Miss Sarajevo - U2 and Brian Eno Luciano Pavarotti Jun 29, 2019 19:22:40 GMT -7
Post by pieter on Jun 29, 2019 19:22:40 GMT -7
"Miss Sarajevo" is the only single from the 1995 album Original Soundtracks 1 by U2 and Brian Eno, under the pseudonym "Passengers". Luciano Pavarotti makes a guest vocal appearance, singing the opera solo. It also appears on U2's compilation, The Best of 1990-2000, and was covered by George Michael on his album, Songs from the Last Century. While the song did not reach the Billboard Hot 100, it reached No. 6 on the UK Singles Chart and was a top-ten hit in many other European countries. Bono, the band's lead vocalist, cites "Miss Sarajevo" as his favourite U2 song.
American journalist Bill Carter suggested to Bono an idea to film a documentary based on Sarajevo's underground resistance movement. Not only did Bono produce the film, he also provided the funds needed to support the project. Taken from the sleeves notes to Original Soundtracks 1:
The camera follows the organizers through the tunnels and cellars of the city, giving a unique insight into life during a modern war, where civilians are the targets. The film captures the dark humour of the besieged Sarajevans, their stubborn refusal to be demoralised and suggests that surrealism and Dadaism are the appropriate responses to fanaticism.
Bono went on to say that he felt that these lyrics reflected what the people of Sarajevo were feeling at the time. Original Soundtracks 1 is an album of songs based mostly on non-existent films; however, "Miss Sarajevo" is one of four tracks from the album that are based on real films. The film Miss Sarajevo is a documentary by Bill Carter about a beauty pageant held in the midst of besieged Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The winner was a 17-year-old blonde named Inela Nogić. Carter travelled to Sarajevo in the winter of 1993 to offer humanitarian aid and quickly found himself in the heart of the conflict. He lived for six months in a burnt-out office building, subsisting on baby food and whatever water he could find in the rivers and sewers and delivering food and medicine to those in need.
Carter originally contacted U2 while they were on their Zoo TV Tour to show audiences the real people involved, feeling that the western media were ignoring the human aspect of the war. The band arranged for several satellite link-ups where Carter gave the locals—who had been cut off from communication with the rest of Europe for about a year and a half at this point—an opportunity to be heard before stadiums of thousands. The link-ups were brief and unedited.
The idea was simple, instead of doing what the news does, which is entertain you, I wanted to do something that the news rarely does, make a person care about the issue ... I wanted young people in Europe to see the people in the war, I didn't want them to see politicians or religious leaders or military spokesmen.
— Bill Carter,
Carter had his camera sent to him from his home in California so he could film the documentary (which was produced by Bono) with the same goal of exposing people to the individuals living through the war. "The war is just a backdrop, it could be any war, the point is the vitality of the human spirit to survive, [to] laugh, to love, and to move on, that is something we will be addressing always." The song protests the war in Bosnia, criticising the international community for its inability to stop the war or help those affected by it. It was the only single released from the album. Its video combines clips from Bill Carter's documentary with footage from the Passengers' first performance of the song at the 1995 Pavarotti and Friends concert in Modena. Clips from the documentary contain striking imagery, such as a shot of beauty pageant contestants holding up a banner with the words "DON'T LET THEM KILL US," as seen on the single's artwork. Carter's Sarajevo documentary was one of two Dreamchaser nominees for the 1995 International Monitor Awards, in Washington, D.C. Carter would ultimately prevail over a Chernobyl documentary Black Wind, White Land, made by fellow nominee and Bono's wife, Ali Hewson.