Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own

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"Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own"
U2 Sometimes CD1.png
Single by U2
from the album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
B-side "Ave Maria"
Released 7 February 2005
Format CD, DVD
Recorded HQ in Dublin, Ireland, and South of France
Genre Rock
Length 5:08 (Album version)
4:51 (Edited version)
5:30 (Alternate version)
Label Island / Interscope Records
Songwriter(s) U2 (music), Bono (lyrics)
Producer(s) Chris Thomas with additional production by Steve Lillywhite and Nellee Hooper
U2 singles chronology
"All Because of You"
(2005)
"Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own"
(2005)
"City of Blinding Lights"
(2005)
"All Because of You"
(2005)
"Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own"
(2005)
"City of Blinding Lights"
(2005)
Music video
"Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own" on YouTube

"Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own" is a song by rock band U2 and the third track from their 2004 album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. The song was released as the album's second single in the United Kingdom on 7 February 2005 and it debuted at No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart.[1] Originally titled "Tough,"[citation needed] the song is about lead singer Bono's relationship with his dying father. The song won awards for "Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal" and "Song of the Year" at the 2006 Grammy Awards.

Background and writing[edit]

During the recording of U2's 2000 album All That You Can't Leave Behind, lead vocalist Bono was aware that his father, Bob Hewson, was beginning to die from cancer. Bono subsequently wrote a song about him called "Tough", as that was the impression he always had of his father; he called him: "A tough old boot of a guy. Irish, Dub, north side Dubliner, very cynical about the world and the people in it, but very charming and funny with it." After Bob died in 2001, Bono sang the song at his funeral. For the recording of the band's following album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, they revisited the song. While listening to it with Bono and guitarist the Edge, producer Steve Lillywhite critiqued the track, telling them that it did not have a chorus and that each verse simply was followed by the line "sometimes you can't make it on your own". Bono then asked for a guitar to play and spontaneously sang the lines "And it's you when I look na na na na / And it's you du du du du du du du / Sometimes you can't make it on your own". Even though Bono had not yet written the rest of the lyrics for this new segment, Lillywhite said: "all of a sudden the song was finished. That song had been around for the best part of five years and no one had ever said to them that it didn't have a chorus."[2]

Release[edit]

"Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own" was released worldwide on 7 February 2005. The song was added to BBC Radio 1's C-list playlist on 29 December 2004. It moved to the B-list a week later and to the A-list a week after that. The song was also playlisted by XFM.

Chart performance[edit]

The song debuted at number one in the UK, marking the first time that a U2 album has produced two UK number 1 hits (following "Vertigo" in November 2004).[1]

The single was also the third release in the United States. It reached number 15 on the Adult Top 40 chart, and number 29 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart in April 2005. It also reached number 97 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Formats and track listings[edit]

CD (2 track)[3]
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own" (Radio edit 96 BPM) Bono U2 4:51
2. "Fast Cars" (Jacknife Lee mix) Bono, the Edge U2 3:28
CD (maxi)[4]
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own" (Radio edit 96 BPM) Bono U2 4:51
2. "Ave Maria" (Jacknife Lee mix) Bono (English lyrics) Franz Schubert 3:28
3. "Vertigo" (Redanka Power mix) Bono, the Edge U2 7:34
CD (Japan release)[5]
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own" (Radio edit 96 BPM) Bono U2 4:51
2. "Fast Cars" (Jacknife Lee mix) Bono, the Edge U2 3:28
3. "Vertigo" (Trent Reznor remix) Bono, the Edge U2 3:38
4. "Vertigo" (Redanka Power mix) Bono, the Edge U2 7:34
5. "Ave Maria" (Jacknife Lee mix) Bono (English lyrics) Franz Schubert 3:35
DVD single[6]
No. Title Length
1. "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own" (Video – Live from HQ video, 16 November 2004) 5:15
2. "Vertigo" (Video) 3:11
3. "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own" (Album version) 5:05
4. "Vertigo" (Trent Reznor remix) 3:38

Charts[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 708. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ Stokes, Niall (29 November 2006). "U2: The Stories Behind Their Greatest Songs". Hot Press. Vol. 30 no. 23. Retrieved 20 July 2017. 
  3. ^ (CD single). U2. United Kingdom: Island Records. 2005. CID886/987011-4.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ (CD single). U2. United Kingdom: Island Records. 2005. CIDX886/9870115-7.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ (CD single). U2. Japan: Island Records. 2005. UICI-5019.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ (DVD single). U2. United Kingdom: Island Records. 2005. CIDV886/987011-6.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ "Australian-charts.com – U2 – Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  8. ^ "Austriancharts.at – U2 – Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  9. ^ "Ultratop.be – U2 – Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  10. ^ "Ultratop.be – U2 – Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  11. ^ "Brazil" (PDF). ABPD. October 6, 2001. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b "U2: Charts and Awards". Allmusic. Archived from the original on 21 November 2009. Retrieved 9 April 2010. 
  13. ^ "Danishcharts.com – U2 – Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own". Tracklisten. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  14. ^ "U2: Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  15. ^ "Lescharts.com – U2 – Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  16. ^ "Musicline.de – U2 Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  17. ^ "Chart Track: Week 6, 2005". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  18. ^ "Italiancharts.com – U2 – Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own". Top Digital Download. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  19. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – U2 search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  20. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – U2 – Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  21. ^ "Charts.org.nz – U2 – Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  22. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – U2 – Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own". VG-lista. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  23. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – U2 – Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  24. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – U2 – Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  25. ^ "Swisscharts.com – U2 – Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  26. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  27. ^ "U2 Chart History (Hot 100)" Billboard. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  28. ^ "U2 Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)" Billboard. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  29. ^ "U2 Chart History (Alternative Songs)" Billboard. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  30. ^ "TOP 10 SINGLES 2005" (PDF). promusicae.org. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Like Toy Soldiers" by Eminem
UK number one single
19 February 2005 – 25 February 2005
Succeeded by
"Get Right" by Jennifer Lopez