After their win at the Golden Globes last week, I don't think anyone was too surprised when U2 showed up on the Academy Awards nominee list for Best Original Song. They are up against some stiff competition, including songs by Karen O and Pharrell Williams. The songs nominated aren't all that dazzling, so I get the feeling U2 are more of a shoo-in than they were in 2003 against Eminem and Paul Simon. I find "Ordinary Love" to be a fairly middling U2 song, even with the superior Epworth mix, but I am still really pumped to see it performed live on the broadcast, as I doubt we'll be getting it much when the tour starts. And is it just me, or are The Edge's guitars in the bridge of "Ordinary Love" really, really '80s?
The other song everyone has been talking about is "Invisible." Initially it was uncertain if it was going to be a track off the new album or a charity track for Project RED or something else. The hope was that we would get some sort of introduction to the new album during the upcoming Super Bowl ad that everyone has been talking about. Now, by the sound of it, this will be a one-off track, with the album's first single showing up this spring and the album itself coming around this summer. I was hoping the Golden Globes win would be the first step into a fun new year of U2, but now it's looking like it might be a half-year. I know I'll listen to the album nonstop for a month when it comes out, and I'll be in the GA line for as many shows as I can afford, but if it comes out in June or July, that will be five and a half years between albums ...
I would like to reiterate Sherry Lawrence's comment from last week's Off The Record that U2's fan base would love a surprise release like Beyoncé. More fun, unanticipated events from the band could be just what they need to infuse some excitement ahead of their release and tour.
The tour itself was almost 30 years ago, but the album for ¡Released!: A Conspiracy Of Hope just came out last November. One of the true gems on the album that I hadn't heard before was the cover of the Bob Dylan song "I Shall Be Released." It was performed by a supergroup composed of U2, The Police, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Lou Reed, Bryan Adams, Jackson Browne and a host of backing singers. It is an amazing, joyous rendition of the song, and Joan Baez's voice is absolutely gorgeous. You'll have to forgive Sting's shirt mysteriously popping open partway through through the song. It was the '80s — this sort of accident just happened.
(c) @U2/Ryan, 2014.