Three (EP)

Three (EP)

Infobox Album
Name = Three
Type = ep
Artist = U2

Border = yes
Released = September 1979
Recorded = Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin, Ireland, 1979
Genre = Rock, post-punk
Length = 9:58
Label = CBS
Producer = U2, Chas de Whalley
Reviews =
*Allmusic Rating|2.5|5 [ link]
Last album =
This album = "Three"
Next album = "Boy"

"Three", also known as "U2 3", [cite album-notes |title=Boy |albumlink=Boy (album)|bandname=U2 |year=2008 |notestitle=Rare and Unreleased Tracks |first=The |last=Edge |authorlink=The Edge |format=Remastered deluxe edition booklet |publisher=Island Records |publisherid=B0010946-02] is the first release by Irish rock band U2, a three-song EP recorded and released in 1979. It was produced by the band with Chas de Whalley and only available in Ireland at the time of its release.


"Three" was produced as a 12 inch and subsequently a 7 inch, with an initial run of 1,000 individually numbered copies. It has been reissued four times since then, but it remains a hard item to track down and wasn't released on CD until 2008 as part of the bonus disc with the reissue of "Boy", U2's first album. The track order was determined by a listener poll on Dave Fanning's radio show. Callers chose "Out of Control" to be the A-side of the record, with "Boy/Girl" and "Stories for Boys" as runners-up, constituting the B-side of the record.

The band followed "Three" with singles for "Another Day", "11 O'Clock Tick Tock", and "A Day Without Me" before releasing "Boy", in 1980.

U2 performed all of the songs from "Three" live regularly in the band's formative years. The earliest known performances of "Out of Control" and "Stories for Boys" took place in August 1979; "Out of Control" was written on lead singer Bono's 18th birthday. [cite web |url= |title=Bono in San Antonio |publisher=U2 Magazine No. 3 |date=May 1, 1982 |accessdate=2007-11-05] "Boy/Girl" may have also been played at this stage: a song named "In Your Hand" might have been related in some way to "Boy/Girl" but no recordings of it exist. The first confirmed performance of "Boy/Girl" took place in October 1979. All three songs were regularly performed on the "Boy" Tour in 1980–1981, though "Boy/Girl" appeared less than the others. "Stories for Boys," which premiered at an unknown date in August 1979, was used as a concert opener a few times before being moved to late in the main setlist, nearer to "Out of Control", which was typically the last song of the main set. In mid-March 1981, the "Three" songs were united to close the main set. "Stories for Boys" was first, followed by "Boy/Girl", which segued into "Out of Control". This trilogy lasted until the end of the tour.

"Boy/Girl" and "Stories for Boys" did not remain the band's live repertoire long after the end of the "Boy" Tour. "Boy/Girl" was played just three times afterwards, while "Stories For Boys" was initially frequently performed on the "October" Tour before it was removed from the setlist in late March 1982. "Out of Control", however, remained longer in the band's live show. It rotated with "Gloria" as the concert opener on the War Tour and the first leg of the Unforgettable Fire Tour. It then went into hiatus, appearing only twice late in the Unforgettable Fire Tour before returning sporadically to the setlist on the third leg of the Joshua Tree Tour and three performances on the Lovetown Tour. "Out Of Control" then had an absence of over eleven years from the setlist; it was not played again until 15 May 2001 on the Elevation Tour. After initial infrequent performances proved popular with fans, it became more regular in the setlist as the tour progressed. It was retained on the Vertigo Tour for special occasions; it was played a total of nine times, including instances in Toronto and Los Angeles where U2 performed it with local bands. The Vertigo Tour also saw part of "Stories for Boys" return to the setlist - Bono acknowledged its lyrical relation to "Vertigo" by snippeting some lyrics from "Stories for Boys" at the end of "Vertigo". This snippet was a regular feature of shows on the Vertigo Tour's first leg but was done only sporadically on the second leg and never on subsequent legs.

Track listing

Music by U2, words by Bono.

#"Out of Control" – 3:50
#"Stories for Boys" – 2:39
#"Boy/Girl" – 3:21

"Out of Control" and "Stories for Boys" were re-recorded for the band's first album, "Boy" (1980). Live versions of the two songs were also later featured on various releases, such as the "Sweetest Thing" single and the "Live from Boston 1981" digital album. A live version of "Boy/Girl" was later featured on the "I Will Follow" single. The original EP made it's CD debut in 2008 as bonus tracks on the "Boy" reissue.


*Bono – lead vocals
*The Edge – guitar, vocals
*Adam Clayton – bass guitar
*Larry Mullen, Jr. – drums
*U2, Chas de Whalley – production

ee also

*U2 discography


External links

* [ "Three"] at U2 Wanderer, with omprehensive details on various editions, cover scans, lyrics, and more
* [ "Out of Control" lyrics] at
* [ "Stories for Boys" lyrics] at
* [ "Boy/Girl" lyrics] at
* [ "Out of Control" concert listing] at
* [ "Stories for Boys" concert listing] at
* [ "Boy/Girl" concert listing] at
* [ "In Your Hand" concert listing] at, with theories on its relationship to "Boy/Girl"

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  • Three — (thr[=e]), a. [OE. [thorn]re, [thorn]reo, [thorn]ri, AS. [thorn]r[=i], masc., [thorn]re[ o], fem. and neut.; akin to OFries. thre, OS. thria, threa, D. drie, G. drei, OHG. dr[=i], Icel. [thorn]r[=i]r, Dan. & Sw. tre, Goth. [thorn]reis, Lith. trys …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • three — /three/, n. 1. a cardinal number, 2 plus 1. 2. a symbol for this number, as 3 or III. 3. a set of this many persons or things. 4. a playing card, die face, or half of a domino face with three pips. adj. 5. amounting to three in number. 6. three… …   Universalium

  • three — O.E. þreo, fem. and neut. (masc. þri, þrie), from P.Gmc. *thrijiz (Cf. O.Fris. thre, M.Du., Du. drie, O.H.G. dri, Ger. drei, O.N. þrir, Dan. tre), from PIE *trejes (Cf. Skt. trayas, Avestan thri, Gk. treis …   Etymology dictionary

  • three — S1 [θri:] number [: Old English; Origin: thrie, threo] 1.) the number 3 ▪ They ve won their last three games. ▪ We d better go. It s almost three (=three o clock) . ▪ My little sister s only three (=three years old) . 2.) in threes in groups of… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • three — three; three·ling; three·pence; three·pen·ny; three·pen·ny·worth; three·fold; three·some; …   English syllables

  • Three — Three, n. 1. The number greater by a unit than two; three units or objects. [1913 Webster] 2. A symbol representing three units, as 3 or iii. [1913 Webster] {Rule of three}. (Arith.) See under {Rule}, n. [1913 Webster] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Three Rs — (pronounced three ars ), can refer to: * Animal testing, an abbreviation for, reduce, replace, refine * The three Rs, a widely used abbreviation for the basic elements of a primary school curriculum: reading, ’riting (writing), and ’rithmetic… …   Wikipedia

  • three-D — adjective a three D movie, picture, etc. looks as if it has height, depth, and width: a three D backdrop effect ╾ ,three D noun uncount: They re showing the film in three D …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • three — [thrē] adj. [ME < OE threo, thrie, akin to Ger drei < IE base * trei > L tres, Gr treis, Sans tri] totaling one more than two n. 1. the cardinal number between two and four; 3; III 2. any group of three people or things 3. something… …   English World dictionary

  • three-D — three D, 3 D [ˌθri: ˈdi:] adj a three D film or picture is made so that it appears to be three dimensional >three D n [U] ▪ a film in 3 D …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • three — ► CARDINAL NUMBER ▪ one more than two; 3. (Roman numeral: iii or III.) ● three parts Cf. ↑three parts DERIVATIVES threefold adjective & adverb. ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary

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