Please (U2 song)

Please (U2 song)

"Please" is the fourth single from U2's 1997 album, Pop.

Similar to the classic "Sunday Bloody Sunday", the song is about The Troubles in Northern Ireland. The single cover for this song features the pictures of four Northern Irish politicians — Gerry Adams, David Trimble, Ian Paisley, and John Hume (clockwise from top left). Two months before the release of the single, live versions of "Please" and three other songs from the PopMart Tour were released on the Please: Popheart Live EP in September 1997.

Live performances

This song was played live during every performance of the PopMart Tour, with an outro similar to the drumbeat to that of "Sunday Bloody Sunday." Each performance segued directly into "Where the Streets Have No Name." During the Elevation Tour, the song was played acoustically by Bono and The Edge at about 20 different shows. The song has not been played in full since. However, it was "snippeted" frequently along with "The Hands That Built America" during "Bullet the Blue Sky" on the Vertigo Tour.

Track listings

Version 1

  1. "Please" (Single Version) — 5:36
  2. "Dirty Day" (Junk Day) — 4:41
  3. "Dirty Day" (Bitter Kiss) — 4:32
  4. "I'm Not Your Baby" (Skysplitter Dub) — 5:47

This is the most common release. A cassette single had only "Dirty Day" (Junk Day) as the B-side.

Version 2

  1. "Please" (Single Version) — 5:36
  2. "Please" (Live from Rotterdam, July 18, 1997) — 7:11
  3. "Where the Streets Have No Name" (Live from Rotterdam, July 18, 1997) — 6:33
  4. "With or Without You" (Live from Edmonton, June 14, 1997) — 4:38
  5. "Staring at the Sun" (Live from Rotterdam, July 18, 1997) — 5:33

This is the U.S. CD release, featuring the single version of "Please," as well as four live tracks, which were previously released in other countries on the Please: Popheart Live EP.


The "Please" singles were backed with the following B-Sides:

"Dirty Day"

Two remixes of this Zooropa song were made for the single, both by Butch Vig and Duke Erikson.

"I'm Not Your Baby" (Skysplitter Dub)

This song was recorded for the soundtrack for Wim Wenders' The End of Violence, with guest vocals by Sinéad O'Connor. The version featured here is an instrumental remix, with few differences from the original version.

"Please" and "Where the Streets Have No Name" (Live from Rotterdam)

This performance was taken from the European première of the PopMart Tour on July 18 1997 at Feijenoord Stadium, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The middle eight in "Please" featured the drumbeat from "Sunday Bloody Sunday", and the outro, with Bono's falsetto, segued into the opening chords of "Where the Streets Have No Name", which was updated to an almost techno sound. The end of the performance included some lyrics from another song from Pop, "The Playboy Mansion".

"With or Without You" (Live from Edmonton)

This performance from The Joshua Tree classic was taken from the first leg of the PopMart Tour in June 1997, at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Canada.

"Staring at the Sun" (Live from Rotterdam)

This performance of "Staring At The Sun", played by Bono and The Edge as part of an acoustic set at the PopMart concerts, was a departure from the version on the Pop album. It was a more subtle, vocal-oriented version, with only the two guitars and some harmonies during the choruses.

Alternate versions

There are five versions of this song available:

  • The album version, featured on Pop.
  • The single version, on the single and video. This version was more similar to the live performances, with an orchestrated intro and the "Sunday Bloody Sunday" drumbeat on the middle eight. This version was recorded at the Wisseloord Studios in Hilversum, Netherlands.
  • The USA edit, a special edit included on the US versions of the "Please" single CD. It is a more stripped down and shortened version of the single version. Its running time is 3 minutes, 55 seconds.
  • The live performance from the July 18, 1997 concert in Rotterdam, also from the single.
  • Another live performance, from the December 3, 1997 concert in Mexico City. This version appears on the Hasta la Vista Baby! album.

Elvis Costello has recorded a cover version of this song.


The "Please" music video is a black-and-white concept piece by Anton Corbijn. It takes place on a street called "No Name" (a reference to the song "Where the Streets Have No Name") where a beggar is standing, with a sign saying "please" hanging from his neck. Several people pass by on their knees, until a point where this situation is reversed. The band actually does not show up for much of the video, finally making an appearance during The Edge's guitar solo. This video appears on the DVD for The Best of 1990-2000, along with the director's commentary.

Two live videos from the PopMart Tour have been released as well — one video from the PopMart: Live from Mexico City release, and one known as the "Mural Mix," (filmed in Helsinki on August 9, 1997), which was released on "The History Mix" bonus disc from The Best of 1990-2000 & B-Sides.

See also


External links

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