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Trivia wrap-up, Part II

This article continues where Part I of the trivia wrap-up left off. It looks at the remaining three days of trivia that I posted on the U2gigs Twitter account over the past week. The subjects of this trivia are which songs U2 have soundchecked but never played live, which cover song U2 have performed the most, and which album has the worst live representation. You may also want to check back on Part I, as I made an edit to the first item of trivia.

27/08 trivia: Songs U2 soundchecked but never played live include Drowning Man, Red Hill Mining Town, Dancing Barefoot, Acrobat, Your Blue Room.

Drowning Man: It may have been snippeted, but it has never been performed live. It was, however, extensively rehearsed in the lead-up to the 360° Tour.

Red Hill Mining Town: U2 shelved this as the second Joshua Tree single when Bono realised it was beyond his capabilities to sing it nightly, and released I Still Haven't Found instead. However, the band kept working on the song and soundchecked it in late 1987 with the intention of performing it to be filmed for Rattle And Hum. This plan never came to fruition. As for specific dates, we know RHMT appeared in the soundcheck on 28 November 1987.

Dancing Barefoot: U2 recorded a cover of this Patti Smith song and released it as a b-side on the When Love Comes To Town single. Although U2 were fond of playing covers in the late 1980s, this song never made it onto the live stage. It was soundchecked, however, on 16 October 1989.

Acrobat: Bootlegs circulate of performances, leading to the mistaken belief that the band have played this song live. They have not. All recordings are from private rehearsals that U2 held in Hershey, Pennsylvania before the start of the third leg of ZooTV. It was not played at the 7 August 1992 public rehearsal or any other show. The version of Acrobat privately rehearsed in Hershey was an acoustic version by Bono that segued into the intro of Zoo Station.

Your Blue Room: Bono has often stated a fondness for this song from Passengers, and in August 2009, it was soundchecked - to considerable surprise - in Zagreb (10/08) and London (14/08). NASA has reported that the astronauts of the International Space Station have recorded some lines for the song, so out of all five of these songs, it appears to have the best chance of actually appearing live.

Other songs U2 have soundchecked but never played include Playboy Mansion; it was snippeted often on Popmart but a full version was rehearsed in the lead-up to the tour. A similar fate befell Peace On Earth; Bono and Edge played it as an intro to Walk On on Elevation's third leg, but before the leg began, a full band version was rehearsed. Adam has used 4th Of July as a bass warm-up; see 20 April 2001. Numerous unreleased songs have been soundchecked, some as improvised jams and some as songs whose structure indicates the band may have been working more seriously on them. Some of these soundcheck songs have been given titles by fans, and two of the most famous are My Time Hasn't Come and Move Out from the 25 April 1987 soundcheck.

28/07 trivia: The song U2 has covered most? Satellite Of Love, 145 times, all on ZooTV. No other cover has been done 100+ times.

As much as Bono loves referencing the work of others, Satellite Of Love is the only cover to crack triple figures. It was covered so many times due to its near-permanent inclusion in the ZooTV setlist. The second most frequently covered song is perhaps the one for which U2 are best known amongst their fanbase: People Get Ready, 1 full performance ahead of Can't Help Falling In Love.

29/08 trivia: The U2 album with poorest live representation? Zooropa, by a mile. Most played is Stay, 78 times.

Zooropa was in many ways an unfortunate victim of circumstance. Every other album has had its own tour on which it was showcased, allowing it to have decent live representation even if it became the subject of future neglect by U2 - looking at you, Pop. Zooropa, on the other hand, struggled to work its way into the ZooTV setlist, and by the time it was properly integrated, there were just ten shows left. The total amount of performances of Zooropa songs is 178: 78 for Stay, 33 for Numb, 28 for The First Time, 10 each for Daddy's Gonna Pay For Your Crashed Car, Dirty Day, and Lemon, 5 for Babyface, 3 for Zooropa, and 1 for The Wanderer.

To put this into context, U2 have 32 individual songs (or 34 if you don't combine The Cry/The Electric Co. and An Cat Dubh/Into The Heart) that have been performed live more than the entire Zooropa album, plus a 33rd that is equal with it on 178. Every other album has at least four songs with over 100 performances, with the obvious and understandable exclusion of the recently released No Line On The Horizon. Nonetheless, after just some promo shows and one leg of a tour, No Line On The Horizon is already well ahead of Zooropa with 211 combined performances. Ouch. Poor Zooropa indeed!

Perhaps the only consolation Zooropa can take is that if you consider Passengers to be a U2 album, Zooropa's 178 performances are over double those of Passengers! Just the one song from Passengers has been played live so far, Miss Sarajevo. Nonetheless, Passengers still manages to score a point against Zooropa: Miss Sarajevo has been played 87 times, nine more than Stay.

And that's all for the first week of my daily trivia. Keep on checking back for the daily updates, and I'll soon post another wrap-up to the mainpage.

Posted on by Axver

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