'You can reach, but you can't grab it. You can't hold it, control it You can't bag it.
You can push, but you can't direct it Circulate, regulate, oh no You cannot connect it - love....'
The first single from 1997's album Pop, 'Discotheque' went to No.1 in several countries and was performed live for the first time during the PopMart tour opener in Las Vegas on April 25, 1997.
In October 1996 a 30-second snippet of the track, taken from a promotional release, made it onto the web, with the entire MP3 circulating within a couple of months. This brought forward the release of the single, which itself heralded the dance-music vibe of the album where the band were 'trying to make an ode to club culture without using the tools of dance music' as Bono later put it.
The video for the single, with the band performing as members of The Village People, took some fans by surprise. 'I like to think we were dangerously ahead of our time,' reflects Edge. 'It is a great video and has been copied many times since.'
Formats: Discotheque CD Single CID 649/854 775-2 Holy Joe Garage Mix (4.21) Holy Joe Guilty Mix (5.09)
Discotheque CD Single CIDX 649/854 877-2 Discotheque DM Deep Club mix (6.58)
Discotheque Howie B hairy B Mix (7.40) Discotheque Hexidecimal Mix (7.21) Discotheque DM Tec Radio Mix (3.46)
During the PopMart tour Discotheque was performed as the first song in U2's encore after their descent from the lemon. Dream Theatre had performed Discotheque live in concert where the singer mumbled most of the lyrics. The following artists recorded a version of Discotheque including Intra-Venus on We Will Follow: A Tribute To U2; Studio 99 on The Best of U2-A Tribute; and The Celebrity All-Star Jam on Hot Dance Hits 97.
The song debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Modern Rock chart and was certified Gold by the RIAA on April 7, 1997
03 February, 1997
Flood, Howie B, Steve Osbourne
Mark 'Spike' Stent
Hanover, Windmill Lane, and The Works, Dublin. South Beach Studios, Miami.
'Pop opens with 'Discotheque'. We wanted a setting for the album. 'Discotheque' is a riddle about love. once you know that, it changes the way you hear the song. ' 'You can reach, but you can't grab it/ You can't hold it, control it / You can't bag it.' One of my definitions of art is the discovery of beauty in unexpected places. Looking for the baby Jesus under the trash as I sang in 'Mofo'. This was really the theme of Pop: big subjects for the basement. But it is not enough to have a good lyric or a great idea. If the tune or the musical location aren't right then you might as well be standing on a soap box at Speakers Corner.'