In another example of anniversary commemoration designed to make everyone feel old, U2’s “All That You Can’t Leave Behind” — an album that many still think of as prime “late-period U2” — is turning 20 on Oct. 30, and the occasion will be marked that day by the release of a boxed set celebrating a release fans haven’t left behind since Y2K.
Entering a fall season that already will see prominent boxed sets from Prince, Tom Petty and John Lennon, U2’s will similarly be available in a mixture of configurations, the most elaborate of which will be a 51-track Super Deluxe edition that tags 39 bonus cuts onto the original 11-track album, including outtakes, B-sides, remixes and a full live album from the 2001 “Elevation” tour. That edition will also be packaged with a 32-page hardback book featuring the photos and handwritten notes of the group’s longtime collaborator, photographer Anton Corbijn.
All versions, including the most basic remaastered single-disc edition, will include the addition of the studio track “The Ground Beneath Her Feet” to flesh out the basic 11-song album sequence to 12 cuts.
The heralding of the forthcoming set Thursday morning included the release of an acoustic version of one of the album’s hits, “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of,” accompanied by a new lyric video.
Among the rarer or previously unreleased songs on the Deluxe or Super Deluxe editions are the outtakes “Levitate,” “Love You Like Mad” and “Flower Child”; “Stateless” from the “Million Dollar Hotel” soundtrack; the B-sides “Summer Rain,” “Always,” “Big Girls Are Best” and “Don’t Take Your Guns To Town”; and four previously unheard remixes among 11 that are included overall, including a newly unearthed redo of “Walk On” by Wyclef Jean. The live set, recorded at Boston’s Fleet Center, includes 19 tracks culled from the concert.
“All That You Can’t Leave Behind,” produced by stalwards Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, was U2’s most commercially successful album of the post-“Achtung Baby” era. Other radio hits and enduring concert favorites from the 2000 album include the frequent show-opener “Beautiful Day,” “Walk On” and “Elevation.” The album stands alone in history for having generated songs that won the Record of the Year Grammy in two successive years: “Beautiful Day” in 2001 and “Walk On” in 2002. It was certified quadruple-platinum by the RIAA in 2004.