Elevation (song)

"Elevation" is a song by Irish rock band U2. It is the third track on their tenth studio album, All That You Can't Leave Behind (2000), and was released as the album's third single on 25 June 2001. The song became the band's 16th number-one single in their native Ireland and their second number-one in the Netherlands. It also topped the charts in Canada, and reached the top 10 in Australia, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Norway, Scotland, Spain and the United Kingdom. In 2002, "Elevation" won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal at the 44th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony. The song lent its namesake to the band's Elevation Tour.

Single by U2
from the album All That You Can't Leave Behind
B-side"Don't Take Your Guns to Town"
Released25 June 2001 (2001-06-25)[1]
StudioHQ (Dublin, Ireland)
GenreAlternative rock
Length3:46 (Album version)
3:35 (Tomb Raider mix)
LabelIsland / Interscope
U2 singles chronology
"Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of"
"Walk On"
Music video
"Elevation" on YouTube
Alternative cover
12-inch vinyl cover

Writing and composition

Adam [Clayton] came into his own on "Elevation" because he is the hip-hop man in the band and there is a real hip-hop attitude in the rhythm section.

—The Edge[2]

"Elevation" started with a guitar sound that the Edge got with a vintage pedal that Daniel Lanois had brought to the sessions.[3] Afterwards, the Edge hit on a guitar part and programmed a quick beat box rhythm and the band started playing against it,[3] and Bono improvized.[4] The song has a hip-hop rhythm.[4] The Edge stated that "Elevation" was a light relief in a heavy sequence of songs, unlike "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of", "Kite" and "Walk On" that "are farewell songs of one kind of another."[4]

Live performances

The song was played at all 113 concerts in Elevation Tour. Shows would traditionally open under the venue house lights with the Influx Mix of "Elevation" playing as the band's intro music. During live shows during the Vertigo Tour, it was played without drums and bass for the first verse and chorus before the rest of the band joins in. It has been played at almost every U2 concert since it was debuted except for the Innocence + Experience Tour where it was only played sporadically during the B-stage set; it has been played at every show since.

Critical reception

"Elevation" received positive reviews. When reviewing the album, Adam Sweeting from The Guardian praised the song, calling it an "irresistible mix of crude techno and raw guitar-swagger."[5] New Zealand Herald editor Russell Baillie called it a "grand surge" noting the song's guitar and vocals which he described as "churning" and "giddy", respectively.[6] NME was positive toward the song for "the well-exercised U2 template."[7] Along with "Wild Honey" and "Walk On," Entertainment Weekly contributor David Browne called the song "lusty" and stated it has "the charging-horse feel of U2's youth, with a bumpy-noise upgrade courtesy of producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois."[8]

Brent DiCrescenzo of Drowned in Sound gave a negative review of the song, labelling Bono's lyrics as: "slaughters hope with reckless chops of the hackneyed sword."[9]


The version of the song released as a single was entitled the "Tomb Raider Mix" (remixed by Chris Vrenna),[10] differing significantly from the album version, in that it features guitars with a more "hard rock" sound than the electronic-inspired feel of the album version. The drums in the single version are also harder, with additional tambourine included. The name comes from its role in the soundtrack to the movie, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. This arrangement is how U2 have performed the song since its release. "Elevation" won the "Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal" in 2002.[11]

Elevation Partners, a $1.9 billion private equity company of which Bono is a co-founder and managing director,[12] is named after the song.[13] In 2006, when the NFL asked teams to stop using "Rock and Roll (Part 2)" by Gary Glitter as a touchdown song, the New England Patriots chose to use "Elevation"; they used it for the 2006 through 2009 seasons. The song has been used from 2006 to 2008 when the Vancouver Canucks score goals at home; it was used regularly during the 2007 NBA Playoffs and before kickoff at Colorado Rapids games (the Rapids play in the stadium at the highest elevation in the league). "Elevation" appeared on the soundtrack to the video game NBA 2K13. The song appeared in the series The Sopranos and Smallville

"Elevation" is played during the opening of the popular Machinima series Clear Skies.[14]

Music video

The music video for "Elevation" was directed by Joseph Kahn and is one of the most expensive music videos ever filmed. It is set around Lara Croft along with Bono and a rescue of the Edge from his "evil twin brother" (the Edge has been inserted into footage from Lara Croft: Tomb Raider). The video begins with Bono receiving a phone call from his evil counterpart known as "evil Bono", who says: "This is the 'evil Bono'. We have the Edge. We want the key. You are surrounded and not even Lara Croft can help you now." After escaping several of the "evil U2's" murder attempts, the band reunites and performs a "rock-off" against their evil counterparts, which ends with the "good U2" emerging victorious. The video ends with the "good U2" walking with Lara from the scene to a place with levitating cars and a pachyderm, ending with a Boeing 747-400 flying overhead before fading to black (the plane is also seen at the very beginning of the video). It was shot at the backlot area of Universal Studios Hollywood better known as Studio Tour.

The video was released as a digital DVD ("Version 7" below), the band's first, on 16 July 2001.[15] It was later featured on the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider DVD, as a special feature. The making of the video was shown on MTV's Making the Video.[16]

Formats and track listings

Credits and personnel


See also



  1. Sams, Aaron; Kantas, Harry. "U2 – "Elevation" Single". U2songs.com. Retrieved 14 June 2016.
  2. McCormick (2006), p. 369–370
  3. McCormick (2006), p. 369
  4. McCormick (2006), p. 370
  5. Adam Sweeting (27 October 2000). "Time to get the leathers out". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  6. Baillie, Russell (28 October 2000). "Oct 00, album review: All That You Can't Leave Behind". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  7. "U2 : All That You Can't Leave Behind". NME. 30 October 2000. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  8. Browne, David (3 November 2000). "All That You Can't Leave Behind (2013)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  9. DiCrescenzo, Brent (31 October 2000). "U2 - All That You Can't Leave Behind". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  10. "U2 – Elevation". Discogs. 2 July 2001. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  11. "U2 - Past Grammy Awards". Grammy.com. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  12. "Bono - Managing Director". Elevation Partners. Archived from the original on 7 October 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  13. Lyons, Dan (28 January 2011). "A Nasty Battle Over Money Is Breaking Up Bono's Silicon Valley Private-Equity Firm, Elevation Partners". Business Insider. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  14. EOHPoker (8 June 2012). "EVE Online - Clear Skies 1 (FULL LENGTH HQ)" via YouTube.
  15. "U2 RELEASE ELEVATION MUSIC DVD". Tombraiderchronicles.com. 16 June 2001. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  16. "U2 - Elevation". Discogs. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  17. All That You Can't Leave Behind (CD). U2. PolyGram International Music Publishing B.V. 2000.CS1 maint: others (link)
  18. "Australian-charts.com – U2 – Elevation". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  19. "Austriancharts.at – U2 – Elevation" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  20. "Ultratop.be – U2 – Elevation" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  21. "Ultratop.be – U2 – Elevation" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  22. "Brazil" (PDF). ABPD. October 6, 2001. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  23. "U2: Charts and Awards". Allmusic. Archived from the original on 21 November 2009. Retrieved 13 January 2010.
  24. "Danishcharts.com – U2 – Elevation". Tracklisten. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  25. "U2: Elevation" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  26. "Lescharts.com – U2 – Elevation" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  27. "Offiziellecharts.de – U2 – Elevation". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  28. "Chart Track: Week 29, 2001". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  29. "Italiancharts.com – U2 – Elevation". Top Digital Download. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  30. "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 32, 2001" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  31. "Dutchcharts.nl – U2 – Elevation" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  32. "Charts.nz – U2 – Elevation". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  33. "Norwegiancharts.com – U2 – Elevation". VG-lista. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  34. "Music & Media: Eurochart Hot 100" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  35. "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  36. "Spanishcharts.com – U2 – Elevation" Canciones Top 50.
  37. "Swedishcharts.com – U2 – Elevation". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  38. "Swisscharts.com – U2 – Elevation". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  39. "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  40. "U2 Chart History (Adult Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  41. "U2 Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  42. "U2 Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  43. "U2 Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard.
  44. "Ireland - Top Singles For 2001". Allcharts.org. Archived from the original on 5 May 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  45. "Jaaroverzichten - Single 2001" (in Dutch). Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  46. "The Official UK Singles Chart 2001" (PDF). UKChartsPlus. Retrieved 22 May 2018.


  • U2 (2006). McCormick, Neil (ed.). U2 by U2. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-00-719669-2.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.