I'm sure there are stranger 'press releases' than the one I have a copy of announcing the latest in U2's series of remasters and re-issues, but I can't think of one off the top of my head. The Unforgettable Fire, U2's first collaboration with the great Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, turns 25 and the band is prepping it for a re-issue similar to the one they prepared for The Joshua Tree a couple years ago.
Before we get into the details on The Unforgettable Fire — because there are few — let's take a look at this 'press release' and glean as much from it as we can. First, we can now be certain the band is going to re-issue its entire catalog. I'm guessing it will be awhile before No Line On The Horizon gets re-issued, but the point is they aren't going to stop any time soon. They have already issued The Joshua Tree, Boy, War, October and Under a Blood Red Sky. U2 hasn't gone about this chronologically, but when The Unforgettable Fire is issued it would make Rattle & Hum the oldest U2 album not to be re-done. Following it would be '90s classics Achtung Baby and Zooropa.
In the case of The Joshua Tree, multiple packages were offered. The album was remastered and issued on its own. A 2-CD package was offered, pairing the remastered album with a disc of B-sides, live cuts, and rarities. A Super Deluxe edition was offered, packaged in a box that included both CDs of the deluxe and an added DVD. From the information printed on this merchandise bag, it appears the same will be true of The Unforgettable Fire.
While not getting into specifics about what these things might be, the bag indicates there will be vidoes and film footage on the DVD. A documentary about the making of The Unforgettable Fire was released on the Slane Castle DVD from the 'Elevation Tour' in support of All That You Can't Leave Behind. It was odd to stick that on there. It's possible that could be part of this package, although it would be one more thing fans are buying twice. It makes sense and it doesn't. We're also told that B-sides, rare, and previously unreleased songs are forthcoming. Among the B-sides issued for Unforgettable singles are:
- "11 O'Clock Tick Tock" (Long version)
- "A Sort of Homecoming" (Live from Wembley)
- "Bass Trap"
- "Boomerang I" (Instrumental)
- "Boomerang II"
- "Love Comes Tumbling"
- "Sixty Seconds in Kingdom Come"
- "The Three Sunrises"
None of those are confirmed for this 25th Anniversary Edition of The Unforgettable Fire, but the smart money suggests at least a couple of them will make the cut. "The Three Sunrises" and "Bass Trap" were both released on the bonus disc for the limited edition of U2's The Best of 1980-1990. Many fans consider "The Three Sunrises" as one of U2's finest B-sides.
U2 just kicked off their "U2 – 360" World Tour in Barcelona last week. They make their way across Europe this summer before coming to the U.S. this fall.