August 26, 2004
What you got, they can't steal it

If you were wondering what Beth was talking about in this post, it was the fact that she'd indicated I'd get a prize for answering her little quiz here. I hadn't really expected to get one, but she sent it through the mail yesterday and -- what can I say? -- I'm a lucky girl.

Beth, I should explain, recently came out with a book of U2-related sermons by various pastors, and runs a blog on the same theme. She sent me a CD of bootleg recordings of U2 songs ranging from 1983 to 2001, which was compiled as a companion to the book. The band is OK with bootlegging so long as fans give them away rather than sell them, so nothing inappropriate is going on.

I'm generally not a big fan of live recordings, since they tend to be of poorer quality than studio recordings but don't capture the feel of actually being there. But this collection is of surprisingly good quality, especially considering that it was made by amateurs, and has some interesting variations on the familiar songs. There's a super-funky version of "Mysterious Ways," a nearly a cappella version of "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," (since the whole audience is singing along, it hardly needs accompaniment), and a cut of the performance of "Walk On" from the ad hoc TV fundraiser that appeared a few days after 9/11. The last was especially a treat because I never thought I'd hear it again. I'd forgotten that they stuck on a "Hallelujah" chorus!

Many, many thanks to Beth for sending this. It's another reminder that amazing and unexpected things keep happening in the blogosphere. Seeing as I'm now part of the peculiar bootleg "grace underground," I feel obliged to, erm, pay it forward. Does any one of my loyal readers want me to burn a CD for them? I know there a few fellow fans out there ...

Posted by Camassia at August 26, 2004 03:55 PM | TrackBack

Glad you're enjoying the CD. It was fun to do this.

I love the extra verse he throws in to "Still Haven't Found" in that version.

I'm caught in the rapture,
I'm caught in the rapture of your Love....
But I have questions.

Posted by: Beth on August 26, 2004 04:06 PM

How loyal of a reader do we have to be? :-)

Posted by: Elliot on August 27, 2004 07:37 AM

Why, you have to say a loyalty oath, of course. You must swear to uphold and defend me from all enemies, foreign and domestic!

Seriously though, if you really want this CD, click on my name at the bottom of this comment and email me. We can work something out.

Posted by: Camassia on August 27, 2004 08:25 AM

Way back in the very late 70's I discovered a band called "U2". I remember when I heard some of their music from the "Boy" album. I immediately fell in love with their music. If you had any understanding of faith and Christianity, you could "read between the lines" what the message was.

I followed them closely until about the late 1980's. I don't know, I didn't enjoy their music anymore - they seemed to have taken on a sound more U.S. than Irish (at least to my ears), and it wasn't as "fun" to follow a band that everyone else now knew about.

However, I heard their most recent song ("Beautiful Day") and fell in love again. I've yet to get their latest CD, but plan to; and hope to replace all the old U2 cassettes I bought "way back when" with CDs.

It's fascinating to briefly puruse Beth's blog site of sermons based on U2 lyrics! Who woulda thunk it! :)

Posted by: Joe G. on August 27, 2004 08:40 AM

Though not a lot of folks are with me on this, I still think "Unforgettable Fire" was their best record (can you believe it's been 20 years?) And "Bad" is still, by a mile, my favorite U2 song. Is there a live version on your bootleg? I have the version on "Wide Awake in America", which is pretty swell...

Posted by: Hugo on August 27, 2004 05:04 PM

No, I'm afraid it doesn't have a version of "Bad." The only UF song it has is "Pride." That's my most treasured U2 album also but largely for sentimental reasons. It was the first album I ever bought for myself (and I do mean album, which already makes me feel old...).

Posted by: Camassia on August 27, 2004 05:54 PM

I'd love a copy of the CD. Maybe I could snailmail a few dollars to cover the international postage?

Posted by: Richard Hall on August 28, 2004 02:48 AM

There are 3 reasons this very unofficial companion CD has no live version of "Bad," which is almost always transcendent live. First, no one focused on that song in a sermon in the "Get Up Off Your Knees" book... although it is cited in several locations briefly. The tracks were picked to illustrate/connect with either sermons or sessions in the Bible study in the back.

Second, most interesting live versions of "Bad" run like 8-9-10 minutes. That's a big chunk of your space on a compilation CD.

And finally, I wasn't as positive that the numinous things about "Bad" would translate well to a CD (which needed to be comprehensible to U2 novices: like, the monks who published the book, etc) as I was that some of the changes in the other tracks I picked would translate.

Posted by: Beth on August 28, 2004 05:01 AM

While we're on the topic, your readers might enjoy a look at the U2 Sermons blog.

Posted by: Dash on August 28, 2004 12:58 PM

Er--sorry. Here's the U2 Sermons blog" target="_blank" link again, but this one will open in a new window (since the comments window doesn't stretch).

Posted by: Dash on August 28, 2004 05:24 PM

Dang, I'm useless at hmtl today. I'll try one more time: U2 Sermons Blog

If this doesn't work, shoot me (a good U2 sermon).

Posted by: Dash on August 28, 2004 05:28 PM

This is too cool.

My first "cool" album was UF. I am also a STYX fan...a John Denver accounting for taste. Ha!

I have everything since. According to rumor, there is another album coming out. I am excited.

Yes, Hugo, TWENTY years. Oy.

Posted by: AngloBaptist on September 7, 2004 08:51 PM
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