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11
General U2 Discussion / Edgeís Rig Rundown
« Last post by Tortuga on July 19, 2018, 10:18:23 PM »
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12
I thought I might occasionally post some blow-by-blow commentary on videos that are interesting to me. Here's the first.

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Bullet the Blue Sky on Jimmy Fallon (2017)

There have been so many incredible performances of Bullet over the years, and they manage to keep it fresh with new nuances and lyrics in the spoken part, often dedicated to different topics within the overall theme of America as flawed yet a haven for those in the world who need it.

30 years after this song was released, U2 managed to do their most amazing performance of it.

I can't believe they could still blow me away with this tune all these years later. You might prefer another version, but this version impressed everyone I've played it to, including my husband who doesn't like them.

0:00
Jimmy is so excited he can barely contain himself. A lot of people find him annoying, but he's one of us, a big U2 fan. His performances of Desire prove that he's watched Rattle and Hum as much as any of us.

0:24
The first note is already big.  The sound is big, the lighting is big, their poses are big, the video backdrop is big. They brought their A-game.

0:52
Bono nails the opening line like I've never heard before. He usually has to kind of settle into the key for this song.

1:30
We've seen Bono haul out twenty metric tons of emotions before, but Edge usually plays it cool. But look at him here. He's singing and playing like he's Atlas with the world on his shoulders. Do not mess with The Edge tonight!

1:49
Bono does a cool "flower of fire" gesture.

2:00 and so on
A lot of physical energy from Bono.

2:20
Super awesome scat singing of The Spar Spangled Banner: ah-da-daaa-DAAAA AYY-da-daa etc. Followed by, "WAR! What is it GOOD FOR??" in that GLORIOUS Bono lungs-out ROAR that I wish we could hear more of these days.

2:39
The first spoken-word verse, and it's a killer:
Suit and tie comes up to me
His face orange like a rose on a thorn bush
Skin as thin as an orange crush
And he's peeling off those dollar bills
Slapping them down
One hundred!
Two hundred!
And I can see those fighter planes
I can see those fighter planes
WMD in the veins
The ground shakes but the children can't weep
Vaporized in a single tweet
The emporer rises from his golden throne
Never knowing, never being known
The lights are on, the president's home
Oh my god, I've never felt so alone
Outside is America
Outside is America
La-la-la-la a-MER-i-ca

(That last line a reference to West Side Story)
All this delivered with exquisite vocalizing, voice breaking in places and it's terrifying and beautiful and mournful and kind.

3:39
The Goddamn Edge, goddamn Edging.

4:05
It is an actual fetish of mine to see Bono watch Edge Edging.

4:12
More "War, what is it good for?" but softer and this time with an answer: "Absolutely nothing."

4:29
The second spoken verse, even more of a killer (imagery turns to North Korea). Note that this take was very timely in September 2017.
In a far-off palace, in a far-fetched land
Another baby plays a baby grand
Fingers on the keys of a siren song
Finger on the button of oblivion
And all I can think of is my son
All I can think of is my son
Misses his ma
Misses his da
And he runs
And he runs
And he runs
And he runs
Into the arms
Into the arms
Into the arms
Of America

Also - just jaw-droppingly delivered. Voice, body, power.

5:04
The hand. The hand.

5:19
Modest little bow from Bono. "Just doin' me job."

5:22
No such pretensions from Adam, grinning from ear to ear and shaking his head: "HOLY sh**."

5:25
Ditto Edge, looking utterly giddy: " Did that just happen?"

I'm sorry I have no Larry comments. I love Larry. He did great.

So that's Bullet on Fallon. It's an incredible feeling to have your heros slay once again.
13
General U2 Discussion / Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Last post by Tortuga on July 19, 2018, 07:44:46 PM »
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Couple of bits of context...

Music has been around for thousands of years.

The idea that an 'album' was the pinnacle of musical expression was only relevant for a few decades. And really, only became so due to the popularity of the vinyl LP - which had the capacity of around 20-25 minutes of recorded music on each side.

Technology has meant that musicians are now free from than restriction. The only problem is a business problem - an industry grew up very quickly around the advent of the LP. As that era is now effectively over, musicians need to think of other mechanisms if they want to commercialize their art. Interesting times...:)

Yes, when things have been a certain way your entire life its hard to imagine them any other way.  The movie ďOh brother where art thouĒ gives you a good idea how the commercialization of music started and how young it is.  The business.model will continuously change but music is not going away.


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14
The Music and Lyrics / Re: Rattle and Hum: Retrospective
« Last post by mrsamrocks2 on July 19, 2018, 06:55:46 PM »
There are some great songs on it like AIWIY and Heartland, but overall, this is not the U2 I like and I tend to listen to R&H the least out of all their albums.
15
Fun and Games / Re: A-Z U2 songs
« Last post by kevtn43 on July 19, 2018, 04:53:18 PM »
Invisible
16
General U2 Discussion / Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Last post by Boba Fett on July 19, 2018, 04:42:39 PM »
Couple of bits of context...

Music has been around for thousands of years.

The idea that an 'album' was the pinnacle of musical expression was only relevant for a few decades. And really, only became so due to the popularity of the vinyl LP - which had the capacity of around 20-25 minutes of recorded music on each side.

Technology has meant that musicians are now free from than restriction. The only problem is a business problem - an industry grew up very quickly around the advent of the LP. As that era is now effectively over, musicians need to think of other mechanisms if they want to commercialize their art. Interesting times...:)
17
General U2 Discussion / Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Last post by Tortuga on July 19, 2018, 04:41:58 PM »
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Thanks, wons.  These are sobering stats.  I have been fascinated by this thread because it offers a glimpse of how many of "us" there are out there.  A dwindling amount, it appears.

My pleasure! So 319,000 people purchased the album in either a physical or digital format. A much smaller group of people either streamed or puchased individual tracks from the album equivalent to maybe another 30,000 albums sold. Billboard considers the sale of 10 individual track downloads to = One album sold. Billboard considers 1,500 streams = to One Album sold.

The POP album was considered a poor seller back in 1997 by U2's standards and industry standards at the time. But at least everyone who purchased a ticket for POPMART purchased one copy of the POP album. I'm not exactly sure about this, but it seems like only 1/2 or 1/3 of the people who went to see the Experience Tour purchased the album or listened to it. That seems odd considering that most of the fanbase knows a tour like this is not a nostalgia event but is about the new album primarily.

Wons,

Iíve asked this before but you never answered.  By default, didnít EVERYONE who bought a ticket for E&I buy the CD as well?  Or are you saying the 319,000 includes those sales and there were 400K to 600K who bought tickets.   Meaning only 1/3 to 1/2 redeemed their included CD,  less the people who didnít buy tickets but bought the CD.


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No.

Only a fraction of the people who purchased TICKETS for the tour got the album in a digital or physical format FROM their TICKET PURCHASE. That number, is then added to sales of the album that occurred, 1. through online stores for digital formats and physical formats and 2.  people who went to a physical store to pick up a physical copy of the album.

So album sales came from three sources:
1. Album/ticket bundle
2. online sales of digital and physical formats
3. Physical stores selling a physical copy of the album

All 3 of those combine for a total of 319,000 in sales.

The number of tickets sold for the tour in the United States was 438,059. I don't know the exact figure, but it could be as little as 50,000 of ticket buyers redeeming the album and getting in digital or physical format with the purchase of the ticket.

One important thing is, you could NOT use the ticket purchase to get DELUXE album version of the album. The only way to get the DELUXE version of the album was to purchase it from an online store or a physical store.

Personally, I'm responsible for 3 of the albums in the 319,000 album total since I purchased the DELUXE version of the album at the local record store and then redeemed each of the two tickets I purchased for a copy of the album. The copy of the album offered is just the regular album with only 13 tracks. I kept one and gave the other one away.


Its not clear what the exact breakdown of the 319,000 is in terms of what and how people got their albums. I might be able to dig up some of that data for the first week of sales which were 180,000, more than half the total. The breaking down between physical vs digital formats is probably 50/50.


I hope that makes it clear.

So, to me, that just indicates that my preferences are not uncommon.  There are a lot of people out there that have no use for a physical disc.  I canít remember if my ticket offered a digital download or CD, but I think it was just CD.



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Every person who purchased a ticket had the option to get the album in digital format or physical format. All sales are physical and digital combined. My argument here has NEVER been about CD's(which you mysteriously continue to talk about) or specifically any physical product. A digital album sold is the same as a physical cd or record sold. What is not the same is streaming.

Your preference though is to stream the music which is NOT the same as purchasing the album in a digital format. Purchasing the album, regardless of format is all the same. Streaming is an entirely different thing.

90% of the people, which does not include YOU, purchased this album in either a digital or physical format. Your group, the streamers, comprise less than 10% of the people who have listened to the album.

So when it comes to U2 fans who have listened to Songs Of Experience, your preference for streaming as opposed to purchasing the album, is very uncommon.

I do realize digital copy and CD is the same as far as sales.  Thatís why I asked if a digital copy or CD was offered with the ticket.

So you have your answer then donít you?  A large percentage of the fans who went to the show are uninterested in the new album.  I donít really find that surprising.  Most people that go to shows like U2 are going for legacy reasons.  The latest album has not received alot of mainstream attention.


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For most of U2's career, the new album and whether it was successful or not played the primary factor in whether the tour was a success. U2 had their first downturn with the POPMART tour and it was because the POP album was poorly received. The next three albums and did very well though and so did their tours. This is the first tour U2 has ever done where the number of fans who purchased or listened to the album was less than the number of fans that purchased a ticket for the tour. For POP and POPMART it was one for one. But typically, album sales have always been greater than ticket sales.

So unfortunately it appears that the legacy factor is for the first time dominating things over the new album which is not good news for the band. It shows that overall interest in the band is dwindling. While some "legacy acts" do record business, most get stuck playing the local farm show or town festival. Its not the ideal place to be. The ideal is having new music that brings in new fans, old fans, and everything in between + the legacy factor. That is when the business incredible or record breaking like on the Vertigo Tour and the 360 tour.

Still, selling 319,000 copies of an album in 2017/2018 is not bad at all. Justin Timberlake's latest has only done a little over 400,000. The sad fact is most people are not even listening to albums in any format anymore. Their just listening to individual songs, a couple from this artist, a couple from that artist. Technology has killed the album regardless of the format it is in. That's not good for artist in the future, because individual songs are not a very good basis for building fandom and getting fans to spend $100 dollars a ticket or more to come to a show. As the public becomes less invested in any particular artist, they become less likely to support concert performances. Why go see a band or artist when you only like or listen to two of their songs? The public is starting to place LESS VALUE on music in general, and even less value on the artist that produce the music.

But U2 are an album band! They always have been. That means they produce albums that from first track to last, are fantastic with no filler. It takes incredible talent to be able to do that. People use to appreciate that, but not anymore it seems.

Still, I hope U2 do not lose heart and realize that they still have a very dedicated following that is interested in their new music and generally prefer the album/tour cycle that is based around new music which is what the band has always been about.



To be honest, though, Iím not really following what all of this data and analysis is supposed to telling me, or how Iím supposed to react.


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This is one of the elements of the business side of U2 which naturally does have some impact on their career and the choices they make in the future. Its also interesting to look at and compare with how other artist are doing just for that reason alone. By clicking on and reading this thread, you've at least showed some interest in the subject.

Because this thread seems to be as much about the state of the music industry as it is SOE sales,  I would be interested in what others (wons too, but not just wons) think about it.  Here are my thoughts.

There has been some great art created in the era of the music industry but lets face it, the commercialization of music has produced, and is still producing, alot of crap that I wouldnít call art.  I like the idea of music regaining more of what it used to be, where it was a local community thing.  The status quo where its all or nothing for an artist, and people stopped paying attention to the guy that lives across town because they were so distracted by a national artist with flashing lights and a TV show, has its drawbacks.  When I was in high school it was such a big deal for a local band to have a ďrecordĒ because pressing vinyl was pretty expensive on a small scale.  Then it was really cool because of the advent of the home studio and you could sell CD-Rs.  Now the final physical barrier to distributing recorded music is falling.  It may not be a great thing for established artists who have been making millions of dollars releasing multiple greatest hits album with just one new song, but for the local musician who has a day job and just wants the joy of having a couple hundred people like their song on Soundcloud its awesome!  If you like music, pay attention to Soundcloud, Pledgemusic, CDBaby.  There is some brilliant music out there that the major labels donít care about.  If I had all the options to discover music that I have now when I was in High School I would have flunked out.  All I had back then was Rolling Stone and the local record store.  Those sources represented a tiny fraction of all the music that was being made.  Support your local musicians and enjoy some really great music where you can have a beer with the band on their break and talk about whats going on in town.  Help fill the tip jar and share their music on your playlist (Spotify or whatever).  This is how it works today. 


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I'll take U2, The Police, Pearl Jam, Big Country, Metallica, R.E.M., Coldplay, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, INXS over any local talent any day of the week. Say what you will about the music business, but without it, over 99% of people who like these bands would not know about them. This website were posting on would not exist! Lets remember this is a U2 fan website. Support U2 and their work that we love.

In 1977, U2 was local talent.  If they hadnít been attracting an enthusiastic audience and, as a result, getting the attention of people like Bill Graham, this forum would not exist and you never would have heard of U2.  The same is true for all the bands you mention above.  Iím not saying major label music stinks.   That would be ridiculous.  Iím just saying much of it is highly derivative and targeted for the masses and if its all you are paying attention to you are missing out.




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18
General U2 Discussion / Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Last post by wons on July 19, 2018, 04:24:30 PM »
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Thanks, wons.  These are sobering stats.  I have been fascinated by this thread because it offers a glimpse of how many of "us" there are out there.  A dwindling amount, it appears.

My pleasure! So 319,000 people purchased the album in either a physical or digital format. A much smaller group of people either streamed or puchased individual tracks from the album equivalent to maybe another 30,000 albums sold. Billboard considers the sale of 10 individual track downloads to = One album sold. Billboard considers 1,500 streams = to One Album sold.

The POP album was considered a poor seller back in 1997 by U2's standards and industry standards at the time. But at least everyone who purchased a ticket for POPMART purchased one copy of the POP album. I'm not exactly sure about this, but it seems like only 1/2 or 1/3 of the people who went to see the Experience Tour purchased the album or listened to it. That seems odd considering that most of the fanbase knows a tour like this is not a nostalgia event but is about the new album primarily.

Wons,

Iíve asked this before but you never answered.  By default, didnít EVERYONE who bought a ticket for E&I buy the CD as well?  Or are you saying the 319,000 includes those sales and there were 400K to 600K who bought tickets.   Meaning only 1/3 to 1/2 redeemed their included CD,  less the people who didnít buy tickets but bought the CD.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

No.

Only a fraction of the people who purchased TICKETS for the tour got the album in a digital or physical format FROM their TICKET PURCHASE. That number, is then added to sales of the album that occurred, 1. through online stores for digital formats and physical formats and 2.  people who went to a physical store to pick up a physical copy of the album.

So album sales came from three sources:
1. Album/ticket bundle
2. online sales of digital and physical formats
3. Physical stores selling a physical copy of the album

All 3 of those combine for a total of 319,000 in sales.

The number of tickets sold for the tour in the United States was 438,059. I don't know the exact figure, but it could be as little as 50,000 of ticket buyers redeeming the album and getting in digital or physical format with the purchase of the ticket.

One important thing is, you could NOT use the ticket purchase to get DELUXE album version of the album. The only way to get the DELUXE version of the album was to purchase it from an online store or a physical store.

Personally, I'm responsible for 3 of the albums in the 319,000 album total since I purchased the DELUXE version of the album at the local record store and then redeemed each of the two tickets I purchased for a copy of the album. The copy of the album offered is just the regular album with only 13 tracks. I kept one and gave the other one away.


Its not clear what the exact breakdown of the 319,000 is in terms of what and how people got their albums. I might be able to dig up some of that data for the first week of sales which were 180,000, more than half the total. The breaking down between physical vs digital formats is probably 50/50.


I hope that makes it clear.

So, to me, that just indicates that my preferences are not uncommon.  There are a lot of people out there that have no use for a physical disc.  I canít remember if my ticket offered a digital download or CD, but I think it was just CD.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Every person who purchased a ticket had the option to get the album in digital format or physical format. All sales are physical and digital combined. My argument here has NEVER been about CD's(which you mysteriously continue to talk about) or specifically any physical product. A digital album sold is the same as a physical cd or record sold. What is not the same is streaming.

Your preference though is to stream the music which is NOT the same as purchasing the album in a digital format. Purchasing the album, regardless of format is all the same. Streaming is an entirely different thing.

90% of the people, which does not include YOU, purchased this album in either a digital or physical format. Your group, the streamers, comprise less than 10% of the people who have listened to the album.

So when it comes to U2 fans who have listened to Songs Of Experience, your preference for streaming as opposed to purchasing the album, is very uncommon.

I do realize digital copy and CD is the same as far as sales.  Thatís why I asked if a digital copy or CD was offered with the ticket.

So you have your answer then donít you?  A large percentage of the fans who went to the show are uninterested in the new album.  I donít really find that surprising.  Most people that go to shows like U2 are going for legacy reasons.  The latest album has not received alot of mainstream attention.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

For most of U2's career, the new album and whether it was successful or not played the primary factor in whether the tour was a success. U2 had their first downturn with the POPMART tour and it was because the POP album was poorly received. The next three albums and did very well though and so did their tours. This is the first tour U2 has ever done where the number of fans who purchased or listened to the album was less than the number of fans that purchased a ticket for the tour. For POP and POPMART it was one for one. But typically, album sales have always been greater than ticket sales.

So unfortunately it appears that the legacy factor is for the first time dominating things over the new album which is not good news for the band. It shows that overall interest in the band is dwindling. While some "legacy acts" do record business, most get stuck playing the local farm show or town festival. Its not the ideal place to be. The ideal is having new music that brings in new fans, old fans, and everything in between + the legacy factor. That is when the business incredible or record breaking like on the Vertigo Tour and the 360 tour.

Still, selling 319,000 copies of an album in 2017/2018 is not bad at all. Justin Timberlake's latest has only done a little over 400,000. The sad fact is most people are not even listening to albums in any format anymore. Their just listening to individual songs, a couple from this artist, a couple from that artist. Technology has killed the album regardless of the format it is in. That's not good for artist in the future, because individual songs are not a very good basis for building fandom and getting fans to spend $100 dollars a ticket or more to come to a show. As the public becomes less invested in any particular artist, they become less likely to support concert performances. Why go see a band or artist when you only like or listen to two of their songs? The public is starting to place LESS VALUE on music in general, and even less value on the artist that produce the music.

But U2 are an album band! They always have been. That means they produce albums that from first track to last, are fantastic with no filler. It takes incredible talent to be able to do that. People use to appreciate that, but not anymore it seems.

Still, I hope U2 do not lose heart and realize that they still have a very dedicated following that is interested in their new music and generally prefer the album/tour cycle that is based around new music which is what the band has always been about.



To be honest, though, Iím not really following what all of this data and analysis is supposed to telling me, or how Iím supposed to react.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

This is one of the elements of the business side of U2 which naturally does have some impact on their career and the choices they make in the future. Its also interesting to look at and compare with how other artist are doing just for that reason alone. By clicking on and reading this thread, you've at least showed some interest in the subject.

Because this thread seems to be as much about the state of the music industry as it is SOE sales,  I would be interested in what others (wons too, but not just wons) think about it.  Here are my thoughts.

There has been some great art created in the era of the music industry but lets face it, the commercialization of music has produced, and is still producing, alot of crap that I wouldnít call art.  I like the idea of music regaining more of what it used to be, where it was a local community thing.  The status quo where its all or nothing for an artist, and people stopped paying attention to the guy that lives across town because they were so distracted by a national artist with flashing lights and a TV show, has its drawbacks.  When I was in high school it was such a big deal for a local band to have a ďrecordĒ because pressing vinyl was pretty expensive on a small scale.  Then it was really cool because of the advent of the home studio and you could sell CD-Rs.  Now the final physical barrier to distributing recorded music is falling.  It may not be a great thing for established artists who have been making millions of dollars releasing multiple greatest hits album with just one new song, but for the local musician who has a day job and just wants the joy of having a couple hundred people like their song on Soundcloud its awesome!  If you like music, pay attention to Soundcloud, Pledgemusic, CDBaby.  There is some brilliant music out there that the major labels donít care about.  If I had all the options to discover music that I have now when I was in High School I would have flunked out.  All I had back then was Rolling Stone and the local record store.  Those sources represented a tiny fraction of all the music that was being made.  Support your local musicians and enjoy some really great music where you can have a beer with the band on their break and talk about whats going on in town.  Help fill the tip jar and share their music on your playlist (Spotify or whatever).  This is how it works today. 


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I'll take U2, The Police, Pearl Jam, Big Country, Metallica, R.E.M., Coldplay, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, INXS over any local talent any day of the week. Say what you will about the music business, but without it, over 99% of people who like these bands would not know about them. This website were posting on would not exist! Lets remember this is a U2 fan website. Support U2 and their work that we love.
19
News and Rumors / Re: Mr. MacPhisto Filter Now Available On Facebook
« Last post by ian ryan on July 19, 2018, 03:37:52 PM »
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I do not see it and I have the latest iOS version of Facebook.

George

I checked a couple people at work. One of them had the filter, but it was really buried in their list. The other didnít have it at all. It may be dependent on if you like U2 on FB or something like that.
20
General Music Discussion / Re: Artists you used to hate and now love or respect?
« Last post by ian ryan on July 19, 2018, 03:31:25 PM »
Kings Of Leon. Based off their first two albums, I was dreading them opening for U2. I really enjoyed both of their sets that I saw, bought their second album, and got more and more into them. Now their one of my favorite bands ever.
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