Track Name
U2
Zooropa
Zooropa
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"Zooropa" /zuːˈroʊpɑː/ is a song by the rock band U2. It is the opening track from their 1993 album Zooropa. The song was the result of combining two pieces of music, the first of which was conceived in the studio, and the second of which was discovered by guitarist The Edge while listening to soundchecks the band had done while on tour. The lyrics were written by vocalist Bono, describing two characters in a brightly lit city in a futuristic version of European society. Lyrics in the song were based on advertising slogans, and also featured the phrase "dream out loud", which has appeared in other U2 media. The song touched on several themes, including moral confusion and the future of European society.

Promotional recordings of the song were released in the United States and Mexico, and the song appeared on two record charts shortly after its release in 1993. The song was briefly performed at three shows on U2's Zoo TV Tour in 1993. The band had difficulties performing it in 1993, and it was not played again until the U2 360° Tour in 2011.

The recording of the song received mostly positive reception from critics, who praised it as the album's opening track.

During the Zoo TV Tour in 1992, U2 were trying to create a vision of an attractive future for Europe, as opposed to a negative, dystopian image that would be found in science fiction. With recent and ongoing events in Europe, such as the Revolutions of 1989, the enlargement of the European Union, and the Bosnian War, lead vocalist Bono created a surreal vision of a European location called "Zooropa". Bono has referred to Zooropa as being a concept album, with a main theme of the exploration of interpellation within the European Union.

" was our attempt to create a world rather than just songs and it's a beautiful world. The opening was our new manifesto the audio equivalent of Blade Runner's visuals. If you closed your eyes you could see the neon, the giant LED screens advertising all manner of ephemera."

—Bono
Bono and guitarist The Edge had been reading works by cyberpunk author William Gibson, who wrote about a futuristic urban environment known as "The Sprawl". Gibson was an influence in the texture of the song, which Bono described as "fucked up sci-fi". Bono wanted to use noise to create a visual setting for the song, similar to Gibson's futuristic world, filled with advertisements on LED displays and neon signs, as in the 1982 film Blade Runner. With "Zooropa" as the album's opening song, Bono stated that he wanted the album's music to be like "legal drugs" that would create a trip where "you come out of the other end and you feel like you've been on some kind of a journey". The closing song on the album, "The Wanderer", features Johnny Cash on vocals, and was intended on being the "antidote" to the futuristic-sounding opener.

The song was written and recorded during the album's sessions at Windmill Lane Studios and The Factory Studios in Dublin, between legs of the Zoo TV Tour from March to May 1993. "Zooropa" was first developed after The Edge listened to cassette recordings of the band's soundchecks from the tour. Along with the album's sound engineer Joe O'Herlihy, The Edge edited the best parts of the soundchecks to create a song arrangement, which served as a backing track. The song's introduction was recorded separately from the remainder of the song. The band based the introduction on a jam session in the studio, and producer Flood took parts of the jam and created an ambient mix. The bass guitar during the intro was written and performed by drummer Larry Mullen, Jr., who came up with the piece during the recording sessions while The Edge was working on the album's guitar riffs. The song pieces were then edited into a stereo mix, with the intro mixed in by Flood using a crossfade. Synthesizer sounds were added by producer Brian Eno on a Yamaha DX7 keyboard, including a "squishy, mad-synth sound" that connected the different segments of the soundcheck. The Edge later added guitar tracks, as well as additional sounds to the song using an EMS Synthi A synthesiser. Once the song was almost finished, the band had doubts about the first segment of the soundcheck backing track. Having established an arrangement for the song, they performed it in the studio from start to finish and used the replaying for the first part of the soundcheck backing track, while using portions of the new performance for the second segment.

The band had originally intended on recording an EP during the sessions, but Zooropa eventually evolved into full-length album. "Zooropa" was one of five songs that were part of what would have become the band's EP, which also included "Babyface", "Numb", "Stay (Faraway, So Close!)", and "The Wanderer". Prior to the song's final title, it had the working title "Babble–Zooropa", as mentioned in a May 1993 issue of Hot Press, and was later titled "Zooropa I & II" in a June 1993 issue of Billboard.


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Genre

Pop-Rock

Mood
Political

Style
Rock/Pop

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