U2 "11 O'Clock Tick Tock"
About "11 O'Clock Tick Tock"
"11 O'Clock Tick Tock" is a song by Irish rock band U2. It was released as a single on 16 May 1980, and was produced by Martin Hannett. It followed their debut EP Three and the single "Another Day." It was the group's first release for Island Records. The song's lyrics were written by lead vocalist Bono based on his experience at a Cramps concert in London, where he watched a "lifeless, goth-style" crowd from the balcony.
After Island signed U2 in March 1980, the label recommended the band work with Hannett, believing he could improve their studio recordings without losing the energy of their live performances. Hannett travelled to Dublin in April 1980 to record "11 O'Clock Tick Tock" at Windmill Lane Studios. The group were impressed by Hannett's technically innovative production but had a difficult experience with him. They found him to be an eccentric personality and believed he had imposed his distinctive production style on their music. Although Hannett was in consideration to produce U2's debut album Boy, the band ultimately decided to hire Steve Lillywhite instead, beginning a career-spanning working relationship with him.
"11 O'Clock Tick Tock" did not chart at the time of its original release but later did after subsequent U2 releases: in January 1984, the song reached number 30 on the US Rock Albums & Top Tracks chart after its inclusion on the band's live album Under a Blood Red Sky a few months prior; in 2020, the song reached number 69 on the Irish Singles Chart after it was reissued for Record Store Day in commemoration of its 40th anniversary.
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