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December 02, 1996 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-12-02

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, December 2, 1996 - 9

tU2's 'Discotheque' takes the
Irish band in a new direction

Los Angeles Times
1 DUBLIN, Ireland - For most of its
:clebrated career, U2 has preached the
ospel of rock 'n' roll tradition, toasting
every turn such personal heroes as
Avis Presley, the Beatles and Bob
-So, why is Adam Clayton, the group's
)ssist, talking about such '90s techno-
.nce favorites as the Prodigy, Massive
Attack, Tricky and the Chemical
Brothers as he drives to U2's recording
,studio on the banks of the Grand Canal
"See what you think of this," says
*layton, who has just flown in from
London, where
be and drummer
Marry Mullen
:presented the We ..
Vnd at the
ITV Europe "e'6 a
music Awards. ad entur
=e slips a cas-
stte into the of the te
r's tape player,
nd music sud- ho worli
,denly explodes
from the speak- - U2'
It's a burst of

S ,

the speakers that sounds suspiciously
like that of U2's Bono and some sharp,
vibrating guitar lines that seem awfully
similar to those of the band's the Edge.
Some dance outfit imitating U2?
Clayton smiles.
"It's our new single -
'Discotheque,"' he says. "What do you
That's a question that many U2 fans
will ask each other next month, when
the single hits the airwaves and offers
the first public clue to the musical
direction of the Irish band's first album
in nearly four years.
"Discotheque" is in some ways as rad-
ical a shift from
the icy sweep of
ie t 1991's "Achtung
liked te Baby" and
id1 9 9 3's
i "Zooropa" as
those albums
were from the
h o. h graceful elo-
quence of 1987's
"The Joshua
Tree." Not every-
Adam Clayton thing in the new
album, titled
"Pop" and due in
March, reflects the dynamics of the elec-
tronic dance world as fully as the single,
but most of the tracks will likely have at
least a touch of those sonic influences.
It's a direction that the four members
of the band were all equally enthusiastic
about, they discovered, after nearly a
yearlong break that followed their gru-
eling 1992-'93 world stadium tour.
"It was our first real time off in, what,
15 years?" Clayton says as he pulls up
to the studio, which is housed in a
building that's undistinguishable from
the other warehouse spaces in this
waterfront district.
Bono and Edge are already at work
when Clayton arrives. The group has
been recording in this studio, with its

lovely view of the water, for much of
the year.
The atmosphere in the studio is
relaxed, even though the band's latest
deadline is only a week away.
Unlike most recording acts, which
finish one track before moving on to the
next, U2 listens repeatedly to various
tracks recorded over recent months to
see what extra touches might be
applied, be it a new vocal line or instru-
mental shading.
Bono at times will decide to change a
word or even a whole line. It's a time-
consuming approach because a new
lyric or instrumental sequence could
mean other adjustments in the track to
make it all seem whole.
As the session stretches from late
afternoon to early morning, the band,
including Mullen, who arrives shortly
after Clayton, will spend an hour or
more on each of half a dozen tracks.
Despite unifying textures, the tunes dif-
fer widely in content and form.
"We liked the tendency in England
toward pop songwriting in the (tradi-
tional) way of Lennon-McCartney and
Lou Reed - something that Noel
Gallagher and Oasis are doing. But we
also liked the energy and adventurous-
ness of the techno, hip-hop world. So,
we decided to explore bringing those
two disciplines together. That's what
this record is about."
Edge, who is the group's quarterback
in the studio, says the musical shift is
not simply an attempt by the veteran
band to reposition itself in today's
changing musical scene.
"After 'Achtung Baby,' there was all
this talk about U2 reinventing itself, and I
guess it'd be easy for someone to say
we've reinvented ourselves again. But the
changes aren't some strategy - they
come out of being interested and inspired
by what other people are doing. All of a
sudden you start to take on different aes-
thetics, something you haven't tried

1960s singer
Tiny Tim dies
in concert
the ukulele-plunking crooner who
bemused and amused millions by
trilling the whimsical love ditty "Tiptoe
Thru' the Tulips," died after falling ill
as he performed his signature song.
Tiny Tim, who had a history of heart
trouble, was stricken Saturday night dur-
ing a benefit for the Women's Club of
Minneapolis. His widow, Susan Khaury,
said he cut short "Tulips" and told her he
was not well. She was trying to help him
back to their table when he collapsed.
Tiny Tim died a a Minneapolis hos-
pital late Saturday. A hospital spokes-
woman said the cause apparently was
cardiac arrest, but a final determination
would be made later.
Born Herbert Khaury, Tiny Tim built
his career on his single hit song in
1968, his stratospheric falsetto, an
asexual and childlike stage persona and
a flair for self-promotion.
In an era of acid-tinged performers
like Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin,
the older Tiny Tim seemed to offer a
benign, comic foil. "Tiptoe Through
the Tulips" dates from the late '20s, but
Tiny Tim appropriated the song on
behalf of the flower generation.
"I don't think he had time to feel pain"
Mrs. Khaury said yesterday. "He died
singing 'Tiptoe Thru' the Tulips,' and the
last thing he heard was the applause, and
the last thing he saw was me."

After a more than four-year break from recording, U2 returns this winter with a
new, innovative album.

the sonic color you'd expect from a
a prized dance-floor entry - not the light
audio confections associated with
-mainstream dance music in the United
States during the last two decades but
the hard-edged British dance music that
'ristles with attitude and bite.
Though the style is hugely popular in
England, it has not secured much of a
ommercial foothold in America. For
one thing, most 'of the British dance
stars have tended to be relatively face-
less, and the emphasis in the music is
on textures rather than conventional
,gp songwriting techniques.
Just when you begin to wonder which
f those hot British acts' music is play-
g in the car, you hear a voice through

before, to see where you can take it.
That's how you learn and how you grow."
Bono is sitting in a chair by the con-
trol board while the rest of the band sits
on a sofa facing him. They've just fin-
ished listening to one of the songs for
the album, and he says he wants to
change some of the words.
As the instrumental track begins
playing, Bono picks up a microphone
and sings the new words. At the end, he
looks around the room for reaction.
Like R.E.M., U2 tends to work as a
With that song finished, at least for
the moment, Edge says, "OK, what's
That's another question U2 fans will
be asking in the late spring when the
band tries to live up to the enormous
ambitions and expectations created by
its "Zoo TV" tour with another world-
wide stadium trek.
Bono says the band didn't feel wed-
ded to another stadium tour, but it
seemed to be where the aggressive

nature of the new music can best be
staged. If the music takes a softer turn
in the future, however, the group would
probably move back to smaller settings.
"It's important to keep the options
open in everything that you do,' he
says. "You don't learn by drawing a line
and saying these are the limits of rock
'n' roll or this is the size ofthe buildings
you should play. Success is one thing in
pop music, but staying relevant is the
bigger challenge."

Dalmatians' breaks record in winning
big holiday box office competition

needs a little
help to
reach their

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LOS ANGELES (AP) - Disney's "101 Dalmatians" led the
ack in its debut over the long Thanksgiving weekend with an
estimated $46 million
in ticket sales, accord- Estimated weeken
,ing to industry esti- Esi ae we en
mates Yesterday. 1. "101 Dalmatians," $46 millio
The comedy 2. "Star Trek: First Contact," $2
knocked "Star Trek: 3. "Space Jam," $17.9 million.
First Contact" into 4. "Ransom," $17.6 million.
second place with an 5. "Jingle All the Way," $17.5 n
estimated take of 6. "The Mirror Has Two Faces,"
$25.35 million, fol- 7. "The English Patient," $5.9 r
owed by "Space 8. "Set It Off," $4.6 million.
Jam" with $17.9 mil- 9. "William Shakespeare's Rom
lion. 10. "Sleepers," $1.5 million.
The success of
"101 Dalmatians" was no surprise. The movie was pushed by
a huge marketing campaign and had the Thanksgiving week-

end to itself. The only other openings were for a trio of limit-
ed-release films: "The Crucible" played at just one theater
while "Ridicule" and
movie grosses "Sing Blade" were
move roseson three screens


25.35 million.
$8.28 million.
eo & Juliet," $3.5 milion.




live-action version of
the 1961 animated
feature, stars Glenn
Close as an evil fash-
ion designer who
wants to turn puppies
into a fur coat.
The opening took

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the record for a five-
day Thanksgiving opening from "Back to the Future 2,"
which debuted with $43 million in 1989.



December 3, 7:30pm
Ann Arbor Theater (II)
Cardmembers get two compli-
mentary passes to a pre-release
screening of Universal's block-
buster Daylight.
Just bring the American Express-
Card or Optima= Card and your
student ID to the location listed
below to pick up your passes.
If you're not yet a Cardmember
and would like to take part in
our exclusive previews, it's easy
to apply for the Card. Just call
1-800-942-AMEX, ext. 4114.
Daylight is one in a series of
five major motion pictures to



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