Author Topic: POTENTIAL SPOILER: That rehearsed song and the Whole World Band  (Read 3039 times)

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Offline The Unknown Caller

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So, today I happened to stumble across an mp3 of u2 rehearsing before Torino last year and it reminded me of one much-rehearsed song that was never, in the end, played-
Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World. I for one, was not too upset about it as I was seeing them in Torino and I think it's the worst song on the album by some distance, but there was something odd about the rehearsal- and that reminded me of Willie Williams' diaries about it. This is what Willie says in his diaries;

July 27th-
Quote
The most ambitious of these is an idea for Trying to Throw Your Arms Around the World, a song from Achtung Baby that hasn't seen the light of day since ZooTV. The idea is sort of a cross between 'Party Girl' and the 'Video Confessional'. To pull this off is technically proving to be about the most complicated thing we've ever done, so we're not going to go public with it right away, in case it goes the way of the much rehearsed but never performed 'Drowning Man'

And then later;

August 2nd-
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Much tail chasing ensued, getting ready to demonstrate Whole World Band- the crowd-sourced global band concept by our old pal Kevin Godley.  It's main incarnation will be  web-based but we had talked about the possibility of performing it live during the show - for the purposes of this rehearsal we asked crew members in the stadium to help out.  Given that there are over 400 of us, I figured I could rustle up at least a dozen people who could play an instrument or two.  This we did and recorded a series of different musical parts to the song.
He then talks a lot about how difficult it was, before concluding;
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Tonight was a bit of a tough one as it became apparent that the Whole World Band idea isn't going to work for the show. Happily, it seems very likely that the  idea will re-emerge in its web-based capacity so all is not lost, but I'll confess to being sad that we can't follow through with the live event.  You can't win 'em all.

The audio of the TTTYAATW rehearsal, incidentally, is dominated by Bono requesting that some people 'come in' now, introducing various people- "This is X from Amsterdam, he put up his part in the last few days.... Sharon from New York..." followed by various instruments coming in. Indeed, in part of the song, someone else sings a line with Bono. He then asks for local talent- suggesting that they may get some-one up on-stage to play?

So it looks as though the 'Whole World Band' was essentially a plan for people to record various instrumental parts of TTTYAATW and put them online which would then be played as part of the song live- (Hence a cross between 'Party Girl' where they traditionally bring a fan on-stage to play, and the 'Video Confessional' showing fans talking) a pretty ambitious plan.  It was then dropped due to sheer complexity. But what do you think? Should they have perservered with it? Should the song come back without it? Since they seem to be reviving songs from Achtung Baby and this one was rehearsed last year, who knows if it could return in some form- but should it?
« Last Edit: June 01, 2011, 10:37:46 AM by The Unknown Caller »



Offline U2-obsessed and proud

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Re: POTENTIAL SPOILER: That rehearsed song and the Whole World Band
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2011, 10:42:05 AM »
I remember being so excited that the band rehearsed TTTYAATW.  I love that song and I find it so fun.  I think it could work great between Beautiful Day and Miss Sarajevo.  I doubt it will see the light of day on this tour but it would be a nice surprise to see.

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Re: POTENTIAL SPOILER: That rehearsed song and the Whole World Band
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2011, 11:01:19 AM »
Elevation and UTEOTW

Offline mattressjedi

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Re: POTENTIAL SPOILER: That rehearsed song and the Whole World Band
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2011, 11:30:29 AM »
TUC, I would love to see it but don't know if they could have the time to pull it off at this point in the tour.

But that's the kinda thing that can make these big spectacle shows come across.

Offline JamietheEdgefan

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Re: POTENTIAL SPOILER: That rehearsed song and the Whole World Band
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2011, 11:42:40 AM »
Wow, that's a really fascinating read, thanks for posting, Unknown Caller  :)
The idea itself sounds really cool, and i'm pretty disappointed they didn't go through with it, although tbh i can understand why - it would have been quite 'messy' to have several different online musicians playing the parts - and at different times as well. The opportunity for disaster must have been pretty clear.
It's a brilliant idea though, and it's definitely something i think u2 should pursue in the future - it involves a clever new - and unique - feature for a tour, it harnesses the power of technology through the internet (something i've always wanted u2 to embrace more), and best of all, it actually involves the fans. Certainly something they should pursue!
I wouldn't mind them bringing back TTTYAATW in a straight forward band form though - it might not be my favourite tune on AB, but i have to say there isn't a song on that album that i don't absolutely adore (that's probably the only album i can say that about), and i think TTTYAATW could really do with a revival.
By the way, UC, could you PM the mp3 of them rehearsing it to me? I'd really love to hear it  :)

Offline griffey244230

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Re: POTENTIAL SPOILER: That rehearsed song and the Whole World Band
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2011, 11:55:01 AM »
The idea that never was! What a concept. Would of certainly been ambitious, but I'm sure it would of yielded big results.

I only briefly remember reading this post from Willie, but I guess it never materialized in my head as it does here now. Great find!

Offline JamietheEdgefan

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Re: POTENTIAL SPOILER: That rehearsed song and the Whole World Band
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2011, 01:39:28 PM »
Just listened to it now, and although it was exciting to hear them play it (and Bono's voice sounded fantastic btw), it didn't really do the song justice. It sounded a bit plodding, almost unimpressive - aside from bono, the whole 'band' was loops of internet recordings. Pus Bono's remarks at the end pretty much sealed the fate of the song, and i agree with him - the performance lacked spontaneity, and just seemed too coordinated... not organic enough.

But hey, it was just a recording, actually being there might have been different... and if they actually got audience members up (as Bono seemed to be implying), that would have been another thing entirely!

Offline HEY!youtwo!

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Re: POTENTIAL SPOILER: That rehearsed song and the Whole World Band
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2011, 02:09:58 PM »
I could really care less if that certain song was played, but it is a really cool idea! Glad to see they're still thinking of those

Offline p8ru2

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Re: POTENTIAL SPOILER: That rehearsed song and the Whole World Band
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2011, 08:38:48 AM »
Ambitious in theory but fell flat.  I can imagine how contrived it might have sounded and I'm glad they didn't do this.  While I've enjoyed Party Girl and the other odd song w/ a fan playing live, I want to see & hear the band play, not other people.   :P

Offline Droo

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Re: POTENTIAL SPOILER: That rehearsed song and the Whole World Band
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2011, 11:59:27 AM »
I love TTTYAATW and would love for them to perform it straight.

Offline THRILLHO

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Re: POTENTIAL SPOILER: That rehearsed song and the Whole World Band
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2011, 04:36:00 PM »
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I think it's the worst song on the album by some distance

lol