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Old 03-19-2017, 03:08 PM   #1
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The Joshua Tree Demo Recordings?

Wasn't sure if this was the right place to post this but.

This is the only info I could find.

These are demo snippets from one of a set of three 60-minute cassettes.
The cassettes were supposedly copied direct from a master tape of a
"Joshua Tree b-sides session".

A person appeared on the U2 internet mailing list WIRE 5-6 years
ago and purported to have all three cassettes for sale to the highest
bidder. I believe he was seeking in the neighborhood of $1000-$2000.
My memory is unclear on the exact details, but I think this person
claimed to have been charged with the duty of transporting the
master tapes across town and either stopped by his house and made a
quick copy or perhaps snuck a quick copy of the tape in the studios
which were at either end of his journey.

Regardless of how the tapes came into existence, this was nonetheless
a very dubious story. WIRE, for once, seemed to want some proof instead
of wildly just spreading rumours. So the seller established a temporary
website and stated that he would offer proof in the form of .WAV files
which could be downloaded. Chris Jenkins was able to download eight of
these files and later traded a tape copy of them to me. I remember he
did say there were a few that he missed before the website was "mysteriously"
shut down.

Think about it: this person posted on the Internet that he had stolen
something from U2. U2's management no doubt read this and took actions
to secure the tapes - or at least get the person to "cease and desist"
under threat of lawsuit. After the website suddenly shut down,
this person (to my knowledge) was never heard from again.

Another interesting item of note is that all this ocurred in the same time
frame as the anticipated release of the Joshua Tree Ultradisc from Mobile
Fidelity Studios. This release was delayed for unspecified reasons, but
is it a coincidence that Mobile Fidelity REQUIRES access to an album's
master tapes before they agree to license it to create the Ultradisc?

A very intriguing story.

I remember thinking that there would probably be a very interesting new
bootleg to listen to a few months after the tapes were sold, but nothing
ever came forward. Perhaps U2 took back what had been stolen. All we
have to listen to then are these few snippets:

(I've quoted a best-guess of Bono's lyrics in each case)

1. "in the doorstep, golden light"
2. "tell them the story"
3. "dance with me baby"
- in retrospect, I think this one sounds a lot like
something you can hear on the SALOME bootleg.
4. "and you didn't make any enemies"
5. "move, up, up"
- spooky African motif includes some chanting
- kinda reminds me of "Race Against Time"
6. "Walk To the Water" - demo with vocal
lyrics: "through the past, through the future,
we're all wading in the present tense
7. "diamond store"

[each segment is approximately 30-sec. long]

After listening to these, there is no doubt in my mind that they are
legitimate. They sound like U2, but they don't exist anywhere else
that someone could have copied them and pretended they were new.

---Dirk Horst

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Old 03-21-2017, 03:32 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Strangefiction View Post
After listening to these, there is no doubt in my mind that they are
legitimate. They sound like U2, but they don't exist anywhere else
that someone could have copied them and pretended they were new.
They're definitely legit, the first clip was eventually released as "Rise Up" on the anniversary sets, the third clip sounds similar to a jam they did at a soundcheck on the Joshua Tree Tour, and you are definitely hearing Edge's "Race Against Time" bass line on snippet 5. I remember hearing MP3s of these snippets years ago. I wish U2 would just master all these demos, as-is, and release them online. They might be embarrassed by them, but I think it's fascinating to hear what led up to the album, and there are some cool sounds and hooks buried in this stuff.

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Old 03-21-2017, 08:04 PM   #3
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U2 songs did a story about the Joshua Tree demos a little while ago.

u2songs | "The Eejit," "3-D Funk," and "Womanfish": The Joshua Tree Demo Recordings |
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