11 O'Clock Tick Tock

"11 O'Clock Tick Tock"
Single by U2
Released 16 May 1980 [1]
Format 7" vinyl
Genre Rock, post-punk
Length 3:44
Label Columbia / Island
Producer(s) Martin Hannett
U2 singles chronology
"Another Day"
"11 O'Clock Tick Tock"
"A Day Without Me"
Under a Blood Red Sky track listing
"11 O'Clock Tick Tock"
"I Will Follow"

"11 O'Clock Tick Tock" was U2's second single, released 16 May 1980. It followed their debut EP Three and the single "Another Day." It was released prior to their debut album, Boy.


The non-album single was produced by Martin Hannett, renowned for his work with Joy Division, a band influential to U2. The band first met Hannett while he was producing "Love Will Tear Us Apart" with Joy Division, where U2 were silent studio onlookers during the session. "11 O'Clock Tick Tock" debuted live in August 1979 with alternate lyrics and was then known as "Silver Lining." It evolved into "11 O'Clock Tick Tock" between March and May 1980.

"Touch," the B-side on the "11 O'Clock Tick Tock" single, evolved from an earlier song called "Trevor." "Touch" was played on the Boy Tour in 1980-1981, but has never been performed on any subsequent tours.

Three mixes of "11 O'Clock Tick Tock" exist, all studio cuts. The 1980 single features the 3:47 single mix. The Martin Hannett tribute album And Here Is the Young Man features a 4:03 mix. The final mix is a 4:13 version with a longer intro that featured on the 1984 UK "Pride (In the Name of Love)" 12-inch limited edition single.


The harmonic guitar section towards the end of the song features an incorporation of the Third Quarter chime of the Westminster Quarters from the Big Ben clock tower at the Palace of Westminster in London.


During the first half of the 1980s, "11 O'Clock Tick Tock" was one of U2's most popular live songs and it appears on the 1983 live EP Under A Blood Red Sky and concert film Live at Red Rocks: Under a Blood Red Sky. On U2's very early tours, it was often played twice due to a lack of material - once early in the concert, and then during the encore. Until December 1982, it was routinely paired with "The Ocean", a song from the band's debut album Boy. This live pairing is available on the "Fire" single.

After the Unforgettable Fire Tour concluded in July 1985, "11 O'Clock Tick Tock" has been played thirteen times, including seven performances on 2001's Elevation Tour. The frequency of its early performances means that it is still one of U2's twenty most-performed live songs.[2]

Track listing

7" vinyl
No. Title Length
1. "11 O'Clock Tick Tock"   3:44
2. "Touch"   3:21


  1. Sams, Aaron; Kantas, Harry. "U2 – "11 O'Clock Tick Tock" Single". U2songs.com. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  2. TourDB statistics - U2 on tour

External links

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