These [Songs] are Better than That: U2's Musical Choices

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The Exile

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These [Songs] are Better than That: U2's Musical Choices
« on: October 30, 2017, 03:02:26 PM »
I mentioned elsewhere that there seems to be a massive disconnect between U2's strong output on the one hand, and what the band considers their strong output on the other. Someone suggested this topic deserves its own thread, so here we are.

A few examples....

- U2 thought GOYB was so good that it deserved to be the lead single for, and therefore the first glimpse into, the album following the longest gap in the band's entire history (2004 - 2009). And Boots is easily one of the worst U2 songs ever released, with a chorus that is so bad it's virtually un-singalong-able (which is why literally every remix omitted it altogether).

- U2 also thought that Crazy Tonight was a really good song, good enough to be another single from the same album that gave us Boots. All the while, songs like MOS were passed by.

- Apparently the band thought it was a good idea not only to write a song called The Miracle (of Joey Ramone), but also to release it as the lead single from SOI (an album with the most awkward cover imaginable, their 4th in a row with a black and white pic [in fact, 9 of their 13 albums have black and white photos for their covers, and we're about to get a 10th]). And despite SOI having a relatively cheesy rawk song as a lead single, it contains amazing tracks like SLABT, TT, and Crystal Ballroom (which was inexplicably left off the official release).

- This brings us to YTBT. I can't help but wonder who is advising the band to work with producers who are more known for making music that appeals to people born during the Vertigo Tour than for making music anyone takes seriously. While The Blackout is a pretty good rock song, for some reason U2 chose as their lead single a song that, while okay as a pop song considered in the abstract, will never elevate U2 into the pop stratosphere alongside Katy Perry and Taylor Swift (the fact that they aspire to this is pathetic enough in and of itself).

I could go on. My point is that self-diagnosis is not U2's strong suit, and they consistently make the poorest choices possible when deciding how to represent themselves, whether on albums or in live sets.

Anyone care to add to this list?
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 03:04:22 PM by The Exile »
Listen as Hope and Peace try to rhyme,
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guest87

Re: These [Songs] are Better than That: U2's Musical Choices
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2017, 03:17:16 PM »
With YTBT maybe the decision to have it as the lead single was influenced by the modern trend of not having a musical intro to a pop song.

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The Exile

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Re: These [Songs] are Better than That: U2's Musical Choices
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2017, 03:19:51 PM »
With YTBT maybe the decision to have it as the lead single was influenced by the modern trend of not having a musical intro to a pop song.


Maybe, but that seems like a pretty slim and obscure criterion. Will the targeted 12 year-olds notice?
Listen as Hope and Peace try to rhyme,
Listen over marching bands playing out their time.

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Pride

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Re: These [Songs] are Better than That: U2's Musical Choices
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2017, 03:21:48 PM »
Honestly I though The Miracle was better than most songs off of SOI, at least better than SLABT and TCB.

I do agree though that GOYB and Crazy were mistakes, Magnificent would have been an good lead single IMO. TBT isn't great either.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 03:23:19 PM by Pride »
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guest87

Re: These [Songs] are Better than That: U2's Musical Choices
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2017, 03:30:06 PM »
With YTBT maybe the decision to have it as the lead single was influenced by the modern trend of not having a musical intro to a pop song.


Maybe, but that seems like a pretty slim and obscure criterion. Will the targeted 12 year-olds notice?

I think they'll notice that they're ugly and "old enough to be me granddad."

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Delta Sun

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Re: These [Songs] are Better than That: U2's Musical Choices
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2017, 03:57:46 PM »
Exile
I agree with your point and it ties in with related decisions about the general direction of the band and what they seem to want to achieve at this stage of their careers ... their ideas about what relevance means for them for example. Was it Bono who said the good is the enemy of the great? They seem to find it difficult to know the difference. They certainly have greatness left. It must be hard for a band who has achieved so much to remain clear about their goals and still be ruthless and single minded enough to pursue them with the same conviction they once did.

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Miracledrug

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Re: These [Songs] are Better than That: U2's Musical Choices
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2017, 04:18:34 PM »
honestly the band should check this forum once in a while to see what their actual fans like about their music so they can make new singles that wont disappoint the people who (should) matter most to them

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Pride

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Re: These [Songs] are Better than That: U2's Musical Choices
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2017, 04:36:11 PM »
But what if they take the Elevation jokes seriously?!
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The Exile

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Re: These [Songs] are Better than That: U2's Musical Choices
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2017, 04:43:05 PM »
Was it Bono who said the good is the enemy of the great? They seem to find it difficult to know the difference. They certainly have greatness left. It must be hard for a band who has achieved so much to remain clear about their goals and still be ruthless and single minded enough to pursue them with the same conviction they once did.

I just think it should be way easier for U2 now than harder. Back then they needed to conquer radio, the arena and stadium, record sales. They have accomplished all of that and more.

Now is the time to enjoy their status as the elder statesmen of rock and, arguably, the greatest rock band of all time. Release EPs when you've got 5 songs in the can that you're really proud of (this eliminates the need for filler). Virtually every younger up-and-coming band does this (The Neighbourhood is a great example). Leave "relevancy" to the children whose tastes are inevitably for things with looming expiration dates and a limited shelf life.

Be transcendent again, is what I'm saying. Like when they released WOWY as the lead single from TJT and it just sucker-punched everyone who was listening to Livin' on a Prayer and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.

Now they are trying to ape the kinds of bands whose collective ass they kicked back then, and it is a bit unseemly and undignified.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 04:45:11 PM by The Exile »
Listen as Hope and Peace try to rhyme,
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The Exile

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Re: These [Songs] are Better than That: U2's Musical Choices
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2017, 04:46:30 PM »
honestly the band should check this forum once in a while to see what their actual fans like about their music so they can make new singles that wont disappoint the people who (should) matter most to them


I'm told my job application has been received....
Listen as Hope and Peace try to rhyme,
Listen over marching bands playing out their time.

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guest4

Re: These [Songs] are Better than That: U2's Musical Choices
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2017, 04:48:53 PM »
honestly the band should check this forum once in a while to see what their actual fans like about their music so they can make new singles that wont disappoint the people who (should) matter most to them


I'm told my job application has been received....
Can you please get them to play Hawkmoon during the SOE tour?

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Pride

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Re: These [Songs] are Better than That: U2's Musical Choices
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2017, 04:53:16 PM »
And also a bunch more stuff from 1980-1984.
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guest87

Re: These [Songs] are Better than That: U2's Musical Choices
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2017, 05:00:05 PM »
honestly the band should check this forum once in a while to see what their actual fans like about their music so they can make new singles that wont disappoint the people who (should) matter most to them


I'm told my job application has been received....

...and promptly moved to trash.


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an tha

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Re: These [Songs] are Better than That: U2's Musical Choices
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2017, 05:00:11 PM »
Was it Bono who said the good is the enemy of the great? They seem to find it difficult to know the difference. They certainly have greatness left. It must be hard for a band who has achieved so much to remain clear about their goals and still be ruthless and single minded enough to pursue them with the same conviction they once did.

I just think it should be way easier for U2 now than harder. Back then they needed to conquer radio, the arena and stadium, record sales. They have accomplished all of that and more.

Now is the time to enjoy their status as the elder statesmen of rock and, arguably, the greatest rock band of all time. Release EPs when you've got 5 songs in the can that you're really proud of (this eliminates the need for filler). Virtually every younger up-and-coming band does this (The Neighbourhood is a great example). Leave "relevancy" to the children whose tastes are inevitably for things with looming expiration dates and a limited shelf life.

Be transcendent again, is what I'm saying. Like when they released WOWY as the lead single from TJT and it just sucker-punched everyone who was listening to Livin' on a Prayer and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.

Now they are trying to ape the kinds of bands whose collective ass they kicked back then, and it is a bit unseemly and undignified.

Well put.

I've long held the view that the very things that brought u2 to the dance and helped make them big - namely their desire to connect with as big an audience as possible, their desire/ambition to reach out to everyman and be successful are ironically the very things that in recent years have led them to make decisions/music that has contributed to their 'downfall'.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 05:03:52 PM by an tha »

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an tha

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Re: These [Songs] are Better than That: U2's Musical Choices
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2017, 05:01:19 PM »
honestly the band should check this forum once in a while to see what their actual fans like about their music so they can make new singles that wont disappoint the people who (should) matter most to them


I'm told my job application has been received....

...and promptly moved to trash.

After he forced quit as well - poor lad!