Tuesday, January 27, 2009

U2's "Get on Your Boots" and dodgy radio tapes

I have been a U2 fan for longer than I have been a fan of any band. Each new album is always guaranteed to get me down to JB HiFi and opening up my wallet (most other bands will merely see me downloading a few odd songs off itunes).

Their newest single, "Get On Your Boots", was played last week on Irish and English radio, and also released for download through itunes.

It's already Number 14 on the Australian itunes top downloads.

It's a catchy rock number that took me about 2 listens before I was hooked, and I'm now all a shiver with anticipation for the album (No Line on the Horizon).

One thing that has excited me is that according to U2's Official site this single is track Number 6 in the track listing.

For the last two albums, the first single has been Track 1; and given U2's penchant for putting all the best songs on the album at the start, that this is number 6 makes me think there's a lot more good stuff to come (speaking obviously as a hard-core U2 fan who will brook no criticism... well not too much at any rate).

The last album U2 album from which the first single was so late in the album track listing was Achtung Baby, and that album is still my favourite of theirs, so my expectations are now pretty high (not that it will ever be as good because... well I'm not 19 anymore, and music never matters as much as it does at that age).

When the first single off Achtung Baby, "The Fly" was played on the Triple J breakfast show I was listening to it on my Walkman while on a bus on the way to university. I had been counting down the days. I have a sneaking suspicion they played it twice - they definitely played the B-side track, "Alex Descends into Hell for a bottle of Milk Korova" - don't worry I haven't listened to it since either.

This time it was a bit different. Yesterday I thought, "oh yeah, they were going to release a single... I wonder if it's on youtube." (it is).

On that day back in 1991, I also rang up SAFM and voted for the song to be on their top 8 at 8 (or whatever the nightly countdown was called), and when the song was played (at number 1) I was there blank tape at the ready so I could record it.

When the song finished, the DJ announced in a monotone voice "press pause on tape recorder now". Which I did. He knew, I knew, we all knew that every one was taping it, as indeed kids have for ever.

Rather interestingly, when "Get on Your Boots" was played on Radio 1 in England, during the song your hear a quick "Radio 1", and the DJ, Chris Moyles cuts in at the end a bit earlier than he needs to. Why? Well as he tells his fellow DJ "I like to do that because of all the little gits who like to record it and stick it on the internet". The other DJ responds: "Home taping is killing music".

Yep, all those kids taping the songs of their favourite bands off the radio has killed music, just as it did when I taped "The Fly" back in 1991, because of course everyone just tapes the songs off the radio instead of buying the freaking album.

Ok illegal downloads of the actual album and songs may be taking a bite out of artists' take home pay, but songs from the radio? Yep, and I never buy a DVD because I can just tape the movie onto my VCR when it plays on TV - those adverts actually enhance the viewing experience.

So here is the song played on Radio 1, from youtube, which I have here just to annoy sanctimonious git DJs:

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