Author Topic: What singles would you have picked for the last 3 albums?  (Read 878 times)

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Online laoghaire

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What singles would you have picked for the last 3 albums?
« on: September 09, 2018, 10:34:53 AM »
U2 haven't had a hit single since Vertigo. Maybe it wasn't possible, but perhaps they promoted the wrong songs and could have at least done better?

If you could go back in time and be in charge of selecting the lead single for NLOTH, SOI, and SOE, then subsequent singles, what would you have selected for each and why?

Keep in mind, it's not about your favorite songs or the best songs, but songs for radio play and mass appeal. (Or you can make a case for dumping mass appeal, but the goal is to increase the band's success with these three albums).

And you have to use songs they actually recorded (though you can choose ones that didn't make the albums) - no fair saying "they should have made a classic rock album / Achtung Baby 2.0 / whatever."



Offline mrsamrocks2

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Re: What singles would you have picked for the last 3 albums?
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2018, 01:02:13 PM »
For NLOTH, I probably would have picked No Line 2. I think the version is very dynamic and would have worked along hit songs from that time by Kings of Leon (Sex on fire) and The Killers (Spaceman). There is not a lot of single material on the album. The only choices are Magnificent and Crazy Tonight in my opinion. As much as I love Moment of Surrender, it would not have worked as a single.

1: NLOTH 2
2: Magnificent
3: Crazy Tonight

For SOI, again, I don't think there is a lot of single material on the album and I happen to think they picked the right songs with The Miracle, EBW and SFS. Maybe they could have led with EBW instead of The Miracle. The problem with the promotion of the album was the Apple backlash as we all know.

1: EBW
2: The Miracle
3: SFS

For SOE, there were a lot more options. I probably would have picked The Blackout, but the album version really lacks dynamics and I think the mix is horrible, especially in the chorus. It would need to be remixed to be a single. Red Flag Day would have been an interesting choice. Summer of love should have been released as a single... in the summer. Overall, I would have done this:

1: The Blackout
2: GOOYOW
3: Red Flag Day
4: Summer of Love
5: YTBTAM


Offline Rasmus

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Re: What singles would you have picked for the last 3 albums?
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2018, 01:02:42 PM »
NLOTH - Magnificent
SOI - Every Breaking Wave
SOE - Red Flag Day

Offline Luzita

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What singles would you have picked for the last 3 albums?
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2018, 07:27:11 PM »
Iím going to work backwards from most recent album.

We have to acknowledge that Best Thing was not a bad choice for first single from SOE. Itís not my favorite, but it charted in a number of countries. I know it was top 25 in France and Italy though Iím not sure what that means in terms of radio play because some national charts incorporate radio and others donít. So I will talk about U.S. radio which I got some info on thanks to another forum. Best Thing got to #122 in terms of U.S. radio play which means it wasnít a hit but didnít do too badly, esp. since it had legs. It did better than any song from SOI. In fact it did so well on the smaller radio formats that the chart mavens on this thread I was following were wondering why the hell it didnít cross over to the larger formats. It appears the radio people who make these decisions are just reluctant to play a song from a bunch of aging rockers, so for U2 to get a hit at this stage of their career is really an uphill battle. I personally feel Red Flag Day might have done better. Itís a punchy radio-friendly song but less generic than Best Thing. Maybe it would have broken through. But what do I know? Not like Iím in tune with whatís popular on radio these days.

For Songs of Innocence, I would have gone with Song for Someone as the first single. I thought Miracle was a terrible choice. (And on U.S. radio at least, SFS had the best performance of the SOI singles. So yay for me.)

For NLOTH, I would have picked Magnificent. Boots actually charted pretty high in a number of countries before falling quickly, cause I guess that was when radio was still giving U2 a chance. If Magnificent had been first, it might have sold the album better. Not that Iím one of those people who hates Boots but Magnificent is a way better song. And again, looking at U.S. radio play, Boots had slightly higher peak AI but Magnificent had longer legs.


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« Last Edit: September 09, 2018, 07:29:38 PM by Luzita »

Offline shineinthesummernight

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Re: What singles would you have picked for the last 3 albums?
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2018, 07:45:38 PM »
Being the worst song on the album, "Best Thing" was not, in my opinion the best lead-off from this latest album.  I would probably have picked something accessible yet with more depth---"Love is Bigger" or "Red Flag Day" would be obvious choices.

Online laoghaire

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Re: What singles would you have picked for the last 3 albums?
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2018, 08:28:52 PM »
I think for NLOTH I might have gone with either Magnificent or Breathe. Maybe Magnificent for the lead to shake things up, then Breathe. After that, either go totally ballsy and do Cedars, or go with NLOTH.

Of course I don't know but I could see Magnificent gaining some traction. I feel like U2 has been trying to play it too safe with generic singles, but that's not what made them #1. Sunday Bloody Sunday, Pride, and even With or Without You were not generic songs built for radio, they were the songs the band tried to build as great songs. Moment of Surrender is a great song but too dense for radio, but Magnificent is probably the sweet spot. U2 want to get everybody but they need to just be themselves, that's what people like.

Breathe is different and accessible and rock radio friendly. Cedars is daring. If Lou Reed could be popular, why would people have a hard time with Cedars?

SOI, I think EBW seems to have done well. But instead of The Miracle and SFS I probably would have picked The Troubles and Raised by Wolves. I think Lykke's part on TT makes for good radio play. And TT and RBW deal with the deeper issues that made people like U2. Their big hits mean something. The Miracle sounds nice on first listen but there's not a whole lot to it. It doesn't justify continued radio play. SFS may have been an ok choice but I think there's more meat to RBW and TT while still being radio friendly.

SOE, I think there are a lot of choices. YTBTAM wouldn't have been one of mine. I agree The Blackout is a great song that somehow - and I don't know how - didn't come through on the mix or something. NeverthelessI probably would have lead with it just to intrigue us with the sound, then Red Flag Day next, which seems like an amazing song that a lot of different types of people could have found something to like in. RFD is the goal: a truly quality song that's not too dense (like MOS) for radio play. That's quality music, there. It's a mystery to me that it got buried.

Then Summer of Love, in time for the summer - duh!!

And probably Love is Bigger, after enjoying the traction of RFD and SoL.

Well, I can't say this would have changed their success. The Apple thing happened. And they got shuffled into the Old category.

But NLOTH maybe was a missed opportunity. They had the monster tour and no hit anywhere. Maybe there is no hit possible in NLOTH but perhaps Magnificent would have had way more respect than Boots. They were doomed with Apple but maybe RBW and TT would have kept the respect bar higher. And honestly I think SOE has several hit-worthy songs, but after a thousand years without a hit plus rhe Apple thing and getting Old, it's a hell of a battle to sell your hit-worthy songs. Which is a hell of a shame.

Offline World71R

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Re: What singles would you have picked for the last 3 albums?
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2018, 10:37:37 PM »
NLOTH:

Magnificent, Breathe, I'll Go Crazy, NLOTH


SOI:

California, EBW, SFS, Cedarwood Road


SOE:

Red Flag Day, Love is Bigger, GOOYOW, The Showman (or Lights of Home)

Offline shineinthesummernight

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Re: What singles would you have picked for the last 3 albums?
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2018, 07:16:42 PM »
Not really feeling the love for "The Showman", but I agree that "Lights of Home" would have been a good choice.

Offline Luzita

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Re: What singles would you have picked for the last 3 albums?
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2018, 12:27:22 AM »
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I think for NLOTH I might have gone with either Magnificent or Breathe. Maybe Magnificent for the lead to shake things up, then Breathe. After that, either go totally ballsy and do Cedars, or go with NLOTH.

Of course I don't know but I could see Magnificent gaining some traction. I feel like U2 has been trying to play it too safe with generic singles, but that's not what made them #1. Sunday Bloody Sunday, Pride, and even With or Without You were not generic songs built for radio, they were the songs the band tried to build as great songs. Moment of Surrender is a great song but too dense for radio, but Magnificent is probably the sweet spot. U2 want to get everybody but they need to just be themselves, that's what people like.

Breathe is different and accessible and rock radio friendly. Cedars is daring. If Lou Reed could be popular, why would people have a hard time with Cedars?

SOI, I think EBW seems to have done well. But instead of The Miracle and SFS I probably would have picked The Troubles and Raised by Wolves. I think Lykke's part on TT makes for good radio play. And TT and RBW deal with the deeper issues that made people like U2. Their big hits mean something. The Miracle sounds nice on first listen but there's not a whole lot to it. It doesn't justify continued radio play. SFS may have been an ok choice but I think there's more meat to RBW and TT while still being radio friendly.

SOE, I think there are a lot of choices. YTBTAM wouldn't have been one of mine. I agree The Blackout is a great song that somehow - and I don't know how - didn't come through on the mix or something. NeverthelessI probably would have lead with it just to intrigue us with the sound, then Red Flag Day next, which seems like an amazing song that a lot of different types of people could have found something to like in. RFD is the goal: a truly quality song that's not too dense (like MOS) for radio play. That's quality music, there. It's a mystery to me that it got buried.

Then Summer of Love, in time for the summer - duh!!

And probably Love is Bigger, after enjoying the traction of RFD and SoL.

Well, I can't say this would have changed their success. The Apple thing happened. And they got shuffled into the Old category.

But NLOTH maybe was a missed opportunity. They had the monster tour and no hit anywhere. Maybe there is no hit possible in NLOTH but perhaps Magnificent would have had way more respect than Boots. They were doomed with Apple but maybe RBW and TT would have kept the respect bar higher. And honestly I think SOE has several hit-worthy songs, but after a thousand years without a hit plus rhe Apple thing and getting Old, it's a hell of a battle to sell your hit-worthy songs. Which is a hell of a shame.
I agree The Troubles might have gotten some traction yet it was never released as a single.


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Offline Luzita

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Re: What singles would you have picked for the last 3 albums?
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2018, 12:31:33 AM »
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Not really feeling the love for "The Showman", but I agree that "Lights of Home" would have been a good choice.
I like both those songs, but for radio I think Lights is better. SOE does have a lot of choices. But to me the best is Red Flag Day yet it has yet to be released! I donít get it.


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Offline JFW

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Re: What singles would you have picked for the last 3 albums?
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2018, 12:37:42 AM »
Magnificent was pretty big, right? I knew the song before I discovered U2

Online laoghaire

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Re: What singles would you have picked for the last 3 albums?
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2018, 06:06:10 AM »
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Magnificent was pretty big, right? I knew the song before I discovered U2

Really? Did they release it as a single?

I was on U2 hiatus then and never heard a single song from NLOTH until this year. (I also live in the middle of nowhere with literally 2 stations on the radio - classic rock and NPR).

Offline A_Fly_On_The_Wall

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Re: What singles would you have picked for the last 3 albums?
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2018, 06:13:14 AM »
No Line On The Horizon
1. Moment Of Surrender
2. Fez - Being Born
3. Breathe

Leading this album with a song like "Moment Of Surrender" would have been a move which only a band like U2 could have pulled off. It is an extremely dark song, and lengthy to be played on the radio, but it would have been such a bold and daring move for U2 to pull off and I think they could have done it.

Following it up with "Fez - Being Born" would have been equally as bold as this, for me, is U2's most experimental song of their 2000's era. It would have created such an aura of intrigue for this album which would have been a fantastic way to get their music to the masses.

"Breathe" is a fantastic song and always should have been released as a single. Accompanying the two previous darker and experimental singles, this one would have showcased the fact that U2 can still bring the rock and roll to their albums.

Songs Of Innocence
1. Raised By Wolves
2. Cedarwood Road
3. The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)

Again, starting off the singles with an experimental and defiant-natured song such as "Raised By Wolves" would have gotten everyone talking about this album before it's release (in a more positive way to how people actually talked about this album). Imgaine U2 announcing their new album and lead single to be a song like RBW - that would have been so awesome but they never did it!

"Cedarwood Road" would have been a good second single choice as it is a more prominent definition of the theme that this album has of innocence. Harking back to their teenage years, this single would have shown the world what this album was about straight up and what direction U2 were heading in with this album which would have been good also.

"The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)" was a good single - just not a good lead single. It wasn't the song which grabbed the attention of everyone when it was released and, once a listener isn't grabbed immediately, they lose interest in anything else the band may have to offer. U2 missed their chance with this album as they chose the wrong single to lead it with.

Songs Of Experience
1. Summer Of Love
2. The Blackout
3. Red Flag Day

"Summer Of Love" would have been my choice for lead single on this album as it is, for me, their most currently relevant track on the album - and with a welcoming title like Summer Of Love, it would have been an instant go-to track for most people eager to hear U2's new sounds, even if the meaning of the song itself sort of contradicts the title.

"The Blackout" should have then followed up the lead single as this song is another good definition of the current state the world is in which I believe is one of the main themes U2 have tried to push forward with this album. Plus, it totally rocks and would get a lot of people pumped to hear it on the radio. It sounds different to most other current bands' rock songs as well which means it would have found its place being a refreshing-sounding rock track on the airwaves.

"Red Flag Day", again, is a combination of both previous singles as it has a relevant theme and is rocking. Also, it sounds musically youthful and boisterous which would work well on the current radio charts. A song like this is a great reminder that U2 are still an amazing band and better than any other band currently out there in terms of their recent output. I really hope the band continues putting out records like "Songs Of Experience" as the music they are making is still absolutley incredible and they are totally smashing the opposition!

Offline Luzita

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Re: What singles would you have picked for the last 3 albums?
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2018, 03:25:03 PM »
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Magnificent was pretty big, right? I knew the song before I discovered U2

Really? Did they release it as a single?

I was on U2 hiatus then and never heard a single song from NLOTH until this year. (I also live in the middle of nowhere with literally 2 stations on the radio - classic rock and NPR).
Yes, they did release it as a single. Donít think it was exactly big but it did okay.


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Offline Droo

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Re: What singles would you have picked for the last 3 albums?
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2018, 08:10:52 AM »
No Line: Magnificent, No Line, Moment Of Surrender (edited somewhat to a more radio-friendly length)

Songs of Innocence: Raised By Wolves, Cedarwood Road, Iris (Hold Me Close)

Songs of Experience: Red Flag Day, Summer Of Love, The Little Things That Give You Away