"[I]n the early '80s . . . there was this rather ridiculous idea . . . that if it was big, it was bad. Which of course rules out Elvis."
Column: off the record..., vol. 13-598
December 22, 2013
Many U2 fans got a surprise when a second version of "Ordinary Love" produced by Paul Epworth appeared on soundcloud.com. Epworth is a British music producer and musician. He first came to my attention through his remix work under the name "Phones." He has worked with many of my favorites including New Order, Bloc Party and U2.
Wait. U2? Yes, it was Epworth who remixed "City Of Blinding Lights" in 2005 for a limited release promotional 12-inch single. That remix was called the "Phones P.D.A. in N.Y.C. Mix." It is a great mix of the song, one that should see a wider audience; it is rare enough that I struggled to find a link to share with you. Maybe if Epworth is working with the band currently, that mix will show up somewhere again.
One recent piece of news is that "Ordinary Love" has been nominated for a Golden Globe Award.
The nomination for "Ordinary Love" takes the total to seven nominations when solo work is included. U2 have been less lucky with nominations for the Academy Awards, having only been nominated once, in 2002 for "The Hands That Built America" from Gangs of New York. U2 have never won an Oscar. "Ordinary Love" has also been nominated for the Critics' Choice Awards this year.
Hopefully we'll see some performances of "Ordinary Love" at these award shows in the new year.
This is the last OTR before Christmas. Whether you celebrate that holiday or not, I hope this finds you having an enjoyable holiday season. I usually take a break at Christmastime from all the U2 stuff. They have done a few songs that are holiday appropriate, but the band has never released a full Christmas album. Right now in this time between albums, I'd almost welcome a Christmas release. Pick 12 or so songs, record them, release it. Don't over-think it. Just get it out there. Who am I kidding? We would have rumors about it for five years, while they toiled endlessly over it. On second thought, skip the Christmas album, and just stick to the main show.
For those of you who want some Christmastime U2 here are some of my favorites:
That last one is an extended version you may not have heard before. Partway through the song Bono sends out a special Christmas greeting.
For those who like "behind the scenes" looks into U2's recording process, William Orbit posted a piece on Facebook back in late November that you may have missed (I did!)
In it, he talks about how they had to borrow the beginner's electric guitar that Bono gave one of his daughters to record some of the guitar tracks used in the song, because they were recording at Bono's vacation home. It's short, but worth a look if you are on Facebook and interested in these things.
Happy holidays, and best wishes for 2014! (I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that it includes a new U2 album!)
(c) @U2, 2013.