the concepts of faith its harder to instill them and kind a balance.  We all could use a little prayer so add U2 to your list and send some positive vibes their way 

Closer than you think U2's new release ?

This is unconfirmed yet its so possible that we thought we better share the news. Within a forum on U2START.com a user named "u2lemonman" posted the following with images.

Well looking I what I have just received from a friend from London who is well connected, it looks like a release is closer than we think.

I am having trouble uploading the images so I have mailed them to the staff to help me share them with you

What we do know is that this subway photograph was taken in New York City and that the subway stop was close to ELS. We always thought the new project should be called Lucky 13. In the upper right hand corner a reference "u2luckneu01" which we do not have any idea.  Now scroll down to look at the liner notes.  This is the way promotional copies are released to statiions. HOWEVER.  Band never send the full release out on the first go around. Normally its months later.  

Note the release date June 13th 2014, its this is the case its time to start the promotional tracks and interviews and U2 all the time.  So boys is this the real deal ?

 

Four Decades of U2: The Soundtrack of My Life

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Written By: Eric Allen

With so much speculation and innuendo swirling around U2 at the moment regarding the new album, tour, and rumored breakup, now seemed the perfect time to reflect on the band’s body of work and lasting legacy. I’ve read statements made by Bono himself regarding the band’s relevance and if the world needs another U2 album. As a self-professed fanboy of Bono, Edge, Adam, and Larry, I know for certain there is no other rock band more relevant than U2 to myself and millions of others around the globe.

With a musical canon which has inspired millions, I consider U2 to be my generation's Rolling Stones and Beatles. I know that’s a bold statement to make, but I stand by it as no other band has come close to having the impact nor maintaining the longevity as Dublin’s fab four. Now before you begin to throw virtual stones at me, let’s examine U2 from my perspective.

It all started in the early 80s when U2 began to slowly stream into my subconscious with their first music video on MTV, “I Will Follow.” I remember wondering what a U2 was, but the song and passion in Bono’s voice struck a chord within me, forcing me to seek out their music at my local record store. Unfortunately, all I could find was a lone single of that song, but I forced the record store clerk to special order a copy of the Boy album. I’m embarrassed to admit this now, but I never returned to buy that album. In fact, I didn’t buy my first U2 album until 1984, which was The Unforgettable Fire. However, I became a bonafide fan by listening to my college roommate’s vinyl LPs of War, October, and Boy, and by the time “Pride (In the Name of Love)” was released that fall, I had memorized every word, guitar riff, bass line, and drum beat to the band’s first three albums and live EP. I was also up at the crack of dawn, impatiently waiting for my local record shop to open on the day The Unforgettable Fire was released, skipping class to do so. You know the line We learned more from a three-minute record baby, than we ever learned in school” from Springsteen’s “No Surrender?” Well that always justified my priorities on days when a new U2 record was released.

By the time The Joshua Tree was released in the spring of 1987, listening to U2 wasn’t merely a daily ritual, but a way of life. Upon its release, I was working in a record store myself and witnessed the steady growth of anticipation for the band’s fifth full-length release. My co-workers and I had many discussions about how we could feel the excitement building around the forthcoming album, but that didn’t prepare us for the throngs of people who flocked in to buy The Joshua Tree on the first day of its arrival. To this day I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed such an overwhelming reaction. It was literally weeks before supply could keep up with demand. I’d played that album every day for months by the time I saw my first U2 concert in the fall of ‘87. After that show, I’d made a promise to myself that if there was any way possible, I’d see every tour U2 would embark upon, and throughout the years I’ve managed to keep that promise.

After the hoopla of The Joshua Tree finally began to subside, I began anticipating the release of Rattle and Hum. I recall thinking I’d died and gone to heaven when I heard a concert film accompanied by a soundtrack album was in the works. I remember getting goose bumps watching my favorite band on the silver screen during the film’s late night premiere. Although many panned it at the time, I reveled in the magic of reliving my first concert experience of my favorite band while watching the film as well as listening to its companion album.

The three year gap after Rattle and Hum seemed mind-numbingly long as I scoured the musical trade magazines for any scrap of info on the forthcoming album Achtung Baby. Remember, this was still before the days of home computers and Internet access which we now take for granted. But alas, November 1991 saw the release of what was to become my favorite U2 album of all time. U2 had reinvented themselves with Achtung Baby, which more than made up for the lengthy wait. I couldn’t believe my ears upon listening to the album in its entirety for the first time. The compact disc age was well underway by then, which was a good thing because if that CD would’ve had grooves, I’d have surely worn them out. I listened to “Zoo Station” through “Love is Blindness” and back again repeatedly in my music room, my car, and my headphones, all the while hearing some infinitesimal detail I’d missed previously. By the time the Zoo TV Tour kicked-off, I’d sang along to every song on Achtung Baby and could’ve sang them in my sleep. I’d spent the better half of 1992 counting the days until it was my turn to see ZOO TV at the end of that summer. During that show, I reconfirmed my vow to see every U2 tour from there to eternity.

By the end of 1992, rumors had begun swirling around the promise of a new EP, which resulted in the full-length album, Zooropa, during the summer of 1993. I’ll admit I was a bit taken aback upon first listen, but over the years, “Zooropa,” “Lemon,” “Stay (Faraway, So Close!) and “The First Time” have claimed their place on my list of favorite U2 tracks. It’s funny to think back now how some fans declared the album to be the demise of U2’s career. I remember the same consensus reared its ugly head again five years later upon the arrival of Pop.

I recall considerable conjecture leading up to Pop before its release and how the album sounded like the most un-U2 album of the band’s career. While Pop definitely explored new territory, it was far from the musical debacle the press had made it out to be. Again, some of Pop’s tracks rank at the very top of my all-time favorites. Most notably “Mofo,” “Do You Feel Loved,” and “Wake Up Dead Man.” Pop was the ultimate lesson I learned not to believe any hype about an album before listening to it myself. Besides, a new album always brought another tour, and I don’t remember hearing anyone bitching about Pop during the PopMart Tour.

This brings us to a new decade. The new millennium saw the release of U2’s tenth album, All That You Can’t Leave Behind. With radio mainstays “Beautiful Day,” “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of,” and “Walk On,” Bono and company seemed to have left their experimental days behind them. ATYCLB sounds like a collection of superb U2 singles compiled together instead of a thematically cohesive album to me, but I’m not saying that’s a bad thing by any means. I’d hold any song on that album up against 90 percent of what passes for music today.

Four years later brings us to 2004’s How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. I remember seeing the iPod commercial and hearing “Vertigo” for the very first time. My heart palpitated, as I have to admit I was ready for U2 to rock by this time. Packed with such highpoints as “City of Blinding Lights,” “All Because of You,” “Original of the Species,” and the now classic “Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own,” Atomic Bomb more than lived up to its name as it became the soundtrack embedded in my mind for all of 2005 and beyond, which was a good thing considering I’d have to wait more than four years until the next U2 record. Of course, seeing them live for the fifth time during the incredible Vertigo Tour helped to soothe my inner savage beast.

This catches us up to the present with U2’s latest output including the often maligned No Line on the Horizon and the most recent singles “Ordinary Love” and “Invisible.” Yes it’s true NLOTH didn’t include a single that was played to death on the radio, but is that such a bad thing? When I listen to Horizon, I find I’m relieved that “I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” and “Magnificent” still sound as fresh as when I first heard them. NLOTH may not be the band’s career defining album, but that doesn’t diminish the fact that it has epic moments and rightly deserves an important place in the U2 catalog. Not to mention it reared the colossal 360° Tour (my best U2 concert experience to date, which you can read about here). However, my biggest point of contention with Horizon is the band’s last minute decision to delete “Winter” from its track list, as it’s not only one of my favorite U2 tracks, but it would’ve made a hell of an album closer.

As far as the two latest singles, I think “Ordinary Love” is an excellent ballad and “Invisible” more than whets my appetite for U2’s twelfth opus. I learned long ago not to judge any U2 album by the teaser release of a lead-off track. What if I had judged Achtung Baby by “The Fly” or Pop by “Discotheque” alone? I love those songs, but there are far better treasures to be found on either of those albums.

I’m not going to pretend that U2 hasn’t had hits and misses throughout the years, but I don’t judge any band or artist’s legacy on the merit of any one song or album. Besides, U2 has given me more highs than lows over the past four decades while providing the most memorable soundtrack to my life. I, for one, am looking forward to the next chapter with great excitement. U2 may have opened my ears to music, but their music opened my eyes to the world.

Still Haven’t Had What I’m Wishing For

--Rebecca Luttrell Briley

21 March 2014

Lately I’ve been thinking about the things I will miss when I die.  Not just the past or people who have gone on, but what could have been but never was.  I guess I was just reminded when a former classmate died and all my friends reacted with, “So young!  She was just…”—and we all started putting ourselves in her place.  Facing it.

Not that I can’t face it, my own mortality.  That’s the least of it, at least for me. 

I guess what I’m really facing is the reality of what will not come again—or, more accurately, never come at all.   As Emily Dickinson put it:  “That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet.”  Bittersweet, that is.  Time is running but the bright spots on the horizon are receding before us.

 As a self-professed possibilitarian, this is major.

 To be specific.  I was listening to U2 in the car as I often do, singing along on “One” and “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”—all the favorites—and it dawned on me I never was going to become friends with the members of my favorite band.  Hang out with The Edge, talk religion and politics with Bono.  Maybe even sing backup (just messing around, not anything official, of course).   Open and walk through that gate I’ve driven past when visiting Dublin, be invited in to peruse the latest lyrics, cup o’ tea, and all that.  None of that is ever actually going to happen. 

Not that I ever really thought it would—but it might have.  (To be honest, I don’t think I ever even thought about it at all—it was just a feeling of something I would enjoy if the universe ever got around to it.)   Because anything is possible—to a point.  And then, at that certain point, whenever that is, if it hasn’t happened yet, it’s probably not going to happen.  Ever.  That’s what I’m talking about.

 Don’t get me wrong—I know I have done more in my 50 years than most people do in twice that time.  I’ve been around the world.  I’ve lived in 7 countries.   1,500 friends on Facebook, yadda, yadda, yadda.  Crossed most things already off my bucket list.  If it was something I wanted, I didn’t sit around and wait for it to happen—I went after it, took it by the horns, made it give me the time of day.  To a point.  Not everything is available.  There are still some complicated protocols that will not be broken down, no matter how hard one tries. 

 And then, there are the people.  Persuasive as one is, one cannot always make the horse drink, so to speak.  Herd the cats.  Get the brutish beasts to see justice and reason—and mercy.  Put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

 But that’s no matter.  Really, of greater importance to me right now, at the moment, is the U2 thing.  

I’m not a fan-fic wannabe.  Hear me out.  I got over crushes years ago.  Bono and U2 are so much bigger than that, far bey0nd the impact of music or entertainment.  I’m talking about substance.  Depth of lyrics, evidence of lives lived to make a difference in the world, faith tried and tested, but still standing.  Not that the music hasn’t been cutting edge (excuse the pun) or highly entertaining: because whether one has the privilege of a seat—any seat—in the stadium to let the rattle and hum invade one’s very nervous system, making them an integral part of the encounter, or just turning it up to let it rock the car to the envy of all who pass on the highway or glance over approvingly at the stoplight really makes little difference.  Time spent inside the sound—one with the words—is one and the same, wherever.  The unadulterated U2 Experience. 

Hard as it is to comprehend, I know not everybody shares my appreciation.  (I mean, “Let it Go” from Frozen?  A cartoon?  No accounting for anything.)   Multiple visits to Ireland—the Homeland, Herself—have verified the prophet is not necessarily esteemed in his home town.   That Irish disdain for success is no respecter of persons, it seems.   Deep down, though, in the dark of their heart of hearts, I know they’re proud of their Boys.  The Irish are poets and it takes one to know one and they’d be bigger fools than they pretend not to connect with the language of such lines as “Did you come here for forgiveness?/Did you come to raise the dead?/Did you come here to play Jesus/to the lepers in your head?”  That was the first lyric that lassoed me, the wire that tripped me up, made me a believer.   Made me want to get to know the mind behind the line.  The eyes that look out and see the world like that and can articulate the feeling.  The soul brother.

I realize just now I could probably piece together a whole story by picking lines from memorable songs, cliché and annoying as that might be, but to what purpose?  It won’t get me a ticket to the table, it won’t cancel some third world debt or purify water in another polluted part of the planet.  But it will prompt another tune on the playlist, reopen the old wound of wishful thinking.  I can’t live, with or without…


I guess I haven’t quite given up on it after all.  I pick up on my “maybes,” unwilling, even now, to relinquish that most tenuous hold on the most dubious of dreams.  Still.

 I do not think Godot will come tonight—or Bono, Edge, Adam or Larry—but I guess I’ll still leave the window open.  Just a crack.  For the craic.  The neighbors can hum along, if they like.  I’ll even take requests.  Why not?  Somebody should be able to get what they’re looking for.

 

 

 

 

 

Oscar ? Tour ? New Album ? Yes, Maybe, Sure

The Edge /U2 /  @Walker

The Edge /U2 /  @Walker

2014 Academy Awards to perform their Oscar-nominated song “Ordinary Love” from the movie  Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

We all thought by now U2 would have released their next album. We all thought we knew the name of the album fan based sites all claiming the insider scoop on names and dates and yet  March has arrived and what do we have to show for all that noise.

Nothing ! Yup I said it Nothing U2 is not any closer to announcing dates for a massive tour, not any closer to announcing a release date. The fact is that the only news we have is that "Ordinary Love" is set to be performed on Sunday night and that the fact that this very song caused the delay from the release and expected tour.  

Pretty solid chance that U2 takes home an Oscar for best original song “Ordinary Love,” a song written for and featured in the biopic “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.”   Some long term fans hope that latter. They hope the boys do not win the honor. They claim its not deserved and that it (the win) will surly push the band into mediocrity and redundancy.

Jeff writes from the Buffalo News:  “Ordinary Love” is, despite the poignancy of its Mandela-themed lyric, an ordinary song. It sounds like a Coldplay B-side. We, the Academy included, should not offer U2 the impression that this is acceptable. We should and must demand more from them.

As the peak moments from the band’s last studio album, “No Line On the Horizon,” made abundantly clear, U2 has not run out of creative steam. Rather, the band’s apparent desire for worldwide mega-stardom is stripping the U2 sound of its full potential. For the first time in its career, U2 seems desperate, as if purposely chasing a hit.

Bono / U2 / U2TOURFANS

Bono / U2 / U2TOURFANS

Lets face it NOL was not a massive hit as hoped yet the music did grow upon those fans that allowed U2 to change course head towards a new direction to find some hidden golden that they had lost within the yester years of U2 hits. Under the covers the band has a sense that the writing is on the wall.

To be able to create music today that is meaningful to a whole new generation of fans may mean that you have to create a sound that is fresh beyond what has already been discovered.  Could this be the reason that Burton ( Danger Mouse) was called upon to help find that new sound?  Why bring in members of Coldplay ?

Could they be the answer to that new sound?  U2 has to look within and understand that their music appears to an audience that has growth and longs for yesterday and while it moves towards the future some of the past can be dragged along for good measure. 

U2 machine will start with a fresh new connection to their audience with the hopes of staying current.  Fans just ask that they play their music and be one with their identity.

 

U2 Fans Oscar Chat

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Live Sunday March 2nd  2014  7 PM  EST 

U2TOURFANS will host a live Twitter chat session for fans around the world. U2 fans have been coming together and chatting about their love and dedication to U2.

U2 is expected to perform as well as possibility win an Oscar.  Fans can log on to twitter and begin chatting via the Tweet Chat system or use hash tag  #U2OSCAR and joining in the conversation.  Fans welcome to follow along via facebook http://www.facebook.com/u2tourfans

When its Ready We will Let you Know !

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“The album won’t be ready (until) it’s ready. But right now, people are walking a little differently — well, they’re not walking, they’re running as if to a finish line,”

Bono said. “There’s a couple of songs that are part of the story we haven’t quite finished.

We know we have to spend a couple of years taking these songs around the world, so they’d better be good.”

Dallas Said Apirl 2014

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Last night was amazing to see U2 perform at Fallon's show and to watch the boys with the winter New York skyline in the background was just a breath taking sight that was sure to bring back all of those wonderful memories of U2 yesterday. 

Rumors of U2 fans running into Dallas and gathering intelligence suggesting that U2's lucky 13 will be released in April is nothing more than a rumor at this point.

While we all want U2 release sooner.  Lets face it the band has a marketing machine that kicks into gear just before the release. One could say we are right in the middle of the machine and its wonderful work. So who knows. April could be true. 

 

New Album, New World Tour

"We know we have to spend a couple of years taking these songs around the world, so they'd better be good" - Bono

The machine is in full swing now ! Its clear that U2 will be heading out a world tour to support their up coming studio release. What is not clear when this whole experience will kick off.  One thing we did notice is that their new manager gets the whole new music industry. Technology infused with music.  Ya that sounds strange coming from U2. However look at it from the bigger picture Fan based websites have really connected with the audiences, the introduction of Youtube, Twitter, Tumblr and yes even Facebook have made music more accessible to fans.

However the next step would have to look at how to interconnect the band with the fans without over saturating the band with fans.  Fans are key to any successful band and they are the life blood within today's music environment yet its all about balance and control.  The U2TOURFANS experience was a creative idea early on to bring  the fans closer to the conversation. Connecting the social media platforms to create a open community that can experience the music, videos and create dialog that moves the band front and center in this digital world. 

 

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