Annie (canadanne) wrote in u2,

Song Of The Day

Yes... I know it hasn't been so much Song Of The Day as Song Every Few Months, but that's just not a snappy title. :p

Posting this purely because I had an urge to play the song this week, for the first time in aaaaages. And I felt like sharing the love!

Discothèque (Howie B, Hairy B Mix)

From the Discothèque remixes single. This still cracks me up every time I hear it.

Howie B is the Scottish DJ who co-produced the Pop album... and I think we can guess who "Hairy B" is. :p

The March 1997 issue of Spin magazine featured an article in which the interviewer actually watched this track being recorded at Windmill Lane:

Right now, as Howie hears it, nothing's more magical than Clayton's bass line, which anchors the direction of the "Discotheque" remix (producers David Morales, Steve Osborne and David Holmes have also crafted mixes of "Discotheque"). Clayton takes in the praise from a dim corner of the couch, his sleepy smile taking on a bit of a glow. "Discotheque"'s pulse bubbles up and fills the room; Edge's wah-wah guitar does the bump with Clayton's popcorn bass line and spars with Mullen's manic disco drumbeat. The double-tracked vocal captures a sleazy blend of seduction and disgust. Bono, drawn in, wants more. "Let me redo the middle part," he says, cajoling. Howie doesn't need much persuasion. He cues up the tape. "Ready to go," he announces.

"When we do it live, I want to put 'Love to Love You Baby' in here," Bono says slyly as he begins. "Discotheque"'s throb builds. Invoking Donna Summer sets Bono off, and as he riffs on the phrase "You've got heaven in your heart" his moans grow sultry, woozy. He ends the repetition with a twisted, choked falsetto note, then plunges into a growling rap about all the forces that can enslave a man. Meanwhile, Howie's shifting the levels, matching Clayton's bass to the tenor of Bono's words. Finally, the music sweeps over Bono's vocal, and the track ends. Bono falls back into the couch. "Magic," Howie proclaims.

Wow... that sums it up way better than I could. Maybe I should just end it here. :p

No, OK, let's flesh it out a little more. The remix is well over 7 minutes long, and the first 3 minutes are mostly instrumental - a steadily building beat with various accompanying zappy noises. This goes on a bit, so it probably works best as background music while you're doing something else. However, I did say it was *mostly* instrumental... we're also treated to some drawn-out high-pitched wails from Bono, fading in and out at intervals. Reason #1 why I like this track! Anything that stays right up in that sexy MacPhisto register gets my immediate seal of approval. ♥

Just after the 3-minute mark, we get a series of extra-special falsetto moans (ooh... you set my soul alight), and then the music changes into something which reminds me of a ZX Spectrum loading the title screen of a game. *g*  A thumping beat starts up behind it, and Bono wails some more, even sounding a bit like Mick Jagger on Sympathy For The Devil at one point.

Then after 4 minutes, there's some actual normal singing! The demons take a little break while regular Bono sings the "You want heaven in your heart" lyrics from the original song. After that, it's back into the falsetto for one more "Heaven... heaven... heaveeeennnn....." which descends into that bizarre creaky moan as described so well in the Spin article!

And here's where the fun begins. Bono puts on the weirdest deep voice and starts full-on rapping, in a manner I don't think I've heard before or since. All about being a slave to this and a slave to that - he rattles through it so quickly that some lines are almost impossible to make out, and are quite possibly pure Bongolese. It's such an unusual style for him, I've seen a number of people who didn't believe it was even Bono doing the rap; they thought it must be Howie B or some other guest vocalist. (Quoth "Lance" on the U2 newsgroups: "That is not Bono. The voice is not there. I'll believe it when Bono does it on tour. But then, of course, I will have to shoot myself." Oh dear... poor old Lance, I hope he passed on to a better place!!)

Of the lyrics you can make out clearly, I have a few favourites. The fact Bono manages to rhyme "chocolate" with "apocalypse" is pretty funny. I also really like the way he delivers "Slave to sugar / Slave to sweetness / Slave to .....incompleteness". Towards the end, the whispers and moans from Ultra Violet and Lemon make a welcome return, immediately followed by the lines "Slave to the rhythm / Losing control / Slave to wanting / Wanting it all..." Oh my!

At this point it gets even stranger, with Bono inexplicably ranting about a big black hairy hole. Erm... yeah. :p  He gets pretty excited about it, to the point where he's just going "Hoo! Ha! Yeah!" like a total madman - it's one of the most hilarious things I've ever heard on an official U2 release. *g*  I can't ever listen to this remix without giggling, it's a surefire feelgood track! God only knows what the thinking behind it was... maybe Bono had some of what Adam was smoking that night. :p

After the deranged singer abruptly shuts up, the remix ends with half a minute of fuzzy guitar, and then cuts to static. I love it. The whole thing is just so delightfully WTF. *g*

What I didn't realise before now is that Bono actually snippeted this version at the end of Discothèque during quite a few PopMart concerts. YouTube currently has videos from Edmonton, Los Angeles, Foxboro and Rotterdam... although the only one where he does the proper growly voice is the otherwise disastrous opening night performance in Las Vegas. ;)

This is one of those mumbly tracks where every website has a different interpretation of the lyrics, and in some cases none of them are right, but I'm buggered if I can make out what he's actually saying! As always your suggestions are welcome...


Heaven... heaven... you want heaven
Heaven in your heart

Heaven... heaven... you want heaven
Heaven in your heart
Heaven in your heart

Heaven... heaven... you want heaven
The sun, the moon and the stars

Heaven... heaven...

Slave to the wet nurse / Ever give her hers
Slave to the creature / Forgive your teacher
Slave to the now / Slave to the sound
Slave to moans / And baby on the bottom

Slave to time / Slave to dime
Slave to chocolate / Slave to the apocalypse
Slave to dog / Yeah, slave to bone
Slave for the woman and I make her don't go

Slave to permission / Slave to recession
Slave to get out of go-fetchin'
Slave to the rubber / Slave to the wax
Slave to the Polish / And the poll tax

Slave to heather / I'll slave to honey
Slave to the things you can't buy with money
Slave to truth / Slave to tooth
Slave to the ground / On your sweet youth

Slave to momentum / Movement, I'm a victim
Peach or bitter / Like I'm gonna meet those
Slave to sugar / Slave to sweetness
Slave to ...incompleteness

Slave to the suck and flow of the tide
Slave to the mouth - open wide
Slave to coke / I slave to cola
Slave to the heavy bird / Nicola

Slave to religion / I'll slave to Rome
Slave to the thought of returnin' home
Slave to Friday through to Sunday
Slave to the swallow off on a Monday

Slave to the fax and welcome in the phone
Slave to the whispers... and moans
Slave to the rhythm / Losing control
Slave to wanting / Wanting it all...

Big... big black
Big... big black... hole
Big... big black... hole
Big... a big black hole
Hairy hole
Big black... hey
Big black, hoo, ha, yeah
Big black... hoo
Big black hole, god
Can't hold me back
Hole, hairy hole
Big black
Big black hole, big...

Somebody made an absolutely brilliant video for this remix on YouTube, using scenes from the original Discothèque video, and flashing the lyrics in a rapid-fire ZooTV style. Check it out!

Well, the thing about a black hole - its main distinguishing feature - is it's black. And the thing about space - the colour of space, your basic space colour - is it's black. So how are you supposed to see them?
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