U2 covers

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From reading your comments down the years, I think it’s true to say that no band divides Blog opinion quite as much as U2 – and that’s in terms of the music, without mentioning Bono’s campaigning, some would say preaching, in the name of various humanitarian causes.

As today marks the 30th anniversary of their very first record, the ‘Three’ EP, I’m curious to know who likes them and who doesn’t.

And, in continuing with the series of ‘cover’ posts, I wonder if you can imagine David performing any of their songs, keeping in mind that no musician has to make his interpretation of any piece of music sound anything like the original.

Did you know that they have more Grammy awards than anyone, with the exception of Stevie Wonder, who has the same number (22)? Or that, based on weeks spent on the UK singles charts, the four members are the 54th, 56th, 58th and 59th most successful songwriters in chart history? See here to see the rest.

Speaking of Grammys, I’m reminded of Bono’s impressive introduction as he invited Frank Sinatra on stage to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994.

In my opinion, U2 gave by far the strongest and most memorable performance at Live Aid, and there can be few front men with anything matching Bono’s charismatic stage presence. (A debate for another time, perhaps?)

Truthfully, I wish they hadn’t felt the need to ‘re-invent’ themselves with Achtung Baby and their albeit visually impressive Zoo TV tour, but that’s just a matter of personal preference, and as much as I may have despised the song, I applaud the decision to donate the proceeds from the release of their ‘Sweetest Thing’ single to the relatively low-profile Chernobyl Children’s Project International.

Anyway, there’s much to talk about and it’s all very welcome: the huge multi-media live extravaganzas (maybe some of you had, or have, tickets for their ongoing tour?), the collaborations, the sunglasses and, I suspect, the charitable crusades.

I’d like to know what you think of their current album, No Line on the Horizon, a group effort involving two names that you’ll know well: Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois (the album is also blessed with Caroline Dale’s cello). Rolling Stone (yes, them again) consider it to be their best, “in its textural exploration and tenacious melodic grip,” since Achtung Baby. From what I’ve heard of it, I’d probably agree.

Lastly, but of great importance to some of us: Leonard Cohen fans, did you care for Bono’s take on ‘Hallelujah’ (which is on the Tower of Song compilation)?

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour's official blog, The Blog ('Features' previously being its rather naff title), affectionately - or lazily - shortened to 'FEd'.

95 thoughts on “U2 covers”

  1. I just cannot help thinking that Bono is full of his own self-importance and that in turn turns me off U2.

  2. …you’re right FEd: after my vote it was fifty-fifty!

    Of course, I’m not a fan of U2. 😉 But as almost everything it’s a matter of taste and I’m impressed how long and successful they are.

    Cheers
    Taki

  3. I love U2. Not everything they’ve done (like Zoo TV, and some of that periods more “experimental” musings). I’d say my favorites are their first few LPs, up to and including War.

    Those songs I can easily see Mr Gilmour performing would be:

    1) MLK (almost sounds eerily like the beginning of On the Turning Away, no?)
    2) Surrender
    3) “40”
    4) October

    OK Fed, I think U2 did make a great name for themselves at Live Aid. However, I think Queen may have been nearly as good (if not better, in my humble opinion). To each his own, eh? 😀

    I have yet to hear their last 2 LPs, however I know I’ve always loved the direction the band embarked upon when making The Unforgettable Fire. Do you remember how amazing that LP was upon first listen? What a radical change for that band. Gotta love Eno!!

    Dirwood

    1. I can honestly say that I never liked Queen, but yes, they always put on a good show (and as far as my comment about charismatic front men goes, anything Bono can do, Freddie probably did better).

      The Unforgettable Fire sure was amazing. I think everything they did up to, but not including, Achtung Baby was amazing upon first listen, really. Selfishly speaking, I don’t know why they had to change.

    2. One may pay close attention to Brazilian singers such as “Ney Mattogrosso”, “Milton Nascimento”, “Roberto Carlos” singer/guitar player “Jorge Ben Jor” and “Simonal”. Those artistically crafted characters mould in fact a unique skill, a “saucerful of secrets” from my beautiful country, Brazil.

      People seem to like them, although I have some reservations to the first two ones. I may be just being pricky, here.

      I hope you enjoy them, my friends… 🙂

  4. Can some one tell the Edge the guitar has 6 strings and not 2! 😀

    Just in case you didn’t see it in my last post, click here!

    Peace & Love etc.
    Paul

  5. I still really like old U2, but I’m not a fan of the newer stuff… and when I say newer stuff, I really mean middle and later – basically everything from The Unforgettable Fire onwards!

    I loved their old sound before they got bigger and lost their anger. Boy, October and War are for me the plateau/pinnacles of their work, and Under A Blood Red Sky is a regular listen for me and one of the all time greatest live sets, IMHO.

    The later stuff just doesn’t grab me the same way that the early stuff does. I really connect with it and it just has something very different to it that changed with The Unforgettable Fire and subsequent stuff. I think maybe because it just isn’t challenging like the early stuff which for me is a much more satisfying listen.

    N

    1. Absolutely agree N. I think their early stuff had the freshness of youth. Then they became huge and tainted their own product with self-importance. Still, to survive for such a long time unchanged is a testament to their resilience and, I suppose, their talent.

      Jonathan

  6. Hi,

    I was a fan of U2 in the 80-ies and still they make music that has extras. But I think their last album is, despite Caroline Dale’s, Daniel Lanois’ and Brian Eno’s contributions, not of their best. Absolutely not… the Simple Minds did it much better this time.

    Their live shows are top of the bill (same production team as for the Floyd, Stones, Tine Turner, Radiohead, etc. shows). But… I prefer a pure show in small venue, like the Pretty Things next week. 😉

    David covering “Bad” (the live Aid version with licks of Lou Reed and others) would be nice.

    And I missed the cover of Leonard Cohen. I think I prefer his original or John Cale’s version. But did I miss it really?

    Hallelujah, keep smiling!

    1. And I missed the cover of Leonard Cohen. I think I prefer his original or John Cale’s version. But did I miss it really?

      I’d say you had a lucky escape, Nick. 😉

      Don Henley’s version of ‘Everybody Knows’, on the other hand…

    2. I’d say you had a lucky escape, Nick. 😉

      Don Henley’s version of ‘Everybody Knows’, on the other hand…

      Oeps dear Fed, who is Don Henley? Sorry, I’m joking. But serious, I don’t know his cover of “Everybody Knows”. Apparently everybody does, but not me… I’m banned now?

      Couldn’t find it on YouTube, did you?

    3. Couldn’t find it on YouTube, did you?

      This is the best I could do with YouTube and it’s only a section of the song. Jump to the 30-second point for the song start.

      Alternatively, you may be able to play the full track at Last.fm.

      It’s the hidden track on his Actual Miles Greatest Hits compilation.

    4. Fed,

      Thx! The song rocks! I saw the wrestler’s vid but thought it was a joke so I skipped that…

      Go back to listening to the Beatles. 😉

      Cheers and slippers,
      Nick

  7. I do like U2. Maybe not as intensely as I once did, but I do.

    I was going to say I’d gone off their music slightly, but a quick look at my CD line (against a wall as its outgrown shelving and is threatening to take over the world) tells me maybe not. The U2 section is awfully thick. No, the albums I go back to again and again are older ones. There’s just usually one or two tracks on every album I’m very glad to have heard. “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own” from HTDAAB for example. Killer.

    As for Queen… quirky band. Brian May was and is a vastly underrated guitarist. I just loved Freddie and you will never get my copy of A Night At The Opera from me. They recorded what they liked and didn’t much seem to care what anyone thought, which is kind of what rock is to me. I love “’39” so much.

    The problem with covering any Queen song is the vocal range, as so many participants in The Concert For Life learned. Freddie’s range was awe inspiring.

    Don’t know about covering any U2 or Queen songs, but if David would like to have a guitar play-off with Brian May or The Edge I would pay any price to hear it. 🙂

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  9. Count me as another who loved U2 up to Achtung Baby. “One” is an amazing song; it just oozes emotion. I stopped even being curious about U2’s new releases with Zooropa.

    Favorite U2: Party Girl, Gloria, 40, Bad, Bullet the Blue Sky, One, Lemon.

  10. Maybe “With or Without You”…?

    I used to like them a lot, but not so much now.

    I find Bono’s pontificating extremely irritating.

  11. Hi FEd,

    great see-saw mind!

    Well, Bono is a charismatic (egocentric?) man involved in a lot of interesting projects for Africa, children and many humanitarian causes. The band had a memorable performance during Live Aid, BUT I’m not able to say I like them and their music.

    Despite the words I don’t hear heart and soul.

    Bye
    diana

  12. When I voted “no” to the question I was surprised how much I was in the minority so had to think if I wanted to post here.

    What I don’t like about U2 is all their songs have the same sound to me. For me, that gets old fast.

    The clip you gave of Bono’s speech for Frank Sinatra was not that good. It was written by someone else and he read it. Frank’s speech was better, no notes, lots of laughs. Here is an acceptance by Bono that I thought was great where they won a Grammy over Michael Jackson.

    I always found Bono’s efforts at causes very inspirational and I think the whole band shares that passion.

    On your top 100 songwriters, who is Mike Stock in #3? Never heard of him here in America. Maybe Dan has or Andrew. I don’t have a clue who he is.

    Sorry, FEd, but Queen was the best performance of Live Aid, IMO. It was spot on the best of them all.

    The Documentary “Rattle and Hum” featured footage from “The Joshua Tree” and tracks recorded at Sun Studio in Memphis with BB King and Bob Dylan.

    Their new tour is based on “No Line on the Horizon”. They wanted that album to be different with African sounds but to me it is not all that much different. The “360 World Tour” is a theatre in the round sort of thing YES made famous. I understand they are coming out with a new album this year called “Songs of the Ascent”.

    All of this to be the “best band in the world”.

    1. On your top 100 songwriters, who is Mike Stock in #3? Never heard of him here in America.

      One third of Stock, Aitken and Waterman, who wrote and produced many late ’80s/early ’90s pop hits, most of them now utterly revolting and, like this one, camper than Christmas.

      See Wikipedia for a list of songs… if you dare.

    2. I wasn’t familiar with Mike Stock but I dared and looked at the list. I see what you mean FEd but it seems that much of his success is from producing.

      Dead or Alive -You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)

      Rick Astley – Never Gonna Give You Up, Together Forever (c’mon FEd, I hear you singing it now) :))

      Donna Summer, Samantha Fox but he also worked with the sultry Kylie Minogue (can’t you just watch the video with the sound off?)

      He also produced a number of tunes for Bananarama but notably Venus (which I do like).

      FEd, I also see he wrote and produced All The Way for the England Football Team. You probably hum that tune while picking goodies from your garden.

      Thanks.

      Andrew

    3. Andrew, for shame. You’ve listed too many guilty pleasures. I remember ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’, and probably still knew all the words without any help from the Rickrolling viral, but I don’t remember ‘Together Forever’. I must have been too busy listening to ‘Nathan Jones’ in 1988 (and not The Supremes’ version).

      Being Welsh, there’s only one way I wish for the English national team, and that’s out in the first round (to spare those of us in the UK who aren’t English from having to see and hear trivial updates from the precious media darlings every five seconds, you understand), but I did like this one. (Love you, Barnsie.)

      ‘Bringing in the Sheaves’ is the only tune for picking goodies from gardens, surely.

  13. Just a little more…

    Larry Mullen is probably the most handsome drummer ever.

    His use of the drums is fascinating. Here is a clip that is an outtake of “Rattle and Hum” from 1987 which follows Larry around until he starts playing. Sound and video quality not that good, but if bloggers like to look at this cute guy, they will all find this nice. 😛

    He is a co-founder of U2 but is the quiet one women just love. He and Adam Clayton wrote the theme song to the movie “Mission Impossible” and was nominated for a Grammy for it.

    Song for David would be “With or Without You” the only song I love they ever did.

    George Solti has the record as most Grammys ever won at 31 including Lifetime Achievement Award. (Just a little fact about the Grammys.) He was nominated another 74 times.

    Patricia

  14. Hi, FEd.

    I love U2’s sound, particularly “The Edge” guitar.

    In the past they made good songs like “With or Without you”, “Unforgettable Fire” and “Miss Sarajevo” feat big tenor Luciano Pavarotti and Brian Eno.

    This is one of my favourite songs for music and lyrics. I remember when U2 sung at Pavarotti & Friends in 2003.

    You can watch here.

    I think U2’s new album is a good work but I prefer their old records.

    At least I can imagine David performing “When Love Comes to Town”.

    You can watch here U2 featuring B.B. King.

    It’s a really blues song! 🙂

    Bye, Hydrea

    1. I was thinking of ‘When Love Comes to Town’, too.

      The result is always good when any artist works with B.B. King, don’t you think?

    2. Hydrea,

      I thoroughly enjoyed both of your links. The song with Bono and Pavarotti was priceless as well as U2 and B.B. King. That song was really jamming good. I have never seen B.B. so happy.

      Loved it, so thanks for the share.

      Patricia

    3. The result is always good when any artist works with B.B. King, don’t you think?

      Yes, it’s true and I wish to see other artists’ works with B.B. King because he’s a real “Blues man” and a great musician.

      I love your style. 🙂

      Bye, Hydrea

    4. Actually, I’m not too fond of Riding With the King from Eric Clapton. That song sounds just too damn goofy to me, anyways… 🙁

  15. I really like U2, and I confirmed my feeling for this when I went to see them in Cardiff 10 days ago. What a concert. The stage, the songs, the voice, the fans. Everything was amazing.

    I’d like to see David cover one of the following;

    – Magnificent
    – Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
    – Moment of Surrender (probably the best one suited to Mr Gilmour)
    – Stuck In a Moment and Can’t Get Out of It

    Happy Days.

  16. I was in from Under a Blood Red Sky, still a favorite album. They are phenomenal musicians, IMO. What they think and do outside of the music arena doesn’t matter much to me, so long as no one gets hurt and it’s consensual. I have my own opinions about things and I’m sure they wouldn’t agree with me, either.

    David might have fun with “With or Without You.” It has interesting guitar effects, good lyrics, and a lovely tune. I can almost hear him singing it. 🙂

    I haven’t heard the new album yet, but it’s on my list.

  17. I’ve got plenty of time for U2. Most importantly because they have produced one heck of a catalogue of good songs down the years and they are after all “just” a rock’n’roll band.

    The typical U2 album has a few storming tracks and tends to meander away into “filler” as it progresses – although I can name very few bands for whom that statement would not be true (take a bow PF and Radiohead) but equally there are very few bands that have produced consistently good music right the way through a 30 odd year career and “blasts of fresh air” such as “Vertigo”, “Beautiful Day” which have become concert – and Live8 – staples in the third decade bear testimony to their ability to focus on the music.

    “No Line on the Horizon” is an accomplished album – not their best because it’s lacking a little in passion compared to, say, the Joshua Tree.

    Their greatest hits collections represent as strong a collection across a range of styles as I can think of and they have achieved evolution of style whilst retaining a distinctive sounds thanks largely to the sound of “Edge” and his infeasibly complex array of FX pedals.

    When interviewed they come across as very balanced with a good perspective on life and their place in the scheme of things. Whilst you might not like Bono’s chosen extracurricular activities, I would lay very good money that if you had a one-to-one discussion with him about this he would be able to justify himself to you. If the platform is there, why not use it?

    1. Whilst you might not like Bono’s chosen extracurricular activities, I would lay very good money that if you had a one-to-one discussion with him about this he would be able to justify himself to you. If the platform is there, why not use it?

      Absolutely.

      I’m sure he would (and I like them very much).

  18. Can I sign up for the before ‘Achtung Baby’ club too?

    I ended up going to the U2 concert at Hampden a few weeks ago and it was a good concert. The stage set was just this side of Spinal Tap and the best songs were the old ones – ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ was a belter.

    I’ve never really taken to Bono, although he is probably one of the few people that actually looked OK wearing a jumper tucked into leather trousers. I find his preaching borders on the embarrassing, that said, credit where it’s due for supporting the many causes that he does.

    Maybe I just find massive egos off putting generally.

    The Edge was damn good live though.

    ‘Out of Control’ for that cover?

    1. Oh, that’d be good, with Kelly Jones on backing vocals – that’s it,now I’m off on one for the day. 🙂

  19. My first exposure to the music of U2 was when a local high school band covered their song “I Will Follow.” At the time the song was actually quite new. I loved the tune but over the years U2 never really did it for me.

    U2 has a few songs I like but I am not in love with this band. If I had to pick a favorite song of theirs it would be Bullet the Blue Sky. It would be interesting to see what David could do with that song.

    And when it comes to Live Aid, I agree with Beppo, Queen did it for me over U2.

    A sidenote to their release “Three.” From what I know, this recording was released in Ireland only.

    Thanks.

    Andrew

  20. My vote for U2 is a No. Bono has an interesting voice but doesn’t make me want to run out and buy the music. Would like to hear David do ‘Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own’ as I do like that song and a few others.

    Don’t feel that the Edge rates as a guitarist at all. Guess he’s a Johnny two note… in my book. 😛

    I do think they are one of the few bands keeping rock alive and obviously have quite a following.

    Wasn’t a fan of Queen in their day, but really appreciate their sound now. Think that Freddie is quite a talent, certainly would have my vote as a far better entertainer and singer than Bono. Imagine that their show would be quite electrifying to hear and see.

    I do like that Bono is trying to help but still he seems to come across as self-serving. Not sure if that is true, just the way it seems to me.

    Jan

  21. As I already told you, my biggest problem with U2 is The Edge’s guitar, really too noisy and repetitive for me.

    His sound always gives me the impression of being listening to a single very long song, in place of some different tracks and I’m sorry about that, because I admit they wrote some beautiful songs, especially in the 80s.

    If we talk about Bono Vox, I never liked very much his exhibition of social involvement and charities, since I suspect he had often used that kind of things just as a way to promote himself and his band, but, obviously, my ideas about his intentions have nothing to do with his music or his talent as a front man.

    Then, thinking in a practical way, I also believe that, if he gives some money to help who’s in need, it’s not so important if he has honest intentions or not.
    His money is better than nothing, in the end.

    As for David’s covers, two possible songs which come now in my mind are “One” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, but I’m sure there must be many suitable ones.

    This idea sounds particularly good to me. Let’s replace The Edge! :))

  22. Hi Fed,

    I’m another one who’s interest in U2 died about 20 years ago. My favourite was Rattle and Hum. I’m busking from time to time and there are 3 songs in my list of that album (VDL, AOH, AIWIY). :v

    For Live Aid and in general I prefer Queen. But for the 80s (except Live Aid) I prefer U2.

    You’ve really never liked Bohemian Rhapsody?

    1. You’ve really never liked Bohemian Rhapsody?

      I’m almost ashamed to admit, no. Not even when it was flogged to death a second time courtesy of Wayne’s World.

  23. I like what I’ve heard from U2, but am not familiar enough with their work to call myself a “fan.”

    I don’t understand why people are turned off by Bono speaking out on important issues. Bono is able to do what few of us can do: get world leaders to do things. If more of us had these skills, maybe we’d be living in a better world.

    He may well be an egomaniac — I don’t know one way or another — but he can get things done. For me, that redeems any unpleasant qualities he may have.

    1. Dan,

      I agree with you totally about your comments that would have to apply not just to Bono but Bob Geldof as well.

      FEd, where is Joni Mitchell on that list of 100 best songwriters? She sang all her own songs. Why isn’t she on there?

      As far as Queen, I never was into them, but that Live Aid concert of them doing “Rock On” and “We are the Champions” were the bomb. Just unreal how great Freddie was!!!

      I also don’t see where Bono comes off arrogant just because he wants to help make the world a better place. Not only is Bob Geldof good in “Love or Something”… well, not good but ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC AND SEXY, but he is able to get world leaders together to do good for others and I think that is a quality we should all admire, not criticize.

      For whatever it is worth… :v

      Patricia

    2. FEd, where is Joni Mitchell on that list of 100 best songwriters? She sang all her own songs. Why isn’t she on there?

      The results are based on the total number of weeks spent on the UK singles chart.

  24. I have never really been into U2, maybe just because I can’t stand that sanctimonious – you say ‘charismatic’, I say ‘full of himself’ – Bono. Maybe it sounds stupid, but I just can’t hate the person and love the artist.

    I have listened to ‘No Line On The Horizon’ once or twice, nothing special, just another U2 record, with a lot of dull songs that go nowhere. I like one: ‘Magnificent’, I think it’s the best moment of the album.

    Maybe David could cover very well ‘Miss Sarajevo’ (U2/Passengers with Pavarotti). A very emotional song.

    As for U2’s cover of ‘Hallelujah’, let me laugh! I searched for it on YouTube and I read there a perfect comment: “Perhaps this is the best example of how deep you can fuck up a great song.” 😉

    Michèle

    1. As tempting as it may be to go one better than that, I feel, very accurate reflection with my own careful use of the F-word, I’ll fight the urge and say nothing at this point about Bono’s duet with Frank Sinatra, but search YouTube for that one (‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’, 1993).

    2. Maybe it sounds stupid, but I just can’t hate the person and love the artist.

      Nope, it doesn’t sound stupid at all.

      It’s just that sometimes you end up having to tolerate the tosser in the band if you want to see the rest of them and fortunately I’d had years of practice at that. :))

    3. It’s just that sometimes you end up having to tolerate the tosser in the band if you want to see the rest of them and fortunately I’d had years of practice at that. :))

      Oh, I know what you mean, Lorraine! 😛

    4. but I just can’t hate the person and love the artist

      Oh Michele, surely “hate” is not the right word… I can think of many many people who deserve to be hated more than Bono.

      There’s a lot of people who seem to object to Bono’s “preaching” but I am unsure of this… do you dislike what he says or the way that he says it?

      If it is the first, what are the examples of things that he says that are “wrong”? Or do you believe that the “quiet” example of David is the only way for a person with influence to act?

    5. but I just can’t hate the person and love the artist

      Doesn’t Michael Stipe from REM kinda fit in the same way as Bono? For me he does.

      Thanks.

      Andrew

    6. Bah, Tim… Of course my word ‘hate’ was quite excessive, I don’t ‘hate’ anyone, even not Bono. I just used it in opposition to ‘love’ (as we commonly do here). But you already knew that, didn’t you?

      So, I don’t ‘hate’ Bono, but…. he gets on my nerves so much!

      A small example, I once saw a picture of Bono and some ‘Chief’ in a small village in Africa with the caption: “Bono and Chief in traditional garb.” The Chief was wearing a funny hat and a multicoloured robe, Bono, the same, but with Ray Bans and a Rolex…

      It’s only an anecdote, I know…

    7. Michele, I know you are not a hating sort of person so that’s why I mentioned it .. and I also know that your command of English is exceptional so you do not need to resort to the lazy “love/hate” thing that the English speakers here do. 🙂

      I can see that your anecdote shows a certain “vanity” in Bono… I can only suggest that if there are no sunglasses there is no “Bono”, only Paul Hewson…

  25. Oh no, I had no idea his voice was that good, really! I like it!!!!

    Bono is better with Pavarotti and Sinatra than with U2.

    I know this is going to bug the heck out of you, FEd, but LOL, I think his voice is so smooth and I didn’t realize it. The sunglasses are even more sexy. I see a lot of comments they were disgusted by it at YouTube, but some loved it. I am one of them!!! 😮

    Patricia

  26. I loved U2 in their hayday in the 80s and not as much today. I’ve always enjoyed the Edge, I love delay effects. He’s quite unique in his own way.

    Bono has contributed his voice politically and has been generous with charity. He just irritates me somewhat with self righteousness and it could be seen in the squabble with Sir Paul on Live 8.

    My favourite song for David would have to be “One”. Love that one.

    1. How’s this for a great lyric (from ‘One’)?

      Have you come here for forgiveness?
      Have you come to raise the dead?
      Have you come here to play Jesus
      To the lepers in your head?

  27. Hi FEd

    I too am up to the “Achtung Baby” U-2 fan.

    I did not care for the Hallelujah cover at all. I did like it however by Bon Jovi… a very emotional performance.

    As far as Bono’s extra activities with charity, I do admire his work, and I think quite a number of people benefited from the time he put into his causes. And honestly, I can’t for the life of me come up with a U-2 song that I would like to hear David do a cover of.

    Have a great evening everyone… Jayne

  28. I don’t understand why so many people cut the U2 heyday off after the War album. The Joshua Tree is one of the all time best albums of ANY band, bar none. Though I wouldn’t say it’s better than DSOTM (I am a Floyd fan after all), I certainly have no qualms about saying it’s in the same league.

  29. I never listened to Bono’s cover of “Hallelujah”, so I’ve done it right now.

    He certainly tried to make a personal version of the song, but I can’t say I like it. Maybe, I should listen to it more than once.

    Sorry if I’m going off topic, but Bono’s charity to Chernobyl children made me think it’s the 5th anniversary of Beslan massacre.

    It’s a shame that all those parents and families still can’t know what exactly happened in the school. It seems 334 killed people, including 186 children, are not enough to say the truth.

    1. Yet another government cover-up, it seems.

      The people responsible – if not for the deaths, then for bringing more than one (?) person to justice – have instead been promoted and decorated. It’s enough to make you sick.

  30. I forgot to tell you something about U2’s concerts.

    I don’t know if it’s been the same everywhere, but in Italy it seems it was nearly impossible to buy a ticket for their 2009 tour.

    A friend of mine was very interested in going to their concert in Rome, but she couldn’t find a way to have a ticket. U2 tickets presale was here entrusted to a society called TicketOne (I’d have much to say about them…), so she went many times to the box office, but they always told her the tickets was already ended. They told her to try online, but it was the same.

    If what we heard is true, it seems joining U2’s Fans Club was the only way to find the tickets, since a special presale was opened, before the normal one, for the Fans Club’s members only.

    As I told, I don’t know if this information is correct, but we heard and read it so many times, that we suspect it could even be true.

    What is sure is that, If I were a fan of the band and I discovered something like that, I’d surely boycott all their concerts forever. :/

    I’d be very curious to know if anyone here knows something about it.

    1. The tickets I’m talking about are the medium price ones, not the very (too much, really) expensive ones, which have always been available. Just a case?

  31. My personal opinion is that U2’s best years are far behind them. They were great up to and around the Joshua Tree, but after that. Hmmmm.

    Something has happened to Bono’s voice recently that I find intensely irritating. I can’t quite put my finger on it. It’s like he has lost all the power in it, so now he sings in this croaky false way to give the impression he still has it. Weird! :))

  32. Dear FEd,

    Wow! Some very opinionated views on this one. Believe it or not, I have no views as I have never really listened to the group. Can you believe that? 8|

    Now I feel I have some how let myself miss some musical opportunity yet the views are so 50/50.

    Regarding Live Aid, and obviously it sounds as though this group participated, I think any talent (especially well known), that gives of their time and effort toward a worthy cause is worthy to note. My hats off to all celebrities that see this as part of their gift from God if you will.

    Wow, short and sweet for once, betcha like that for a change huh?

    Love to the World.

  33. I’ve been a fan of U2 for 25 years (about 8 years less than I’ve been a fan of Pink Floyd). Very occasionally there are similarities between the music of the two bands, inc. on the new U2 album. ‘No Line on the Horizon’ has some very good tracks on it, but there are also a few that I just don’t like at all. However, I could say the same about many of the Pink Floyd and David Gilmour albums.

    I’m going to one of the U2 concerts in Toronto in a couple of weeks time and I’m looking forward to it immensely, particularly as I haven’t seen them live for twelve years. I know it’s been said many times, but they do always put one a great live show and the atmosphere at their concerts can be quite something.

  34. Hi,

    I always agree with Alessandra. I don’t like them too much, and I prefer their first works rather than the ones of the last ten years.

    When I read on “Rolling Stone” that The Edge is ranked in the the top 25 guitarists and David is 82nd I was about to fall from my chair!

    If I had to choose between U2 and Queen, I would say Queen, definitely.

    I have some very fond memories with “Staring at the Sun”, so that I’d like David to play that song if I had to choose one.

    Have a nice day everybody!

    1. When I read on “Rolling Stone” that The Edge is ranked in the the top 25 guitarists and David is 82nd I was about to fall from my chair

      Blasphemy. That’s just wrong.

    2. When I read on “Rolling Stone” that The Edge is ranked in the the top 25 guitarists and David is 82nd I was about to fall from my chair!

      The same for me. 😉

  35. I have to say U2 are one of the greatest rock bands. Yes, they have written some crap, but U2 with Mary J Blige singing ONE, absolute magical and very powerful.

    As for Bono, I do not think he cares if people think he’s up his own backside, he has done more charitable work than most. He could sit on his arse and enjoy his rock star lifestyle like most, but he’s always up there. And I personally applaud anyone like him, who will use their celebrity status to do some good in this crazy selfish world we live in.

    Damian.

  36. Mr. Gilmour, I don’t know if you are reading this, but I consider you the greatest guitarist in the world…

    Thanks for all your work.

    Long live David Gilmour.

    Say hello to Brazil. We are waiting for you here.

  37. I do like U2, however I do feel as though they are saturating the radio waves sometimes.

    In terms of David covering one of their songs, I can definitely imagine that and do think he’d keep it original. He’s a great musician!!

    He’s playing in an upcoming episode of “Later… With Jools Holland” which first airs this Monday Sept. 7 on Ovation TV – and will of course will be way cool to hear.

  38. I’m not a U2 fan, but I have most of their CDs, which always have at least one or two songs I have to have, so I’m kind of a semi-fan.

    I believe David could absolutely destroy “Wire.”

    Like the rest of you, I also noticed the dramatic drop off after Joshua Tree. I suspected they were going off the rails when I heard the new tracks on Rattle and Hum – blues songs? Most/many new bands will say something like “we want to be original/individual,” but later say things like “we wanted to get back to our roots, back to where it started, simplify,” etc. etc. That is a sure sign of running out of gas, whether or not they know it. U2, of all bands, teaming up with BB King (nothing against him certainly; I just don’t see the wisdom of the pairing) to play some Delta blues… come on, do your own stuff (I don’t even want to go into the Johnny Cash mess). And sure enough, all songs after RAH are simple pop songs with ordinary pop lyrics, with no trace of the meaning that had come before. Sure I enjoyed the likes of Zooropa and The Fly, but even a non-diehard fan like me had to mourn the loss.

    Gradual change is one thing, but why is it that some bands seem to suddenly lose their abilities? Exhibit A is Metallica’s ‘black’ album – suddenly they have to dumb down their time signatures and keep the tracks short? Huh?

    1. What’s with their notion they are the “best band in the world”? Isn’t that up to people to decide?

      The sound of this blog is they are NOT nor ever will be the best band in the world. No matter how many concerts they do or how many records they put out.

      It’s the same sound over and over. (Why I don’t like them.)

      Patricia 8|

  39. This has nothing to do with the topic at hand. I was just listening to Pandora and they played Wish You Were Here.

    That song just knocks me out every time I hear it. It never gets worn or faded; it just keeps shining.

  40. I am not a big fan of U2 and was really disappointed when I heard Bono singing Hallelujah, for no one can sing that song like Leonard Cohen. Plus its a real downer when you see a band doing a commercial of any kind on TV and now U2 is doing it for a new cell phone commercial. It makes me think of a Neil Young song called This Note’s For You!

    Thomas

  41. Well, I cast my vote as a fan (how I dislike that word, though) of U2. I love many of their earlier songs, as well as those from The Joshua Tree. As with The Doors/JM, I often find U2 somewhat off-putting… don’t know why. I abstained from The Doors’ vote~felt I needed a third option!

    I saw U2 in Seattle on their PopMart tour purely by accident~a friend had an extra ticket for free and even then I was reluctant to go, but was pleasantly surprised by the performance!

    As to Bono, I have no problems with him using his celebrity as a means to call attention to humanitarian issues. Yeah, I sometimes cringe at the sight of him (especially in that advert on TV for some communications network or whatever) but if he’s able to bring some attention to a situation that might otherwise not get that attention, why the fuck not?

    A few years ago I saw a documentary on HBO called Chernobyl Heart and noticed Ali Hewson (Missus Bono) listed in the credits. If you haven’t seen it, DO find and watch it. I didn’t know about The Chernobyl Children’s Project International but while perusing the link I found the connection and read up-to-date info on many of the kids who were so terribly effected by Chernobyl. 🙁

    Leonard Cohen fans, did you care for Bono’s take on ‘Hallelujah’…?

    Hmmm, not too much, but to each their own. On the other hand, I DO think even LC would agree that Jeff Buckley was an angel put on earth to sing it!

    Peace ‘n’ love 2U. 🙂

  42. David Gilmour, YOU are responsible for some of the most timeless wonders this universe has had the pleasure of hearing. You’ve told of endless emotions and feelings without speaking a word. There’s nothing I wouldn’t give to see you live. Please come to the states!

    And keep on preaching, brother!

    1. Dear Andres,

      I’m with you.

      David Gilmour can pull it off without saying a word at all. Just his smile and expression while performing says it all.

      Wish I could see him perform live in the states also. My son always tells me when he is a rich doctor he is going to send me to see David and Astoria. Fear the clock will tick faster than that. Oh well, one can always dream, huh?

      Have a good day.

      Love to the World.

  43. I like a lot U2. They are very great!

    I know that “The Edge” created his guitar sound (echo-delay) inspired by some songs in the album Animals of Pink Floyd (I read this in the book “U2byU2”). They are very great until 2000, where ATYCLB and HTDAAB are not very special (in particular the last HTDAAB is their worst album).

    But No Line On the Horizon is very great album. I think they have found the inspiration again.

    In my opinion Achtung Baby is their greatest album (the others are The Joshua Tree, Unforgettable Fire, and War). I like the messages, the music, the courage, the mood of this great album.

    A great U2 cover could be: “Tomorrow”, “One”, “Moment of Surrender”, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, “All I Wanted Is You”… 8)

  44. Dear Andres,

    I’m with you.

    Judy knows what’s up. AND SO DOES DAVID GILMOUR!

    Peace and love.

  45. One of my long standing dreams was to attend a U2 concert live. I know all the words of their songs by heart. Well, they are performing this year. Next weekend I’m going to visit my sister and we will attend, so I’ll be analyzing as well as enjoying the concert.

  46. I understand that these days there is a lot of animosity towards U2 and Bono in particular. However I feel as though U2 is one of the greatest bands to ever exist. In this day and age there is a shortage of entertaining extravaganzas and U2 is filling that void remarkably well.

    As for Bono’s other efforts. Many say that he is only promoting himself by his work and yet I doubt. It would seem that all Bono does comes from a genuine desire to help and people can’t help if they are unaware. Bono’s celebrity brings attention to unpleasant problems where attention is most needed. I would further argue that there are few celebrities who have done more to try and help. Bono meeting with heads of states for example to try and raise awareness is astonishing within itself. It hasn’t always helped but at least he’s trying, how many of us can say the same?

    Now onto the covers list:

    Beautiful Day
    Elevation
    New Year’s Day
    With or Without You
    I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
    Sunday Bloody Sunday
    Bad
    Where the Streets Have No Name
    The Unforgettable Fire
    Electrical Storm
    One
    Gone
    Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
    Love and Peace or Else
    Magnificent
    Unknown Caller

    …and I’m sure there are many others that could be done well and come to think of it I always though Floyd’s “Take It Back” always sounded U2-esque, no?

  47. I became a U2 fan quite late. I always liked many of the songs I heard on the radio but never bought any of their albums until about six years ago.

    I’ve had a great time listening to and learning their work. It’s been very interesting actually to get into stuff that is quite old rather than grow with it. 🙂

    I saw them on the ‘How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb’ tour. I loved the album and the show. (I was extremely annoyed at the drunks behind me that sang loudly, out of tune and to add insult to injury, one was sick down my companion’s back!) I very much regret not seeing them before and also missed their most recent tour.

    I saw The Edge on some documentary and he said he was a fan of David Gilmour. Wish I could remember what programme it was.

    As for Bono. Power to his elbow. Of course he has to come across as a rock and roll star and look the part, that’s his job. He’s done some great charitable work and ANYTHING that raises public awareness of a worthy cause must be applauded.

    Song for David to cover, Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.

    ash (still catching up)

  48. No question The Edge and David have some strong similarities, the main one being their love of the delay effect. They are both truly gifted and great musicians who write beautiful and inspiring music with feeling and purpose to their notes. They’re my two favorite guitarists, I’d have to say, and I’m working towards trying to become like both of them.

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