"Ali" (2004)

Demo Song

Background Information

We have seen the title “Ali” in some lists of U2 demo songs. It appears that this was not a demo title however, but is something that came from a Hot Press magazine article where Bono relates a conversation he had with Jimmy Iovine. The article was titled “U2: On Your Markes, Get Set, VertiGo!” and was published in the lead up to How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. The article included a discussion of the song “Yahweh”.

Bono related the story of how Iovine did not want a song called “Yahweh” on the album:

“It just formed in my mouth, as a lot of U2 songs do,” he explains. “There’s the sound, and then trying to figure out what that sound is – and it was this word ‘Yahweh’. I played it to Jimmy Iovine of Interscope who loved it up until the point where I told him it’s the unspeakable word for God. And he said: ‘Call it ‘Mozza Balls’. Call it ‘Ali’. Call it anything but that!’

So “Ali”, was never a real proposed U2 song title, and the suggestion of the title came from Iovine to avoid using “Yahweh”.

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