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The Hands That Built America

“The Hands That Built America” is a song by U2, released on the soundtrack to the film Gangs of New York.[1] It was one of two new songs on their The Best of 1990–2000 compilation, with the other being “Electrical Storm.”[2] It was nominated for Best Original Song at the 75th Academy Awards,[3] but lost to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.”

Two different music videos were created for “The Hands That Built America”. The first uses a combination of black-and-white footage of the band playing the song, and scenes from Gangs of New York. This video uses the version of the song found on The Best of 1990–2000 CD. The second video is composed solely of black-and-white footage of U2 playing the song, and it was filmed on May 9 2002. This video uses an acoustic version of the song, and is the version found on The Best of 1990–2000 DVD.

Zooropa (song)

“Zooropa” /zuːˈroʊpɑː/ is a song by the rock band U2. It is the opening track from their 1993 album Zooropa. The song was the result of combining two pieces of music, the first of which was conceived in the studio, and the second of which was discovered by guitarist The Edge while listening to soundchecks the band had done while on tour. The lyrics were written by vocalist Bono, describing two characters in a brightly lit city in a futuristic version of European society. Lyrics in the song were based on advertising slogans, and also featured the phrase “dream out loud”, which has appeared in other U2 media. The song touched on several themes, including moral confusion and the future of European society.

Promotional recordings of the song were released in the United States and Mexico, and the song appeared on two record charts shortly after its release in 1993. The song was briefly performed at three shows on U2’s Zoo TV Tour in 1993. The band had difficulties performing it in 1993, and it was not played again until the U2 360° Tour in 2011.

The recording of the song received mostly positive reception from critics, who praised it as the album’s opening track.

Zoo Station (song)

“Zoo Station” is a song by the rock band U2. It is the opening track from their 1991 album Achtung Baby, a record on which the group reinvented themselves musically by incorporating influences from alternative rock, industrial, and electronic dance music. As the album’s opening track, “Zoo Station” introduces the band’s new sound, delivering industrial-influenced percussion and several layers of distorted guitars and vocals. Similarly, the lyrics suggest the group’s new intents and anticipations. The introduction, featuring an “explosion” of percussion and a descending glissando for a guitar hook, was meant to make the listener think the album was mistakenly not U2’s latest record or that their music player was broken.

The song’s lyrics were inspired by a surrealistic story about Berlin from World War II that lead vocalist Bono heard, when overnight bombing damaged the zoo and allowed animals to escape and wander around the city’s rubble. Bono was also inspired by the city’s Berlin Zoologischer Garten railway station and used it as a metaphor for a reuniting Germany. “Zoo Station” was performed as the opening song at every concert on U2’s Zoo TV Tour. The song received positive reviews from critics, many of whom analysed the song as a representation of the band’s reinvention.

Your Blue Room

“Your Blue Room” is a song by Passengers, a group composed of rock band U2 and producer Brian Eno. It is the third track on the group’s only release, the 1995 album Original Soundtracks 1. The track was written for the 1995 Michelangelo Antonioni–Wim Wenders film Beyond the Clouds. Though Eno made the majority of creative decisions during the recording sessions, “Your Blue Room” was one of the few tracks that the members from U2 tried to craft themselves.

Yahweh (song)

“Yahweh” is a song by rock band U2 and the eleventh track on their 2004 album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. It was mainly recorded in one take, and was performed live by the band during the Vertigo Tour. The song received mixed reviews from critics.

“Yahweh” was written by U2 and recorded by How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb producer Chris Thomas. Prior to the song’s initial recording, the band’s lead guitarist The Edge had the ideas for the music already planned. Lead vocalist Bono later added the vocals spontaneously during the song’s first take.[1] The original vocal take by Bono was so inspiring with “soaring and brilliant” melodies that it carried “Yahweh” in a dramatic new direction from what The Edge had previously envisioned.[1] Moreover, most of what was recorded by the band and Chris Thomas during the initial take survived production. Subsequent recording attempts of “Yahweh” were made by two other producers for the album, Daniel Lanois and Steve Lillywhite, with Lanois even adding a mandolin in one take of the song.[1] Ultimately however, the original Thomas recording of “Yahweh” was left mostly untouched.

During its first take, Bono came up with the “Yahweh line” almost immediately. Afterwards, the band decided that “it was one of those songs that had to be written”.[1] When talking about ideas for the song’s theme Bono remarked, “I had this idea that no one can own Jerusalem, but everybody wants to put flags on it.” he explained, “The title’s an ancient name that’s not meant to be spoken. I got around it by singing. I hope I don’t offend anyone.”[2]

“Yahweh” (יהוה) is the name of the Judeo-Christian God in both the Hebrew Bible (sometimes referred to as the Old Testament), and in the Christian-Greek Scriptures (sometimes referred to as the New Testament).

The oldest Hebrew manuscripts present the name in the form of four consonants, commonly called the Tetragrammaton (from Greek te·tra-, meaning “four,” and gram′ma, “letter”). These four letters (written from right to left) are יהוה and may be transliterated into English as YHWH (or, JHVH). “Jehovah” is the best known English pronunciation of the divine name, although “Yahweh” is favored by most Hebrew scholars.

Although, it is often believed that the name does not appear in the Christian-Greek Scriptures or New Testament, the oldest fragments of the Greek Septuagint do contain the divine name in its Hebrew form. The Tetragrammaton was later replaced by “kyrios” in the Septuagint copies.

For some of the Jewish faith, the name “Yahweh” is associated with taboos against pronouncing it.

Where the Streets Have No Name

“Where the Streets Have No Name” is a song by Irish rock band U2. It is the opening track from their 1987 album The Joshua Tree and was released as the album’s third single in August 1987. The song’s hook is a repeating guitar arpeggio using a delay effect, played during the song’s introduction and again at the end. Lead vocalist Bono wrote the lyrics in response to the notion that it is possible to identify a person’s religion and income based on the street on which they lived, particularly in Belfast. During the band’s difficulties recording the song, producer Brian Eno considered erasing the song’s tapes to have them start from scratch.

“Where the Streets Have No Name” was praised by critics and became a commercial success, peaking at number thirteen in the US, number fourteen in Canada, number ten in the Netherlands, and number four in the United Kingdom. The song has remained a staple of their live act since the song debuted in 1987 on The Joshua Tree Tour. The song was performed on a Los Angeles rooftop for the filming of its music video, which won a Grammy Award for Best Performance Music Video.

When Love Comes to Town

“When Love Comes to Town” is the 12th song on U2’s 1988 album, Rattle and Hum, where it was recorded at the historic Sun Studio in Memphis as a duet between U2 and B.B. King. It was released as the album’s third single in 1989 and reached number 1 in the Irish Singles Chart, number 6 in the UK singles chart, number 10 in the Dutch Top 40 and number 2 in the US Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.

Little Richard is featured preaching, rapping in funky rhyme style, and singing background vocals amid Maceo Parker’s saxophone playing on the extended “Live from the Kingdom Mix.” The single contained two different versions of the Patti Smith song “Dancing Barefoot”. The 7″ and cassette featured the long version, while the 12″ and CD contained the short version. While U2 has stopped playing it live since 1993, it continued to be featured in B. B. King concerts. During the Lovetown Tour concerts, this song would be played, usually along with “Angel of Harlem” and “Love Rescue Me”, in an encore featuring B. B. and his band.

Walk On (U2 song)

“Walk On” is a song by Irish rock band U2. It is the fourth track on their 2000 album, All That You Can’t Leave Behind, and was released as a single in November 2001, the record’s second in Canada and the fourth in the rest of the world. The song was written about Aung San Suu Kyi, a Burmese academic who was chairperson of the National League for Democracy and was placed under house arrest from 1989 until 2010 for her pro-democracy activities. The song won the “Grammy Award for Record of the Year” in 2002, marking the first time an artist had won the award for songs from the same album in consecutive years.

Vertigo (U2 song)

“Vertigo” is the opening track and first single from U2’s 2004 album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. The single was released for airplay on 24 September 2004; upon release the song received extensive airplay and was an international hit, being featured in a popular iPod television advertisement.

It won “Best Rock Song,” “Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal” and “Best Music Video” at the 2005 Grammy Awards.[1]

The song lent its name to the band’s Vertigo Tour. The song ranked number 64 on Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Best Songs of the Decade” and scored U2 their sixth UK number-one hit.[2]

Until the End of the World (song)

“Until the End of the World” is a song by rock band U2 and the fourth track from their 1991 album Achtung Baby. The song began as a guitar riff composed by lead vocalist Bono from a demo, which the band revisited with success after talking with German filmmaker Wim Wenders about providing music for his film Until the End of the World. The song’s lyrics describe a fictional conversation between Jesus Christ and Judas Iscariot. The first verse discusses The Last Supper; the second is about Judas identifying Jesus with a kiss on the cheek in the Garden of Gethsemane; and the final is about Judas’ suicide after being overwhelmed with guilt and sadness.

Ultraviolet (Light My Way)

“Ultraviolet (Light My Way)”[1] is a song by the rock band U2 and the tenth track from their 1991 album Achtung Baby. Ostensibly about love and dependency, the song also lends itself to religious interpretations, with listeners finding allusions to the Book of Job and writers finding spiritual meaning in its invocation of the light spectrum.

The song’s composition and recording incorporate both serious and throwaway elements, in keeping with the rest of Achtung Baby. While not released as a single, the song has appeared in two films and a U2 business venture was named after it. “Ultraviolet” played a featured role during the encores of the group’s 1992–1993 Zoo TV and 2009–2011 U2 360° Tours.

The Unforgettable Fire (song)

“The Unforgettable Fire” is a song by rock band U2. The fourth song on their 1984 album The Unforgettable Fire, it was released as the album’s second single in April 1985. The band cite an art exhibition by victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that was held at The Peace Museum in Chicago as inspiration for the song. It became the band’s third Top 10 hit in the United Kingdom, reaching #6 on the UK Singles Chart and #8 on the Dutch singles chart, but it had yet to break them into the United States.

The song, like many tracks from The Unforgettable Fire, is an atmospheric composition, with ambient use of guitar and a string arrangement by Irish jazz musician Noel Kelehan.

Tryin’ to Throw Your Arms Around the World

“Tryin’ to Throw Your Arms Around the World” is the ninth track from U2’s 1991 album, Achtung Baby. It is a tongue in cheek song about stumbling home drunk from a night out on the town. It is dedicated to the Flaming Colossus nightclub in Los Angeles.[1] The album version includes keyboard playing by producer Brian Eno.

During live performances on 1992-93’s Zoo TV Tour, lead singer Bono would spray a bottle of champagne towards the audience. It was played 136 times out of the 159 times on the tour, but has not been performed since then. However, it was snippeted at three concerts during the final leg of the U2 360 Tour in July 2011.[2]

The song was edited out of the live video release Zoo TV: Live from Sydney; it was later revealed that the concert ran long and the song needed to be edited in order to fit the concert into a two-hour timeslot.[3] The line “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” is a quotation from Irina Dunn.[4]

Trip Through Your Wires

“Trip Through Your Wires” is the eighth track from U2’s 1987 album, The Joshua Tree. The song has a bluesy rhythm and features lead singer Bono on harmonica. In 1986 an early version of this song, containing different lyrics was performed on the RTÉ programme TV GAGA.

The song was released as a promotional single in Australia, with only 500 hand-numbered copies released.[1] The single included the B-sides “Luminous Times (Hold on to Love)”, “Spanish Eyes” and “Silver and Gold”.

“Trip through Your Wires” was consistently played live throughout the Joshua Tree Tour, but has never been performed since.[2]

According to The Edge, the song was meant to be heard in the context of another song that never made it on the album, “The Sweetest Thing”,[3] which was later released as the B-side of “Where the Streets Have No Name”. “The Sweetest Thing” was re-recorded and released as a single for the 1998 compilation album The Best of 1980-1990.

Sweetest Thing

“Sweetest Thing” is a song by Irish group U2. It was originally released in 1987 as a B-side on the “Where the Streets Have No Name” single. The song was later re-recorded and re-released, as a single in October 1998 for the U2 compilation album, The Best of 1980-1990.

The song was reportedly written by Bono as an apology to his wife Ali Hewson[2] for having to work in the studio on her birthday during The Joshua Tree sessions.[3] At Alison’s request, profits from the single went to her favoured charity, Chernobyl Children’s Project International.[3]

Sunday Bloody Sunday

“Sunday Bloody Sunday” is a song by Irish rock band U2. It is the opening track from their 1983 album War and was released as the album’s third single on 11 March 1983 in Germany and the Netherlands.[3] “Sunday Bloody Sunday” is noted for its militaristic drumbeat, harsh guitar, and melodic harmonies.[4] One of U2’s most overtly political songs, its lyrics describe the horror felt by an observer of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, mainly focusing on the Bloody Sunday incident in Derry where British troops shot and killed unarmed civil rights protesters and bystanders who were there to rally against Operation Demetrius-related[5] internment (imprisonment without trial), while at the same time rejecting hate and revenge as a response noted in the lyrics, “There’s many lost, but tell me who has won.” Along with “New Year’s Day,” the song helped U2 reach a wider listening audience. It was generally well received by critics on the album’s release.[6][7]

The song has remained a staple of U2’s live concerts.[8] During its earliest performances, the song created controversy. Lead singer Bono reasserted the song’s anti-sectarian-violence message to his audience for many years. Today, it is considered one of U2’s signature songs, and is one of the band’s most performed tracks. Critics rate it among the best political protest songs,[9] and it has been covered by over a dozen artists.[10] It was named the 272nd-greatest song by Rolling Stone on their list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”

Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of

“Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of” is the second single from U2’s 2000 album, All That You Can’t Leave Behind. The song won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 2002. Bono has said the song was inspired by a fictional conversation with his friend Michael Hutchence about suicide.
Two music videos were filmed for the song:
One is directed by Joseph Kahn, features an American football game between the “Flys” [sic] and the “Lemons” filmed at the Houston Astrodome, and contains various inside jokes and references to the band’s past, such as the team names themselves – which were the titles of two U2 singles released in the 1990s. The video features a brief cameo in the beginning from John Madden, whose lines also feature several U2 references. The main part of the video shows a placekicker named Paul Hewson—Bono’s real name—forced to re-live a field goal he missed that cost his team the game.
The other video, directed by Kevin Godley, shows Bono being thrown out of a van several times, as if “stuck in a moment”. At the end of the video, the rest of the band helps him up.

Stay (Faraway, So Close!)

“Stay (Faraway, So Close!)” is a song by the rock band U2. It is the fifth track on their 1993 album, Zooropa, and was released as the album’s third single on 22 November 1993. The song was a top ten hit in Ireland, Australia, the United Kingdom, and several other countries. The music video was shot in Berlin, Germany. The earliest incarnation of the song developed during sessions for the group’s 1991 album Achtung Baby. It was written for and inspired by Frank Sinatra and bore his surname as the original working title. An alternate recording was used in the Wim Wenders film Faraway, So Close!.

“Stay (Faraway, So Close!)” was well received by critics and nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Song. The song made its live debut on the Zoo TV Tour but has only been performed intermittently in an acoustic version over subsequent tours. Members of U2 consider it to be one of their favourite songs; guitarist The Edge named it the best track on the album, while lead singer Bono stated that it was one of their best creations.

Staring at the Sun (U2 song)

“Staring at the Sun” is the second single from U2’s 1997 album, Pop. It peaked at No. 3 on the UK singles chart, No. 1 on the Modern Rock Tracks, No. 2 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks, and No. 26 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The song was written with the line “Stuck together with God’s glue,” which was taken directly from the title of the album by the Irish band Something Happens, who are good friends with U2.[1] A new mix of “Staring at the Sun” was released for the compilation, The Best of 1990-2000. During the summer of 2002 recording sessions in which “Electrical Storm” and “The Hands That Built America” were recorded, parts for four U2 songs were re-recorded, including “Staring at the Sun.” The song has been compared to the work of Oasis.[2]

A kaleidoscope bearing the single’s logo in gold was distributed to promote the single.[3]

Stand Up Comedy (song)

“Stand Up Comedy” is a song by Irish rock band U2. It is the seventh track on their 2009 album No Line on the Horizon. The track was first developed during the recording sessions in Fez, Morocco, but the band struggled to complete the song and it was recreated numerous times over the following 16 months. It underwent several title changes during this time, being referred to first as “For Your Love”, then “Stand Up”, and finally “Stand Up Comedy”.

The song’s lyrics were inspired by the 2008 Stand Up and Take Action campaign, and several lines reflect singer Bono’s sense of hubris. Reception towards the song was mixed, though numerous reviews likened the track’s guitar riffs to Led Zeppelin.

Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own

“Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own” is a song by rock band U2 and the third track from their 2004 album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. The song was released as the album’s second single in the United Kingdom on 7 February 2005 and it debuted at No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart.[1] Originally titled “Tough,”[citation needed] the song is about lead singer Bono’s relationship with his dying father. The song won awards for “Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal” and “Song of the Year” at the 2006 Grammy Awards.

So Cruel

“So Cruel” is a song by rock band U2. It is the sixth track on their 1991 album Achtung Baby, concluding side one of the album. The song was written at Elsinore in Dalkey. While audio engineer Flood changed reels to listen to a demo of another song, lead singer Bono began to improvise a song on guitar. The rest of the band quickly joined in, creating the first take of the song. It was developed as an acoustic track, with Flood adding overdubs and additional elements later. Bassist Adam Clayton and Flood noted that the technology in the studio was crucial in transforming the acoustic song into the final mix.

During the recording sessions for Achtung Baby, guitarist the Edge separated from his wife, Aislinn O’Sullivan. The separation had a major effect on the development of the song, as Bono channelled their pain into the lyrics. Bono said “there were lots of other things going on internally within the band and outside it, and I was working through all of that”, noting that the Edge’s separation from Aislinn was just one component of that. Thematically the song is about unrequited love, jealousy, obsession, and possessiveness.

U2 have performed “So Cruel” live just four times, all of which were on the Zoo TV Tour in 1992. The track was favourably received by critics.

Slug (song)

“Slug” is a song by Passengers, a side project of rock band U2 and musician Brian Eno. It is the second track on Passengers’ only release, the 1995 album Original Soundtracks 1. The track was originally titled “Seibu” and was almost left off the album before it was rediscovered later during the recording sessions. Though Eno made most of the creative decisions during the recording sessions, “Slug” was one of the few tracks that the members from U2 tried to craft themselves.

Lyrically, it is a portrait of a desolate soul during a time of celebration. As Passengers were writing songs for fictional soundtracks, they tried to create a visual suggestion from the music that was more important than the story within the lyrics. In “Slug”, the instrumentation is intended to represent the lights turning on in a city at night. The group primarily drew inspiration for the song from U2’s experiences in Tokyo at the conclusion of the Zoo TV Tour. “Slug” was praised as one of the best songs on the album by critics from various publications.

Seconds (song)

“Seconds” is the second track on U2’s 1983 album, War. The track, with its recurring lyric of “it takes a second to say goodbye”, refers to nuclear proliferation. It is the first song in the band’s history not sung solely by Bono, as the Edge sings the first two stanzas.

There is a break of approximately 11 seconds in the song at 2:10 featuring a sample of a 1982 TV documentary titled Soldier Girls. Bono said that he was watching this documentary while he was waiting in the green room in Windmill Lane Studios and he recorded it. The band felt it would fit well into the song as unsettling evidence of soldiers training for an atomic bomb explosion.

Running to Stand Still

“Running to Stand Still” is a song by rock band U2, and it is the fifth track from their 1987 album, The Joshua Tree. A slow ballad based on piano and guitar, it describes a heroin-addicted couple living in Dublin’s Ballymun flats; the towers have since become associated with the song. Though a lot of time was dedicated to the lyrics, the music was improvised with co-producer Daniel Lanois during a recording session for the album.

The group explored American music for The Joshua Tree, and as such, “Running to Stand Still” demonstrates folk rock and acoustic blues influences. The song was praised by critics, many of them calling it one of the record’s best tracks. It has since been included in the regular set lists of four U2 concert tours, in two different arrangements and with several possible thematic interpretations. Since the song’s release, the phrase “running to stand still” has become more widely used.

Red Light (U2 song)

“Red Light” is a song by rock band U2. It is the eighth track from their 1983 album War.

Taking advantage of American musical group Kid Creole and the Coconuts being in Dublin, U2 invited the trumpet player to work in “Red Light”, thinking that it would freshen up the sound of the band. Three singers joined as well. Bono said, “We had the studio lit red for effect, and one Coconut took her top off and sang in what looked like a ballerina’s bra. The boys from Ireland had difficulty breathing.”[1]

Please (U2 song)

“Please” is the eleventh song from U2’s 1997 album, Pop. It was released as the album’s fourth single on 20 October 1997.

As with “Sunday Bloody Sunday”, the song is about The Troubles in Northern Ireland. The single cover for this song features the pictures of four Northern Irish politicians — Gerry Adams, David Trimble, Ian Paisley, and John Hume (clockwise from top left).

Two months before the release of the single, live versions of “Please” and three other songs from the PopMart Tour were released on the Please: PopHeart Live EP in September 1997.

Pride (In the Name of Love)

“Pride (In the Name of Love)” is a song by Irish rock band U2. The second track on the band’s 1984 album, The Unforgettable Fire, it was released as the album’s lead single in September 1984. Written about Martin Luther King, Jr., the song received mixed critical reviews at the time, but it was a major commercial success for the band and has since become one of the band’s most popular songs. “Pride” appeared on the compilation The Best of 1980-1990 as the opening track, and on the 2006 compilation U218 Singles.

The song ranked number 388 on the Rolling Stone list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and is included in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.[2]

Peace on Earth (U2 song)

“Peace on Earth” is a song by rock band U2 and the eighth track on their 2000 album All That You Can’t Leave Behind. Its lyrics were inspired by the Real IRA Omagh bombing in Northern Ireland on 15 August 1998.

The song lists the names of people killed in the bombing. Similarly, inspiration for the lyric, “She never got to say goodbye / To see the colour in his eye / Now he’s in the dirt” comes from the funeral of James Barker, another victim of the bombing. The Irish Times quoted his mother as stating, “I never realised how green his eyes were.” [1]

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, “Peace on Earth” took on additional meaning and consequently, was used as an encore song in the Elevation Tour, coupled with “Walk On”. The two songs were similarly paired during the band’s performance on the telethon America: A Tribute to Heroes.

Ordinary Love (U2 song)

“Ordinary Love” is a song by rock band U2. It was written to honour Nelson Mandela and is included in the biography film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. The song was given a limited 10-inch vinyl release on Record Store Day,[3] 29 November 2013, less than a week before Mandela died.

“Ordinary Love” peaked at number one on the Top Digital Download chart in Italy, where it was certified platinum by the Federation of the Italian Music Industry.[citation needed] U2 won the 2014 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, and in January 2014 the song was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song, but it lost to “Let It Go” from Frozen.

One Tree Hill (song)

“One Tree Hill” is a song by the rock band U2 and the ninth track on their 1987 album The Joshua Tree. In March 1988, it was released as the fourth single from the album in New Zealand and Australia, while “In God’s Country” was released as the fourth single in North America.[2] The release charted at number one on the New Zealand Singles Chart.

The track was written in memory of Greg Carroll, a Māori man the band first met in Auckland during the Unforgettable Fire Tour in 1984. He became very close friends with lead singer Bono and later served as a roadie for the group. Carroll was killed in July 1986 in a motorcycle accident in Dublin. Following the tangi (funeral) in New Zealand, Bono wrote the lyrics to “One Tree Hill” in Carroll’s memory. The lyrics reflect Bono’s thoughts at the tangi and during his first night in New Zealand when Carroll took him up Auckland’s One Tree Hill. They also pay homage to Chilean singer-songwriter and activist Víctor Jara. Musically, the song was developed in a jam session with producer Brian Eno. The vocals were recorded in a single take, as Bono felt incapable of singing them a second time.

“One Tree Hill” was received favourably by critics, who variously described it as “a soft, haunting benediction”,[3] “a remarkable musical centrepiece”,[4] and a celebration of life.[5] U2 delayed performing the song on the Joshua Tree Tour in 1987 because of Bono’s fears over his emotional state. After its live debut on the tour’s third leg and an enthusiastic reaction from audiences, the song was played occasionally for the rest of the tour and semi-regularly during the Lovetown Tour of 1989–1990. It has appeared only sporadically since then, and most renditions were performed in New Zealand. Performances in November 2010 on the U2 360° Tour were dedicated to the miners who died in the Pike River Mine disaster.

One (U2 song)

“One” is a song by the Irish rock band U2. It is the third track from their 1991 album Achtung Baby, and it was released as the record’s third single in March 1992. During the album’s recording sessions at Hansa Studios in Berlin, conflict arose between the band members over the direction of U2’s sound and the quality of their material. Tensions almost prompted the band to break up until they achieved a breakthrough with the improvisation of “One”; the song was written after the band members were inspired by a chord progression that guitarist the Edge was playing in the studio. The lyrics, written by lead singer Bono, were inspired by the band members’ fractured relationships and the German reunification. Although the lyrics ostensibly describe “disunity”, they have been interpreted in other ways.

“One” was released as a benefit single, with proceeds going towards AIDS research. The song topped the Irish Singles Charts and US Billboard Album Rock Tracks and Modern Rock Tracks charts, and it peaked at number seven on the UK Singles Chart and number ten on the Billboard Hot 100. In promotion of the song, the band filmed several music videos, although they were not pleased until a third was created.

The song was acclaimed by critics upon its release, and it has since been featured in polls of the greatest songs of all time. U2 has performed “One” at most of their tour concerts since the song’s live debut in 1992, and it has appeared in many of the band’s concert films. In a live setting, “One” is often used by the group to promote human rights or social justice causes, and the song lends its namesake to Bono’s charitable organisation, the ONE Campaign. In 2005, U2 re-recorded the song as part of a duet with R&B recording artist Mary J. Blige on her album The Breakthrough.

 

One Step Closer (U2 song)

“One Step Closer” is the ninth track of U2’s eleventh studio album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.

The song is a slow tempo recording, with Bono’s lyrics centered on traffic images. The “foggy atmospherics” harken back to U2’s mid-1980s work, befitting Daniel Lanois’ involvement.[1]

The origins of “One Step Closer” date back to the All That You Can’t Leave Behind sessions.[2] It was revived for Atomic Bomb, with Lanois introducing a pedal steel guitar in addition to guitars from the Edge and Bono, and musical influences varying from country music to the Velvet Underground making themselves felt.[2] One recording of the song ran for more than 15 minutes, with Bono adding many verses that were subsequently dropped.[2] Producer Jacknife Lee also contributed to the final form of the recording.[3]

“One Step Closer” is billed in the album with thanks to Noel Gallagher of Oasis. The title of the song comes from a conversation Bono had with Gallagher about Bono’s dying father, Bob Hewson. Bono asked, “Do you think he believes in God?” to which Gallagher replied, “Well, he’s one step closer to knowing.”[2] As with most U2 songs, however, multiple readings are available,[4] with the singer’s feeling of being lost, but still drifting towards some kind of understanding, possible at any age. Verdicts varied based on the listener: Bono biographer Mick Wall felt the song was “clearly linked” to Bono’s father, and made for “painful if beautiful listening,”[5] Chicago Tribune reviewer Greg Kot did not make the same Bono connection and felt that Lanois’ “foggy atmospherics” masked a lack of ideas,[1] while Christianity Today saw it as a “sadly uncertain, yet hopeful” depiction of Bono’s father having a crisis of faith.[6]

Through the end of the Vertigo Tour, the song had never been performed in any U2 concert.

Numb (U2 song)

“Numb” is a song by rock band U2. It is the third track from their 1993 album Zooropa and was released in June 1993 as the album’s first single. The song features a monotonous mantra of “don’t” commands spoken by guitarist the Edge amidst a backdrop of various sound effects and samples. The noisy composition and lyrical concept for “Numb” were inspired by the theme of sensory overload, which had prominently been incorporated into the Zoo TV Tour. Lead singer Bono and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. provided backing vocals on the track. The song received remixes from Paul Oakenfold, Rollo Armstrong and Rob Dougan.

“Numb” originated as a discarded song from the Achtung Baby recording sessions called “Down All the Days.” While recording Zooropa, the band transformed the song with mixing assistance from co-producer Flood, the addition of keyboards and samples by co-producer Brian Eno, and the addition of the Edge’s monotone vocals. The song was released as a VHS single, featuring a music video directed by Kevin Godley, but it did not attain widespread commercial success. U2 added “Numb” to their live setlists after resuming their Zoo TV Tour in May 1993, but like most songs on Zooropa it has never been performed live since the end of that tour.[1]

No Line on the Horizon (song)

“No Line on the Horizon” is a song by rock band U2; it is the opening and title track on their 2009 album No Line on the Horizon. An alternate version, “No Line on the Horizon 2”, was included as a bonus track on some versions of the album. The song was developed during the band’s earliest sessions in Fez, Morocco, and began with a drum beat by drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. The lyrics were inspired by a photograph of Lake Constance, titled Boden Sea. Many reviews of the song compared it to the band’s other guitar-heavy songs, including “Elevation”, “Vertigo”, “Zoo Station”, and “The Fly”.

New York (U2 song)

“New York” is the tenth track from U2’s 2000 album, All That You Can’t Leave Behind. It is notable as the subject matter is a picturesque description of New York City and of the people who live there, and was later altered following the events of September 11, 2001. The song’s lyrics were written by lead singer Bono, who has a residence in New York City.

Bono has stated that the song is a tribute of sorts to both Frank Sinatra and Lou Reed. “There was a verse about Lou Reed, that didn’t make it, and a verse about Frank Sinatra (that also didn’t make it). And Lou has an album called New York, and he mentions my name on one of the tracks, “Beginning of a Great Adventure”. And I just think he is to New York what James Joyce was to Dublin.”[1]
In another interview, Bono elaborated further on the song’s theme of “mid-life crisis”: “There used to be a verse at the end about Frank Sinatra, because if I was going to be singing about New York, New York, I felt like I should. It went “When I’m down on my luck / I sometimes think of Frank Sinatra / I met him once / He was more than generous / At dinner one evening he found a blue paper napkin … and he stared at it and said to no one in particular, I remember when my eyes were this blue.” Which is how the song ended. … But I took out that scene because I didn’t want people to think the song was autobiographical—you know, I did that song with him and everything (on Duets).”[2]

U2 has played the song “New York” live 120 times.[3] The song debuted on 19 October 2000 at the ManRay club in Paris, as part of a promotional concert for the October 30 release of All That You Can’t Leave Behind.[4] Following the events of 11 September 2001, several lyrics were altered in subsequent live performances.[5] The song has not been played since the end of the Elevation Tour, with the last performance taking place on 2 December 2001.[6]
A live version is included on the DVD Elevation 2001: U2 Live from Boston.

New Year’s Day (song)

“New Year’s Day” is a song by Irish rock band U2. It is on their 1983 album War and it was released as the album’s lead single in January 1983. Written about the Polish Solidarity movement, “New Year’s Day” is driven by Adam Clayton’s distinctive bassline and the Edge’s piano and guitar playing. It was the band’s first UK hit single, peaking at no. 10, also becoming the band’s first international hit, reaching for example no. 9 in Norway, no. 11 on the Dutch Top 40, no. 17 in Sweden and charting on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States (just missing the Top 50) for the first time in their career.

In 2010, Rolling Stone magazine placed the single at #435 on their list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.[2] This song was also included in the Pitchfork 500.[3]

Mysterious Ways (song)

“Mysterious Ways” is a song by the rock band U2. It is the eighth track from their 1991 album Achtung Baby and was released as the album’s second single on 25 November 1991. The song reached the top ten of the singles charts in several countries, including the band’s native Ireland, where it went to number one. In the United States, the song topped the Modern Rock Tracks and Album Rock Tracks charts and peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100.

The song began as an improvisation called “Sick Puppy,” with the band only liking the bass part that bassist Adam Clayton composed. The band struggled to build a song from it, with vocalist Bono and producer Daniel Lanois arguing intensely during one songwriting session. The song’s breakthrough came after guitarist the Edge began experimenting with the Korg A3 effects unit. “Mysterious Ways” features a danceable beat, funky guitar hook, and conga-laden percussion, as well as mystical lyrics by Bono about romance and women.

The song received praise from critics after the release of Achtung Baby, many of whom called it one of the album’s standout tracks and one that best illustrated the band’s musical evolution on the album. A music video for the song was filmed in Morocco and incorporated distorted images of Bono and a belly dancer. “Mysterious Ways” made its live debut on the Zoo TV Tour in 1992, when performances were accompanied by an on-stage belly dancer. The group has continued to perform the song on subsequent tours.

Mothers of the Disappeared

“Mothers of the Disappeared” is a song by rock band U2. It is the eleventh and final track on their 1987 album The Joshua Tree. The song was inspired by lead singer Bono’s experiences in Nicaragua and El Salvador in July 1986, following U2’s involvement on Amnesty International’s A Conspiracy of Hope tour. He learned of the Madres de Plaza de Mayo, a group of women whose children had been “disappeared” by the Argentine and Chilean dictatorships.[1] While in Central America, he met members of COMADRES, a similar organization whose children had been disappeared by the government in El Salvador.[2] Bono sympathized with the Madres and COMADRES and wanted to pay tribute to their cause.

The song was written on a Spanish guitar, and the melody lifted from a piece Bono composed in Ethiopia in 1985 to help teach children basic forms of hygiene. The lyrics contain an implicit criticism of the Reagan Administration, which backed two South American regimes that seized power during coup d’états and which provided financial support for the military regime in El Salvador.[3] Thematically it has been interpreted as an examination of failures and contradictions in US foreign policy.[4][5]

“Mothers of the Disappeared” was favourably received by critics, who variously described it as “powerful”,[6] “a moving tribute”,[7] and containing “stunning beauty and sadness”.[8] The song was played seven times on the 1987 Joshua Tree Tour, and some recordings were considered for the ending sequence of the 1988 film Rattle and Hum. It was revived for four concerts on the 1998 PopMart Tour in South America, and for two of them, the Madres joined the band onstage for the performance, one of which was broadcast on television in Chile. Bono used the opportunity to ask General Pinochet to reveal to the Madres the locations of their children’s bodies. The song was played a further three times on the U2 360° Tour; one performance was dedicated to Fehmi Tosun, an ethnic Kurd who was forcibly disappeared in Turkey in 1995. Bono re-recorded the song a cappella in 1998 for the album ¡Ni Un Paso Atras!.

Moment of Surrender

“Moment of Surrender” is a song by rock band U2 and the third track on their 2009 album No Line on the Horizon. During the initial recording sessions for the album in 2007 in Fez, Morocco, the band wrote the song with producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois within a few hours. Together, they recorded the song in a single take; Eno called the song’s recording “the most amazing studio experience [he’s] ever had”. According to him and Lanois, the track is the closest the band came to realising their original concept for the album of writing “future hymns”. The seven-minute song features gospel-like vocals in the chorus, along with a predominantly organ- and piano-based musical accompaniment. Lyrically, the song is about a drug addict who is undergoing a crisis of faith.

“Moment of Surrender” was praised by critics, many of whom called it one of the album’s stand-out tracks. The song was compared to the group’s earlier ballads “With or Without You” and “One”. It was performed at all but two of the band’s concerts on the U2 360° Tour, most often as the closing song. During performances, the stage lights were dimmed and fans were urged to hold up their mobile phones to create “a stadium full of tiny stars”. Although it was not released as a single, Rolling Stone named “Moment of Surrender” the best song of 2009,[1] and in 2010, they ranked it 160th on their list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.[2]

Mofo (song)

“Mofo” is a song by U2. It is the third track on the band’s 1997 album Pop and it was released as the album’s final single on 8 December 1997. The song was partially written about Bono’s mother, who died when he was 14 years old. Other songs which Bono wrote about his mother include “Lemon,” “I Will Follow,” “Iris (Hold Me Close)” and “Tomorrow.” Andrew Unterberger of Stylus Magazine considers the song to be “the only legitimate evidence” of U2’s supposed dance-oriented direction on the album.[1]

“Mofo” opened every concert from the 1997-1998 PopMart Tour. Although the studio version released on the album was more techno-oriented, live performances had an increased rock arrangement. It appears in the concert film PopMart: Live from Mexico City and also on Hasta la Vista Baby!, a live album from the same show.

British electronica band Underworld also recorded a remix that was never released.[2]

Miss Sarajevo

“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.[1]

The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)

“The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)” is a song by Irish rock band U2. It is the opening track from their thirteenth studio album, Songs of Innocence, and was released as its lead single. It was produced by Danger Mouse, Paul Epworth, and Ryan Tedder. It was first unveiled by the band at an Apple Inc. product launch event on 9 September 2014, coinciding with an announcement that Songs of Innocence would be released digitally to iTunes Store customers free of charge. The song’s title refers to American musician Joey Ramone, lead singer of influential punk rock band, the Ramones.

Miracle Drug

“Miracle Drug” is the second track from U2’s 2004 album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. It was written about the late Irish writer Christopher Nolan, with whom the band attended Mount Temple Comprehensive School. Bono said of Nolan:[1]

We all went to the same school and just as we were leaving, a fellow called Christopher Nolan arrived. He had been deprived of oxygen for two hours when he was born, so he was paraplegic. But his mother believed he could understand what was going on and used to teach him at home. Eventually, they discovered a drug that allowed him to move one muscle in his neck. So they attached this unicorn device to his forehead and he learned to type. And out of him came all these poems that he’d been storing up in his head. Then he put out a collection called Dam-Burst of Dreams,[2] which won a load of awards and he went off to university and became a genius. All because of a mother’s love and a medical breakthrough.

A Man and a Woman (song)

“A Man and a Woman” is the seventh track on U2’s eleventh studio album, How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. An acoustic version of the song showed up on the “All Because of You” single. It has been performed live only once at the Clinton Foundation.

“A Man and a Woman” emerged after U2’s engineer was trying a mix of something the band had recorded.[2] Lead singer Bono liked it and soon started to play the bass guitar and singing.[2] The acoustic guitar that the Edge is playing in the song was taken from another completely different song, they chopped it up and connected together with the new one. It was inspiring to Bono to keep working on that.[3][4] Bono cites Thin Lizzy founding member Phil Lynott as the influence for the style in which he sings the song.[5]

Bono, who has been interested in the distance that lies between men and women, wrote this song about rediscovering a kind of flirtatious and romantic love.[2] The Edge classes “A Man and a Woman” as the wild card on How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.[2]

Magnificent (U2 song)

“Magnificent” is a song by U2. It is the second track on the band’s 2009 album No Line on the Horizon and was released as the album’s second single.[1] The song was originally titled “French Disco”, but was renamed later in the recording sessions.[3] It is played before the start of every New York Rangers home game at Madison Square Garden.

The single was released on 4 May 2009 and reached #42 on the UK Singles Chart. While well received by critics, it was the first domestically-released U2 single not to make the UK Top 40 since “A Celebration” in 1982.

MLK (song)

“MLK” is the tenth and final song from U2’s 1984 album, The Unforgettable Fire. A lullaby to honor Martin Luther King, Jr., it is a short, pensive piece with simple lyrics. It was because of this song, along with “Pride (In the Name of Love)”, another tribute to King, that earned Bono the highest honor of the King Center, an organization founded by Coretta Scott King.

Lemon (song)

“Lemon” is the fourth song and second single from U2’s 1993 album, Zooropa. Inspired by old video footage of Bono’s late mother, the lyrics describe an attempt to preserve memory through film. More than any previous U2 song, “Lemon” showcases Bono’s falsetto skills, aided by atmospheric vocals from the Edge and Brian Eno. The song has been described as futuristic German disco.[1] The album version is one of U2’s longest songs.

The music video for “Lemon”, directed by Mark Neale, was filmed in black and white with a grid-like background as a tribute to Eadweard Muybridge.[5] Muybridge was a photographer who was the first person to successfully capture fast motion on film, using his device, coincidentally named the Zoopraxiscope, a reference to the lyrics (“A man makes a picture – a moving picture/Through light projected he can see himself up close”).
The video primarily features a sequence of clips of the band members playing their instruments and performing a series of distinct actions, with captions for each one (e.g. “man walking up incline”, “man running”, “man playing pool”). In the background of the video, a pendulum can be seen swinging, a clock can be seen ticking, as well as dollars falling from the sky, various scientific objects (DNA, Satellite feeds, etc.), and a cross.

All of these symbols seem to be representing man’s attempt to preserve time, via money (“He turns his money into light to look for her”), religion, or technology. The video also featured Bono dressed as both “The Fly” and “MacPhisto.”

Love Is Blindness

“Love Is Blindness” is a song by the rock band U2, and the twelfth and final track on their 1991 album Achtung Baby. The song was written on piano by lead singer Bono during the recording sessions for U2’s 1988 album Rattle and Hum. Originally intending to give the song to singer Nina Simone, the band decided to keep it for Achtung Baby after playing it together. Thematically, the song describes a failing romance, mixing personal themes with imagery of metaphorical acts of terrorism. During the recording sessions for Achtung Baby, guitarist the Edge separated from his wife, Aislinn O’Sullivan. The separation had a major effect on the development of the song; the ending guitar solo was a cathartic experience for the Edge, as he snapped several guitar strings during the recording.

“Love Is Blindness” made its live debut on the group’s 1992–1993 Zoo TV Tour and was performed regularly during the tour, appearing in 154 of its 157 concerts. It was commonly played as either the penultimate or closing song; as the penultimate song, it was usually followed by a rendition of the Elvis Presley song “Can’t Help Falling in Love”. Following the tour, “Love Is Blindness” has been played live only two other times. The track was favourably received by critics and has been covered by multiple artists.

I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight

“I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” is the fifth song from U2’s 2009 album No Line on the Horizon. The song was released as the album’s third single in a digital format on 25 August 2009 and in a physical version released on 7 September 2009.[1][2] Two music videos were made, one directed by David O’Reilly,[2] and one by Alex Courtes.[3]

The band collaborated with will.i.am in the creation of the track;[4] will.i.am receives an “additional production” credit on the finished version. It was first developed by Brian Eno under the title “Diorama” during a break in the recording sessions.[5] The band reworked the track under the new title of “Crazy Tonight” before retitling it again as “I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight”.[5][6][7] Several of the song’s lyrics were influenced by Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.[8] Bono stated to Q magazine that the lyrics “[sound] like a T-shirt slogan to me”,[9] also noting that it was No Line on the Horizon’s equivalent to “Beautiful Day”.[7]

The first music video received its world premiere on 17 July 2009 through U2’s YouTube channel.[16] Directed by David O’Reilly and designed by Jon Klassen, it is the band’s first animated music video since 1995’s “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me”, and is one of the few not to feature the band.[2][17][18] It depicts several people in a city undergoing hardships, and the events that interconnect them and bring them happiness as they decide to make changes in their lives.[18] The video was entered in the 2009 Ottawa International Animation Festival.[19]

The second music video was directed by Alex Courtes and produced by Malachy Mcanenny.[3]While the O’Reilly video plays over the studio version of the song, the Courtes version is the single edit.[3] It consists of a live performance taken from the U2 360° Tour, filmed at Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain, on 2 July 2009.[15]

 

I Will Follow

“I Will Follow” is a song by rock band U2. It is the opening track from their debut album, Boy, and it was released as the album’s second single, in October 1980. Bono wrote the lyrics to “I Will Follow” in tribute to his mother who died when he was 14 years old.

“I Will Follow” is the only song that U2 have performed on every tour since they released their first album. The song was U2’s first music video, directed by Meiert Avis in Dublin, Ireland. The song was issued five times, first in 1981 on a 7″ vinyl in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, second on the same format in the United States and Canada, third in the Netherlands in 1982 with a track from 1981’s October, in 1983 with a live version of the song, and finally in 2011 with a live version of the song recorded at the 2011 Glastonbury Festival.

Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me

“Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” is a 1995 single by U2 from the Batman Forever soundtrack album. A number-one single in their home country of Ireland, the single reached number two on the UK Singles Chart, number sixteen on the Billboard Hot 100, and number one on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks and Modern Rock Tracks charts. The song is included on From the Ground Up: Edge’s Picks from U2360°.

Heartland (U2 song)

“Heartland” is a song by rock band U2. It is the thirteenth track on their 1988 album Rattle and Hum, and was included in the film of the same name. The band began writing “Heartland” in 1984 during The Unforgettable Fire sessions, and it was worked on again during The Joshua Tree sessions.[1]

It is the only track from the album not performed in concert on the Lovetown Tour, which began almost a year after Rattle and Hum’s release.

“Heartland” originated from a trip that bassist Adam Clayton and lead singer Bono made. Bono claimed the song is full of little bits of travelogue from his journal.[2]

The Ground Beneath Her Feet (song)

“The Ground Beneath Her Feet” is a song by U2 from the film, The Million Dollar Hotel, and featured on the film’s soundtrack, The Million Dollar Hotel: Music from the Motion Picture. The song was recorded with Daniel Lanois on the pedal steel guitar for the film. However, a different mix than the one heard in the film appears on the soundtrack. The song credits author Salman Rushdie as its writer because the lyrics are taken from his book of the same name.

Gloria (U2 song)

“Gloria” is a song by rock band U2. It is the opening track and second single from the band’s 1981 album, October.

It features a chorus sung in Latin, from the liturgical “Gloria in Excelsis Deo.” It was one of their lowest-charting singles on the UK singles chart,[2] peaking at #55 but was more successful in Ireland and New Zealand, reaching the Top 20.

Allmusic cited the song as an example of “when U2 marry the message, melody, and sound together… the results are thoroughly impressive,”[3] while Pitchfork said the song “displays some musical dynamism, but its Latin-language chorus tempers its anthemic qualities.”[4]

Get On Your Boots

“Get On Your Boots” is a song by Irish rock band U2 and the sixth track from their 2009 album No Line on the Horizon.[1] The song was released as the album’s first single on 23 January 2009. The physical format was released on 16 February.[2] The video received its premiere on 6 February 2009.

The lyrical delivery of the song’s verses has been said to resemble Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues,”[3][4] while the song has also been compared to “Pump It Up” by Elvis Costello.[5]

The Fly (song)

“The Fly” is a song by Irish rock band U2. It is the seventh track from their 1991 album, Achtung Baby, and it was released as the album’s first single on 12 October 1991. “The Fly” introduced a more abrasive sounding U2, as the song featured hip-hop and industrial beats, distorted vocals, and an elaborate guitar solo. Lead vocalist Bono described the song as “the sound of four men chopping down The Joshua Tree,”[2] due to its departure from the traditional sound that had characterised the band in the 1980s.

Bono described the song’s subject as that of a phone call from someone in Hell who enjoys being there and telling the person on the other end of the line what he has learned.[3] The lyrics are written as a series of aphorisms that Bono collected during the album’s recording. The song and its video were also a showcase for “The Fly,” a persona that Bono adopted for the Zoo TV Tour, in which he played the part of a stereotypical leather-clad rock star known for wearing large wrap-around sunglasses and strutting around the stage. The song became the band’s second number-one single in the UK and was successful among alternative rock radio audiences.

Fez – Being Born

“Fez – Being Born” is a song by Irish rock band U2 and the eighth track on their 2009 album No Line on the Horizon. It was planned for the track to open the album, but “No Line on the Horizon” was chosen instead. The song had several different titles during the recording sessions, including “Chromium Chords” and “Tripoli”, and was the result of a fusion of two different songs during the recording sessions.

Exit (U2 song)

“Exit” is a song by rock band U2. It is the tenth track on their 1987 album The Joshua Tree. “Exit” was developed from a lengthy jam that was recorded in a single take and edited down to a shorter arrangement. The lyrics, which portray the mind of a serial killer, were inspired by lead singer Bono’s reading of Norman Mailer’s 1980 novel The Executioner’s Song, and other related works. In his trial for the murder of Rebecca Schaeffer, Robert John Bardo used “Exit” as part of his defence, claiming the song had influenced his actions.

“Exit” was frequently played live on The Joshua Tree Tour, but has been performed on just one occasion since then. Live performances are depicted in the 1988 film Rattle and Hum and the 2007 video and live album Live from Paris.

Every Breaking Wave

“Every Breaking Wave” is a song by Irish rock band U2. It is the second track from their thirteenth studio album, Songs of Innocence, and was released as its second single. It was produced by Danger Mouse and Ryan Tedder, with additional production from Declan Gaffney.

The song’s official music video is a truncated, four-and-a-half-minute version of the 13-minute short film Every Breaking Wave, which was directed by Irish director Aoife McArdle.[10][11] The film dramatizes the violence of The Troubles in Northern Ireland during the 1980s by depicting a teenage couple on opposing sides of the conflict. McArdle used the album and acoustic versions of “Every Breaking Wave” in the film, along with another track from Songs of Innocence, “The Troubles”.[12] The film premiered on 12 February 2015 before the music video was released on 23 February.[12]

Elvis Presley and America

“Elvis Presley and America” is the ninth track from U2’s 1984 album, The Unforgettable Fire. This song was almost entirely a spur of the moment creation. Musically, the song takes its instrumentation from an altered backing track of “A Sort of Homecoming”. The vocals are the result of producer Brian Eno encouraging lead singer Bono to improvise lyrics while listening to the music for the first time. During the sole performance, Bono assumed that this was a rough cut—something that could be tightened up, altered and corrected later. However, it was the pure improvisation and continuity of performance (as opposed to editing together several performances into one piece) that Eno was interested in, and it is this track that ended up on the final product.[1]

Bono described this track as a reaction to an Albert Goldman biography of Elvis Presley which was not flattering to the late singer. This would not be the last time that Bono disagreed with Goldman’s portrayal of a rock and roll legend. The singer would later call out Goldman by name in “God Part II” (1988), this time in reference to an unflattering biography that Goldman wrote about John Lennon.[1]

Electrical Storm (song)

“Electrical Storm” is a song by Irish rock band U2 and the only single from their second compilation album, The Best of 1990–2000, and one of the two new songs recorded for that album (the other one being “The Hands That Built America”). The music video for the song prominently features drummer Larry Mullen, Jr., as well as actress Samantha Morton. The song was written by Bono and is about two lovers who are fighting and the tension between them; it relates this to a looming electrical storm.[2]

Although the song did not make a big impression in the U.S., reaching only to #77, the song did well elsewhere, peaking at #1 in Canada and many European countries. It also peaked at #5 on the UK Singles Chart and made #s 13 and 26 on the Modern Rock Tracks and Mainstream Rock Tracks charts, respectively. It made #5 in Australia.

Desire (U2 song)

“Desire” is a song by U2 and the third track on their 1988 album, Rattle and Hum. Released as the album’s lead single, “Desire” was the band’s first number-one single in the UK and Australia. It reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S., and topped both the Modern and Mainstream Rock Tracks charts, the first song to reach the top of both of these charts simultaneously. It reached number two on the Dutch Top 40. In 1989, “Desire” won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

City of Blinding Lights

“City of Blinding Lights” is a song by the rock band U2. It is the fifth track on their 2004 album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb and was released as the album’s fourth single on 6 June 2005. The song was a top ten hit in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and several other countries. The music video was shot in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The earliest incarnation of the song was developed during sessions for the band’s 1997 album Pop. The lyrics were partially inspired by lead singer Bono’s recollection of his first trip to London, and by the band’s experience of playing New York City in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. Other lyrics refer to Bono’s relationship with his wife. The song’s underlying theme reflects lost innocence and was inspired by an image Bono saw of himself from the early 1980s. The sound has been compared to the tone of U2’s 1984 album The Unforgettable Fire and their 1987 single “Where the Streets Have No Name.”

“City of Blinding Lights” was well received by critics and won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Song at the 2006 ceremony. The song made its live debut on the group’s 2005 Vertigo Tour, when it was commonly played as the opening song, and it has been performed at every show from a U2 concert tour since. The track has been used in episodes of The Simpsons and Entourage, and in the film The Devil Wears Prada.

President Barack Obama used it at campaign events during the 2008 and 2012 U.S. presidential elections, and listed it as one of his favourite songs; U2 performed it at his inaugural celebration.

A Celebration

“A Celebration” is a song by rock band U2. It was released as a non-album single in March 1982, between the records October (1981) and War (1983). U2 have re-released the track on two occasions; on the 2004 digital compilation album The Complete U2, and on the bonus disc of the remastered October in 2008.

“Trash, Trampoline and the Party Girl,” commonly shortened to “Party Girl,” was released as the B-side.

Cedars of Lebanon (song)

“Cedars of Lebanon” is a song by the rock band U2. It is the eleventh and final track on their 2009 album No Line on the Horizon. It is sung in the character of a war correspondent who is “squeezing complicated lives into a simple headline”[1] and who “observes “this shitty world” where the aroma of a rose “lingers and then it just goes”.[2] The song samples producer Brian Eno’s own “Against the Sky” from his 1984 album The Pearl.

In a review of the album, Jon Pareles of The New York Times called the song “a somber meditation on war, separation and enmity”.[3] Comparing the song with “Moment of Surrender” on the same album, NME reviewer Ben Patashnik described “Cedars of Lebanon” as “similarly downbeat but no-less-enthralling”, and said that the song “is buoyed by Larry Mullen Jr’s martial drumming and a twinkling guitar”.[4] The Sydney Morning Herald called the song a “masterful closer”, and said that the “backing vocals, ambient noises and restraint seal a deal alongside the atmosphere of philosophical weariness.”[5]

Bullet the Blue Sky

“Bullet the Blue Sky” is a song by rock band U2. It is the fourth track from their 1987 album, The Joshua Tree. “Bullet the Blue Sky” is one of the band’s most overtly political songs, with live performances often being heavily critical of political conflicts and violence.

It is U2’s 7th-most-played live song with almost 650 live appearances.

The song has been featured in promos for the seventh and final season of Sons of Anarchy.

The song was covered by Sepultura in their covers album Revolusongs and by P.O.D. in their album The Fundamental Elements of Southtown.

Beautiful Day

“Beautiful Day” is a song by the Irish rock band U2. It is the first track from their 2000 album, All That You Can’t Leave Behind, and it was released as the album’s lead single. It was a commercial success, helping launch the album to multi-platinum status, and is U2’s biggest hit to date. Like many tracks from All That You Can’t Leave Behind, “Beautiful Day” harkens back to the group’s past sound. The tone of the Edge’s guitar was a subject of debate amongst the band members, as they disagreed on whether he should use a sound similar to that from their early career in the 1980s. Lead singer Bono explained that the upbeat track is about losing everything but still finding joy in what one has.

The song received positive reviews, and it became their fourth number-one single in the UK and their first number-one in the Netherlands. The song peaked at number 21 in the United States, the band’s highest position since “Discothèque” in 1997. In 2001, the song won three Grammy Awards for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. The group has played “Beautiful Day” at every one of their concerts since the song’s 2001 live debut on the Elevation Tour.

The Ballad of Ronnie Drew

“The Ballad of Ronnie Drew” is a single by U2, The Dubliners, Kíla and A Band of Bowsies.[2] The single was recorded as a charitable project, with proceeds going to the Irish Cancer Society – owing to Ronnie Drew’s cancer condition.[3] It was recorded at Windmill Lane on 14 and 15 January 2008. “The Ballad of Ronnie Drew” is available as a CD in Ireland only. Ronnie Drew died a few months after the release of the single in August 2008.

Glen Hansard’s vocals on the record were recorded over the telephone, and not in person, as he was in the United States of America for the 80th Academy Awards.

Bad (U2 song)

“Bad” is a song by rock band U2 and the seventh track from their 1984 album, The Unforgettable Fire. A song about heroin addiction, it is considered a fan favourite, and is one of U2’s most frequently performed songs in concert.[1]

A performance of the song at 1985’s Live Aid was a career breakthrough for the band.

The live version included as the opening track of the Wide Awake in America EP is frequently chosen for airplay by radio DJs ahead of the studio version[citation needed]. The song is featured on the trailer of Brothers and in the opening and closing sequences of Taking Lives.

Zooropa

Zooropa /zuːˈroʊpɑː/[nb 1] is the eighth studio album by Irish rock band U2. Produced by Flood, Brian Eno, and The Edge, it was released on 5 July 1993 on Island Records. Inspired by the band’s experiences on the Zoo TV Tour, Zooropa expanded on many of the tour’s themes of technology and media oversaturation. The record was a continuation of the group’s experimentation with alternative rock, electronic dance music, and electronic sound effects that began with their previous album, Achtung Baby, in 1991.

U2 began writing and recording Zooropa in Dublin in February 1993, during a six-month break between legs of the Zoo TV Tour. The record was originally intended as an EP to promote the “Zooropa” leg of the tour that was to begin in May 1993, but during the sessions, the group decided to extend the record to a full-length LP.[1] Pressed for time, U2 wrote and recorded at a rapid pace, with songs originating from many sources, including leftover material from the Achtung Baby sessions. The album was not completed in time for the tour’s resumption, forcing the band to travel between Dublin and their tour destinations in May to complete mixing and recording.

Zooropa received generally favourable reviews from critics. Despite none of its three singles—”Numb”, “Lemon”, and “Stay (Faraway, So Close!)”—being hits consistently across regions, the record sold well upon release and peaked at number one in multiple countries. The album’s charting duration and lifetime sales of 7 million copies, however, were less than those of Achtung Baby. In 1994, Zooropa won the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album. Although the record was a success and music journalists view the album as one of the group’s most creative works, the band regard it with mixed feelings.

Another Day (U2 song)

“Another Day” was U2’s debut single release, and was released in 1980 following their EP, Three, and prior to their debut album, Boy. It was released only in Ireland.

“Another Day” was produced by Chas deWhalley and U2 at CBS London, December 1979. The single was only released in Ireland and since it did not appear on any album or other CD pressing until the 2008 reissue of Boy, it was long considered a rarity in U2’s catalogue. The B-side was an early demo of “Twilight,” which was later re-recorded for its appearance on Boy and was regularly played live until 1984.

The song is known to have been played at six concerts (twice on 11 May 1980, for a total of 7 occasions). Its last known performance was on 27 July 1980 at Leixlip Castle, County Kildare, Ireland.

All I Want Is You (U2 song)

“All I Want Is You” is the final song on U2’s 1988 album, Rattle and Hum, and was released on 13 June 1989 as the album’s fourth and final single. It is the closing song from the film, Rattle and Hum. String arrangements on the song are by Van Dyke Parks.[2]

“All I Want Is You” was released in the UK as a single on 12 June 1989.[3] The B-side featured covers of The Righteous Brothers’, “Unchained Melody”, and a cover of Love Affair’s “Everlasting Love”. It reached number 4 in the UK charts and number 2 in Australia, number 12 on the Dutch Top 40, but only reached number 67 and number 83 in the Canadian and American charts, respectively. It appeared on the soundtrack for the 1994 film Reality Bites. The popularity of the song in the film led to a re-release in 1994 where it reached number 38 in the U.S. Top 40 Mainstream charts. The single was rereleased in the Netherlands with “Everlasting Love” now being the a-side. “Everlasting Love” reached number 10 in the Dutch Charts, in January 1990. In 2004, it was ranked number 9 in Entertainment Weekly’s list of “The 50 Greatest Love Songs.”[4]

It is also featured during an episode of Hindsight and the final scenes of the 2011 film Contagion. The song “October” appears on the compilation album The Best of 1980-1990 as a hidden track encoded within the track for “All I Want Is You” following about a minute of silence.

All Because of You (U2 song)

“All Because of You” is a song by the Irish rock band U2 and the sixth track from their 2004 album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. The song was released as the album’s second single in North America. The song was released for airplay in the United States concurrently with the album release date (the first single, “Vertigo,” had been released prior to the album debut).

The music video for this song was filmed in New York City. The band played aboard a flat bed truck riding around Manhattan, playing the song much to the surprise of many New Yorkers. U2’s performance through New York took them from Manhattan to Brooklyn, where they would perform a surprise mini-concert.

Acrobat (song)

“Acrobat” is a song by rock band U2. It is the eleventh track on their 1991 album Achtung Baby. The critical failure of Rattle and Hum (1988) led the band to seek a harder sound in their music. The song developed from a riff created by guitarist The Edge, and is played in a 12⁄8 time signature.[1] Thematically the song contains elements of hypocrisy, alienation, and moral confusion. “Acrobat” has never been performed live, although it was rehearsed prior to the third leg of the Zoo TV Tour.

4th of July (U2 song)

“4th of July” is the sixth track from U2’s 1984 album, The Unforgettable Fire. The song is an instrumental track and has never been performed live, although Adam Clayton did play it as a warm-up during a soundcheck before U2’s concert in San Jose on 20 April 2001.[1] It is the only “ambient” track that U2 have ever released, featuring the co-work, the trademark and the style of Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois.

40 (song)

“40”, also known as “40 (How Long)”, is the tenth and final track from U2’s 1983 album, War. The song is noted for its live performances, often involving the audience singing along for minutes after the band has left the stage. The lyrics are a modification of the Bible’s Psalm 40.

The song was released as a commercial single only in Germany, simply to promote U2’s appearance at the Loreley Festival in 1983.[1] The single was released on a 7″ gramophone record with a B-side of the album version of “Two Hearts Beat as One”. Since its live debut on February 26, 1983, in Dundee, “40” has been a staple of U2’s live concerts, having been performed almost 400 times.[2]

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