Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses

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"Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses"
Single by U2
from the album Achtung Baby
B-side "Paint It Black"
"Fortunate Son"
Released August 1992
Format CD, cassette, 7" and 12" vinyl
Recorded 1991
Genre Rock
Length 3:54 (Temple Bar edit)
5:16 (Album version)
Label Island
Producer(s) Steve Lillywhite, Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno
U2 singles chronology
"Even Better Than the Real Thing"
(1992)
"Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses"
(1992)
"Numb"
(1993)
Achtung Baby track listing
"Until the End of the World"
(4)
"Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses"
(5)
"So Cruel"
(6)

"Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses" is the fifth track on U2's 1991 album, Achtung Baby. It was released as the album's fifth and final single in 1992.

Writing and recording[edit]

"Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses" began as a demo that the band recorded at STS Studios in 1990.[1] The band worked on it during the formal Achtung Baby sessions, including several failed attempts at Hansa Studios in Berlin.[2] This produced several versions of the song and about a dozen mixes.[3] However, the original demo remained their preferred version.[1] Producer Jimmy Iovine, in particular, expressed his preference for the demo version when lead vocalist Bono played it for him.[1] During the group's time recording in Dublin in 1991, producer Steve Lillywhite was brought on to provide a "fresh pair of ears" and mix the song.[3] The album version most closely resembles the original demo.

Lillywhite recalls that, "They hated that song. I spent a month on it and I still don't think it was as realised as it could've been. The Americans had heard it and said, 'That's your radio song there', because they were having trouble with some of the more industrial elements [of the album]. It's almost like a covers band doing a U2 moment. Maybe we tried too hard."[2] Bono said, "It's a song I feel we didn't quite nail on the record because there was another whole set of lyrics that were dumped and I wrote those quickly and off we went."[3] The band later released an alternately arranged "Temple Bar Remix" as the single, the version of the song they most prefer.[3] The band also has claimed they find the song difficult to perform in concert. Bassist Adam Clayton said, "It's a great torch song, with melody and emotion, but I don't think we ever captured it again and we have never really been able to play the song live."[1]

Single release[edit]

When the covers to "Even Better Than the Real Thing," "The Fly," "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses," and "Mysterious Ways" are arranged, a picture of the band members driving a Trabant is formed.

The single included Bono's solo version of "Can't Help Falling in Love," which was recorded in STS studios in Dublin on 29 June 1992 for the movie Honeymoon in Vegas.[4]

Live performances[edit]

The song was performed in full during the first two legs and the first show of the third leg during the Zoo TV Tour in 1992. It made a few appearances during the rest of the tour in a shorter, solo acoustic form. Lines from the song were added at the end of their song "Bad" during the final leg of the Elevation Tour. During the Vertigo Tour, the song has appeared on several occasions, first in an electric version similar to the album version, and later in an acoustic version somewhat reminiscent of the "Temple Bar Remix" used for the single.[5]

Covers[edit]

Garbage (band) reworked the song for the 2011 tribute album AHK-toong BAY-bi Covered. "Achtung Baby was a huge influence on the first Garbage album," remarked Butch Vig. "It's groovy and gritty, hi-fi and lo-fi, industrial and orchestral. We picked this song because we love the lyrics. We stripped the verses down and changed the major chord to minor chord, which makes the lyrics more bittersweet. We were in the studio making the new Garbage album at the time; this was a good distraction."[6]

Track listings[edit]

7" release
No. Title Length
1. "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses" (Temple Bar edit) 3:54
2. "Paint It Black"   3:22
Cassette release
No. Title Length
1. "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses" (Temple Bar edit) 3:54
2. "Paint It Black"   3:22
3. "Fortunate Son"   2:39
12" and CD release
No. Title Length
1. "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses" (Temple Bar edit) 3:54
2. "Paint It Black"   3:22
3. "Fortunate Son"   2:39
4. "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses" (Temple Bar remix) 4:49
CD release (UK, France, and Australia)
No. Title Length
1. "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses" (Temple Bar edit) 3:54
2. "Paint It Black"   3:22
3. "Salomé" (Zooromancer remix) 8:02
4. "Can't Help Falling in Love" (Triple Peaks remix) 4:34

Chart positions[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d McCormick, Neil (ed), (2006). U2 by U2. HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 0-00-719668-7. p. 228.
  2. ^ a b Doyle, Tom (2002-10-10). "10 Years of Turmoil Inside U2". Q. 
  3. ^ a b c d Stokes, Niall (1996). Into The Heart: The Stories Behind Every U2 Song. London: HarperCollinsPublishers. p. 105. ISBN 0-00-719668-7. 
  4. ^ McGee, Matt (2008). U2: A Diary. Omnibus Press. p. 150. ISBN 978-1-84772-108-2. 
  5. ^ U2tours.com, http://www.u2tours.com (Accessed May 3, 2007)
  6. ^ "What's On Your Free CD?". Q: 6–7. December 2011. 
  7. ^ "Australian-charts.com – U2 – Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  8. ^ "Austriancharts.at – U2 – Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  9. ^ "Ultratop.be – U2 – Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  10. ^ "Search Results: Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses". RPM. 1992-12-26. Retrieved 2009-11-24. 
  11. ^ Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 951-31-2503-3. 
  12. ^ "Musicline.de – U2 Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  13. ^ "Irish Singles Chart". The Irish Charts. Retrieved 2009-11-23.  Note: U2 must be searched manually.
  14. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – U2 – Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  15. ^ "Charts.org.nz – U2 – Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses". Top 40 Singles.
  16. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – U2 – Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses". VG-lista.
  17. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – U2 – Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses". Singles Top 60.
  18. ^ "Swisscharts.com – U2 – Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses". Swiss Singles Chart.
  19. ^ "EveryHit.com search results: U2". Everyhit.com. Retrieved 2009-11-22.  Note: U2 must be searched manually.
  20. ^ a b c d "U2: Charts & Awards: Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 

External links[edit]