Wednesday, December 7, 2016

They make children, not like this one.

Until I have the opportunity to digitize more analog curios, I've decided to share this.  Probably a good 25% of you are already familiar with these recordings, be it from decades old tape trades or a host of other blogs that have undoubtedly made this available long before I have.

The whole U2 love 'em or hate 'em argument never held much water for me, as I'd argue there's plenty of middle ground to be had.  Sure, there were some utterly polarizing miscalculations like Zooropa and Pop, but to dismiss everything Bono, The Edge, et al were responsible for out of hand seems a stretch.  As for not-so-early adopters like myself (who came aboard circa Unforgettable Fire) I belatedly encountered the first three albums (Boy, October, War) but was enamored with them as much as anyone could have.  By accident, dumb luck or perhaps intention, U2 arose from seemingly indigenous sonic environs, often imitated, but never duplicated.  So frequently I've heard the "early U2" comparison leveled in music reviews and bios of other emerging outfits, and just as often my expectations are deflated upon hearing the finished product.  In a nutshell, what is it exactly with U2's initial volley or albums and singles (like the fantastic one-off 45, "A Celebration")?

Culled from five recording sessions between 1978-80, this popular bootleg offers prototypes of several tunes that would be revamped for 1980's seminal post-punk foray, Boy, not to mention a handful of songs that would never crossover to vinyl/CD.  The mach-one phase of U2 tenure wasn't the group's pinnacle, but as evidenced by this collection, these Dublin homies were off to an auspicious start.

U2 - Contract demos 1978-80

01. 11 O’Clock Tick Tock
02. Touch
03. Another Day
04. The Dream Is Over
05. Out Of Control
06. Boy-Girl
07. Stories For Boys
08. A Day Without Me
09. The Magic Carpet
10. Twilight
11. Another Time, Another Place
12. Alone In The Light
13. Street Mission
14. Shadows And Tall Trees
15. The Fool

(1-2): April 5 and 6, 1980.  Dublin, Ireland.  Windmill Lane Studio.
(3-4): December 1979.  London, England.  CBS Studios.
(5-8): Mid-1979.  Dublin, Ireland.  Windmill Land Studio.
(9-12): February 1979.  Dublin, Ireland.  Eamon Andrews 4-Track Studio.
(13-15): November 1, 1978.  Dublin, Ireland.  Keystone Studios.


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mercvrial said...

The early-U2 was just magic. It really had no antecedent. And to think they were about 20 years old when Boy was released is kind of shocking. My first exposure to U2 was seeing the "Gloria" video on earliest MTV c. 1982. I was immediately blown away. Like a lot of folks, I lost interest in them over time, but those first few LPs/EPs... just wow. Almost everything Steve Lillywhite touched between 1980 and 1984 was gold.

D said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
D said...

Hello, can I get a re-up to this?
Many thanks