"We Almost Made It This Time" (1987)

Demo Song

Background Information

“We Almost Made It This Time” is a song developed by U2 as they were working on Rattle and Hum.

A series of videos labeled as “Outtakes” from Rattle and Hum started to circulate in the early 1990s. One of those videos includes footage of Bono and The Edge visiting Jimmy Iovine’s house in Long Island on October 19, 1987. They speak with Iovine, while playing some new songs.

One of these songs is “She’s Gonna Blow Your House Down”, which Iovine says has promise. The Edge and Bono both have guitars and play along with the track. The track was an early version of the track which would continue to be refined during the Achtung Baby sessions in Berlin. The video features almost 20 minutes of The Edge and Bono working on the track.

The second song worked on was “We Almost Made It This Time” which Bono introduces by name.

A third and final song is worked on sometimes called “Heartland Storm” which may be a title from the fan community. In discussion Bono asks Iovine if they could use the “Prisoner of Love” chorus, and the Edge says the original chorus was when he was writing a country song, so maybe it should have a different chorus. Bono also mentions “Dirt Beneath the Feet of the World” as a strong title.

Edge mentions the song “We Almost Made It This Time” in U2 by U2:

T-Bone Burnett, Bob Dylan and I ended up going back to my room at the Sunset Marquis for a few drinks. Then T-Bone suggests that we all write a song together. I had a sketch for a song called ‘We Almost Made It This Time’ so I got my guitar and played it to everyone. Bob thinks for a second and says, ‘I like the idea of secrets, how about I was listening to the Neville Brothers, it was a quarter of eight / I had an appointment with Destiny but I knew she would come late / She tricked me, she addicted me, she turned me on my head / Now I can’t sleep with these secrets, they leave me cold and alone in my bed…We almost made it this time…’ Now I don’t know if Bob had those couplets stored away for a rainy day, or if he just came up with them right there on the spot, but I was winded, I think Bono was too.

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