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"Please"
Single by U2
from the album Pop
Released20 October 1997
GenreAlternative rock
Length
LabelIsland
Composer(s)U2
Lyricist(s)Bono and The Edge
Producer(s)
U2 singles chronology
"Last Night on Earth"
(1997)
"Please"
(1997)
"If God Will Send His Angels"
(1997)
Music video
"Please" on YouTube

"Please" is a song by Irish rock band U2. It is the eleventh track on their 1997 album, Pop, and was released as its fourth single on 20 October 1997.

As with "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 initially played in electric form before being played acoustically by Bono and the Edge at about 20 different shows. The song has not been played in full since the final show of the Elevation Tour. However, it was frequently sampled along with "The Hands That Built America" during "Bullet the Blue Sky" on the Vertigo Tour.[1] It was later sampled in the outro of "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight" on the U2 360° Tour to lead into the beginning of fellow Northern Ireland Troubles song "Sunday Bloody Sunday".

Formats and track listings

Cassette release
No.TitleLength
1."Please" (Single version)5:36
2."Dirty Day" (Junk Day mix)4:41
International CD release
No.TitleLength
1."Please" (Single version)5:36
2."Dirty Day" (Junk Day mix)4:41
3."Dirty Day" (Bitter Kiss mix)4:32
4."I'm Not Your Baby" (Skysplitter dub)5:47
American CD release
No.TitleLength
1."Please" (Single version)5:36
2."Please" (Live in Rotterdam, South Holland, the Netherlands, 18 July 1997)7:11
3."Where the Streets Have No Name" (Live in Rotterdam, South Holland, the Netherlands, 18 July 1997)6:33
4."With or Without You" (Live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 14 June 1997)4:38
5."Staring at the Sun" (Live in Rotterdam, South Holland, the Netherlands, 18 July 1997)5:33

Note

B-sides

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

"Dirty Day"

Two remixes of "Dirty Day" from Zooropa were made for the single, both by Butch Vig and Duke Erikson of the alternative rock group Garbage.

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

This song was recorded for the soundtrack for Wim Wenders' The End of Violence, in collaboration with 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 18 July 1997 at Feijenoord Stadium, in Rotterdam, 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 of "With or Without You" 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.

Alternative versions

There are five versions of this song available:

Music videos

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 9 August 1997), which was released on "The History Mix" bonus disc from The Best of 1990-2000 & B-Sides.

Charts

Weekly charts

Chart (1997) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[2] 21
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[3] 31
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[4] 47
Canada Rock/Alternative (RPM)[5] 25
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[6] 26
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[7] 7
France (SNEP)[8] 31
Germany (Official German Charts)[9] 26
Hungary (Mahasz)[10] 8
Ireland (IRMA)[11] 6
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[12] 11
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[13] 6
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[14] 32
Norway (VG-lista)[15] 15
Scotland (OCC)[16] 5
Spain (AFYVE)[17] 3
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[18] 33
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[19] 35
UK Singles (OCC)[20] 7
US Alternative Airplay (Billboard)[21] 31

Year-end charts

Chart (1997) Position
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[22] 47

References

  1. ^ All times "Please" has been played live
  2. ^ "Australian-charts.com – U2 – Please". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  3. ^ "Ultratop.be – U2 – Please" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  4. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 3396." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  5. ^ "Top RPM Rock/Alternative Tracks: Issue 3402." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 14 no. 41. 11 October 1997. p. 12. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  7. ^ "U2: Please" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  8. ^ "Lescharts.com – U2 – Please" (in French). Les classement single.
  9. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – U2 – Please" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts.
  10. ^ "Top National Sellers" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 14 no. 50. 13 December 1997. p. 19. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  11. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – U2". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  12. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 43, 1997" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  13. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – U2 – Please" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  14. ^ "Charts.nz – U2 – Please". Top 40 Singles.
  15. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – U2 – Please". VG-lista.
  16. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  17. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  18. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – U2 – Please". Singles Top 100.
  19. ^ "Swisscharts.com – U2 – Please". Swiss Singles Chart.
  20. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  21. ^ "U2 Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  22. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1996" (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 2 September 2020.