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Old 10-25-2007, 07:31 AM   #1
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Larry's drumming!

...I'm just curious: who also thinks that Larry's becoming more and more of a standard drummer? Especially regarding the last 2 albums. (see also the thread by someone else: Larrys decline on the fly!)
Don't know if it is caused by his back/wrists problems but one has to agree I think that his drumming is just very flat and basic the last 8 years! It looks like he just drumming his 2 favourite patterns: or "the I'm-just-accompanying-the-song style" or "Coldplay-style" (shit, this also hurts seeing me typing this!) By Coldplay-style I mean:
Larry hits his more and more occurring break beats with overuse of the cymbals to it: (Last Night On Earth, Gone, Beautiful Day, Elevation, Walk On (live)) . (Yes indeed: Coldplay-style: Clocks, Speed Of Sound, Yellow, etc...)

Man, do I miss Larry's drumming during October, War, Rattle & Hum and Achtung Baby!... this guy creating thunder and earthquakes on his drumkit!!
I miss the fact how Larry can put his mark on a song and carry the song, lift it up, boost it, take it to another level and make the song really work and give it character!

Examples in sense of agressiveness and speed:
Almost every song on October, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Like A Song (wow!), Sort Of Homecoming (what an intro by Larry!), Pride, Wire, Boomerang, Streets, God's Country (not 1 cymbal touched!), Race Against Time, Until The End Of The World, Mofo

Examples in sense of big rumble & thunder:
Bullet, Exit, Desire, Hawkmoon, Zoo Station (need I say more?), The Fly, Acrobat(!)

Examples in just beautiful, original patterns with passion:
Drowning Man, With Or Without You, One Tree Hill (what a beautiful pattern!), Luminous Times, Walk To The Water, Deep In The Heart, One, Love Is Blindness, Miami, Please (WOW!!)

Larry's a helluvuh drummer but he tends to take the easy way out or a "this will do" approach to the (live) songs lately....
He has proven he can do a lot better over the years!

Do you know what I mean?
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Old 10-25-2007, 07:38 AM   #2
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I'm a drummer myself and I think you're right. He still has it, but he should show it more often. I really like his drumming during October, War, UF, JT, R&H and Lovetown.
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Old 10-25-2007, 08:10 AM   #3
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Is it only me? I can still hear the intense drumming from Larry in the last leg of Vertigo Tour. Shows from Saitama Japan and Australia were amazing, especially WTSHNN.
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Old 10-25-2007, 09:48 AM   #4
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the drumming from Vertigo is rough and fast, the Saints are Coming, Windows in the Sky has a fantastic drumbeat
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Old 10-25-2007, 09:52 AM   #5
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Pop has his best drumming IMHO.

There was very little of the "Classic Larry" drumming on that album. LNOE is really the only song on there that he falls back on, but he completely destroys the kit playing it live.
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Old 10-25-2007, 09:53 AM   #6
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just listen to walk on from vertigo sydney, he actually lays back a hell of a lot more, let me explain

opening, he barely touches the snare
when the guitar kicks in he is straight onto the symbals BUT if you listen there is no special beats, all basic!
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Old 10-25-2007, 10:31 AM   #7
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For me, there are very few moments since 2000 of "whoa check out that drumming". Pop was the last time I feel Larry really explored his ability. But I think this goes for the band as a whole, and I think its part of "4 guys playing in a room" syndrome. Theyre not exploring new sounds and pushing themselves like they did previously. I still enjoy the last 2 albums (moreso ATYCLB), but I hope they push themselves more on the next release. ALso with Bono traveling the planet so much these days, they dont seem to have much studio time together. When they do get that time together, they may just focus on getting songs in the can in somewhat limited time, rather than having time to explore new sounds and techniques together. This might lead to the members sacrificing individual creativity in favor of playing as a cohesive unit in order to get songs completed as a band in the time available. Personally I think Bono's lyrics show the negative effect of this moreso than any other aspect of the band. While I feel Edge is carrying the band in terms of creativity. But this is just personal opinion.

Larry may also be purposely laying back on the drums on new songs because I think he's been in some pain in recent years? I saw some photos where he had bandages all over his arms, and he once said "I couldnt do this for any other band". Maybe he doesnt want to furiously pound his way thru 2 hours of material every night on tour. The relaxed drumming might give him a needed breather. But what do i know really
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Old 10-25-2007, 10:55 AM   #8
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From the past 2 albums:

Grace
Sometimes...
LPOE
COBL
Yaweh
OOTS
MD

have some really beautiful, signature, Larry drumming. But he needs a thunder song on the next album.
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Old 10-25-2007, 11:55 AM   #9
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I have always liked the drummer on City of Blinding Lights, that to me is a signature of that song, especially the Chicago 2005 version.
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Old 10-25-2007, 04:06 PM   #10
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COBL has some of Larry's best drumming EVER, absolutely incredible, if you listen to COBL and concentrate on the drumming, it has such a nice rising sound, and then explodes...personally the drumming does something to me as i'm listening to the song, it forces me to focus on the song, it is attention grabbing...hard to explain, i guess you could say it keeps lifting me up and up and then explodes

anyway, i've been playing drums for about 6 years now and I honestly don't see anything wrong with his drumming...some drummers tend to create an uncomfortable feeling in songs, and I've never heard a pattern from larry that gives me that feeling...he seems to choose the perfect pattern for every song..an example of this is in Stay...a simple, but very effective pattern that, in my mind, couldn't be replaced for the better...

that is just one example...but i really don't sense anything wrong with Larry, past or present...

once again, i think this just comes down to personal preference...
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Old 10-25-2007, 06:35 PM   #11
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Larry has entered the "pimp" phase of his career. therefore his drumming is laid back and relaxed.........................puff puff, pass pass.
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Old 10-26-2007, 02:34 AM   #12
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Well, COBL and LAPOE are pretty unique Larry Mullen pieces, if you ask me... And I think it's more that he's just playing differently now.

He can still play furious early U2-style, y'know... Just watch him during this.

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Old 10-26-2007, 04:09 AM   #13
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Ageing, anyone ?
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Old 10-26-2007, 04:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2girl
Ageing, anyone ?
no, that has absolutely nothing to do with it..believe me...drummers improve with age...the only thing affected by aging is pain in arms or whatever, but that by no means ties into the simplicity or complexity of a particular song when he sits down in the studio and begins playing...larry doesn't sit back and go "hmm i'm aching, i think i'll take a simplistic approach to this song that won't sound as good but it'll do"..no, that is senseless...he's fine, yeah if you take a look at the above link it really does showcase his talent...he plays that song perfectly and it doesn't even look like he is trying that hard...and that song is a very technically challenging song to play, actually it's challening in all aspects haha
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Old 10-26-2007, 05:50 AM   #15
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WOWY (Rattle and hum dvd) Larry is amazing

now its just horrible.
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Old 10-26-2007, 07:21 AM   #16
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Yeah, he's lost it.... big differences between 80's and now.... he hits lighter and just play the basics of each songs but does no extra like he used to.
However, I was quite surprised how well he played Saints on the last leg of the Vertigo.... good hopes for the futur....
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Old 10-26-2007, 10:38 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rob33


no, that has absolutely nothing to do with it..believe me...drummers improve with age...the only thing affected by aging is pain in arms or whatever, but that by no means ties into the simplicity or complexity of a particular song when he sits down in the studio and begins playing...larry doesn't sit back and go "hmm i'm aching, i think i'll take a simplistic approach to this song that won't sound as good but it'll do"..no, that is senseless...he's fine, yeah if you take a look at the above link it really does showcase his talent...he plays that song perfectly and it doesn't even look like he is trying that hard...and that song is a very technically challenging song to play, actually it's challening in all aspects haha
Ok, so you're saying his pain while touring has no influence over his style. I'm going to need a little more than "no, that is senseless" as your reasoning . Because its not senseless, Larry's not dumb, and Im sure hes thinking about the tour ahead of time while theyre in the studio. And of course he still plays the old stuff like Electric Co live the way its always been played, he can do that thru a little pain or discomfort, and some nights he probably has no pain at all (I hope). I'm not saying Im right and youre wrong. But I'd like to hear other theories why his drumming is so laid back and lame (imho) on newer tracks both studio and live since 2000.
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Old 10-26-2007, 04:57 PM   #18
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alright, well first of all..larry's drumming in WOWY has been changing since the 80's to present day...and besides...he is always making stuff up on the spot, many drummers do that, it comes natural after playing so much....this is exactly why you see these different versions of WOWY and other songs, because he experiments, many many drummers do this...it's also probably more exciting for him to play rather than playing the same old pattern everytime...
keep in mind, this happens especially with older songs like WOWY, think about how many times they have played that!

onto what you call "laid back" drumming...it isn't! his drumming changes, as do the albums...as stupid as this may sound... I feel like I'm in a war when i listen to that album...mainly because of the drumming...haha...now on JT, it is an entirely different story...in WOWY, larry infuses the song with an ineffable emotion much different from War...this is just one example of how his drumming evolves with each new album...

anyone who calls his drumming lame since 2000 probably just doesn't like that style on that particular album (Larry is genius in Walk On, absolutely incredible)...
again, I'm simply saying that it comes down to personal preference, but to generalize it as "lame" seems a bit off...

but i think we are discussing his drumming (at least I am) from an objective standpoint, which is why i cannot say Larry's drumming has actually declined, but rather, evolved, as it has been doing for the past 30 years!

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Old 10-28-2007, 11:00 AM   #19
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Well considering his wrist problems, I don't think he will magically get better as time goes on.

He may be drumming on Electric co (sorry but I was looking at Edge going on the ellipse more in that clip) but look at Gloria on the last tour. Quite slower than the 80's versions. Don't you think age can - and has - slowed him down ? It's not just him, look at Bono's voice.
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Old 10-28-2007, 06:29 PM   #20
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Anyone doubting Larry's ability should check out his drumming on "Won't Get Fooled Again" at Irving Plaza in 2000. This performance was as good if not better than anything on the Rattle and Hum DVD...
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