Wide Awake in America

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Wide Awake in America
Wide Awake in America.png
EP by U2
Released20 May 1985
ProducerU2, Tony Visconti, Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois
U2 chronology
The Unforgettable Fire
Wide Awake in America
The Joshua Tree
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2/5 stars[1]
Robert ChristgauB[2]
Rolling Stonemixed[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3/5 stars[4]

Wide Awake in America is a four-track EP by the Irish rock band U2. It was released on 20 May 1985 through Island Records. It combines two live performances of songs from the group's 1984 album The Unforgettable Fire with two B-sides from the era, which had previously been available only in the United Kingdom. Wide Awake in America was originally released only in North America and Japan but sold so well that it charted in the UK as an import. It was re-released internationally in 1990.

The EP's centerpiece, "Bad" – a song about heroin addiction whose lyric inspired the collection's title – would become a staple of their live set, particularly after a remarkable extended performance at Live Aid in which lead vocalist Bono danced with a woman in the audience. Radio programmers often chose this Wide Awake in America version over the original studio recording for airplay. The EP's title is inspired by the chorus of "Bad", with its refrain, "Wide awake / I'm wide awake / I'm not sleeping."

Song notes[edit]

"Bad" was produced by the band and recorded live from the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, England on 12 November 1984, as part of the Unforgettable Fire Tour. Guitarist the Edge misplayed the very last note of this song, but U2 decided to use this version anyway, and the error was fixed during mixing.[5] Rolling Stone magazine had been critical of the album version of "Bad" and other songs on The Unforgettable Fire album, which it described as "unfocused". In its review of Wide Awake In America, it said that the album's songs benefited from the transition to live performance and that "Bad" was a "show stopper."[3]

"A Sort of Homecoming" is live from Wembley Arena in London, England on 15 November 1984. The song was produced by Tony Visconti and recorded during a soundcheck at the concert, with the crowd noise mixed in later during post-production at Good Earth Studios.

"The Three Sunrises" (also listed as "Three Sunrises") was produced by the band with Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois. It can also be found on the B-sides disc of the limited edition of The Best of 1980–1990 compilation from 1998.

"Love Comes Tumbling" was produced by the band and also appears, as a slightly edited version with four bars immediately preceding the vocal deleted, on the B-sides disc of The Best of 1980–1990.

All tracks except "Bad" originally appeared on "The Unforgettable Fire" single, released in April 1985 outside the U.S. The mix on "A Sort of Homecoming" from that single is different on this release and includes some studio-dubbed backing vocals by The Edge.

The EP was released in the United Kingdom on 19 October 1987.[6]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
1."Bad" (live)U27:59
2."A Sort of Homecoming" (live)Tony Visconti4:05
Side two
1."The Three Sunrises"U2, Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois3:50
2."Love Comes Tumbling"U24:45

Charts and certifications[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Wide Awake in America – U2". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-08-12.
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert. "U2 – Consumer Guide Reviews". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 2009-10-13.
  3. ^ a b Henke, James (1985-07-18). "Music Review: Wide Awake in America". Rolling Stone (452–453). Archived from the original on 7 November 2007. Retrieved 2011-08-12.
  4. ^ "U2: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-05-25.
  5. ^ McGee (2008), p. 86
  6. ^ McGee (2008), p. 112
  7. ^ a b "CRIA Certification Results: U2". Canadian Recording Industry Association. 1988-05-17. Archived from the original on 15 October 2007. Retrieved 2011-05-31.
  8. ^ "U2 albums". Everyhit.com. Retrieved 2009-10-29. Note: U2 must be searched manually.
  9. ^ "Certified Awards Search". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2009-11-25. Note: U2 must be searched manually.
  10. ^ "U2: Charts and Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-01-23.
  11. ^ "Gold and Platinum Database Search". RIAA. Retrieved 2010-01-23. Note: U2 must be searched manually.
  12. ^ "U2: Charts and Awards". Allmusic. Archived from the original on 2010-01-23. Retrieved 2010-01-23.

External links[edit]