Discothèque (song)

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Single by U2
from the album Pop
  • "Holy Joe"
  • various remixes
Released 3 February 1997
  • 5:19 (album version)
  • 4:34 (radio edit)
  • 5:08 (12" version)
Label Island
Producer(s) Flood
U2 singles chronology
"Miss Sarajevo"
"Staring at the Sun"
"Miss Sarajevo"
"Staring at the Sun"
Alternative cover

"Discothèque" is the lead single from Irish rock band U2's 1997 album, Pop. It peaked at number one in many countries' charts, including the UK Singles Chart. The song received mixed reviews from critics.

Release history[edit]

A 30-second sample of "Discothèque" was leaked to the Internet on 26 October 1996. By 27 December, the entire track had been leaked, after which U2 moved the release date forward. "Discothèque" debuted at #3 on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart, and hit #1 the following week. It was certified Gold by the RIAA on 7 April 1997. The song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at #10, but dropped off the charts after only four weeks in the Top 40. It was also the band's sixth (and last) top ten single in the US. It debuted at #1 on the UK singles chart, remaining on top for one week and spending a total of eleven weeks in the chart.

The song was remixed for U2's The Best of 1990-2000 greatest hits album, released in 2002. The new version has a longer intro and subtle use of the techno-sounding drum beat that figured prominently in the opening of the original track. The new "Discotheque" sounds similar to the way U2 performed the song during the PopMart Tour in 1997 and 1998.

The version on most versions of the single was the 12" version, which altered the introduction's instrumentation and vocals. It was also slightly shorter than the album version.

A somewhat abbreviated form of "Discothèque" was played during the first two legs of U2's Elevation Tour in 2001, normally containing the snippets of "Staring at the Sun" and INXS's "Devil Inside". A more rock-sounding version of the song was played twice on the Vertigo Tour accompanied by an elaborate stage lightshow. It has not been played in full since 20 September 2005. In the 2010 European leg of the U2 360° Tour, the band began performing an extended snippet of Discothèque during their remixed version of "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight", with Bono singing several verses of the song during the intro and the outtro, and Edge mixing its guitar riff in at the end.[1]

Music video[edit]

In the accompanying music video, which was directed by the Frenchman Stéphane Sednaoui, the band performed in what seemed like the inside of a mirrorball. They alluded to several elements of the disco era, including disco-style dancing and the film Saturday Night Fever. U2 further and directly alluded to the Village People, a popular disco era band, by similarly adopting the guises of various professions: a motorcycle police officer (Bono), a gay-fetish biker (the Edge), an American sailor (Adam Clayton) and a cowboy (Larry Mullen, Jr.). Stylus magazine described the video as "sublimely bizarre".[2]


U2 were criticized by some reviewers for the large number of dance music remixes used as B-sides, suggesting that it was an attempt to gain credibility.[3] However, Stephen Thomas believed it to be indicative of the growing influence of remixes in music.[3] Commercials for the 2003 Toyota Matrix used the Hexadecimal remix. In a 2006 article by Stylus, the magazine had trouble trying to classify the genre of the song, calling it "sheer WTFery" and "permanently unclassifiable".[2]

Formats and track listings[edit]


Charts and certifications[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "U2 Discothèque - U2 on tour". U2gigs.com. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  2. ^ a b http://www.stylusmagazine.com/articles/weekly_article/u2-vs-rem.htm
  3. ^ a b Ryan, Stephen. "Dancing about architecture: Postmodernism and Irish popular music" (PDF). Irish Communications Review. Retrieved 6 February 2010. 
  4. ^ Steffen Hung. "U2 - Discothèque". austriancharts.at. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "U2 - Discothèque". ultratop.be. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  6. ^ Steffen Hung. "U2 - Discothèque". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  7. ^ Steffen Hung. "U2 - Discothèque". lescharts.com. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  8. ^ Steffen Hung. "U2 - Discothèque". finnishcharts.com. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  9. ^ "charts.de". charts.de. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "Irish Singles Chart". The Irish Charts. Archived from the original on 9 June 2009. Retrieved 23 November 2009.  Note: U2 must be searched manually.
  11. ^ "Hit Parade Italia - Indice per Interprete: U". Hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  12. ^ Steffen Hung. "U2 - Discothèque". norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 13 May 2013. [permanent dead link]
  13. ^ Steffen Hung. "U2 - Discothèque". hitparade.ch. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  14. ^ "EveryHit.com search results: U2". Everyhit.com. Archived from the original on 18 July 2007. Retrieved 22 November 2009.  Note: U2 must be searched manually.
  15. ^ a b "Discothèque - U2". Billboard.com. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  16. ^ "RPM Top 100 Hit Tracks of 1997". RPM. Retrieved November 26, 2017. 
  17. ^ "US certifications of 1997, gold status". riaa. Archived from the original on 26 June 2007. Retrieved 22 December 2010. 
  18. ^ "UK certifications, database". Bpi. Archived from the original on 11 January 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2010. 
Preceded by
"Ain't Nobody" by LL Cool J
UK Singles Chart number-one single
15 February 1997
(one week)
Succeeded by
"Don't Speak" by No Doubt