Discothèque (song)

Discothèque (song)
Single by U2
from the album Pop
B-side "Holy Joe"
various remixes
Released 3 February 1997
Format 7" vinyl, 12" vinyl, CD, cassette
Genre Alternative rock, techno, alternative dance
Length 5:19 (album version)
4:34 (radio edit)
5:08 (12" version)
Label Island
Producer Flood
U2 singles chronology
"Miss Sarajevo"
"Staring at the Sun"
Alternative cover

"Discothèque" is the lead single from Irish rock band U2's 1997 album, Pop. It peaked at number one in many countries' charts, including the UK Singles Chart. The song received mixed reviews from critics.


Release history

A 30-second sample of "Discothèque" was leaked to the Internet on 26 October 1996. By 27 December, the entire track had been leaked, after which U2 moved up the release date. "Discothèque" debuted at #3 on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart, and hit #1 the following week. It was certified Gold by the RIAA on 7 April 1997. The song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at #10, but dropped off the charts after only four weeks in the Top 40. It was also the band's sixth (and last) top ten single in the US. It debuted at #1 on the UK singles chart, remaining on top for one week and spending a total of eleven weeks in the chart.

The song was remixed for U2's The Best of 1990-2000 greatest hits album, released in 2002. The new version features a longer intro and subtle use of the techno-sounding drum beat that figured prominently in the opening of the original track. The 'new' "Discotheque" was similar in sound to how U2 performed the song during the PopMart Tour in 1997 and 1998.

The version featured on most versions of the single was the 12" version, which altered the introduction's instrumentation and vocals. It was also slightly shorter than the album version.

A somewhat abbreviated form of "Discothèque" was played during the first two legs of U2's Elevation Tour in 2001, normally containing the snippets of "Staring at the Sun" and INXS's "Devil Inside". A more rock-sounding version of the song was played twice on the Vertigo Tour accompanied by an elaborate stage lightshow. It has not been played full since September 20, 2005. In the 2010 European leg of the U2 360° Tour, the band began performing an extended snippet of Discothèque during their remixed version of "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight", with Bono singing several verses of the song during the intro and the outtro, and Edge mixing its guitar riff in at the end.[1]

Music video

The accompanying music video, which was directed by Frenchman Stéphane Sednaoui, the band performed in atmosphere approximating the inside of a mirrorball. They alluded to several elements of the disco era, including disco-style dancing and the film Saturday Night Fever. U2 further and directly alluded to the Village People, a popular disco era band, by similarly adopting the guises of various professions: a motorcycle police officer (Bono), a gay-fetish biker (The Edge), an American sailor (Adam Clayton), and a cowboy (Larry Mullen, Jr.).


U2 were criticized by some reviewers for the large number of dance music remixes used as B-sides, suggesting that it was an attempt to gain credibility.[2] However Stephen Thomas believed it to be indicative of the growing influence of remixes in music.[2] Commercials for the 2003 Toyota Matrix used the Hexadecimal remix.

Track listings


Chart (1997) Peak
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 3
Canadian RPM Singles Chart 2
Canadian RPM Alternative 30 1
Irish Singles Chart[3] 1
New Zealand Singles Chart 1
Swedish Singles Chart 2
UK Singles Chart[4] 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 10
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales 1
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 6
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 1
U.S. Billboard Top 40 Mainstream 40


Country Certification Date Sales certified
US[5] Gold April 7, 1997 500,000
UK[6] Silver February 1, 1997 200,000

See also


  1. ^ http://www.u2gigs.com/Discoth_que-s7.html
  2. ^ a b Ryan, Stephen. "Dancing about architecture: Postmodernism and Irish popular music" (PDF). Irish Communications Review. http://arrow.dit.ie/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1013&context=aaschmedart. Retrieved 2010-02-06. 
  3. ^ "Irish Singles Chart". The Irish Charts. http://www.irishcharts.ie/search/placement. Retrieved 2009-11-23.  Note: U2 must be searched manually.
  4. ^ "EveryHit.com search results: U2". Everyhit.com. http://www.everyhit.com. Retrieved 2009-11-22.  Note: U2 must be searched manually.
  5. ^ "US certifications of 1997, gold status". riaa. http://www.riaa.com/goldandplatinumdata.php?table=SEARCH_RESULTS. Retrieved 22 December 2010. 
  6. ^ "UK certifications, database". Bpi. http://www.bpi.co.uk/certifiedawards/search.aspx. Retrieved 22 December 2010. 

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