Friday, June 10, 2011

Top 20 U2 Songs

I'm avoiding doing writing posts for now, primarily because I am in the process of moving and cannot do any writing or editing for the moment. My computers are all packed up and I won't see them again until probably October. I have to spend the next two months wandering around the US before I can finally settle down in our new home in lovely Budapest, Hungary.

So, I will continue my stroll through my favorite music groups. After the glorious rock of the early 70's, U2 was the next rock group I fell in love with. I'm proud that I loved them for years before most other people caught on to them. I'm also disappointed that after so many incredible albums they turned away from what they did best and started doing pop/electronica dreck.

1. New Year's Day (live from Under a Blood Red Sky) - The album version is okay, but it is this live version from the original Under a Blood Red Sky cd that really has the fire. The Edge plays both piano and guitar, and his echo-heavy touches really help to highlight Bono's soaring vocals in the middle part.

2. Bad (live from Wide Awake in America) - U2 is a fantastic live band. I've seen them several times, and often I love their live versions better than what they produced on the albums. Bad is far, far better in this live version than the studio version. It has a slow, relentless buildup, adding one instrument at a time, before exploding.

3. Where the Streets Have No Name - I prefer the single version, simply because it cuts out some of the overly long intro of the album version. This is a perfect song for opening a concert. I get chills down the spine during parts of it.

4. Pride (In the Name of Love) - U2 are great at anthems. The ringing intro and driving guitar on this one are unforgettable, while Bono's lyrics pay tribute to Martin Luther King.

5. Gloria - I like the studio version fine, but the live version from Under a Blood Red Sky is the best.

6. Sunday Bloody Sunday - Yet again, the live version from Under a Blood Red Sky is the definitive version for me. This song defines what an anthem is.

7. The Fly - I absolutely love the guitar solo on this one.

8. Mysterious Ways - I remember hearing this on the radio for the first time. The very first sounds of the guitar reminded me of Jimmy Hendrix, but as soon as the full band came on I knew it was U2.

9. In God's Country - A nice song, but it's the guitar solo at the end that always gives me shivers.

10. I Will Follow - The studio version was...okay. The live version from Under a Blood Red Sky is wonderful, especially the interlude in the middle.

11. A Day Without Me - The Edge was always great about mixing his riffs with little memorable echoey notes, and he does that splendidly here.

12. Seconds - This catchy songs features both Bono and Edge singing off of each other.

13. Surrender - Not the studio version. I love the live version from Live at Red Rocks. Edge even breaks out his pedal steel guitar.

14. Until the End of the World - The driving guitar riff and terrific solo raise this song above mediocrity.

15. Promenade - Most people would never pay any attention to this song, but I find it so lovely.

16. Fire - A wonderful guitar riff.

17. Two Hearts Beat As One - Yeah, I tend to love their older stuff better than the new.

18. Electric Co. - Again, I prefer the live version from Under a Blood Red Sky. Blazing fast guitar riffing.

19. I Threw a Brick Through a Window - I love Edge's added vocal lines, acting like an echo at the end of Bono's lines.

20. Out of Control - Fast paced and addictive.

Honorable Mention:
The Unforgettable Fire
A Sort of Homecoming
One Tree Hill
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
I Fall Down
Bullet the Blue Sky
Even Better Than the Real Thing
With or Without You
Red Hill Mining Town
Silver and Gold


  1. I agree with you here. I love U2.

    Hope the move goes okay. I can't believe there'll be no writing until October. That's so far away! I don't know what I'd do with myself.

  2. I love their early stuff, too.

    So where in the US are you? Doing a tour to see family and friends before you start your new post? Have enough room for lots of guests in Budapest? [hey, I can dream I have the money to follow through on that visit, eh?] If you end up passing through Michigan, give a shout!

  3. I love U2, great post. Made me want to listen to Under A Blood Red Sky again.

    Best of luck with the move!

  4. A Sort of Homecoming, Bad, Gloria, I Will Follow, and the entire War album are my favorites. Best live band I've ever seen.

  5. Gotta love U2. My top ten (10-1): Where the Streets Have No Name, I Will Follow, One Tree Hill, Ultraviolet, Bad, With or Without You, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Beautiful Day, One, Pride.

  6. Hart, I'm still in Baku, though in an empty house. We leave the 21st and head first to Phoenix, then on to Portland, Washington DC, and finally Budapest at the beginning of August. Our household stuff, including my computers, won't arrive until perhaps October.

    Yes, I do think U2 are the best live band I have seen, though Pink Floyd was close. Stone Temple Pilots, Green Day, and Pearl Jam were also fantastic.

  7. If you like U2 AND Zep you've got to watch It Might Get Loud.

  8. I decided to click onto your blog because I've seen you around Nathan's and Matt's. And the first post I read is about my favorite band!! I've been a U2 fan for about 26 years.

    Great list and quite a few of my favorites are on it as well. I love Rejoice, Gloria, Drowing Man, Wire, Bullet the Blue Sky, Magnificent, Walk On. It's so hard to stop listing favorite!

    Anyway, when Blogger allows me, "I Will Follow" (seriously bad joke, I know)

  9. I love U2 too, but came to the party later. I remember my younger brother coming home all starry eyed from a concert, and saying, "They even set The Edge on fire." To which I replied, "The edge of what?"


  10. U2 was a band that eventually grew on me. Really like Beautiful Day.

  11. Suzie, have you tried signing in and unchecking the Stay Signed In box? That works for me, even though it means having to sign in again each day.

  12. Today I was able to follow. following!
    Have a great weekend!

  13. I remember the 1st time i heard U2 on the radio. They were awesome. Bloody Sunday was the song.

  14. U2 had a pretty amazing concert here in Salt Lake City a couple of weeks ago.

  15. My #1 is New Year's Day as well :) Haven't heard the live version you mention, will need to check it out. #2 would be Where The Streets... and I like the long version.
    And I love Cedars of Lebanon, from the latest album. That song is example of what I like best in music - awesome visuals with deeper meaning.

  16. Seriously, "Bad" on Wide Awake is possibly the best live recording ever. It's orgiastic.

    It Just Got Interesting