U2 - THE ACHTUNG BABY SESSIONS

July 9, 2009 – 3:05 pm

A work in progress on the Achtung Baby album. Or as some would say, before every bit of freshness was squeezed out of it.

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

U2
Salomé - The Achtung Baby Sessions: Remastered [no label, 2CD]

Hansa Ton Studios, Berlin, Germany, 1990.

U2’s 1991 Achtung Baby is probably the album that divides many fans. There are those who feel that U2’s best material ended with Rattle And Hum (1988) while others feel that the change in musical direction from Achtung Baby to Zooropa to Pop onwards means the best is yet to come.

JT Griffith, in All Music Guide, wrote that in December 1990, U2 had entered the recording studio in Berlin to begin writing songs for what would become Achtung Baby. One set of DAT working tapes was stolen and widely bootlegged around April 1991 as the three-disc Salomé The [Axtung Beibi] Outtakes (Jewels).

Thanks then to noiseless8, who trimmed the entire lot into a two-disc set, remastered the tracks and shared them on the internet. noiseless8 noted: “This might be the most underrated U2 boot ever: a three-disc collection of studio sessions of a band searching for a new sound. Well, obviously they hadn’t quite found it in 1990. This is halfway between Rattle and Hum, and Achtung Baby, literally.

“From the 36 songs I took the more or less complete songs only, and out of the various takes of the same song I picked the one or two that I liked most… Even nicer to me sound the loosely, laidback played early versions of some songs that made it onto the final album Achtung Baby. While official U2 albums tend to sound like every freshness is squeezed out of it by (poor) production, here is a vivid and exciting sound to experience.”

Note: Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Disc One
Track 101. Where Did It All Go Wrong? (5.6MB)
Nice track, obviously completely finished as the B-side to Even Better Than The Real Thing sounds virtually the same, except for the lyrics.*
Track 102. Heaven And Hell (9.2MB)
Track 103. Salomé (8.0MB)
The third appearance of this song on the Jewels set. The first appearance sounds more finished, but this is a little rougher and bolder.
Track 104. I Feel Free (6.2MB)
Early version of Until The End Of The World. It has joy all over it and it is played loosely like you rarely hear U2. One of the highlights of the set. The mix is slightly rough and there’s a little hiss, but it isn’t really annoying.
Track 105. Sweet Baby Jane (2.8MB)
Track 106. Someone (1.4MB)
Track 107. Sick For Love (4.4MB)
A little slower, without the agressive drums and built around heavy keyboard parts, this isn’t exactly one of the best ideas I’ve heard from U2. I’m glad they developed it until they reached the beauty of So Cruel. Some lyrics are already there.
Track 108. Acrobat (5.9MB)
Early version. Punchy and aggressive.
Track 109. Morning Child (7.0MB)
Track 110. Lady With The Spinning Head (7.2MB)
This is the absolute leader of the pack. Brilliant all the way. Much, much better than the commercially available remixes.
Track 111. Wake Up (10.4MB)

Disc Two
Track 201. I Feel Free [alt I] (9.5MB)
Earlier take of the same song on disc one. Even more joy, even rawer sound.
Track 202. Doctor Doctor [edit] (3.2MB)
Track 203. Jitterbug Baby (5.4MB)
Track 204. Even Better Than The Real Thing [inst] (6.7MB)
Track 205. Take Today (9.0MB)
Track 206. Sunset In Colors (12.1MB)
Track 207. I Feel Free [alt II] (8.3MB)
Track 208. She’s Gonna Blow Your House Down (10.6MB)
This is an early version of “Wake Up”. It has some experimental seventies rock feeling.
Track 209. Going Down South [inst] (8.1MB)
Track 210. Salomé [alt] (8.0MB)
Track 211. Where Did It All Go Wrong? [alt] (5.0MB)

*Comments by noiseless8.

Click here to order U2’s Achtung Baby.

  1. 15 Responses to “U2 - THE ACHTUNG BABY SESSIONS”

  2. Can’t get enough U2! Thanks a million.

    By Nonsensely on Jul 9, 2009

  3. I remember the 3 CD version. despite the poor sound, it was a fascinating to hear U2 at work.

    The improved sound and judicious song selection make this even better. Thanks for sharing it

    By Eric on Jul 10, 2009

  4. Very nicely done! And the annotations are a big help! Major kudoes goes to Big O!!

    By Hulkzilla on Jul 10, 2009

  5. You’re the motherfuckin’ man! Thanks!

    By The D on Jul 11, 2009

  6. Awesome collection, thanks for posting. Nice to hear some “classic” U2 again

    By Michael Grover on Jul 11, 2009

  7. Who are these producers who are doing the “poor” production on U2 releases? Eno? Lanois? The Edge? Lillywhite? All really know what they’re doing, esp. Eno and Lanois. Your boy or girl noiselss8 has me scared to listen to what he/she (has to be a snotty guy) thinks are good tracks.

    By Ldale on Jul 12, 2009

  8. Funny, to me Achtung Baby was the LAST truly great U2 album… Certainly a departure from Joshua Tree and Rattle & Hum, but then those albums were departures from what U2 did on earlier albums. Anyhow, after Achtung I feel like they just didn’t write really great songs anymore. Stuff like “Numb” and “Lemon” and “Discotheque” were what we were getting instead. There were still some great songs (”Staring At the Sun” for one) and some good albums (All That You Can’t Leave Behind) too, but it was never the same for me after that.

    By Shaun on Jul 19, 2009

  9. this is a new track that is in the mandella film (one of 2 by u2). this particular version is a mix by paul epworth. u can listen to it here. i liked it enough that i recorded it so i could own a copy myself. i keep it with the b-side of the single which i posted last week.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/u2-post-paul-epworth-version-of-ordinary-love-20131216?utm_source=dailynewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

    By darth on Dec 17, 2013

  10. u2 did 3 songs for fallon after they did 3 songs in grand central station in nyc on monday the 4th. for fridays episode that is.
    the set list for grand central is -
    i still havent found what im looking for
    desire
    angel of harlem
    the 3 songs for fallon were -
    beautiful day
    angel of harlem
    song for someone
    it would be nice to have all 6 songs in audio form.
    the only other performance im aware of that they did this year was an acoustic performance at the church of the sacred heart in dublin on march 16th for the funeral of an irish dj where they did one song -
    ordinary love
    prior to that dec 1st in times square in nyc.

    By darth on May 7, 2015

  11. Hi BigO
    Track 103, 201 and 209 are missing, any chance or a relink?

    Cheers

    By Michael on May 24, 2016

  12. thank you.

    cheers

    By Michael on May 25, 2016

  13. What an awesome collection - both as a behind-the-scenes look and as great music. Many thanks to noiseless8 and Big O!

    By Steve MC on May 28, 2016

  14. it’s possible to reup this one? thank you

    By alberto on Sep 27, 2018

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