Houston Calling

Remember when you were young…

January 29th, 2005 · No Comments

Did you see this entry about the top 11 worst songs of 2004? It’s a humorous stab at U2’s latest album. Check it out sometime.

“There’s been a lot of talk about this next song. Maybe, maybe too much talk. This song if not a rebel song. This song is ‘Sunday Blood Sunday.'” — Bono, U2 Live Under A Blood Red Sky

I am a bit up in the air about U2’s latest release, How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. On one hand, I think it’s better than anything they released in the Nineties, but on the other it’s not as good as their last album.

By far, however, my favorite U2 release is the live Under A Blood Red Sky EP. Thinking back, it might be the first thing I heard by U2 (it was released in 1983, I believe) so that might explain my affinity for it. I haven’t listened to it in a while and recently spent my commute one day reaquainting myself with the U2 of old. Back when, okay, yes Bono was still pretentious — but it seemed more innocent or honest then. The band was relatively new to the U.S. and was still struggling to gain a solid fanbase.

This release documents parts of solid performances at Red Rocks in Colorado and in the band’s native Ireland. Songs like “Party Girl” and “The Electric Co.” stand out, but classics like “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” “New Year’s Day,” “I Will Follow,” and the amazing opener “Gloria” really make the album what it is. Any music fan (whether or not they like U2) should appreciate hearing a band catching its stride in the early days. Especially when you take into account the spectacle that the band has become over the years.

I am sure I’ll get a lot of hate mail from U2 fans who think that anything before 1990 is a waste of their time — I have friends who feel this way. I happen to be one of those U2 fans that just couldn’t really get past their mainstream success. I hate being one of those people — happened a bit with R.E.M. as well, although I always thought Michael Stipe was too pretentious. It just took his success for the world to find out just how pretentious. Bono and clan are now superstars worldwide, with the money and attention that position garners.

I guess the world needs rock stars, but it is often sad to see (and hear) what that fame costs them.

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Tags: Music