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Another Time, Another Place: The Boy Tour Retrospective, Part V

Read from the start

We said before that “I Will Follow”, “11 O’Clock Tick Tock”, “An Cat Dubh”, “Into the Heart”, and “The Electric Co.” were performed at every concert on the tour so we don’t need to discuss the last three. But for the first two and “The Ocean” we still have one thing left to do, and that is to try and figure out how many times they were played twice. This is probably the most difficult part to uncover in our retrospective.

There are two ways we are going to come up with a number. The first is to take the total number of times each song was played twice and extrapolate it to all 98 concerts where we know at least some of the set. The second is to take the number of times each song was played twice in our complete sets only. This is why we have marked every instance where a song was played twice in charts above. In both cases we then take that result and apply it to all 155 concerts on to the tour, rounding to the nearest whole number



Song

# times played 2x (C+I)

# times played 2x (C only)

“I Will Follow”

40

26

“11 O’Clock Tick Tock”

43

38

“The Ocean”

25

24

 

The calculations themselves are fairly easy. We take the number times they were played twice in each column and divide it by the number of applicable concerts (98 and 60 respectively). We then take the resulting percentage and apply that to all 155 concerts. Taking both results together gives us a possible range.

 

Song

C+I %

C %

“I Will Follow”

40.8 ⇒ 41

43.3 ⇒ 43

“11 O’Clock Tick Tock”

43.8 ⇒ 44

63.3 ⇒ 63

“The Ocean”

25.5 ⇒ 26

40.0 ⇒ 40

 

As we said before we are working from data that is 63% and 38% complete respectively. Theoretically the 63% calculation should give us the more accurate number because of the larger amount of data we have to work with, but the nature of it incorporating incomplete data means that we can have no certainties.

For example, several incomplete sets list “I Will Follow” twice and no other songs. It is almost certain that “11 O’Clock Tick Tock” was played twice at some of those concerts as well, but because we have no certainties it is excluded by the data. It is possible that all three songs were played twice on every date where we have incomplete or unknown sets, making all of this entirely pointless and incorrect. All we can do is work with what we have to try and give an answer.

“I Will Follow” differs by only 2% between the two charts, so it should be the most accurate range. The gaps between “11 O’Clock Tick Tock” and “The Ocean” (19% and 14% respectively) are much larger and therefore give us a much higher range; but note that the lowest “11 O’Clock Tick Tock” percentage is still above the highest “I Will Follow” percentage. If we are right that both songs were performed every night of the tour (and there is no reason to think they were not) it gives credence to our statement way back at the beginning that “11 O’Clock Tick Tock”, despite the lower play count in our current data, was actually the most performed song on the tour.

So what are the ranges? For “I Will Follow” we get a range of 64 to 67 times played twice. “11 O’Clock Tick Tock” is a range between 68 and 98 times played twice, while “The Ocean” is a range of 40 to 62 times played twice (all numbers are rounded to the nearest whole). Frankly, we think that the correct answer is probably somewhere in the middle of the calculated ranges.

 Now the last thing to do is to take the number of times we know each song was played and add everything we’ve discussed so far to reach the actual play count of the Boy Tour:

 

  • “I Will Follow”: 131x known (played twice 40x) ⇒ 219–222x (played twice 64–67x) (+88–91)
  • “11 O’Clock Tick Tock”: 123x known (played twice 43x) ⇒ 223–253x (played twice 68–98x) (+100–130)
  • “The Ocean”: 87x known (played twice 25x) ⇒ 178– 200x (played twice 40–62x)  (+91–113)
  • “An Cat Dubh”: 73x known ⇒ 155x (+82)
  • “The Electric Co.”: 73x known ⇒ 155x (+82)
  • “Into the Heart”: 72x known ⇒ 155x (+83)
  • “Stories For Boys”: 70x known ⇒ 148x (+78)
  • “Out of Control”: 66x known ⇒ 142x (+76)
  • “Things to Make and Do”: 62x known ⇒ 146x (+84)
  • “Twilight”: 61x known ⇒ 139x (+78)
  • “Another Time, Another Place”: 58x known ⇒ 116x (+58)
  • “The Cry”: 58x known ⇒ 116x (+58)
  • “Boy/Girl”: 43x known ⇒ 100x (+57)
  • “Touch”: 41x known ⇒ 100x (+59)
  • “A Day Without Me”: 39x known ⇒ 89x (+50)
  • “I Fall Down”: 15x known ⇒ 25x (+10)
  • “Fire”: 5x known ⇒ 5x (+0)
  • “Father is an Elephant”: 3x known ⇒ 8x (+5)
  • “Shadows and Tall Trees”: 1x known ⇒ 4x (+3)
     

We know that we don’t have this 100%, but we’re confident enough to say that this is the most accurate and comprehensive look at the Boy Tour known outside the band members themselves. Larry, Adam, Bono, Edge: how did we do? Did we get close?

Big thanks go out to U2Songs; without their assistance none of this would have been possible. Thanks guys, you rock.

Part VI coming soon



Posted on by Matkin


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