The U2 Report, Part 433

Bono says that while recording "Discotheque," U2 "had the wholestudio in mirror balls and disco lights."

Never let it be said that we here at ATN are above feeding the U2 hype machine.

And although we aren't quite as keyed-up for the release of Pop (Mar. 4)

as some folks, it's hard not to be swept up in the explosion of activity

preceding album's release.

Dig this: In Rotterdam, on Mar. 1 and 2, true

blue U2philes will gather to celebrate everything that is U2. A shadowy

organization called "The Zooropean" is presenting their second-annual

international U2 convention the weekend before Pop is released and on

the agenda for the superfans is a wild two days of promo videos, live gigs by

U2 cover bands, a U2 merchandise fair, a U2 auction, a U2 karaoke fest, a

chance to hear the new U2 album and to mingle with fellow fans from all over

the planet. Attendees will also have a chance to purchase a limited-edition,

numbered copy of the new U2 album, (only 2,500 of them!), with a "Certificate

of Proof" that authenticates them as the first copies of the CD available on

the planet.

Since ATN was tied up listening to new albums by the Chemical

Brothers, the Sneaker Pimps and Pavement, we had to forego hanging out with

Bono and Edge in Dublin. However, Spin, Rolling Stone,

Details, the New York Times and Q had nothing better to

do. So we thought we'd bring you a quick recap of what their reporters have


About the album, Bono told writer Ann Powers, who wrote the

Spin cover story, "Right up to the last month of making this record I

had this feeling that it could go any way. It could be so extraordinary, or

such crap. We had the sense that we were trying to make the impossible happen.

Can we be this? And we can."

Meanwhile Bono played the entire album for Rolling

Stone writer David Fricke in the "penthouse suite" of the Soho Grand hotel

in Manhattan. Bono notes that head Pumpkin Billy Corgan called to he liked

"Discotheque." About the eclectic mix of songs on the album, Bono tells Fricke:

"I was reading this book that a guy sent me on Jack Kerouac. And Kerouac was

talking about praying -- smoking a bunch of week and praying for a vision of a

writing style that would be both precious and trashy. And I thought, 'We're not

so far-fetched.' The divided soul of rock 'n' roll has always had that. The low

groan of the blues, the dizzy highness of gospel. I'm not trying to resolve

that-- I'm enjoying the tension. Even the personas we took out on Zoo TV [the

Fly, MacPhisto] -- that wasn't parody. You are these things. You are

both ridiculous and serious."

Bono also revealed to New York Times

writer Jon Pareles his recipe for staying "alive." Explained Bono, "Sometimes

it may seem hard to keep your ear on the street because there's a lot of stuff

you don't want to pick up. But as Bob Dylan said, 'He not busy being born is

busy dying,' and I think the death starts in your record collection. I like to

feel alive. I think I'm awake, and this is the noise that keeps me


And then there's the Q track-by-track run-down of the new

album, which includes comments from Bono, Edge and Adam Clayton. About the

first single (and lead off track), Bono is quoted as saying, "When we were

recording that, we had the whole studio in mirror balls and disco lights."

Track two, "Do You Feel Loved," is described as a "heavy groove-based rocker in

the tradition of 'Even Better Than The Real Thing,'" while "Mofo" is a "sonic

assault" that Q says sounds as if "U2 are possessed by the twin spirits

of Underworld and The Prodigy."

Track four, "If God Will Send His Angels,"

is a "slow, winding ballad constructed around a title that existed during

Zooropa sessions, "Staring At The Sun" is an "Infectious, sky-scraping

pop song with echoes of (The Kinks') Ray Davies and Bowie's 'Soul Love.'" and

"Last Night On Earth" is a steaming rocker with powerful Beatle-y chorus." The

final track to be completed, Bono says that by the time they wrapped things up,

"It felt like the last night on Earth, alright."

Track seven, "Gone," is a

"soaring uplifter oddly reminiscent of The Verve," "Miami" is an electro

experimental before Mullen kicks in with weighty John Bonham styled groove" and

"The Playboy Mansion" is a "touching tale" of a "lottery-playing average Joe

fantasizing about gaining entry to Hugh Hefner's private Disneyland." Final

three tracks: "If You Wear That Velvet Dress," a "muted and frankly, horny

ballad with echoes of Chris Isaak's 'Wicked Game,' " "Please," which Q

describes as a "shuffly, meandering and moody bid-pacer" and the final number,

"Wake Up Dead Man," a "spaghetti western atmosphere bristling with distant

radio voices." Bono, his voice distorted, expressed his frustration to Jesus:

"I'm alone in this world/ And a fucked up world it is too."

U2 are holding

a press conference in New York on Wednesday, Feb. 12 to announce their upcoming

world tour.