CR Blog

U2 Linear: it's not a music video

Advertising, Type / Typography

Posted by Patrick Burgoyne, 14 April 2009, 13:36    Permalink    Comments (14)

Deluxe editions of U2’s new album, No Line On The Horizon are accompanied by Linear, a specially commissioned film by Anton Corbijn. “It is not an extended music video or a U2 documentary, it’s a new way to listen to a record - a new way to use film to connect to music,” claims Corbijn.

The idea is that, as many people will be listening to the album on a computer or MP3 player with video screen, they can choose to listen and watch the film at the same time. This extract is from the section that is accompanied by the track Breathe.

The film “follows a character from Paris through France and Spain to reach Cadiz before we eventually say goodbye to him trying to row to Africa,” explains Corbijn. Musically, it has a different running order to the album and an extra track, Winter, while the album track, I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight does not feature in Corbijn’s film.

The idea of the companion film was apparently developed during the making of the album. “The thinking is that as a lot of people buy music from the internet and are likely to hear this on a computer or mp3 player, their listening pleasure could be heightened by visuals. It is not essential to the record - you can either watch it or ignore it,” says Corbijn.

The lavish deluxe edition comes in a box with the Linear DVD, a poster and a book of Corbijn’s photographs


This is a brilliant idea. I am a huge fan of Corbijn's work but dislike U2. What this now presents is an opportunity for me to put my U2 bias aside as I watch Corbijn's short movie. Who knows, I may enjoy the music too. It's a way of getting the U2 album in my hands as I most certainly would never have bought it. This fits neatly with my idea of The End of The Music Album As The Organizing Principle -
Dave Allen
2009-04-14 17:38:21

Anton Corbijn and U2 go way back, a great relationship that never fails to produce quality. Nice post.
Youssef Sarhan
2009-04-14 17:48:05

Nice box.
On the more practical side.. I wonder how big the production of the boxed set is. And what the production costs were..
action man
2009-04-14 18:27:15

I'm a longstanding fan of both U2 and Corbijn and he never fails to deliver in my opinion. Having recently 'watched' the album I've been struck by the meditative nature of the film and its relationship with the music. Excellent.
Phil Dean
2009-04-15 07:45:06

I love U2 and when I downloaded the deluxe album I first listened to the album the normal way first and the second time watched the film. It was like drinking a single malt whisky and then you add a drop of water and watch the whisky open up and the flavours change. The film opens up each track and you get a different take on each song. Truly beautiful.
Martyn Cummins
2009-04-15 08:26:38

Nice idea, not sure it's entirely new though. Then nothing is. I'm reminded of Pink Floyd's the Wall!
Thomas Herman
2009-04-15 08:44:27

sounds like a poor phil lynott impression
another lazy attempt at stealing other bands styles from bono
2009-04-15 09:22:46

2009-04-15 10:13:59

Great photographer! The most over hyped band of all time. It is beyond me what is 'Great' about this band.
Chris Whitehead
2009-04-15 11:22:10

'Hype' is just another word for marketing - it keeps people like me employed! All rock stars want to be rich and famous and if U2 gave Corbijn a job on the way, they've achieved some creative merit.
2009-04-16 05:28:23

Who did the graphic design?
2009-04-16 08:12:46

Great photography but pretty average stuff.. U2 need to do something a bit more drastic
James Kirkup
2009-04-16 12:20:47

"it’s a new way to listen to a record" what utter tosh.
2009-04-17 17:00:52

IU2 is a great band, but it does not deserve to be as big as they are. No band deserves that imho. About the visuals: it's good, it's nice, but I like the dvd's Elbow made to accompany their albums better. It's certainly not new.
2009-07-19 19:34:13

Tell us what you think

What happens with my feedback?

We no longer require you to register and have a password in order to comment, simply fill in the form below. All comments are moderated so you may experience a short delay before your comment appears. CR encourages comments to be short and to the point. As a general rule, they should not run longer than the original post. Comments should show a courteous regard for the presence of other voices in the discussion. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments that do not adhere to this standard.

Get the RSS Feed