Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy #52 birthday Hitman!

U2.COM : 'Magic And Loss'

U2 have paid tribute to the great Lou Reed, who died, aged 71, earlier this week. The singer, guitarist and co-founder of The Velvet Underground was a hugely significant figure in the development of rock music, not least for U2 who've often talked of how they were influenced by his songwriting. 

In 'U2 By U2' Larry recalled how the band used to cover Sweet Jane at some of their first gigs and Bono has described the influence on him, as a young teenager, of the Velvet's 1972 album Transformer. Lou Reed himself first became aware of that influence through Live Aid in 1985, when the band's extended version of Bad included snatches of Satellite of Love and Walk on the Wild Side. 

It was not long after, in 1986, that the band got to know Lou Reed when they performed together on Amnesty International's Conspiracy of Hope tour, travelling with artists like Peter Gabriel, The Neville Brothers and Joan Baez. Bono remembers how Lou would 'talk guitar sounds with Edge, motorcycle sounds with Larry and James Joyce with me.' 

It was a friendship that was to endure. A few years later, on the ZOO TV Tour in 1992, Lou joined U2 on stage at Giants Stadium to duet on Satellite of Love (see above). 

The song went on to find a unique place on the tour, Bono duetting each night with a pre-recorded image of Lou Reed on video. 

When One was first released in 1992, it was coupled with Satellite Of Love and a year later, when The Velvet Undergound reformed, they joined the band on ZOO TV for several dates. As Bono recalls, 'U2 were beyond ourselves with delight when The Velvet Underground reformed to play some select dates in the early 90's, including some with us. Pale Blue Eyes is perfection in pop.' 

'Transformation is at the heart of Lou Reed’s best work,' he adds. 'People’s ability or inability to transform. We know that turning pain into beauty is the mark of a great artist and we understand defiance is at the heart of romance, but we're mystified by how Lou Reed’s songs are so airborne. Helium filled metal balloons, never weighed down by their subject matter, humour always around the corner from vitriol. Magic and Loss indeed.' 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

U2.COM : Ordinary Love On Vinyl

Ordinary Love, a new song written for the upcoming movie Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, will be released in a 10-inch vinyl pressing to mark Record Store Day on November 29th.

The sleeve artwork features a striking painting of Nelson Mandela by Irish artist and illustrator Oliver Jeffers. Oliver has also directed a lyric video for Ordinary Love which we'll carry on during November.

The band wrote the new song at the invitation of movie producer Harvey Weinstein  and the b-side of the Record Store Day release will feature a second track, Breathe, another song with a Mandela connection.

We'll have copies of the vinyl release up for grabs in a competition next month.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

New U2 song ‘Ordinary Love’ part of Mandela biopic

U2 have unveiled their first song for at least three years as part of the trailer for the forthcoming Mandela biopic A Long Walk To Freedom.
An excerpt from the song indicates Ordinary Love is a mid-tempo piano-driven ballad. It features the lyrics: “We can’t fall any further and/We can’t feel ordinary love/ We can’t reach any higher/ We can’t deal with ordinary love.”
The song was specially written for the movie, so it is unclear whether or not it will appear on the new U2 album.
A Long Walk To Freedom producer Harvey Weinstein said the band were asked to contribute a song to the film. “It was the fastest ‘yes’ I have ever received. The band saw various cuts of the film over the summer and worked diligently to write a song that truly reflects Nelson Mandela. I think they did a brilliant job, honouring the man and the leader they have known for over 20 years,” he said.
The film stars Idris Elba as Mandela and Naomie Harris as Winnie Mandela, and is based on the former South African president’s bestselling autobiography about his time in Robben Island as a political prisoner.
The film had its world premiere earlier this year at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.
Ordinary Love will be unveiled in full on the website on October 30th, and also on YouTube.
The band are currently recording their follow-up to No Line On the Horizon, which was released to mixed reviews in 2009.
No release date has been set for the new record but it will not before Christmas.
A Long Walk to Freedom will go on general release on November 29th.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

'We're going back to roots for new album'

U2's Bono doesn't feel the pressure of the upcoming release but just wants to please the fans, says Niamh Horan

BONO has spoken about the sound and inspiration behind U2's highly anticipated album for the first time.

As die-hard fans all over the world flood online forums to predict what the new sound will be like, the singer has decided to reveal the inspiration the band has been tapping into.
And it all goes back to the beginning.
"At the start of making this album we listened to the music that made us want to form a band in the first place," he told the Sunday Independent.
"We visited everything from punk rock, The RamonesTalking Heads, right through to electronic stuff, so it's all the stuff that made us want to be in a band.
"And the sound of the new album? Well we kind of put it in a blender. When we make an album, usually it still ends up sounding like us, which I guess is a good or a bad thing depending on where you stand," he joked.
"But with this one, this is not a version of us you have ever heard before, that's for sure."
The singer and global aid activist said the maxim that is driving the band to work so hard on the record is the feeling that: "We don't want to let the people down who have given us this life."
So does the band feel pressure from the anticipation that has built over the four years since the last album release?
"No," is his quick reply.
"I don't feel the pressure. The only pressure to make music now is for ourselves in a sense that we don't want to let down the people who have given us this life. It's not really about how many songs we put out, it is all about how great they are."
The band has been hard at work in recent months on their first album since 2009's No Line on the Horizon, scheduled to be released early next year.
The album will consist of 12 songs and will be finished by the end of November.
U2 have been in New York, working with top US producer Danger Mouse on the new album at Electric Lady Studios.
Bono was speaking at The Picture Room on Dublin's Wellington Quay at the launch of his niece Leah Hewson's exhibition 'Cusp'.
Remarking on the unsettling paintings his niece produced, he joked: "I don't know what they had in the water in Rathfarnham where she was growing up. I guess nowhere is as familiar and nowhere is as strange as the suburbs. That's what she seems to be stumbling on and, to quote John Cleese, "families and how to survive them".

Saturday, October 19, 2013

U2.COM : 'Ordinary Love'

The band have written a new song, 'Ordinary Love', for the upcoming biopic Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, which stars Idris Elba and Naomie Harris.

As a subscriber you're first in the world to hear a clip of the new song - in this movie trailer which is released later today. 

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, in theatres from November 29th, is based on South African President Nelson Mandela's autobiography. It chronicles his early life, education and 27 years in prison before becoming President and working to rebuild the country's once segregated society.

The band's friendship with Nelson Mandela goes way back and it was after seeing early cuts of the film that they were inspired to write a song.

'We are delighted to have U2 write an original song for Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom,' said producer Anant Singh, widely acknowledged as South Africa's preeminent film producer. 'This is really fitting as U2 has always been a staunch supporter of Madiba. As a board member of Madiba's 46664 anti AIDS initiative together with U2, I was fortunate to be with them when we visited Robben Island together, accompanied by Madiba.'

Singh, who has produced some of the most notable films made in South Africa, was personally awarded the film rights to Long Walk To Freedom by Nelson Mandela.
Harvey Weinstein, Co-Chair of producers TWC, added, 'Over the years U2 and I have had a superb relationship including partnering on the Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe winning song 'The Hands That Built America' for Martin Scorsese'sGangs of New York. When I asked them to consider writing a song for Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, it was the fastest 'yes' I have ever received. The band saw various cuts of the film over the summer and worked diligently to write a song that truly reflects Nelson Mandela.  I think they did a brilliant job honoring the man and the leader they have known for over 20 years.'

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Bono, U2 Write and Record New Song for “Mandela” Movie!

Bono and group U2 have written and recorded a new song for the Weinstein Company’s “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” movie. “Ordinary Love” will debut in a new trailer for “Mandela” this evening on Yahoo and various media. The trailer will also run before showings of “12 Years A Slave,” which debuts tomorrow around the country from Fox. Mandela, of course, was 27 years a prisoner.
Bono and U2 have long been supporters and friends of Mandela. This also gives the movie a potential Best Song nomination. It’s not the first time Bono has teamed up with Harvey Weinstein. He recorded the title track for “Gangs of New York” a few years ago. U2 received an Oscar nomination in 2001 for “The Hands That Built America.”
“Mandela” is directed by Justin Chadwick, and stars Idris Elba and Noemie Harris in Oscar-buzzed performances. The movie won cheers at the Toronto Film Festival and is scheduled for a holiday launch.