U2 will issue a limited edition three-track live EP, “Wide Awake in Europe,” including a previously unreleased song, as an exclusive item for independent record stores on Nov. 26.
Top-selling Irish band’s piece will be the key title for “Back to Black Friday,” an indie retail event mounted by the organizers of the annual Record Store Day. Nearly 1,400 stores participated in RSD in April this year.
Promotion is designed to build traffic at indie outlets on the Friday following Thanksgiving, the day Christmas shoppers typically crowd mass merchants and mall chain stores.
Limited to 5,000 copies, U2’s 12-inch vinyl release will include a version of the concert favorite “Mercy,” recorded live in Brussels on Sept. 21. Set will also feature “I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” (cut in Dublin in July 2009) and “Moment of Surrender” (captured in September in Paris).
Exclusive product – most of it on vinyl — from Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Bruce Springsteen, Metallica, Jimi Hendrix and Cee Lo Green, among others, is also earmarked for the Black Friday promotion. EMI Music previously announced a new vinyl boxed edition of George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” for the event.
Availability of unique product has spurred lineups at RSD stores in the past, since small allocations of the exclusive collector-oriented titles are quickly depleted. This year’s draws included vinyl from Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, John Lennon, Elvis Presley, R.E.M., the Velvet Underground, the Sex Pistols and Sonic Youth.