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"I think this record is just as innovative as Pop, it's just that the thing we're pushing to the forefront is the chemistry of the band playing together, and I think that is why people are referring back to earlier projects."

-- Edge, on All That You Can't Leave Behind

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Column: off the record..., vol. 13-598

@U2, December 22, 2013
By: Aaron J. Sams


off the record, from @U2

Many U2 fans got a surprise when a second version of "Ordinary Love" produced by Paul Epworth appeared on 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.

I'm a fan of Epworth's work. He's had a hand in some of my favorite albums of the last decade, and also in some of my favorite remixes. And I prefer this second version of "Ordinary Love" that he had a hand in over the version produced by Danger Mouse. Hearing this mix has me wondering what an Epworth-produced U2 album might sound like, or at least hoping he'll have a hand in some of the remixes that are sure to come out of the new release next year. Regardless, hearing that U2 are working with Danger Mouse, and now Epworth, has me excited to see the results.

One recent piece of news is that "Ordinary Love" has been nominated for a Golden Globe Award.

U2, or members of U2, have been nominated a number of times, starting in 1993 with "Stay (Faraway So Close!)" from the movie Faraway So Close (In Weiter Ferne, So Nah!).

They've also been nominated for the following:

  • 1993 -- "You Made Me The Thief Of Your Heart" from In The Name Of The Father, performed by Sinead O'Connor, co-written by Bono. (It was nominated against "Stay.")
  • 1995 -- "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" from Batman Forever, written and performed by U2.
  • 2002 -- "The Hands That Built America" from Gangs Of New York, written and performed by U2. U2 won the Golden Globe for this year.
  • 2004 -- "Time Enough For Tears" from In America, performed by Andrea Corr, co-written by Bono.
  • 2009 -- "Winter" from Brothers, written and performed by U2.

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.

There is another song -- well, a poem -- which Bono reads that I traditionally pull out at this time of year. But it gets posted on Christmas Eve in various locations around the Internet, a tradition going back as long as I can remember being on the Internet, so I'm not about to share it early and spoil that.

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.

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