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Column: off the record..., vol. 13-591

@U2, November 03, 2013
By: Matt McGee


off the record, from @U2


That's a recent Instagram photo posted by Oliver Jeffers, the man who's credited with doing the cover of U2's upcoming vinyl release for "Ordinary Love." In the comments, he's telling "stigman" that we're not going to hear the song for three more weeks. That doesn't jive at all with the recent Irish Times report that the song would be streamed online starting back on October 30.

Hmmmmm ... right? What's going on? Jeffers may know nothing about the streaming plan and may have just been referring to the fact that the soundtrack album is due to be released on November 25 -- about three weeks away.

Only that's not the case, either, anymore. The page for Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom now says that the album will be released on December 10th. Worse, U2 is no longer listed anywhere on the page as a soundtrack contributor. Say what?

And then you have not even being able to give a specific date for when the song's "lyric video" would be available -- the news item just says it'll be on the site "during November."

Makes you wonder what's going on, doesn't it? Makes you wonder if anyone knows what's going on....

I had a gentle reminder tonight of how U2 fans have come and gone with the band over all these years.

I was at a small church-related get together and the discussion turned a bit to U2 -- specifically to the fact that I've published a book about the band. One of the guys struck up a conversation with me about it.

Him: "So you're a big U2 fan?"

Me: "I am. Pretty much since they started out."

Him: "Yeah, I was a big fan, too. But it's kinda like with Rush. I liked them for a while, but not their recent stuff."

At that point, I assumed he didn't like No Line On The Horizon or maybe hasn't liked them since All That You Can't Leave Behind.

Him: "I stopped really liking U2 after Rattle And Hum."

I told him that he wasn't alone -- that U2 lost a lot of fans with Achtung Baby, and that they lose and gain a lot of fans with every album. And that's probably true of pretty much every artist out there, right? But I'm always fascinated to hear about U2 fans that jumped ship somewhere along the way. Especially with Achtung Baby, which is my favorite U2 album of all.

I hope you enjoyed our Rattle And Hum focus during the month of October. I had fun watching the movie and listening to the album again, and also enjoyed chatting with Dennis Bell, director of the New Voices Of Freedom choir. There was one other interview that we had hoped to be able to share with you last month, but it kinda fell through the cracks.

If you missed any of our R&H content, Tassoula Kokkoris recapped the month just for you.

And finally, this has been mentioned in our forum and sent in via email by several readers: Chris Cornell sings a mashup of Metallica's "One" with U2's "One." He's done it at least twice: here and here on YouTube. 

See you next time! 

© @U2, 2013.

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