"No Man's Land" (1979)

Demo Song

Background Information

“No Man’s Land” is a name for a song that U2 worked on in 1979, and recorded for their third recording session. The song has gone by a number of names over the years and it is unclear which song title actually belongs to the song as a number of legitimate sources appear.

Bono calls the song by the title “The Magic Carpet” when introducing it in concert, most notably in February 1980 when playing it at the National Stadium in Dublin. Adam Clayton refers to the song in U2 by U2 under the title “Life on a Distant Planet.”

In March 1981, Bono lost a briefcase with a number of personal effects in the Pacific North West, the contents were returned to him in 2004, and we know that included within was a steno pad with hand written notes by Bono. One page of the pad included possible song names that the band was working on including “Julie Says,” “The Cry,” “Gloria,” “When I Fall Down,” “Pop,” “Cars and Aeroplanes,” “No Man’s Land,” “Talking,” “Spring,” “Father is an Elephant,” “Boy,” “G to E or C to E,” “Shelter from the Storms / The End of Fire,” “Concentration Cramp / Christmas – Gloria,” “Inside Out,” “Beatles,” “Its Just Night Fright” (Fright is crossed out), “Street Mission,” “Drive on John,” “Speed of Life,” “Pete the Chop,” “Love is a Word,” “False Phropfit,” “Beast,” “Instrumentals,” “Is Just As Well,” “Buzz”.

So it does appear that at some point a song was being called “No Man’s Land”.

We have taken an in depth look at U2’s pre-Island Records demo sessions in two parts. Part One dealt with 1978 – February 1979. Part Two dealt with the latter part of 1979 until early 1980. This song is discussed in Part One, as well in the demos section under “Life On a Distant Planet” and “The Magic Carpet”.

Related Demo Titles