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U2 Offer Update on ‘Songs of Experience,’ Will Release New Version of ‘Red Hill Mining Town’

Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

A new magazine profile of U2 has uncovered some of their upcoming plans. They’re going to release a new mix of “Red Hill Mining Town” in advance of the tour commemorating the 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree. In addition, they will head back into the studio in March to do more work on Songs of Experience, with their eyes on a late-2017 release and a spring 2018 tour.

According to @U2, this month’s issue of Mojo is reporting that they’ll be heading to New York’s Electric Lady Studios with producer Steve Lilywhite to continue perfecting their next album. “I’ve been writing and changing things a little bit,” Bono said. “Just tinkering. Edge, too.” The Edge added, “A couple of tunes may get lyric updates, and we might even write a new song or two.”

Bassist Adam Clayton noted that they’re “at the 85 percent mark,” with 15-16 songs recorded that need to be trimmed to 12. He also said that one of the reasons it’s been taking so long is that they don’t want to repeat some of the sonic problems that affected Songs of Innocence.

“There wasn’t clarity to some of the mixes and we needed to be a little bit more inventive sonically,” he continued. “I mean, that record, when we performed it live, the songs became very, very masculine and very tough and we didn’t really capture that on the record. So again one of the reasons why we’re trying to slow this down a bit is we really want to get the mixes right. We don’t want a soup. We want a consommé.”

Potential song titles include “The Showmen,” which Bono said reminded him of something from the BeatlesRubber Soul and insists is not autobiographical, but about all singers, “The Little Things That Give You Away,” “Red Flag Day” and “Summer of Love,” the last two of which deal with the refugee crisis. Another track is called “The Best Thing About You Is Me,” although the site’s editor believes the “You” and “Me” should be reversed.

U2 have also been working with Lilywhite on a new version of The Joshua Tree‘s “Red Hill Mining Town.” Bono has re-recorded his vocal, and the new mix has brought out the brass band that was buried in the original.

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