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Old 10-01-2004, 08:58 AM   #1
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HTDAAB: Song by Song Summary!

I figured as a service to all the Interferencers, I will try to make a song by song summary, compiling NME, Q, the band members on Q, U2 interference interview, Edge's interference posts, and other tidbits where band members mention the songs in particular. All of this makes me more excited for the new album. So here goes:


NME: The first single, and as you'd expect, it's a corker. 'Vertigo' features a riff from The Edge as big as 'Beautiful Day', perfectly complementing Bono's cries of "Feeeel!" throughout the chorus. "Hello, hello, we're in a place called vertigo", he sings. It's an anthem, probable Number One single and an electrifying opening to the album.

Q: U2 as garage band. Over power chords, Bono sings about boys who play rock and roll.

Adam Clayton: "It was originally called Native Son and had a very different feel. Bono and Edge rewrote it when we started work with Steve Lillywhite. The bass and drums have a little bit of Echo & the Bunnymen in there - a nice wink to where we came from."

Bono on "Native Son": We've got a song up on the burner called 'Native Son.' The best way I think we can celebrate is to just finish out what we're doing: Make this song a scorching 45. The molecules in the air are vibrating quite nicely as a result of that phone call.

U2 Interference Interview: There are also the fun songs and I think "Vertigo" falls into that category, just the pure recording of it. Steve Lillywhite produced that one front to finish. That’s a song that just smells like U2, once you hear the first 10 seconds you are hooked. It's kind of like "Pride" or "Elevation."


NME: After the punky 'Vertigo', 'Miracle Drug' is much slower but still heavy. "Want to trip inside your head/Spend the day there", Bono croons. It's a love song with tribal drums and a massive guitar-led chorus. Could be a single.

Q: The sort of wide-eyed anthem that should by now carry a U2 patent.

Bono: "It started off being about the Irish writer Christopher Nolan, who was at our school (Nolan, who was born with cerebral palsy, won the 1988 Whitbread Prize for his autobiographical novel 'Under The Eyes of the Clock'). But in a more oblique way it's probably as much about Aids and the drugs developed to arrest it. I couldn't write specifically about that without feeling an idiot."


NME: After two all-out rock numbers, 'Sometimes....' is the first ballad. Backed by simple chiming guitar and drums reminiscent of 'Where The Streets Have No Name', Bono sings "You don't have to put up a fight/You don't always have to be right....let me take some of the punches for you tonight". The feel is a lot like REM's 'Everybody Hurts'.

Q: Bono on his father's death. As stately and emotive as One.

Bono: "There's a line, 'You're the reason I have the operas in me.' My old man was a beautiful tenor. He was this working-class guy who loved opera. He used to sit conducting the stereo with knitting needles."


NME: An industrial growl and host of Nine Inch Nails-style noises hide Bono's whispering intro, before the song evolves into a clapalong, glammy chorus "Give me love and peace", Bono sings. It's the first hint of his political side, with references in to "troops on the ground". A thumping bassline makes it all sound a bit like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

Q: As close as U2 have come to being Led Zeppelin

The Edge: "I'm delighted about this one. It's been around since the last record. All we had was an amazing keyboard part of Brian (Eno)'s and a rhythm section Larry and Daniel (Lanois) had worked up. I fought for hours trying to figure out what to do with this fantastic raw track. We cracked it this time."

The Edge posting on Interference: Love and Peace and City of Blinding Lights are great songs. Tremendous bass!

More Edge on Interferece: Thats a heavy mother! I really enjoy that one. U2 has never created a piece quite like this....ever


NME: The second Big Stadium moment. Pretty piano opens the song, which sounds like an updated 'With or Without You', Bono's in reflective mood, singing, "The more you see, the less you know".

Q: Back to the wide-open terrain of The Unforgettable Fire, via a vintage Edge motif.

Bono: "It's a New York song. About going there for the first time. We were the first band to play Madison Square Gardens after 9/11. During Where the Streets Have No Name the house lights came up and there were 20,000 people in tears. It was beautiful."

The Edge posting on Interference: Love and Peace and City of Blinding Lights are great songs. Tremendous bass!


NME: 'Achtung Baby'-era guitars back one of Bono's most confessional songs ever. "I'm not broke but you can see the cracks", he sings. The lyrics suggest that he may walk the corridors of the UN, meet with Presidents and be able to call the Pope on his mobile, but sometimes he'd just like to be simple old Paul Hewson.

Q: Three minutes of gleeful stomping and a likely single. Sample lyric: "I like the sound of my own voice."

Adam Clayton: "Often when we have something which is straight rock it never goes anywhere - we just keep churning it around. But this was one or two takes."


NME: If the first half of the record is direct, simple rock, from here on in it gets more chilled. 'A Man and a Woman' is the last of the straight-ahead rock numbers dealing with similar themes of lost love.

Q: Motown by way of The Rolling Stones' 'Waiting on a Friend'

Bono: "The sound of sitting on a stoop in New York in the summer. I wanted a song that rolled up The Clash and Marvin Gaye into one."


NME: Compared to 'Vertigo' and 'All Because of You', 'Crumbs...' is one of the more understated songs on the album. Could probably have been a B-side.

Q: The Edge breaks out I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For's ringing guitar. Bono rails at the Aids crisis.

Bono: "I went to speak to Christian fundamentalist groups in America to convince them to give money to fight Aids in Africa. It was like getting blood from a stone. I told them about a hospice In Uganda where so many people were dying they had to sleep three to a bed. Sister Anne, who I mention in the song, works at that hospice. Her office is a sewer."


NME: An ambient-sounding track their old producer Brian Eno would have been proud of is the stand-out song on the second half of 'How to Dismantle...'. Bono's dejected, or in his words has "crossed the road from hope", but is resigned to his fate. "A heart that hurts is a heart that beats", he sings. It'll be the lighters-in-the-air moment on next year's stadium tour.

Q: Bono ponders the meaning of death over a hushed backdrop

Bono: "Noel Gallacher gave me that line. We were in Birmingham on the last UK tour. I was telling Noel that my old man had lost his faith and didn't know where he was going. And Noel just said (adopts passable Mancunian drawl), Well, he's one step closer to knowing, isn't he?"


NME: In keeping with the calmer mood of the second half of the album, 'Original...' has subtle, cinematic strings backing a pretty piano. It builds into an epic ballad which is classic U2.

Q: A strident torch song. Contains the lines, "Some things you shouldn't get too good at/Like smiling, crying and celebrity."

The Edge: "The last time I cried was listening to that song. It was a song Bono started on the last record about my daughter Holly. He's her godfather. The lyric became more universal. About being young and full of doubt about yourself. He probably won't agree, but I think it has connotations for Bono, looking back to when he was 20."


NME: The title is the transliteration of the Hebrew word for the name of God, so it's appropriate what the closing song is a plea for peace. "Take these hands, don't make a fist", Bono sings, "take this mouth, give it a kiss".

Q: Quintessentially U2 - from soaring chorus to a title that co-opts the Hebrew word for God.

Bono: "I had the idea that no one can own Jerusalem, but everybody wants to put flags on it. The title's an ancient name that's not meant to be spoken. I got around it by singing it. I hope I don't offend anyone."


NME: Unlikely to appear on the UK version of the album, this track is currently slated for inclusion on the Japanese pressing only. That's a tragedy for UK U2 fans as it's by far the most exciting song here. With a distinct Middle Eastern influence in the music, it's also where the line 'How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb' comes from. NME says: put this track on the UK album!

Q: Bizarrely, U2 come on like the house band in a Morrocan bazaar.

Bono: "We did this on the very last day in the studio. It was really just for fun, but it came out so well it'll be an extra track on the record in some countries."



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Old 10-01-2004, 09:00 AM   #2
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"If you needed my autograph, I'd give it to you." Bob Dylan
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Old 10-01-2004, 09:06 AM   #3
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Thanks very much J!
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Old 10-01-2004, 09:15 AM   #4
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Very, very good. Thanks for that. There were some stuff there that I didn't know. I'm even more pumped up!!!!!
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Old 10-01-2004, 09:20 AM   #5
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Great post, jick. Had a great time reading it.
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Old 10-01-2004, 09:29 AM   #6
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Well gosh, Jick, thanks!
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Old 10-01-2004, 09:29 AM   #7
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is a re-branding of Jick afoot?
im the candyman. and the candyman is back.
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Old 10-01-2004, 09:30 AM   #8
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This is nice to have, thanks for putting this together!
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Old 10-01-2004, 09:37 AM   #9
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Originally posted by kobayashi
is a re-branding of Jick afoot?

I think we are seeing Jick's "Achtung Baby" era, a great re-invention!
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Old 10-01-2004, 09:45 AM   #10
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Thank you.
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Old 10-01-2004, 10:04 AM   #11
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can someone please entertain me for a second: What is the reason for giving certain countries an extra track?
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Old 10-01-2004, 10:16 AM   #12
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wow, Jick, thanks a lot :-)!!
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Old 10-01-2004, 12:22 PM   #13
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is anybody else as excited about Love and Peace or else as i am????
but seriously, this song sounds so awsome. Yaweh and this are the two i am most lookng forward to.

...oh yeah, along with MD, ABOY, COBL, OOTS, OSC and all the rest.
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Old 10-01-2004, 12:32 PM   #14
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Redemption? unnecessary, but a cool gesture nevertheless.......thanks I'm actually printing this

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Old 10-01-2004, 12:53 PM   #15
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hmmm....mods, perhaps we need a merger?

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