A Celebration

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For other uses, see Celebration (disambiguation).
"A Celebration"
Single by U2
B-side "Trash, Trampoline and the Party Girl"
Released March 1982 (1982-03)
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded 1982
Genre Rock, post-punk
Length 2:57
Label CBS (Ireland)- CBS 2214
Island (UK) - WIP6770
Polystar (Japan) - 7S-69
Producer(s) Steve Lillywhite
U2 singles chronology
"Gloria"
(1981)
"A Celebration"
(1982)
"New Year's Day"
(1983)
Japan cover

"A Celebration" is a song by rock band U2. It was released as a non-album single in March 1982, between the records October (1981) and War (1983). U2 have re-released the track on two occasions; on the 2004 digital compilation album The Complete U2, and on the bonus disc of the remastered October in 2008.

"Trash, Trampoline and the Party Girl", commonly shortened to "Party Girl", was released as the B-side.

Composition and theme[edit]

"A Celebration" runs for 2:57. According to Universal Music Publishing Group's sheet music published at Musicnotes.com, it is played in common time at a tempo of 157 beats per minute in the key of D major. The vocals extend from a low note of A4 to a high of B5.[1]

In a 1983 interview, Bono indicated that the song was the source of controversy due to misinterpretation of the verse "I believe in a third World War / I believe in the atomic bomb / I believe in the powers that be / But they won’t overpower me" by fans who questioned his motives. The singer explained that his real intent was only to acknowledge that a "Third World" war and the atomic bomb were facts of life he believed in, but that they would not overpower him.[2][unreliable source?]

Live[edit]

"A Celebration" made its live debut in late February 1982 and sporadically appeared at concerts throughout that year until it became a regular of the Pre-War Tour during the month of December. It then appeared at some early dates of the War Tour in February and March 1983. Its last live appearance was on November 30, 1983 in Tokyo.

Release[edit]

The track was absent from any of the group's compilations until The Complete U2 in 2004. Nevertheless, the band did film and release a video for the song, most of which was shot in and around a prison in Dublin. This video has not been included in any video compilation released by the band. The video was directed by Meiert Avis. "A Celebration" was available as part of The Complete U2, and the remastered release of October in 2008. Its appearance on the latter was its first appearance on a U2 Compact Disc.[citation needed]

"Trash, Trampoline and the Party Girl"[edit]

"Trash, Trampoline and the Party Girl", commonly known as "Party Girl", was the B-side to "A Celebration". The song runs for 2:32 (2 minutes, 32 seconds). According to Universal Music Publishing Group's sheet music published at Musicnotes.com, it is played in common time at a tempo of 152 beats per minute in the key of D major. The vocals extend from a low note of A4 to a high of E6.[3]

In contrast to the A-side, after its live debut on February 26, 1983 (1983-02-26) at the first War Tour concert, "Party Girl" became a regular during the encores. This happened despite the fact that after the initial performance, Bono stated "that is the first and probably last time we play that song." It continued to be a regular for the next couple of tours (earning an inclusion on the live album Under a Blood Red Sky and the concert film U2 Live at Red Rocks: Under a Blood Red Sky) and has appeared sporadically at U2 concerts since then, usually for special occasions such as the birthday of a band member. The only tour on which it was never played was the PopMart Tour in 1997-1998, and it is the most frequently performed b-side in U2's live history, and the only b-side to be played more than a hundred times. Only one non-album song has been played more times, the 1980 single "11 O'Clock Tick Tock." On numerous occasions in the band's live history, U2 have invited fans on-stage to perform the song by playing the acoustic guitar part.

"Party Girl" can also be found on the 2008 deluxe edition bonus CD of October, the live albums Live from the Point Depot and Live from Paris and the compilation albums The Best of 1980-1990 and Medium, Rare & Remastered.

Music video[edit]

Despite the band's apparent dislike of the song, a video for it was filmed at Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin, later a setting for the film In the Name of the Father. Drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. said of the music video in 1983, "We did a video of it. We went to this prison in Dublin, where the 1916 uprising took place, called Kilmainham Jail, and filmed it with the idea of breaking out. It was very much a look at ourselves. Like when we were in school and everyone was telling us 'you're crap' and we couldn't get a record deal, it was the triumph of breaking through."[4]

Track listings[edit]

7": Ireland / WIP6770
No. Title Length
1. "A Celebration"   2:57
2. "Trash, Trampoline and the Party Girl"   2:32
7": Polystar / 7S-69
No. Title Length
1. "A Celebration"   2:56
2. "Fire"   3:50

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1982) Peak
position
Irish Singles Chart[5] 15
UK Singles Chart[6] 47

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "U2 – A Celebration – Digital sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Universal Music Publishing Group. Retrieved 5 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "Bono Interview, KZEW Dallas". Scarlet. 1983-12-06. Retrieved 2010-10-05. 
  3. ^ "U2 – Trash, Trampoline and the Party Girl – Digital sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Universal Music Publishing Group. Retrieved 5 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "Larry Mullen Interview". White Lucy. 1983-04-01. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  5. ^ "Irish Singles Chart". The Irish Charts. Archived from the original on 5 January 2010. Retrieved 2009-11-23.  Note: U2 must be searched manually.
  6. ^ "U2". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 

External links[edit]