10 Factoids About the U2 Song “New Year’s Day”
As we round the bend on the new year, it seems appropriate to do a little digging on one of U2’s most popular songs, “New Year’s Day.” With a killer bassline, catchy hook and consciousness-raising content that used to define U2, the song is a definite winner. Here are 10 things you might not know about it:
1. It was the lead single from the band’s 1983 album, War
2. The song was originally a love song between Bono and his wife but it was rewritten to be about the Polish Solidarity movement.
3. It was the band’s first UK hit single, peaking at number 10, and the band’s first international hit, hitting the charts in Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden and the US.
4. The song was ranked among the best songs of all time by Rolling Stone and Pitchfork.
5. The bassline was inspired by bassist Adam Clayton working out the chords to the Visage songs, “Fade to Grey.”
6. The Edge plays both piano and guitar on the song. When performing it live, he switches back and forth between the two instruments.
7. The B-side of “New Year’s Day” is a song titled “Treasure (Whatever Happened to Pete the Chop?).” It was never performed live.
8. During the Vertigo Tour at Silesian Stadium in Poland, the crowd waved red and white colored items, creating the Polish flag and, as the story goes, “stunning the band.”
9. The video for the song was filmed in a very, very cold Sälen, Sweden in the middle of winter. It was so cold that Bono, who refused to wear a hat, had trouble even mouthing the lyrics.
10. In the video when it shows the band riding horseback, it’s actually four Swedish teenage girls disguised as the band because U2 was too cold from the day before to shoot again.