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Old 09-05-2007, 10:44 AM   #1
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Preserving U2's Archives

So apparently alot of the unreleased material(studio outakes, live concerts, unheard songs) in Prince's vault is beginning to deteriorate. His stuff hasn't been baked and is in danger of being lost for ever and he's refusing to have it archived because he doesn't want people to hear it. I don't know whether its a rumour or not but apparently he has literally thousands of fully mixed complete unreleased songs. 5 or 6 vaults full of stuff so it would all be lost.

Plus Stevie Wonder also has an extensive vault that he actually says he wants destroyed when he dies.

A part of me says that as its their work and it belongs to them they have a right to do whatever they want with it, but the other part thinks that this stuff should be preserved for historical importance/significance if nothing else.

Prince often mentions the vaults of stuff he has but U2 rarely, if ever, even mention their own archives, and exactly what they contain is mainly all speculation, unreleased tracks, studio outakes, pro shot concerts from around Zoo TV onwards, soundboard recordings, but I hope they're doing all they can to make sure they preserve what they've got.

The chances of them releasing any of it in its full form are very slim, although they may release the odd clip for singles or bonus features on DVD re-releases, but it should all be maintained for historical purposes if nothing else.
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Old 09-05-2007, 10:51 AM   #2
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No point of preserving for "historical purposes" if no one sees it or hears it. If Stevie wants it all destroyed, that's his peragotive. I can completely understand, sometimes there are songs you just don't ever want to see the light...

I doubt U2 have a lot to archive that hasn't seen the light in some form or another... I'm sure there are some gems that we may see in the future with some type of box set or something, but I doubt they have vaults worth.
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Old 09-05-2007, 11:22 AM   #3
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As both a Prince and U2 fan, this has been a concern of mine 4 a while. With Prince, U can never figure out what's going on in his head anyway, and even his previous engineers worry that a lot of that is now lost or on its way there, and it's a damn shame because much of his "unreleased" stuff that is available on bootlegs is among the best work of his career.

I hope U2 have taken care of not only the unreleased but all their master tapes.
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Old 09-05-2007, 01:25 PM   #4
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There was an interview (Marc Marot, was it?) on atu2.com. He said he has seen U2's archive and that it's "impeccable". Remember Edge did say they will have a box set when they retire.
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Old 09-05-2007, 02:09 PM   #5
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Am sure i read/heard way back in 1980's that Edge and Prince had done some stuff together. And the "vault" was mentioned in the story way back then
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Old 09-05-2007, 03:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
No point of preserving for "historical purposes" if no one sees it or hears it. If Stevie wants it all destroyed, that's his peragotive. I can completely understand, sometimes there are songs you just don't ever want to see the light...
But there's no guaranteeing that no-one will ever see/hear it, who knows what the future will bring? At some point or another the band will be defunct and there will be a need to make public something other than the official releases to maintain interest.

This is the current situation with Queen, they've continued to re-release concerts that were already out there but in the DVD form including extra/never before seen performances from their archive as bonus features, they're about to do it on the upcoming Montreal release.

The Beatles anthology is another good example. Who would have thought after the band split up in 69 that 25 years later there would 6 CD's of alternative takes, never before heard tracks and live versions from the archive? No one ever believed these would ever see the light of day, the idea seemed unthinkable but it happened and I'm very glad measures were taken to preserve what was in there.
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Old 09-05-2007, 03:17 PM   #7
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U2 went on record as saying that they had 30 songs for Joshua Tree -- 18 of which turned up on actual recordings (the 11 album songs, the 7 B-sides, and Heartland). While with Rattle and Hum and Achtung Baby we were lucky to get the songs we did, it sounds like they were much more prolific in the 90s than it appeared. Bill Flanagan notes during the making of Zooropa that U2 jammed late into the recording process, assuring that there will be box sets after they retire. While I'm sure he was being facetious, and that much of the material is rubbish, there's every reason to hope that one day more of that material will see the light of day. (Even when they were early on in Passengers, Bono estimated they had eighty pieces of material -- "Granted, fifty of them are awful.") The real issue is whether the expectations people have are of band jams or actual songs -- it's probably much more likely that we would get the former than the latter.

(Do we really want box sets of the ilk of Axtung Beibi?)
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Old 09-05-2007, 03:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by DevilsShoes


But there's no guaranteeing that no-one will ever see/hear it, who knows what the future will bring? At some point or another the band will be defunct and there will be a need to make public something other than the official releases to maintain interest.
You're missing the point. This is the reason artist fight so hard to own their masters, i.e. the "Slave" period of Prince. If the artist states they don't want it ever to see the light of day, like Stevie, then it should be destroyed. No questions asked. That was their wish, and it's theirs to own and distribute the way they want. Otherwise some greety family member may come along years later, sue for ownership and distribute it for their own needs and wishes.
Quote:
Originally posted by DevilsShoes

This is the current situation with Queen, they've continued to re-release concerts that were already out there but in the DVD form including extra/never before seen performances from their archive as bonus features, they're about to do it on the upcoming Montreal release.

The Beatles anthology is another good example. Who would have thought after the band split up in 69 that 25 years later there would 6 CD's of alternative takes, never before heard tracks and live versions from the archive? No one ever believed these would ever see the light of day, the idea seemed unthinkable but it happened and I'm very glad measures were taken to preserve what was in there.
But these archives were set up that way. They weren't stated to never see the light of the day, whereas others are set up for this very type of thing.
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Old 09-05-2007, 03:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


You're missing the point. This is the reason artist fight so hard to own their masters, i.e. the "Slave" period of Prince. If the artist states they don't want it ever to see the light of day, like Stevie, then it should be destroyed. No questions asked. That was their wish, and it's theirs to own and distribute the way they want. Otherwise some greety family member may come along years later, sue for ownership and distribute it for their own needs and wishes.


But these archives were set up that way. They weren't stated to never see the light of the day, whereas others are set up for this very type of thing.
You're right it is always the artists perogative, and if they wish to see it all destroyed then so be it, thats their right, I guess purely from the point of view of a fan it seems like such a waste.

How The Beatles and Queen archives were set up seems to be a moot point to me, after all regardless of how Princes (or anyone else in that megastar bracket) archives are set up if he had a sudden change of mind tomorow (which wouldn't be unusual for him) and decided he wanted to release all his stuff surely they'd find a way and do what needed to be done to honour his wishes to get the stuff out there.

Personally I'd be less interested in any unreleased/unheard U2 songs and more interested in the live material available.
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Old 09-05-2007, 04:24 PM   #10
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Edge has said they literally have a box set full of songs that are worthy of release that have never seen the light of day. Also indicated that one day they would probably put a box set out with that type of material but that it would be towards the end of their careers most likely.

They archive every single show audio wise and have for the most part since 1982. Obviously 99% of it will never see the light of day. U2 uses it to check back on their history, review things they could use in the future, and to check the playback of what works and doesnt while on tour. So I dont think the live archive is done with the intent of it seeing the light of day ever.

I do think there are some pro shot concerts they have done that could see the light of day at some point in a box set or individual release. Similiar to what Kiss is doing with Kissology. IE the Sydney 89 pro shot, Tempe 87, Montreal 85, etc.. But I dont think it will happen anytime soon if it even does.
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Old 09-05-2007, 05:01 PM   #11
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They've got to have the mythical 'Bono' version of The Wanderer somewhere in their vault.

I want to hear that.
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Old 09-05-2007, 06:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by DevilsShoes


You're right it is always the artists perogative, and if they wish to see it all destroyed then so be it, thats their right, I guess purely from the point of view of a fan it seems like such a waste.

How The Beatles and Queen archives were set up seems to be a moot point to me, after all regardless of how Princes (or anyone else in that megastar bracket) archives are set up if he had a sudden change of mind tomorow (which wouldn't be unusual for him) and decided he wanted to release all his stuff surely they'd find a way and do what needed to be done to honour his wishes to get the stuff out there.
I think you are confused. How is it a moot point? I meant the way they were negotiated legally. So of course if Prince changed his mind he could make those changes, if he owns the masters.


And unreleased material and live material are more than likely in two different legal categories...
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Old 09-05-2007, 06:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by namkcuR
They've got to have the mythical 'Bono' version of The Wanderer somewhere in their vault.

I want to hear that.
Can't wait...
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Old 09-05-2007, 07:25 PM   #14
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Hurry up and call it quits then
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Old 09-05-2007, 07:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by DevilsShoes
The Beatles anthology is another good example. Who would have thought after the band split up in 69 that 25 years later there would 6 CD's of alternative takes, never before heard tracks and live versions from the archive? No one ever believed these would ever see the light of day, the idea seemed unthinkable but it happened and I'm very glad measures were taken to preserve what was in there.
To be fair though, wasn't The Beatles' hand effectively forced where that's concerned? Bootlegs of unreleased recordings and so on popped up all over the place during the 70's and 80's and it got to the point where EMI were going to release 'Sessions' in 1985 with unreleased stuff that ended up on Anthology in the 90s.

That never surfaced because the Beatles vetoed it and then promos and so-on leaked so then there were top quality properly mastered versions of these outtakes being passed around as opposed to crummy bootlegged stuff and eventually they decided to release the Anthology double albums.

I think for a band like The Beatles this was pretty much unheard of and stuff like those 8 'Ultra Rare Tracks' bootlegs that appeared in the 80s must have made them think a whole lot differently because this was pretty much unprecedented in a way for working versions of The Beatles music to suddenly appear on the black market and so on so it really seemed like they were just getting it out there to try and both appease the fans with top-quality versions instead of bootlegs and definitely make a lot of money from what was definitely a very hefty cash cow.
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Old 09-05-2007, 10:21 PM   #16
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Edge is on record as saying they have the self-destruct set up on the vault so if the plane goes down the archive goes boom.

He seemed pretty adamant that the only way any of that stuff comes out is if they pull it out to work on it for an album.

Of course, it's often hard to tell whether Edge is joking or not so maybe they would consider releasing some at later date, but my guess is that it wouldn't be until they stop touring and then maybe they would still rework stuff before releasing it. I can't imagine Edge not tinkering with anything they pull out.

Dana
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Old 09-06-2007, 12:28 AM   #17
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This is U2, it takes them 4 years to release an album. I don't think there'll be that much hidden away.
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Old 09-06-2007, 12:36 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by blueeyedgirl
This is U2, it takes them 4 years to release an album. I don't think there'll be that much hidden away.
Or there could be truckloads....the "perfectionists" they all are.....
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Old 09-06-2007, 12:43 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by rihannsu
Edge is on record as saying they have the self-destruct set up on the vault so if the plane goes down the archive goes boom.

He seemed pretty adamant that the only way any of that stuff comes out is if they pull it out to work on it for an album.

Of course, it's often hard to tell whether Edge is joking or not so maybe they would consider releasing some at later date, but my guess is that it wouldn't be until they stop touring and then maybe they would still rework stuff before releasing it. I can't imagine Edge not tinkering with anything they pull out.

Dana
Interesting, when and where was this interview? Its sort of the exact opposite of what he said during interviews for the release of HTDAAB.
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Old 09-06-2007, 03:28 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


I think you are confused. How is it a moot point? I meant the way they were negotiated legally. So of course if Prince changed his mind he could make those changes, if he owns the masters.
Ahh I see now, you meant they way they were negotiated legally, I understand more now about the process. I feel more optimistic about it then, Stevie's a great artist but personally I'd be more concerned about Prince's archives, he's a genuine innovator and has influenced countless of todays acts, you can see it a mile off. Throughout his career he has sworn that certain material will never be released publicly only for it to appear on the shelves a few years down the line, like I said changing his mind is one of the things he's best at.
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