We are band from the Northside of Dublin

Just 35 years ago “Three” was produced as a limited run of 1,000 number copies.

It of course has been reissued a number of times since, about six more times.

However, it remains the most rarest U2 release ever and was later released on a CD in 2008 as part of the bonus disco with the reissue of Boy.

The track order determined by a listener poll on Fanning’s radio show; Callers chose "Out of Control" to be the A-side of the record, with "Boy/Girl" and "Stories for Boys" as runners-up, constituting the B-side of the record.

Shortly after the boys released the singles "Another Day", "11 O'Clock Tick Tock", and "A Day Without Me" before releasing Boy, in 1980.

U2 performed all songs from Three live regularly in the band's formative years. The earliest known performances of "Out of Control" and "Stories for Boys" took place in August 1979. "Out of Control" was written on lead singer Bono's eighteenth birthday."Boy/Girl" may have also been played at this stage: a song named "In Your Hand" may have been related in some way to "Boy/Girl" but no recordings of it exist.

The first confirmed performance of "Boy/Girl" took place in October 1979. All three songs were regularly performed on the Boy Tour in 1980–1981, although "Boy/Girl" appeared less than the others.

"Stories for Boys," which premiered at an unknown date in August 1979, was used as a concert opener a few times before being moved to late in the main setlist, nearer to "Out of Control", which was typically the last song of the main set. In mid-March 1981, the Three songs were united to close the main set.

"Stories for Boys" was first, followed by "Boy/Girl", which segued into "Out of Control". This trilogy lasted until the end of the tour.

"Boy/Girl" and "Stories for Boys" did not remain in the band's live repertoire long after the end of the Boy Tour. "Boy/Girl" was played three times afterwards, while "Stories For Boys" was initially frequently performed on the October Tour before it was removed from the setlist in late March 1982.

"Out of Control", however, remained in the band's live show for longer, rotating with "Gloria" as the concert opener on the War Tour and the first leg of the Unforgettable Fire Tour.

It then appeared twice late in the Unforgettable Fire Tour before returning sporadically to the setlist on the third leg of the Joshua Tree Tour and three performances on the Lovetown Tour. "Out Of Control" then had an absence from live shows of over eleven years.

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It was played again on 15 May 2001 on the Elevation Tour. After initial infrequent performances proved popular with fans, it became more regular in the setlist as the tour progressed. It was retained on the Vertigo Tour for special occasions; it was played a total of nine times, including instances in Toronto and Los Angeles where U2 performed it with local bands. "Out of Control" made its U2 360° Tour debut in São Paulo.It made 5 other U2 360° appearances.

The song was also the closer to the Glastonbury 2011 set. The Vertigo Tour also saw part of "Stories for Boys" return to the setlist - Bono acknowledged its lyrical relationship with "Vertigo" by snippeting some lyrics from "Stories for Boys" at the end of "Vertigo".

This snippet was a regular feature of shows on the Vertigo Tour's first leg but was done only sporadically on the second leg and never on subsequent legs.

What’s up next for the boys 35 years later? Lucky 13 is on the way and the boys are wrapping up some promotional videos and pretty much putting on the finishing touches to get ready for another massive year ahead.

I want my MTV, I want U2

The musical era of the 1980s Like many other decades, the 1980s was a decade where music was a way to chronicle the times and events of the era. In some ways, the musical genres during the 1980s redefined the way many bands and artists made new music and it still continues to influence music today. Many of the musicians during the 1980s have maintained staying power and are still popular today. Other artists enjoyed a modicum of success during the decade and they are not even widely recognized today, save for the television programs that strive to reunite the bands and give exposure to artists of the time. Following is some descriptions and explanations of the bands and interests that helped to change the face of music in the 80s.

In August 1, 1981, at 12:01 a.m., MTV: Music Television launched with the words “Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll,” spoken by John Lack. Those words were immediately followed by the original MTV theme song, a crunching guitar riff written by Jonathan Elias and John Petersen, playing over a montage of the Apollo 11 moon landing. MTV producers Alan Goodman and Fred Seibert used this public domain footage as a conceit, associating MTV with the most famous moment in world television history.Seibert said they had originally planned to use Neil Armstrong’s “One small step” quote, but lawyers said Armstrong owns his name and likeness, and Armstrong had refused, so the quote was replaced with a beeping sound.

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 The musical era of the 1980s Like many other decades, the 1980s was a decade where music was a way to chronicle the times and events of the era. In some ways, the musical genres during the 1980s redefined the way many bands and artists made new music and it still continues to influence music today. Many of the musicians during the 1980s have maintained staying power and are still popular today. Other artists enjoyed a modicum of success during the decade and they are not even widely recognized today, save for the television programs that strive to reunite the bands and give exposure to artists of the time. Following is some descriptions and explanations of the bands and interests that helped to change the face of music in the 80s.

In August 1, 1981, at 12:01 a.m., MTV: Music Television launched with the words “Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll,” spoken by John Lack. Those words were immediately followed by the original MTV theme song, a crunching guitar riff written by Jonathan Elias and John Petersen, playing over a montage of the Apollo 11 moon landing. MTV producers Alan Goodman and Fred Seibert used this public domain footage as a conceit, associating MTV with the most famous moment in world television history.Seibert said they had originally planned to use Neil Armstrong’s “One small step” quote, but lawyers said Armstrong owns his name and likeness, and Armstrong had refused, so the quote was replaced with a beeping sound.

At the moment of its launch, only a few thousand people on a single cable system in northern New Jersey could see it. I remember when MTV appeared on our channels out on Long Island, I was forever locked into the house at night. I was amazed at the videos and of course Martha - She was the girl next door. So cool, so fresh, so not anything you would expect around rock and roll.  MTV filled the house, we had parties watched MTV all the time little did I know at the time what an impact MTV would have on my life. I ended up working for them for 4 years (Spring Breaks Daytona Beach) TC Top Dogs was the food of choice at the time and of course all the beer I could drink. Ok lets get back to the story maybe another day I will share my MTV Crew stories.

Appropriately, the first music video shown on MTV was “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles. The second video shown was Pat Benatar’s “You Better Run”. Sporadically, the screen would go black when an employee at MTV inserted a tape into a VCR.

As programming chief, Robert W. Pittman recruited and managed a team for the launch that included Tom Freston (who succeeded Pittman as CEO of MTV networks), Fred Seibert, John Sykes, Carolyn Baker (original head of talent and acquisition), Marshall Cohen (original head of research), Gail Sparrow (of talent and acquisition), Sue Steinberg (executive producer), Julian Goldberg, Steve Casey (creator of the name MTV and its first program director), Marcy Brafman, Ronald E. “Buzz” Brindle, and Robert Morton.

A super group by the name of U2 would come to conquer the world with the release of their debut album in the 1980s. U2 hails from Ireland and still enjoys a long and fruitful career. Their debut album, Boy, was released in 1980 with several songs making it on 1980’s greatest hits list. Even more great U2 albums would follow, including War, The Joshua Tree, and Rattle and Hum.

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A super group by the name of U2 would come to conquer the world with the release of their debut album in the 1980s. U2 hails from Ireland and still enjoys a long and fruitful career. Their debut album, Boy, was released in 1980 with several songs making it on 1980’s greatest hits list. Even more great U2 albums would follow, including War, The Joshua Tree, and Rattle and Hum.

The music of the 1980’s would end on quite a different note. The music would change from the electronic sounds of groups who were perfectly groomed artists to the loud, aggressive guitar sound of Grunge Rock which was played by musicians who liked to dress down. In 1989, the album Bleach would launch the career of the popular group called Nirvana. Rock n’ Roll would be dominated by Nirvana and their iconic singer Kurt Cobain over the next few years. Nirvana’s super hit, Smells Like Teen Spirit not only is one of the 80’s greatest hits, but is considered by many to be one of rock n’ rolls greatest hits of all time. The greatest hits from the 80’s are certainly a mixture of different styles with music to please everyone.

They began as Irish teenagers with a punkish bent and Christian beliefs. They became all-out rock stars, using their time at that elusive media-darling podium to raise political awareness, fund charities and satirize the big-money factory that rock and roll can feel like on its worst bad-hair days. And when these guys get an itch to try something new, they don’t stop at a new look or a new record producer—they completely re-concoct themselves—they create a whole new mythology. Sure, they dated some supermodels and yes, they even dabbled with the sex symbol spotlight themselves, but they also kicked off one of their tours at K-Mart. They were friends with the likes of Frank Sinatra and Salman Rushdie, but seemed to pal around with some everyday people too. There were songs about violence in Northern Ireland and the assassination of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., but hilariously memorable arena touring and goofball antics too. This is a band that’s both ultra-serious and ultra-self-deprecating, both intimate and don’t-even-think-about-getting-close. Their tiny little band name, it turns out, fronts a lot of churning personality and ideas that are anything but tiny.

Drummer Larry Mullen, Jr., hung a poster up at his high school that advertised a need for band members. Paul Hewson, David Evans, Adam Clayton and Dick Evans responded, and in Mullen’s kitchen, so it began. They covered Rolling Stones and Beatles songs, calling themselves Feedback (which apparently, they had a lot of), then Hype (which they didn’t have a lot of). When Dick Evans left to form the Virgin Prunes, the remaining four—perhaps wanting something subtler—chose the new name U2.

A buddy started calling Hewson “Bono Vox,” after a hearing aid advertisement. The hearing aid stigma wasn’t the most appealing, but the Latin meaning of the phrase—“good voice”—was, so Hewson stuck with Bono. And Bono, in turn, named David “The Edge,” which also stuck. In 1978, the foursome won both a talent show sponsored by Guinness beer and their very own manager, who helped them release an EP that was available only in Ireland. In 1980, they signed with Island Records and released Boy. They went back to the U.K. to tour (and to make sure their posters read “U2” this time, not “V2”) and crossed the Atlantic to the States.

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A buddy started calling Hewson “Bono Vox,” after a hearing aid advertisement. The hearing aid stigma wasn’t the most appealing, but the Latin meaning of the phrase—“good voice”—was, so Hewson stuck with Bono. And Bono, in turn, named David “The Edge,” which also stuck. In 1978, the foursome won both a talent show sponsored by Guinness beer and their very own manager, who helped them release an EP that was available only in Ireland. In 1980, they signed with Island Records and released Boy. They went back to the U.K. to tour (and to make sure their posters read “U2” this time, not “V2”) and crossed the Atlantic to the States.

Their second album, October, told of their strong Christian faiths, and though the Polish Solidarity movement-inspired “New Year’s Day” was popular, it wasn’t the hit the band was looking for. That came with 1983’s War. “Sunday Bloody Sunday” was about the tumult in Northern Ireland, and Bono was known to wave a white flag in live shows—early political imagery for a soon-to-be political band. They filmed their concert at Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheater, and released the show as an EP called Under a Blood Red Sky.

1984’s Unforgettable Fire gave U2 their first U.S. Top-40 hit with “(Pride) In the Name of Love.” The release of The Joshua Tree in ’87 solidified their rock star status, and from it came the number one hits “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and “With Or Without You.” Firm political stances and themes of spiritual salvation coursed through the record’s veins, but so did a healthy sense of fun. They hung out with the late great Frank Sinatra when their tour passed through Vegas, for instance—the beginning of a ten-year friendship with the permanent Chairman of the Board. The cover of Time magazine followed in its wake (they were only the third bunch of rockers to peer out of that hallowed red frame, by the way… preceded only by The Beatles and The Who). The double record and accompanying concert film Rattle and Hum came soon afterward—a project that clearly spoke to the band’s American blues, soul and country influences

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1984’s Unforgettable Fire gave U2 their first U.S. Top-40 hit with “(Pride) In the Name of Love.” The release of The Joshua Tree in ’87 solidified their rock star status, and from it came the number one hits “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and “With Or Without You.” Firm political stances and themes of spiritual salvation coursed through the record’s veins, but so did a healthy sense of fun. They hung out with the late great Frank Sinatra when their tour passed through Vegas, for instance—the beginning of a ten-year friendship with the permanent Chairman of the Board. The cover of Time magazine followed in its wake (they were only the third bunch of rockers to peer out of that hallowed red frame, by the way… preceded only by The Beatles and The Who). The double record and accompanying concert film Rattle and Hum came soon afterward—a project that clearly spoke to the band’s American blues, soul and country influences

With its dance and electronic bent, 1990’s Achtung Baby was one of the band’s much-chronicled re-inventions. Recorded in Berlin, the album contained the beguiling hits “Mysterious Ways” and “One.” The accompanying tour was called “Zoo TV,” and it unleashed playful mass-media gimmickry on its audiences. Bono sang, dressed, spoke and vamped as “The Fly,” an invented, over-the-top alter ego who was meant to poke fun at the idea of inflated rock stardom.

In the middle of the Zoo TV tour, the band stole away to record Zooropa in 1993, to piqued (but favorable) critical eyebrows in 1993. Yet again, the band’s old sound had molted and something new was in its place. On this stadium tour, Edge got behind the mike with his monotone single “Numb,” and Bono’s “Fly” persona was shed, replaced by the wicked and horned “Mister MacPhisto.” MacPhisto was deemed the “Last Rock Star,” and was known to ring up politicians from a cell phone onstage and harangue his callers, much to the delight of himself and his crowd.

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In the middle of the Zoo TV tour, the band stole away to record Zooropa in 1993, to piqued (but favorable) critical eyebrows in 1993. Yet again, the band’s old sound had molted and something new was in its place. On this stadium tour, Edge got behind the mike with his monotone single “Numb,” and Bono’s “Fly” persona was shed, replaced by the wicked and horned “Mister MacPhisto.” MacPhisto was deemed the “Last Rock Star,” and was known to ring up politicians from a cell phone onstage and harangue his callers, much to the delight of himself and his crowd.

The business of arena rock, however, especially when it’s woven with this kind of satire, tends to tire its rockers out. And so the glittery MacPhisto suit went into storage and took a hiatus. Clayton and Mullen spent time in New York (the former, for a time at least, as the fiancé to supermodel Naomi Campbell) and worked on a theme for the film Mission Impossible. The band recorded “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” for the movie Batman Forever, Bono and Edge penned the theme for the James Bond flick Goldeneye, they collected various awards (one of their many MTV trophies conveniently allowed Bono a shot at criticizing French president Jacques Chirac for allowing nuclear testing) and gave various awards (like a Lifetime Achievement Grammy to Sinatra, in a speech that saw the oft-wisecracking Bono turn downright reverential). The band recorded with artists like Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, Johnny Cash and B.B. King for the collaborative album Original Soundtracks, Volume 1 (a.k.a. the Passengers project).

Their next record, Pop, culled an industrial dance sound from the British club scene and infused it with rock. To kick it off, and to make sure no one thought they were done with the theatrics after Zoo TV, U2 began their “Pop-Mart” tour at a New York City K-Mart. It was the second highest-grossing tour of that year.

When not in the studio or up on stage, the boys focus on family and film projects and a plethora of political, social and environmental causes. Even though the arena extravaganzas have concluded for now, one gets the feeling these guys have new cards up their sleeves. Re-invention does mean new wardrobes, after all, and new wardrobes mean a lot of sleeves, so there’s really no end to the possibilities.



U2: The Journey Toward Ascension

Three Chords and the Truth

By  Nikki Vanasse

Blackstone, MA

 

As I write this, I’m enjoying every second of the entire U2 library.  It was time to take a look back and listen again because these songs, for many people, are worth visiting over and over again throughout time.  The timeline is clear, you get a real feeling for the evolution, and sometimes revolution, of this band.  Don’t misunderstand them.  The biggest secret is really how vulnerable they are, particularly Bono.  And just because they write about struggles doesn’t mean they have all the answers.  The Edge has said that they’re just as confused as any of us.  So essentially we are all on this journey with them.  Bono makes that possible in the way he writes lyrics.  Metaphors abound and songs take on multiple meanings.  That’s on purpose.  Bono picks apart the specifics, throws in metaphor and before you know it, by golly, that song is about YOU!

Post-punk revival + Christian rock = U2.  Although it’s evolved into a more spiritual belief system as opposed to those of an organized Christian religion.  But know this too: there are several Christian beliefs and themes within the process of Spirituality.  The journey toward ascension.  It’s largely based on morals, compassion, charity: the words of the Bible outside any organized influences.  If you’ve read the books on the band then you know how serious and important that was to half them.  

What was discovered however, which resonates significantly with me at the present time, interestingly enough, is that it’s not about the organized religion where you have to go somewhere to be heard by God, it’s about how you connect with everyone in the world, a “oneness”, the God connection.  For Bono, it’s always been about compassion and charity, so we see that result outright these days.  He believes songs are like prayers (Rolling Stone; Issue 986 Nov. 3, 2005).

You could grab a song off each album and it will deliver a spiritual journey to, from, or with God.  After all, it hasn’t all been a bed of roses with the Man Upstairs.  Let’s give it a whirl:

Boy largely the coming-of-age album that dealt more with boy trying to be man, loss of innocence and sex.  And more sex.  They were, after all, 18 years old at this time, so factor that.  There was also a lot of anger present on the record, particularly “The Electric Co.”  Otherwise, I was hard-pressed to really find any Christian overtones yet, as the Shalom Fellowship (a Christian sect in Ireland) wasn’t introduced into their lives until 1980, just after this record.  They were certainly exposed to it, but not in the way they would experience soon.

October - “Gloria” is an outright song of confusion in finding the way in the world.  “I try, I try to stand up/but I can’t find my feet/I try, I try to speak up/but only in you I’m complete”.  That record above all represents not only the moment in time, but also the degree of which God influences the band.  October was really the album with the story.  It wasn’t the hit that Boy was, but contained in it is all the confusion and religion any band could muster up in one release.  

Four naive young men set out on the adventure of a lifetime:  to become the world’s biggest rock band. Suddenly, there IS no band.  Guilt wracked 3/4 of the band who were torn between being true spiritually as well as being true to themselves and musically on their quest towards being the best rock and roll band they could be.  However, they learned that the two could NOT coexist under any circumstances as far as the Shalom Fellowship was concerned.  

Larry states in U2 by U2, that there was tremendous pressure from the Shalom Fellowship to attend all prayer meetings and to give up the band to pursue a more spiritual avenue.  The pressure was great enough that The Edge left the band.  Bono followed because as he stated in U2 by U2, he wasn’t interested in being in the band if Edge wasn’t.

There was enormous negativity coming from the people who were their friends, about being in a rock band.  While Bono and Edge exited the band, Larry gave up the Fellowship.  As this turmoil is going on, so should the work of October.  So the band did break up for about 6 months during those sessions.  

October is a fascinating work in that the band comes together to finish work on their second album.  Adam remarks that he wasn’t too convinced that a New Wave band could get away with all the God lyrics.  The band’s new manager, Paul McGuinness, finally posed the question out loud.  “Was this really what they wanted?”  With some insight from McGuinness, they resolved their issues and pressed forward.  The rest, as they say, is history.

War - By the time War came around, everyone had come to terms with where the energy would be spent and felt that God wasn’t going to condemn them for continuing their life’s work.  In the words of Steve Stockman, a Presbyterian minister in Ireland, “The God that they met and have pilgrimaged with down the amazing road is a God who is bigger then church or religious boundaries.” (Walk On: The Spiritual Journey of U2).  

They had started to dial in at this time.  The album is electrically charged with the politics that hurt them, their families, their people, people all over the world.  These songs became something different for me after 9/11.  After hearing “Sunday, Bloody Sunday” in Boston in Nov. 2001, I finally understood those lyrics like no way I had before.  And these guys lived with this kind of terrorism on a daily basis!  

It hit me like a ton of bricks.  But I digress.  Let’s look at “40”. And maybe you guessed it, yes, the lyrics were restyled from the Bible’s 40th Psalm.  “I waited patiently for the Lord/he inclined and heard my cry/he brought me up out of the pit/out of the mirey clay”.  It’s very calming; spiritual.  It brought the chaos of the album to a close.  It’s no wonder why this song brought the shows to a close for so many years.  That was exactly the idea!

The Unforgettable Fire - This is where the wearing of the feelings on the sleeve becomes less apparent.  Enter Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois.  The spirituality that is born on this album is more reflective of the spirituality or Christianity that the band felt right with.  It dealt with some major spiritual themes: “Desperation, desolation, separation, condemnation, revelation, in temptation, isolation, desolation” (“Bad”), as any individual would face in a lifetime.  

Pick your issue, pick your song…it’s all in here.  Now writing and creating for a larger audience, you’ll fine issues from addiction (“Bad”) to the fight for civil rights, to channeling the spirits of Indian people who were massacred in Toronto (“Indian Summer Sky”).  It strikes a chord of a more metaphysical nature, more universal.  The focus on creating atmosphere a la Eno took the nakedness right out of the experience and made it more like experiencing aura.

Next up: the holy grail of U2, The Joshua Tree

(Editor Note: We will be posting the four parts over the next few day, we invite you to sign up via facebook, twitter or our website to be updated as we post)

The Unforgettable Fire

25th anniversary of their 1984 classic, The Unforgettable Fire, with an expanded reissue. Due out on October 27th via Island/Universal, the release will consist of b-sides, rarities, alternate versions, and previously unreleased songs, including “Disappearing Act” (a.k.a. “White City”), which according to Billboard, was only recently finished.

As for configurations, fans will be able to choose between a 180 gram vinyl album version, a standard re-mastered CD version, a deluxe double version with a 36 page bound book, and a limited edition super deluxe box set, which includes the two disc version, a 56 page bound book, 5 portfolio prints, and a DVD that will feature rare videos, concert footage and a “Making of” documentary of the album.

So for the real U2 fan expect that everything you would expect to be included to be. remember the reissued The Joshua Tree  in 2009 and War, Boy and October (2008)

Remember we had reported sometime back the the boys planned a follow up to No Line on the horizon due out sooner, which we can expect more tour dates. Our sources suggest all the way to the end of 2010. U2 PR train is leaving the station and its a rolling along. Full speed ahead !