The first of three upcoming "best of" collections from Irish
superstars U2 will chart the
band's career from its beginnings in earnest post-punk to its
late '80s dabbling in
Americana, including a previously completed track from the
Joshua Tree era.
U2 The Best of 1980-1990 is set to be released Nov. 3
and will cover the group's
rise from their 1980 debut, Boy, through the 1989
R&B-influenced Rattle and Hum. The album will also include
a recently completed tune which had previously
been released in its raw form as the B-side of a single.
Since their formation in Dublin, Ireland, in the late '70s, the
quartet has sold an estimated
83 million albums and earned the status as one of the
premiere rock bands in the world.
The full track-listing for the album is: "Pride (In The Name Of Love)"
(The Unforgettable Fire), "New Year's Day" (War),
Without You" (The Joshua Tree), "I Still Haven't Found What
I'm Looking For" (The Joshua Tree),
"Sunday Bloody Sunday" (War), "Bad"
(The Unforgettable Fire), "Where the
Streets Have No Name" (The Joshua Tree), "I Will Follow"
Unforgettable Fire" (The Unforgettable Fire), "Desire"
(Rattle and Hum),
"Angel Of Harlem" (Rattle and Hum), "When Love Comes To Town"
(Rattle and Hum), "Sweetest Thing" and "All I Want Is You"
(Rattle and Hum).
News of the "best of," the first of three such collections covering
U2's critically acclaimed
10-album, two-decade career, shocked some longtime fans.
"I have been into U2 since Achtung Baby  and have learned
the band and what they stand for," wrote 22-year-old Mark Grzymala
of Illinois, the
webmaster of "Mark Grzymala's U2 Page." "A greatest-hits album was
one of those
things I would never expect from them, based on the interviews and
The 14-track collection will be available as a limited-edition
double-CD set during its first
week of release, bundled with a 15-track album of U2 B-sides from
the '80s, according to
Island Records. The limited-edition pack will be available at a
reduced price. The
single-CD version of the album will go on sale Nov. 10.
The previously unfinished B-side "Sweetest Thing" will serve as a
single from the
collection. The song, originally intended for inclusion on 1987's
American folk/gospel-influenced The Joshua Tree, was left
unfinished and later
appeared as the flipside to the hit single "Where the Streets Have
According to Island Records, the band recently returned to the
studio with the producer of
The Joshua Tree, Steve Lilywhite, to complete the track.
The collection covers one of the most fruitful decades for the band,
which includes singer
Bono, guitarist the Edge, drummer Larry Mullen Jr. and bassist
Beginning with its 1980 debut, Boy, and continuing through
its commercial peak,
1987's multi-platinum The Joshua Tree, the group perfected
its brand of strident,
often political rock. The Irish superstars' signature sound is
exemplified by the interplay
between Bono's brooding vocals and the Edge's hard-hitting guitar
"As a diehard fan, I figured I could avoid the purchase [of the hits
said, "but now they are enticing us with a new version of
'Sweetest Thing' and a
limited-edition B-side companion disc. Now I have to buy a
The deal for the three "best of" albums is reportedly worth $50
million for the band, which
has been on an extended vacation since the end of the year-long tour
in support of its
1997 album, Pop. The deal is unlike mega-deals by other top
acts such as Janet
Jackson and R.E.M., in that it covers previously released material,
not new recordings.