How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb


How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
Studio album by U2
Released 22 November 2004
Recorded November 2003 – August 2004
Genre Rock
Length 48:46
Label Island
Interscope (U.S.)
Producer Steve Lillywhite, Chris Thomas, Jacknife Lee, Nellee Hooper, Flood, Daniel Lanois, Brian Eno, Carl Glanville
U2 chronology
All That You Can't Leave Behind
(2000)
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
(2004)
No Line on the Horizon
(2009)
Singles from How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
  1. "Vertigo"
    Released: 8 November 2004
  2. "All Because of You"
    Released: 8 February 2005
  3. "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own"
    Released: 14 February 2005
  4. "City of Blinding Lights"
    Released: 6 June 2005

How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb is the eleventh studio album by Irish rock band U2, released in November 2004. Much like their previous album, All That You Can't Leave Behind, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb was commercially successful and critically acclaimed and maintains a more traditional rock sound after the band experimented with alternative rock and dance music in the 1990s. The album was produced by Steve Lillywhite, with others involved in the production including Flood, Jacknife Lee, Nellee Hooper, Chris Thomas, Daniel Lanois, Brian Eno, and Carl Glanville.

U2 lead singer Bono described the album as "our first rock album. It's taken us twenty years or whatever it is, but this is our first rock album."[1] Although not a concept album in the traditional sense, most of the music on the record deals with the world at the crossroads of its existence. Love and war, peace and harmony, and approaching death are themes of the album.

How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb and its singles won all nine Grammy Awards for which it was nominated (U2 themselves were awarded eight out of the nine). The album also was the fourth biggest selling album of 2004,[2] selling over 9 million copies[3] and yielded several successful singles in "Vertigo", "City of Blinding Lights", and "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own". The album was also included in Rolling Stone's list of the "100 Best Albums of the Decade" at number 68.

Contents

Development

In 2003, Bono said how one of their new songs called "Full Metal Jacket" was "the mother of all rock songs" and "the reason to make a new album". A similar demo called "Native Son" was also recorded. Both of these demos would later become "Vertigo".

A demo version of the album (The Edge's copy) was stolen while the band were having their photo taken for a magazine in France in July 2004. It contained unfinished versions of several songs that made it onto the album.[4] The band publicly announced that if those tracks were leaked online, they would release the album immediately. Several months later, tracks from the album were released online, but they were the finished products, and not the rough demos from The Edge's stolen CD.

Adam Clayton said of Atomic Bomb, "It's very much a guitar record. "Vertigo", "Love and Peace", "City of Blinding Lights", "All Because of You", all pretty up, rocky tunes. A lot of them are a kick-back to our very early days, so it's like with each year we have gathered a little bit more and this is what we are now."

In late 2004, "Mercy", an unreleased track taken from the How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb sessions, surfaced on the Internet through a fan who had been given a copy of the album containing the extra track. The track is of less than standard audio quality, but managed to become a favorite on fan websites. It was cut from the final release, but is described by Blender Magazine as "a six-and-a-half-minute outpouring of U2 at its most uninhibitedly U2-ish".[citation needed] The lyrics to the song can be found in the booklet for the Collector's Edition. After rehearsing the song prior to dates on the European leg of the U2360 Tour, a significantly revised version of the song received its live debut on 12 September 2010 during the second Zurich concert,[5] and was officially released as the leading track on the band's "Wide Awake in Europe" vinyl-only live EP that November.

Singer Michael W. Smith joined the band in the studio during the Atomic Bomb sessions and worked on at least one track with them entitled "North Star". That track, which was a tribute to Johnny Cash, has not yet surfaced officially or unofficially in any form. A song introduced by Bono as "North Star" was played in Turin during the U2 360° Tour, however it is unknown whether or not this is the same song that was worked on during the sessions.[6][7] Other tracks, such as "Shark Soup", "Lead Me In The Way I Should Go", and "You Can't Give Away Your Heart", were referenced in the media and by the band themselves, but have not been released.

The very earliest versions of "Love and Peace or Else" originated from the studio sessions to 2000's All That You Can't Leave Behind album. It serves as Atomic Bomb's "big plea for peace" song, following in the footsteps of "Sunday Bloody Sunday", "Please", "Miss Sarajevo", and "Peace on Earth".[8] During performances on the Vertigo Tour, "Love and Peace Or Else" featured Larry Mullen Jr. moving out to the center of the ellipse-shaped ramp, where he played a floor tom and crash cymbal for the majority of the song. Near the end, Bono took over and played the drum until the song segued into the opening drumbeat of "Sunday Bloody Sunday". Most live performances of the song also saw Mullen singing the "release, release, release, release" part during the chorus alongside Bono.

"Crumbs from Your Table" is about the relationship between Western countries and developing countries. The verses and chorus address the relationship from the perspective of citizens from the developing world, focusing on the disparity between the long-term socioeconomic planning stressed by the West ("You speak in signs and wonders") and the developing world's immediate need for sustenance ("But I'm begging for the crumbs from your table"). One line ("You speak in signs and wonders") was meant as a criticism of the Catholic Church.[9] The bridge ("Where you live should not decide / Whether you live or whether you die") is statement from Bono that follows with the theme in his speeches in which he tries to raise awareness about African poverty. Bono stated on a bonus DVD included with special editions of the album that the band has no recollection of writing the song, as they were intoxicated at the time.[10] A studio performance is also included on the aforementioned bonus DVD. It was only played a handful on times during the third leg of the Vertigo Tour.[11]

"One Step Closer" is slow tempo song, with Bono's lyrics centered around traffic images, leading to the singer being stranded on a refuge island. The origins of the song go back to the All That You Can't Leave Behind sessions.[12] It was revived for Atomic Bomb, with Lanois introducing a pedal steel guitar, in addition to guitars from The Edge and Bono, and musical influences varying from country music to The Velvet Underground making themselves felt.[12] One recording of the song ran for more than 15 minutes, with Bono adding many verses that were subsequently dropped.[12] Producer Jacknife Lee also contributed to the final form of the recording.[13] "One Step Closer" is billed in the album with thanks to Noel Gallagher of Oasis. The title of the song comes from a conversation Bono had with Gallagher about Bono's dying father, Bob Hewson. Bono asked, "Do you think he believes in God?" to which Gallagher replied, "Well, he's one step closer to knowing."[12] Through the end of the Vertigo Tour, the song had never been performed in any U2 concert. The title of the album derives from a lyric in the song "Fast Cars", which was only available on some versions of the album.

Release

A week prior to the album's release, U2.com streamed the album in its entirety for visitors.[citation needed]

Promotion

"Vertigo" was featured on a widely-aired television commercial for the Apple iPod. Apple, in a partnership with the band, released a special edition iPod bearing the black and red color scheme of the album, as well as laser-engraved autographs of each member on the back. The Complete U2, an iTunes Store-exclusive box set featuring 448 tracks, including previously unreleased content was also released. Proceeds from the iPod and iTunes partnerships were donated to charity.[14] A live version of "Original of the Species" from the concert film Vertigo 2005: Live from Chicago was later featured in commercials for the video iPod.

The compilation Medium, Rare & Remastered and the EP Unreleased and Rare, included in The Complete U2 box set, contains previously unreleased tracks, six of which were from the recording sessions for How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.

  1. "Xanax and Wine" (demo version of "Fast Cars")
  2. "Native Son" (demo version of "Vertigo")
  3. "Smile" (outtake from the How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb Sessions)
  4. "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own" (demo version)
  5. "All Because of You" (alternate version)
  6. "Yahweh" (alternate mix by Chris Thomas)

U2 made various promotional appearances on television. On 20 November 2004, U2 appeared as the musical guests on Saturday Night Live, performing "Vertigo", "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own", and "I Will Follow". Two days later, on the day of the album's release, U2 performed on a flat-bed truck, which drove through much of downtown New York City. The drive ended at the Brooklyn Bridge, under which the band performed a "secret gig", some of which comprised an MTV special and an EP called Live from Under the Brooklyn Bridge.

Formats

How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb was released in three different formats:

  • Standard jewel case – with album CD
  • Deluxe Edition – with album CD and bonus DVD, featuring making of the album footage and bonus performances
  • Collector's Edition – with album CD, bonus DVD, and a hardcover book, featuring extracts from band members, song lyrics, original paintings, illustrations and photography

The bonus DVD included in the Deluxe Edition and the Collector's Edition featured the following material:

  • Documentary – U2 and 3 Songs
  • Bonus Videos:
  1. "Sometimes You Can't Make it on Your Own" (Studio video Performance)
  2. "Crumbs From Your Table (live in studio session)"
  3. "Vertigo" (Temple Bar Mix)
  4. "Sometimes You Can't Make it on Your Own" (Acoustic Couch Mix)
  5. "Vertigo" (Studio video Performance)
  6. Handwritten lyrics for "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own" (included as easter egg)

Singles

The album was preceded by the lead single "Vertigo", which was released on 24 September 2004. The song topped the charts in several countries, including the UK, reached #31 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and topped the Modern Rock Tracks chart. It also topped the digital downloads chart in both the US and the UK, becoming U2's best-selling digital single ever in the US, with 2x Platinum status (note that for downloads, Platinum status was obtained at 200,000 copies sold). Upon release the song received extensive airplay and was an international hit, being featured in a popular iPod television commercial. The song lent its namesake to the band's Vertigo Tour.

The second single in the UK was "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own", released on 7 February 2005. The song is about Bono's relationship with his dying father. The song debuted at #1 on the UK Singles Chart, becoming U2's first-ever follow-up single to top the charts. On US adult contemporary radio, it reached #15 on the Adult Top 40 and also appeared on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, the Pop 100, and the Hot 100.

"City of Blinding Lights" was the third UK release. It peaked at #2 and spent nine weeks on the chart. It also placed on the US Adult Top 40.

The second single in the US was "All Because of You". Although it received some airplay on rock radio, reaching #6 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart and #20 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, the song had little mainstream exposure. When released in the UK, it peaked at #4 but only spent four weeks on the chart.

"Original of the Species" was released as a promotional single in the US. It peaked at #6 on the Triple A Chart according to mediaguide.com and the video has reached #12 on VH1's top 20 video countdown. The track has also made brief appearances on the Hot AC charts according to Radio and Records and MediaGuide.

Reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (79/100)[15]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[16]
Blender 4/5 stars[17]
Chicago Sun-Times 1.5/4 stars[18]
Entertainment Weekly (B)[19]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[20]
Hot Press (8.5/10)[21]
Los Angeles Times 4/4 stars[22]
NME (9/10)[23]
Pitchfork Media (6.9/10)[24]
Q 4/5 stars[25]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[26]

Much like its predecessor, this album was generally well-received by critics like Rolling Stone (who described it as "grandiose music from grandiose men"), Q, NME, the Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe,[27] among others quite vocal in its praise. Following the 22 November 2004 release, the album debuted at #1 in 34 countries,[citation needed] including the US Billboard 200 (with sales of 840,000),[28] the UK album chart, and the Aria charts. The album has gone on to sell 9 million copies worldwide.[3] This album is often described as the album which has firmly entrenched U2 at the top after the commercial and critical let down of 1997's Pop. The album received an average critic score of 79%, according to Metacritic.[15]

Awards and accolades

Like Santana's Supernatural, this album was awarded nine Grammy Awards overall in 2005 and 2006, winning in all of the categories in which it was nominated. It was awarded the Album of the Year award in 2006. "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own" from the album was awarded "Song of the Year" and "Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal". "City of Blinding Lights" was awarded the award for "Best Rock Song", and the album was also awarded "Best Rock Album". Album producer Steve Lillywhite was also awarded Producer of the Year, Non Classical in 2006. In 2005, the single "Vertigo" from the album won in all three categories in which it was nominated: "Best Rock Song", "Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal", and "Best Short Form Music Video".

How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb was rated the best album of 2004 by USA Today, Paste Magazine, and The New York Times. The Los Angeles Times music critic Robert Hilburn called it the second best album of the year, and it was ranked third and fourth respectively by liveDaily and Q in their lists of the best albums of the year. Village Voice rated it the eighth best album of 2004, while PopMatters.com ranked it 25th. It was included in Rolling Stone's Top 50 Albums of 2004, and they later rated it the 68th best album of the decade, while "Vertigo" was ranked the 64th best song.[29][30] Despite all of the critical acclaim for the album, Bono would later state that "[t]here are no weak songs. But as an album, the whole isn't greater than the sum of its parts, and it fucking annoys me."

Vertigo Tour

The indoor legs of the Vertigo Tour featured an ellipse-shaped ramp encircling the main stage, along with LED curtains.

In support of the album, U2 launched the Vertigo Tour, which featured five legs and a total of 131 shows. The first and third legs featured indoor concerts in North America, while the second and fourth legs featured outdoor concerts in Europe and Central/South America, respectively. The final leg, which saw the band touring the Pacific, was delayed due to an illness suffered by The Edge's daughter Sian. The stage design of the Vertigo Tour was a stripped-down, intimate affair for the fans and featured an ellipse-shaped B-stage extending from the main stage. In total, the Vertigo Tour had sold 4,619,021 tickets for a total gross of $389 million; the gross was the second-highest such figure ever.[31] Three concert films depicting the tour, Vertigo 2005: Live from Chicago, Vertigo: Live from Milan, and U2 3D, were recorded.

The songs "Vertigo" and "City of Blinding Lights", which debuted on the tour, are two of only four U2 songs to have been played at every concert since their introduction.[citation needed]

Track listing

All music composed by U2.

No. Title Lyrics Producer Length
1. "Vertigo"   Bono and The Edge Steve Lillywhite 3:11
2. "Miracle Drug"   Bono and The Edge Lillywhite 3:54
3. "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own"   Bono Chris Thomas 5:08
4. "Love and Peace or Else"   Bono and The Edge Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois 4:48
5. "City of Blinding Lights"   Bono Flood 5:47
6. "All Because of You"   Bono Lillywhite 3:34
7. "A Man and a Woman"   Bono Jacknife Lee 4:30
8. "Crumbs from Your Table"   Bono Lillywhite 5:03
9. "One Step Closer"   Bono Thomas, Lanois 3:48
10. "Original of the Species"   Bono Lillywhite 4:41
11. "Yahweh"   Bono and The Edge Thomas 4:22
Total length:
48:46
UK and Japan bonus track
No. Title Lyrics Producer Length
12. "Fast Cars"   Bono and The Edge Lillywhite 3:44
Total length:
52:30

"Fast Cars" is a bonus track on the Japan, UK and Ireland CD edition, Collector's edition in all regions, and the digital version, included in The Complete U2. A new mix was featured on the "All Because of You" single.

Charts and certifications

Album

Country Peak position Certification
Ireland 1[32] 10× Platinum[33]
Australia 1[34] 4× Platinum[35]
Austria 1[34] Platinum[36]
Canada 1[37] 5× Platinum[38]
Finland 1[39] Gold[40]
France 1[34] Platinum[41]
Japan 4[42] Platinum[43]
Netherlands 1[34] Gold[44]
New Zealand 1[34]
Poland 1[45]
Spain 6[34] 2× Platinum[46]
United Kingdom 1[47] 4× Platinum[48]
United States 1[49] 3× Platinum[50]

Singles

Year Song Peak
IRE
[51]
AUS
[34]
BE (Wal)
[34]
CAN
[52]
UK
[53]
US
[52]
US Pop
[52]
2004 "Vertigo" 1 5 9 2 1 31 10
2005 "All Because of You" 4 23 36 1 4
"Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own" 3 19 32 1 1 97 87
"City of Blinding Lights" 8 31 23 2 2
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

Personnel

U2
  • Bono – lead vocals, additional guitar
  • The Edge – guitar, piano, keyboards, backing vocals, lead vocals on bridge of "Miracle Drug"
  • Adam Clayton – bass guitar
  • Larry Mullen, Jr. – drums, percussion, backing vocals on "Miracle Drug"
Additional personnel

See also

References

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  2. ^ http://www.ifpi.org/content/library/top50-2004.pdf
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  5. ^ http://www.u2.com/news/title/mercy-in-the-rain-in-zurich
  6. ^ Crouteau, Roberta (2004-11-30). "Michael W. Smith: Ready for His Close-up". CCM Magazine. http://www.thefish.com/music/interviews/1300442/Michael-W.-Smith%3a--Ready-for-His-Close-up/. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
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  14. ^ Transcript: Bruce Springsteen Inducts U2 into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame u2station.com. Retrieved 31 January 2007
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External links

Preceded by
Encore by Eminem
Australian ARIA Albums Chart number-one album
29 November 2004 – 5 December 2004
Succeeded by
Love. Angel. Music. Baby. by Gwen Stefani
Preceded by
Watra by Wilki
Polish Albums Chart number-one album
29 November 2004 – 12 December 2004 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
Bravo Hits Zima 2005 by Różni wykonawcy
Preceded by
Encore by Eminem
UK number one album
4 December 2004 – 24 December 2004
Succeeded by
Greatest Hits by Robbie Williams
Preceded by
Encore by Eminem
Billboard 200 number-one album
5 December 2004 – 11 December 2004
Succeeded by
MTV Ultimate Mash-Ups Presents: Collision Course by Jay-Z & Linkin Park

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  • How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb — Álbum de estudio de U2 Publicación 22 de noviembre de 2004 Grabación Noviembre de 2003 Agosto de 2004 Género(s) Rock …   Wikipedia Español

  • How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb — How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb …   Википедия

  • How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb — Studioalbum von U2 Veröffentlichung 22. November 2004 Label Island Records Format …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb — Album par U2 Sortie 22 novembre 2004 Enregistrement Novembre 2003 août 2004 Durée 49:08 Genre(s) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • How to dismantle an atomic bomb — Album par U2 Sortie 22 novembre 2004 Enregistrement Novembre 2003 août 2004 Durée 49:08 Genre(s) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb — Album par U2 Sortie 22 novembre 2004 Enregistrement Novembre 2003 août 2004 Durée 49:08 Genre …   Wikipédia en Français

  • How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb — (Cómo desactivar una bomba atómica) es un disco de la banda irlandesa [U2]], publicado el 22 de noviembre de 2004. Según la crítica, este disco satisface la larga espera que sus seguidores han sufrido desde su anterior disco, All That You Can t… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb — U2 – How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb Veröffentlichung 22. November 2004 Label Island Records Format(e) CD, Vinyl, Kassette [1] Genre(s) Rock Anzahl der Titel 11 Laufzeit 48:29 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • City of Blinding Lights — Single by U2 …   Wikipedia

  • City of Blinding Lights — «City of Blinding Lights» Sencillo de U2 del álbum How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb Grabación Hanover Quay Studios, Dublín …   Wikipedia Español


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