The Ten Best U2 Songs
I bought one of the 80 GB iPods last week. These “classic” iPods now have video, so I went to iTunes to get something to play on it and ended up with the video of U2’s classic performance of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” live at Red Rocks. Watching it reminded me of how much (and how long) I’ve loved this band.
Trying to put together a top ten list was next to impossible. I had to narrow it down from a list of about 30 songs I love – and that’s not including collaborations like “In A Lifetime” with Clannad and “The Saints Are Coming” with Green Day.
So anyway, here’s my list. Other U2 fans out there – I’d love to see yours.
10. ”I Will Follow”, from Boy: While I love the guitar solo from “Twilight” on this same album, I think this is the better song, mostly because of the use of everyday objects like bottles as instruments. The bridge is also fantastic (“Your eyes make a circle…”) and was our first glimpse of the kind of musical drama the band was capable of.
9. "Beautiful Day", from All That You Can't Leave Behind: I love the grandeur of this song. In an era when every other song is hip hop inspired and "features" 8 different performers, this is a throwback to music that moves you, rather than just moving your body.
8. "Tomorrow", from October: This is the most "Irish" song U2 has ever recorded. Listen to the way the tension rises throughout the song until the rockin' end. It's hard to believe they were practically still teenagers when it came out.
7. "So Cruel", from Achtung Baby: This song features one of Bono's better lyrics: "Between the horses of love and lust we are trampled underfoot". I love the quietly driving piano and drums and I'll admit to a weakness for songs with the word "sweetheart" in them.
6. "The Unforgettable Fire", from (oddly enough) The Unforgettable Fire: When people talk about Bono's passion, they usually mean some of the crazy things he's done like climb the scaffolding at the US Festival or yelling out during "Sunday Bloody Sunday". I think of this song - when he's expressing romantic passion in lines like:
And if the mountain should crumble
Or disappear into the sea
Not a tear, no not I
Stay in this time
Stay tonight in a lie
This love in time
And if you save your love
Save it all
Watching that video, I'm also reminded of how damn cute Larry Mullen, Jr. was. Oh, Larry...
5. "Gloria", from October: This song is what going to church should be like.
4. "A Sort Of Homecoming" from The Unforgettable Fire and Wide Awake In America. I love both the album and live versions of the song. The album version, with its sonic assault, almost sounds like something from Smashing Pumpkins. The live version strips all of that away to just the beautiful melody.
3. "With Or Without You" from The Joshua Tree: It's the Bolero of rock! This is one of those magical songs that you can get so caught up in that you're in the music not just listening to it. So, when you realize the song is over, you have to play it again to actually hear it. As wonderful as the album cut is, live versions are even better. I have an Italian import CD of a Chicago show during the tour where Bono serenades the moon and merges the song with Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart". It's incredible.
2. "Surrender", from War: This is a slippery, kinda sexy song with a great sing along chorus and some awesome slide guitar from The Edge. I love the War album, but this sounds like nothing else on it - it's the start of the band's sonic experimentation.
1. "The Electric Co.", from Under A Blood Red Sky: Just so you all don't forget, U2 is a rock band! The link goes to their performance of that song at the US Festival, it's not the awesome version from Under A Blood Red Sky, but it is the show were Bono climbs to the roof of the stage.
Posted by at January 27, 2008 06:30 PM
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|# January 27th, 2008 9:38 PM countertop|
First, I'd add In The Name of Love and Where The Streets Have No Names (in place of The
Unforgettable Fire and A sort of Homecoming).
Then, I'd drop Electric Company and replace it with either the entire Live At Red Rocks album (which demands uninterrupted listening) or just New Years Day
|# January 27th, 2008 9:47 PM BVBigBro|
|# January 28th, 2008 9:34 PM cherlynda|
|I'd have to say my favorites are New Years Day, One, Streets with No Names, and Gloria. You know in Ireland the streets really don't have names..or if they do they are hidden. |
|# January 29th, 2008 9:34 AM kris|
|I always thought the song was about America's Big Sky Country. |
|# January 29th, 2008 12:25 PM cherlynda|
|I'm not sure what the song is about but I like to think of it as the streets of Ireland. |