"Electrical Storm" (2001)

Demo Song

Background Information

“Electrical Storm” is a song that U2 eventually released as a single in 2002, and it was included on The Best of 1990 – 2000 compilation. In advance of being released the song was discussed by Bono as being in development for U2’s next album.

Bono first mentioned this song in the January 2002 issue of SPIN, released on December 3, 2001:

I just started writing two days ago. I went to Bali for six days. I really haven’t had time to grieve for my father, who died a few weeks back, so I went to this place, and I was just really moved by these very religious people who give offerings, like, every hour of the day. Their whole life is a sort of ceremony, and they seem happy to see you because I think they know that they’re teaching you. So I just started writing down five or six songs, mostly lyrics. I worked on a song about my dad that Noel Gallagher and I had started, called “One Step Closer to Knowing,” and I think that’s going to be very special. Another one is called “Electrical Storm,” and another is called “You Can’t Give Your Heart Away,” and there’s this thing called “A Man’s a Man,” for a movie called Gangs of New York, which Martin Scorsese is directing.

Of the songs mentioned, two of them, “Electrical Storm” and “A Man’s A Man” would be used on The Best of 1990 – 2000 compilation. “A Man’s A Man” had been developed further into “The Hands That Built America”. “One Step Closer to Knowing” would become just “One Step Closer” when it was released on 2004’s How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. “You Can’t Give Your Heart Away” remains unreleased.

A demo version of “Electrical Storm” was broadcast on BBC Radio One on August 25, 2002. The official single was due to be cleared for airplay on August 29, 2002, and this early demo was the first airing of the song. The DJ, Sarah HB, claimed to have been given a copy of the single by Bono himself, and routinely promised to play the song for a month prior to actually doing so. The demo version played that day differed significantly from the two versions that U2 would eventually release.

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