Wide Awake in Europe

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Not to be confused with Wide Awake in America.
Wide Awake in Europe
A record sleeve with a sepia-tone photograph of Bono holding a circular-shaped microphone in front of a thick fog. A white border surrounds the image and reads "U2 Wide Awake in Europe" at the top right.
EP (Live) by U2
Released 26 November 2010
Recorded July 2009, September 2010
Genre Rock
Length 18:31
Label Interscope
Producer Declan Gaffney
U2 chronology
Artificial Horizon
(2010)
Wide Awake in Europe
(2010)

Wide Awake in Europe is a live extended play (EP) by rock band U2. The release was created by the organizers of Record Store Day to bring customers into independent record shops for holiday shopping. A limited number of 5,000 EPs were produced, and were released on Black Friday in 2010, mostly to record shops in North America. The EP features three live tracks on a 12-inch vinyl record, taken from three different concerts during the U2 360° Tour in 2009 and 2010. Along with "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight" and "Moment of Surrender", "Mercy", that debuted on tour and was previously unreleased, feature on the EP.

Background and release[edit]

The potential release of an EP was first announced by U2 bassist Adam Clayton in an August 2010 U2.com video, after stating that the band was not yet ready to release another album.[1] In mid-October, listings for the EP appeared on Amazon.com, with a release date of 22 November.[2] Details of the release were officially announced by website SlicingUpEyeballs.com on 26 October with the track listing and release date information, along with details about its exclusive release to independent record stores, despite its listing on Amazon.com.[3][4] U2.com officially announced the release on 16 November, and "Moment of Surrender" from the release was streamed on the website exclusively for the site's subscribers, beginning the following the day.[5][6] On the day of the EP's release, U2.com streamed all three tracks for the site's subscribers for a 48-hour period.[7]

"We all wanted to get behind Record Store Day. My local record shop introduced me to music I didn’t know and I might never have discovered."

—Adam Clayton[8]

The EP was created by the creators of Record Store Day for an exclusive release as part of the "Back to Black Friday" program, along over 30 releases from other artists.[9][10] The program's objective was to draw customers to independent record shops on Black Friday and throughout the 2010 holiday shopping season, as opposed to big-box stores and shopping malls.[9] The EP was released by Interscope Records on 26 November 2010, exclusively for independent record shops in the North America, with a select number of copies available in Europe.[5] U2.com stated copies would be available in the United Kingdom and Ireland, although the London newspaper Daily Mail reported that it was only available at Tower Records in Dublin.[11]

The release was limited to 5,000 copies, all of which were individually numbered, although some pressings had higher numbers, as jackets damaged during the manufacturing process were destroyed and reprinted with newer numbers.[12] An owner of a Milwaukee, Wisconsin store compared ordering the EP to a roulette, and said he "ordered 15 [copies] hoping to get 6".[13] Twenty of the copies were given away in a December 2010 sweepstakes for U2.com site subscribers.[14]

Pre-orders for the EP were available from online retailer The Ideal Copy, but had sold out by the end of October, almost a month prior to the release.[15] New Jersey-based retailer Vintage Vinyl Records described the EP as an "Indie-Exclusive Black Friday item", and also sold pre-orders online, but had ended pre-orders early to ensure copies were available for Black Friday.[16] On the day of its release, several record shops in the US reported Wide Awake in Europe as one of their best-sellers.[17] The EP was sold for around US$10–20,[15][17] but copies were selling on eBay the following day for $75.[18]

Content[edit]

A concert stage; four large legs curve up above the stage and hold a video screen which is extended down to the band. The legs were lit up in green. The video screen has multi-coloured lights flashing on it. The audience surrounds the stage on all sides.
The three live tracks on the EP were recorded during the U2 360° Tour in 2009 and 2010.

The title and cover of the EP are references to U2's 1985 EP Wide Awake in America.[4] All the tracks were recorded by Alastair McMillan, and mixed by the EP's producer, Declan Gaffney.[19]

Side A of the record features "Mercy", which was debuted during the U2 360° Tour in September 2010.[20] Previously, "Mercy" had leaked online as a track from the sessions for U2's 2004 album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, but Wide Awake in Europe was the first official release of the song.[21] The performance included on the EP is taken from band's concert in Brussels during the month of its debut, and was the fourth-ever live performance of the song.[22]

Side B features performances of "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight" (from Dublin in July 2009) and "Moment of Surrender" (from Paris in September 2010), both of which are from U2's 2009 studio album, No Line on the Horizon.[15][3] The EP's live version of the "I'll Go Crazy" live remix from Dublin was previously released on the 2009 U2.com member-exclusive remix album, Artificial Horizon, and was remixed by Redanka and Dirty South.[23] The track also features a clip of "Beshno Az Ney/Windfall" by Sussan Deyhim.[19]

In a review published by Sputnikmusic two weeks after Wide Awake in Europe '​s release, critic Irving Tan praised the EP, stating how "Mercy" was "the biggest treat to fans", while the "I'll Go Crazy" remix gives the EP a "party vibe", and that "Moment of Surrender" "manages to be hopeful, glorious, and resplendent all at once". Tan concluded by saying that the EP sends a message of the band's "youthful defiance" and stated that he looks forward to U2's fourth decade.[21]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Bono, all music composed by U2, except "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight" (music also by Brian Eno and Danny Lanois).

Side A
No. Title Recorded at Length
1. "Mercy" (Live from Brussels) King Baudouin Stadium, 22 September 2010, Brussels 4:38
Side B
No. Title Recorded at Length
1. "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight" (Live U2360° Remix) Croke Park, 27 July 2009, Dublin 6:44
2. "Moment of Surrender" (Live from Paris) Stade de France, 18 September 2010, Paris 7:09

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ McGee, Matt (10 August 2010). "Adam: U2 EP is a Possibility". @U2. Retrieved 29 October 2010. 
  2. ^ McGee, Matt (17 October 2010). "'Wide Awake in Europe' – U2's Next Release?". @U2. Retrieved 29 October 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "U2 Releasing Three-Track Vinyl EP in Limited Quantities". ABC News Radio. 27 October 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "U2 preps 'Wide Awake in Europe' vinyl-only live EP, featuring debut of ‘Mercy’". Slicing Up Eyeballs. 26 October 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "'Wide Awake in Europe' for Record Store Day". U2.com. Live Nation. 16 November 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2010. 
  6. ^ "Wide Awake Moment" (subscription required). U2.com. Live Nation. 17 November 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2010. 
  7. ^ "Mercy: Now Streaming" (subscription required). U2.com. Live Nation. 26 November 2010. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  8. ^ Lewis, Randy (22 November 2010). "U2 preps live EP on vinyl for 'Black Friday' at indie record stores". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  9. ^ a b Morris, Christopher (26 October 2010). "U2 to issue live EP". Variety. Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  10. ^ Peoples, Glenn (29 October 2010). "Indie Retailers Bring Exclusive To Black Friday". Billboard.biz. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  11. ^ Gibbons, James (24 November 2010). "U2 are the latest band [...]". Daily Mail. 
  12. ^ McGee, Matt (19 November 2010). "PHOTOS: Wide Awake In Europe Seen 'In the Wild'". @U2. Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  13. ^ Gilbertson, Jon M. (24 November 2010). "Nicki Minaj: Pink Friday". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  14. ^ "U2 Wide Awake in Europe Giveaway". Live Nation. Archived from the original on 8 December 2010. Retrieved 8 December 2010. 
  15. ^ a b c "U2 – Wide Awake in Europe [US 12"]". The Ideal Store. Archived from the original on 29 October 2010. Retrieved 29 October 2010. 
  16. ^ "U2 – Wide Awake in Europe". Vintage Vinyl Records. Archived from the original on 29 October 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  17. ^ a b Christman, Ed, et al. (27 November 2010). "The Early Look: Black Friday Music Sales Recap". Billboard.biz. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  18. ^ Morris, Christopher (29 November 2010). "Amoeba has good Friday". Variety. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  19. ^ a b Wide Awake in Europe (Media notes). U2. Interscope Records. 2010. B0015052-01. 
  20. ^ "Mercy in the Rain in Zurich". U2.com. Live Nation. 12 September 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  21. ^ a b Tan, Irving (20 December 2010). "U2: Wide Awake in Europe". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  22. ^ "Mercy". U2gigs.com. Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  23. ^ Artificial Horizon (Media notes). U2. Island Records. 2010. U2.COM5.