Thursday, April 16, 2009

Four Rarities from U2

U2 was my favorite band growing up. When I was a teenager I was obsessed with Achtung Baby, Zooropa, and the ZooTV Tour. It still bothers me when I see Pop get slagged every time a new U2 cd comes out.

I've gotten into all kinds of other music over the years but I still always get a little too much into U2 when a new record comes out. Just like any good geek superfan, I enjoy a lot of songs that aren't on the main albums. So I'd like to share four of the best of those from this decade with you now.

First is a leftover track from the How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb sesssions called "Mercy." I thought this was a sure bet to make it in some form onto the new record, but listening to it now it doesn't seem to fit. Still, it is a great track that will hopefully be released someday, but deserves to be heard by all the fans now.

Here is a good fan made video and then an mp3 of "Mercy."

U2 - "Mercy"

Another lost classic is an earlier, better version of the song "Vertigo" called "Native Son." The lyrics are inspired by the story of Native American activist Leonard Pelltier (google and read up on his story if you've never heard of him). The song was released as part of the ITunes exclusive U2 box set (then subsequently bootlegged all over the net, of course). "Native Son" makes "Vertigo" sound like a bunch of cool sounding nonsense and breathes new life into a tune that became omnipresently annoying seeing that Itunes commercial a few bazillion times.

Another fan made video and an mp3 of "Native Son."

U2 - "Native Son" (early version of "Vertigo")

One more bitch about How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. The record had the perfect album closer in the song "Fast Cars," but for some reason, it was cut from the final tracklist and then it only appeared as a international bonus track. Why should the rest of the world get to have all the fun? If you haven't done so already, I believe it is your patriotic duty to download this song and put it back in its rightful place in your Itunes library at the end of that record.

This is a fun live performance of "Fast Cars" to close a show in Boston on December 5, 2005, followed by an mp3 of the studio track.

U2 - "Fast Cars"

This last one is one of my favorite live performances from U2. At a Verigo Tour stop in Milan, they dedicated the song "Ms. Sarajevo" to the victims of the London train bombings that morning. What makes this stand out is Bono's singing of the opera part that Luciano Pavarotti sang in the original recording on the Passengers album.

This is from the Live in Milan dvd and the cd U2.Communication, a 2005 compilation that was a gift for members of

U2 - Ms. Sarajevo (Live in Milan)

In case you were wondering, here are the translated lyrics to the Italian opera part in "Ms. Sarajevo"

You say that the river
finds the way to the sea
and like the river
you will come to me
beyond the borders
and the dry lands
You say that like a river
like a river...
the love will come
the love...
And i don't know how to pray anymore
and in love i don't know how to hope anymore
and for that love i don't know how to wait anymore


Thanks for checking this out. Look for some more rare U2 stuff here some time soon.

P.S. If anyone out there has an mp3 of U2's first live performance of the song "North and South of the River," let me know and help me out if you can. Thanks.

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