Contactmusic reports U2 to re-record "Pop" album!

Can this be true?

Personally, I like Pop the way it is. But you can bet I’d be in line on release-day to hear what the band intended the album to be.

UPDATE: This looks more and more like a distortion of the quotes in the Greg Kot interview. I think it probably started here, with NME’s story that quoted the interview and jumped to conclusions.

So, U2 fans, should they re-record it?

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  • John

    To me, a reworked Pop is a little scary, based on what they did to the remixes for the 90s compilation. I’m afraid they would back off from the electronica influences that fueled the album in the first place. “Discotheque” for example, lost its fabulous intro and the boom-chas from the end of the song, which weakened it and made it a more “typical rock song” — why would you make a typical rock song called “Discotheque” anyway?

    “Please” is one of the best songs they’ve written, for sure, and I’d hate to see it change, and there’s something really powerful about “Wake Up Dead Man.” Leave them alone!

  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    Hmm. I agree with you that those are three great songs, but for me, aside from “Gone,” which is the most powerful and moving for me on “Pop,” the sonic exhilaration of the first three songs is what I love best about the album. “If God Would Send His Angels” has never done a thing for me.

  • Clive

    I would buy a reworked Pop. This is one a favourite albums, although the first three songs leave me cold. In my opinion, there is great material in the middle six songs.

    I find the magic is in the final three songs: Velvet Dress, Please and Wake Up. To my ears, almost every song in the U2 catalogue pushes outward. These three songs are the only songs where there is room for the listener to enter in and become a part of the song experience. Also, there is something wonderfully unpolished about these tunes.

    So yes, I would buy a reworked copy of Pop, but would continue to return to the last three songs.


  • Mr. Christopher

    Jeffrey, I would be really interested in knowing why these are your favorites (if it is not too personal). Anyone else who comments on their favorite U2, please comment on why you like it as well else no one benefits from your insight if you just state the song title. God bless you and keep you everyone!

  • Eriol

    I like the idea of re-recording “October”. u2 maybe didn’t know that “Pop” was unfinished but anyone can tell “October” is only half-done(perhaps what I’m actually wanting is for them to re-write it).
    And for the record I’ve never heard “Pop” so I wouldn’t know if they should re-record it.

  • lbrodine

    It would seem that they’ve already attempted to rework part of Pop with their Best of 1990-2000, where they stuck new mixes of “Discotheque”, “Staring at the Sun”, and “Gone”, plus “Numb” from Zooropa. At the time, I enjoyed the novelty of hearing certain parts of the songs a little more clearly, notably the additional vocal from Larry on “Numb”. When I happen to pull those songs up now on iTunes, I find that I would rather go back to the original album mixes, probably because those (original) versions are so burned into my memory that when it’s (new mixes) different, I can’t view it as a “better” version. The new mixes just feel like another dance mix, which by the way I love from their mid- to late-90s output.

    All of this reminds me of the “Special” Edition versions of the original Star Wars Trilogy. Yes, the novelty of having cleaned up special effects and a few new scenes was pretty cool… but I think they were so successful because people just wanted to see them on the big screen, not so much for the new material. I find that I would rather watch my older videotapes from television that has the original film than watch my high-quality, widescreen version just because it’s not what I remember (and not that nostalgia is the point of art). I do respect and appreciate Lucas’ ability to make the films as close to what he originally intended them to be, but I think there’s a point where you need to accept certain restrictions and just go with it. (I mean, look at the Beatles. They only had 4-track recorders (at best), and they were able to record some brilliant stuff. You don’t see Paul and Ringo going back to make those albums better with new technologies… oh wait we did… I digress…)

    All that to say, if U2 are actually going to rerecord the whole thing, I would probably be more interested in these than just remixes of the original recordings. Artists 5-10 years down the line will interpret their own work in very new ways.

    (and I’m with Christopher about “Please”… do you have the single for “Please”? It has this brilliant string section added… and then it’s followed by a live version of “Please” from the Pop Mart Tour that transitions into a stirring version of “Where The Streets Have No Name”… 2 of my favorite songs back-to-back… if only they’d followed it with “Stay (Faraway, So Close)”, “The Fly”, and “All I Want Is You” on the single… am I asking too much?)

  • Anonymous

    Forgive me for saying something that, to many here may consider blasphemy, but I would think that if they were to re-record an album, it would be “October.” Didn’t Bono lose the music notation before going into the studio?


  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    >>”Please” is one of my favorite U2 songs<<

    It’s one of Bono’s too. He says in the new book “Bono in Conversation” that his favorites are probably “Please” and “Stay (Faraway, So Close)”. Interesting choices. Mine would be “With or Without You,” “Gone,” and “Love is Blindness.”

  • Chad

    I’m with you, Jeffrey. I think Pop is a great record as it stands. But I would be one of the first to hand over some of my hard earned cash to hear the record they had in mind.

    I enjoy your blog — keep up the good work.

  • Mr. Christopher

    It seems to me that, if the original artist feels their work is left unfinished, then it is their perogative to go back and finish it. I applaud Bono’s humility in admitting the mistakes he and his colleagues made. It shows that, to me, art is always in flux and is, if we are honest with ourselves, never fully finished.
    If one cannot say an artist can or should change their work, if they feel their original work was misguided, then I believe that person must remain consistent with all aspects of art, musical or otherwise. Lets use the movies for example: Lord of the Rings, for each movie release, Peter Jackson also created a special Director’s Cut addition. These films added material previously cut primarily due to length restrictions. Is the film less of an artistic feat because Jackson went back and ‘changed’ his original work, or does it complete the vision that Peter Jackson really wanted to show but couldn’t?

    We must remain consistent–either the artist has the right to reflect, and potentially change, on their own art or they do not.
    Perhaps it comes down to your tolerance for change? Change is hard for most once we are used to something and, for some, impossible to tolerate once the original art has been established and transfixed in our memories.

    …(as an aside, I rather enjoyed Pop, “Please” is one of my favorite U2 songs as, to me, speaks of the apathy and our judgementalism that exists within our modern day culture and, in my context, the evangelical church. U2 has always done well to continuosly redefine themselves in ways that are so unique that they almost cannot be defined. The new “Pop” will, no doubt, be a whole new spin on the songs that, for some, will be a completely different album more than a replacement of the current one)…