"Power" (1990)

Demo Song

Background Information

“Power” is a working title of a song developed for Achtung Baby.

In Bill Flanagan’s book U2 at the End of the World, Flanagan is present for some of the recording sessions for the Passengers Original Soundtracks album. During the discussion of those sessions, he discusses a track that goes back even further, to the sessions in Berlin at Hansa Studios working on Achtung Baby:

“Power” is mentioned in the book, but it is not given a title, but we’ve chosen this for the lyrics:

Also at dinner — at a funky restaurant called All Saints — is the singer Neneh Cherry and several of her collaborators. U2 invited them down to put their own spin on a bass-powdered track that has been around since the Hansa sessions four years ago. During the making of Zooropa it emerged again, picking up lyrics along the lines of “Power in the wires/Power in the satellite/Power in communication.” After dinner Bono gets the waiter to put a new version of the song on the restaurant’s cassette player and he, Neneh, and Neneh’s friend Andrea scat over it at the table, throwing out ideas for words and melodies. Bono suggests they turn the notion of power on its head. Soon they are singing “Power in submission/power in letting go” and listing all the things one should strip away to make it through the needle’s eye: badges, color, skin, backstage passes.

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