"Wow!" (2000)

Demo Song

Background Information

“Wow!” is a title listed in some lists of U2 demo tracks that we believe has become part of these lists in error over the years. In the summer 2000 issue of U2’s Propaganda Magazine, there is an interview with The Edge and Danny Lanois as they work on the upcoming album All That You Can’t Leave Behind. During that interview, a list of new songs is revealed in the magazine. However, due to the design of the article, the list is formatted oddly, and it looks like Lanois’ comment “Wow!” is one of the song titles.

The original article read:

There’s a large whiteboard hung on the studio wall. On the left-hand side, the band have listed twelve tracks, followed by boxes with ticks inside them — big or small — indicating the progress of lyric, arrangement, recording and so on. On the right hand side of the board is another list, with another eight songs. Surely not a double album? “The songs on the left are those that are favourites for the album,” explains Edge “The songs on the right are those that are fighting for a place on the album.” As he says this he suddenly remembers another track presumably from another list that is fighting to be remembered to get on a whiteboard to get on the album. “Peace on Earth,” he says to Lanois. “Danny, we’ve forgotten to put up Peace on Earth.” “That’s true,” says Lanois. “But you know, we might only need nine great songs to make a great album.”

The names of the songs are working titles and may well be entirely different by the autumn, but for the record, the column on the right reads: “Original of the Species”; “Stuck in a Moment”; “Elevation”; “Kite”; “Yesterday and Tomorrow”; “Sometime”; “Home”; “In a Little While”; “The Sun, The Moon and The Stars”, and “Wild Honey”. The column on the left features “When I Look at the World”; “Beautiful Day”; “Jubilee”; “Bulldozer”; “Love and Peace (Soul)”, “Stranded and Grace”. “Wow!” says Lanois, scribbling in his notebook as the tape rolls again. “‘Lonely Soul’.” “No that wasn’t ‘Lonely Soul’,” says the guitarist, “That’s ‘Morning’ he’s singing.”

Looking at the article, it is our opinion that the song “Wow!” is not a song at all, but a comment by Danny Lanois as evidenced by the “says Lanois” that follows. Thus we believe that it is unlikely that “Wow!” was ever used for a title for a demo track.

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