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Old 02-12-2006, 01:51 PM   #1
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Better Studio Than Live, Musically

U2 is definatly a live band. They really come alive during their shows. I know nothing beats seeing U2 live and most of the songs are better live, however i've noticed some songs that are better studio. I know some of my pics will cause people to go , but i'm talking musically better, not just the power of seeing them live influencing the song.

Pride
The obvious one. Beautiful guitar parts in the studio version. The thing the live performances miss are:
1.) the original tone of the guitar, rather than the Streets-live tone
2.) the 2nd guitar part at the end of the song
3.) the Edge oooh o oh ohh at the end.

Until the End of the World
Musically, this song is much better studio. I counted at least 3 different guitar parts during the song, as opposed to just 1 live. Also, the lower key is much more fitting for the song. Although i do like the end live, the studio version is still superior.


In God's Country
Another pretty obvious one. The acoustic part is totally missing live and is replaced by Bono plucking out D and Am chords on an electric guitar turned way down. Also, the Edge's guitar at the very end of the song is missing live. In general the tone is much better studio.

With or Without You
If all the live versions were like the Rattle and Hum one, this song wouldn't be on this list. The major thing missing live are the mixing guitar parts at the end of the song. The R&H version is pretty damn close to the album version though.

God Part II
The main beef I have with the live version is the difference in the awesome Edge guitar riff. This is hard to explain, but i'll try anyway. Studio he strums the chord real fast while live he just strums it twice or so. Also, Bono's vocals are much better studio then live. The guitar tone is better than the live one also. Also, during the verses, there are accually 2 guitars, which adds to the tone. However, i wish they put the speedy solos that were on the live versions on the studio one. So this one was a tough decision.


These are just a few, im not gonna type anymore right now cause im too lazy. Feel free to add your own.
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Old 02-12-2006, 02:01 PM   #2
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Until the End of the World is about 1000000 times better live IMHO.
God Part II as well. I discovered the song when I had heard it live.
The production on In God's Country is bad, so I find live versions to be much better.
All the versions of WOWY from 1987-1993 are superior to the album version for me.

I do agree regarding Pride.
I would add Miracle Drug to the list.
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Old 02-12-2006, 02:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by djerdap
Until the End of the World is about 1000000 times better live IMHO.
How so?

The production on In God's Country is bad


Care to explain?
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Old 02-12-2006, 02:10 PM   #4
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Sorry, the only song I agree with there is Pride.

Zooropa is an example of a beautiful studio song that never took off live. I actually like Do You Feel Loved live, but again it doesn't have the punch of the studio version, which is probably why U2 dropped it.
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Old 02-12-2006, 02:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Sorry, the only song I agree with there is Pride.

Zooropa is an example of a beautiful studio song that never took off live. I actually like Do You Feel Loved live, but again it doesn't have the punch of the studio version, which is probably why U2 dropped it.
Totally agreed. You took the words from my mouth! DYFL is great live, I adore it. I agree too that Pride and the Zooropa album is what didn't work live.

Add: So cruel, IGWSHA, OOTS (I don't like it played live, sorry), SATS (the acoustic version lost something in its way comparing with the album), EBTTRT (I prefer the studio version too)
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Old 02-12-2006, 02:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by JMScoopy


How so?

The production on In God's Country is bad


Care to explain?
The studio version of Until the End of the World, although great, compared to the live versions, feels without energy and drowned out. The ending is subpar.
The production on In God's Country fails for me in the beginning - the sound is really muddled when the instruments kick in.
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Old 02-12-2006, 02:21 PM   #7
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if you disagree with any of the 5, please explain why they are better live. REMEBER, im talking just musically, not what Bono does during the song, bullfights, running around, etc, etc.
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Old 02-12-2006, 02:24 PM   #8
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I agree with most of the first ones mentioned, except IGC. It comes across more intense live, for me.

EBTTRT is much better in studio. The way those layered harmonies flow in and out of the song can't be duplicated live and they are too essential to the song to exclude.

BD is a little better in studio, I think. It comes across less anthemic and the 'see the world' and 'Daaaaayyyy' sections sound much better than live.

ISHFWILF is another one for the studio. It's much more panoramic in there than in a live setting.

ASOH is another one I prefer in studio. All the picture painting of the production is lost in the live setting. It becomes more straightforward sounding when played live.

IALW is far superior in studio. The studio instrumental arrangement just seems to create a rhythmic flow that the live version never matches.

There's plenty more, but I'll stop here for now.
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Old 02-12-2006, 02:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by djerdap


The studio version of Until the End of the World, although great, compared to the live versions, feels without energy and drowned out. The ending is subpar.
I agree without the ending, but talking just musically, you cant tell me the studio mix with like 3 guitars "swirling together" isnt better than just Edge with a Les Paul live. Pretend the live version isn't even live, it's just a different version recorded in a studio, since U2 is mostly better live, that takes away the advantage of the songs having more "energy" when played live.

Think about it, of course the song is gonna be better when you are seeing them live. If i had to choose from listening to the album version in my room, or seeing it performed live in my face, what do you think i'll pick? But when i listen to recordings of live UTEOTW and compare them to the studio version, there is no comparison. The layers of guitar that the live version lacks is what makes the studio better.
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Old 02-12-2006, 04:05 PM   #10
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I think Dirty Day is one of the best examples of Live > Studio... and I think that in terms of UTEOTW, its pretty even.. Live you have that energy, Studio you have the multiple guitar layers (i think its probably the best guitar song by U2... theres so much emotion in that song just by listening to the guitars.. bono isn't even singing, just talking and it still sounds great)
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Old 02-12-2006, 04:08 PM   #11
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New Year's Day. 90% of the live versions can't compare since there's both guitar and piano for much of the song while only either live. Especially the studio intro is much better.
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Old 02-12-2006, 04:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nisse
New Year's Day. 90% of the live versions can't compare since there's both guitar and piano for much of the song while only either live. Especially the studio intro is much better.
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Old 02-12-2006, 04:25 PM   #13
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based off of bootlegs I've heard, I think The Unforgettable Fire doesn't suit well live. The studio version is too incredible to remake live.

and also, like AtomicBono said, Zooropa is a beautiful studio song that never took off live.
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Old 02-12-2006, 04:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nisse
New Year's Day. 90% of the live versions can't compare since there's both guitar and piano for much of the song while only either live. Especially the studio intro is much better.
I thought the version on the Chicago DVD was incredible.. of course at least on my 5.1 set of logitech pc speakers .. adam sounds like he's really driving the song
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Old 02-12-2006, 04:44 PM   #15
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new year's day is my favourite U2 live song, the guitar is so much stronger live, it's amazing!
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Old 02-12-2006, 05:04 PM   #16
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I think the live version of Until the End of the World sounds just as good live as the studio version just b/c of the fact that Edge added the little phaser intro in the beginning of the song for the live version that the studio version doesn't have. Also the ending of the live version has that more raw/ power packed tone/ sound from the guitar compared to the studio version. However the layering of guitars with riffs and harmonics happening simultaneously sounds better than Edge playing the lone guitar parts.


"Do You Feel Loved" and "If God Would Send His Angels" sucked live b/c they sounded so barren live. Examples of the studio being better than the live versions IMO.
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Old 02-12-2006, 06:14 PM   #17
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-stay ! could never live up to the studio version, i hear guitars in the studio version that are absent during the live shows, and i have heard both acoustic and full band versions

-velvet dress

-one







on the other hand "please" absolutely blows the studio version away
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Old 02-12-2006, 06:52 PM   #18
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Zooropa/Lemon.

U2's two best songs. Slaughtered live.
Other ones that sound miles better on the original records

Most of the Joshua Tree - I am willing to make exceptions for one or two performances of 'Streets' [various] and 'With or Without You' [Rattle and Hum version is the only one as good as the album version in my humble opinion] and 'One Tree Hill' [the Point concerts and Rattle and Hum outtake], but the originals are still better. The rest of the tracks on the album are great live but can never live up to the originals in my opinion!
An Cat Dubh/Into the Heart nothing has ever come CLOSE to the original!
I Fall Down - They took out the middle section plus most live versions sound rather flat!
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Old 02-12-2006, 06:59 PM   #19
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definitely agree with pride. although for me, i think it's mainly because it's always played way too slow live. if it was played a bit faster, it might sound a bit better but i'm not sure it would ever sound better than the studio version.

the unforgettable fire is another good example, as is zooropa. both songs are missing something live that the studio tracks have.

and even better than the real thing blows live. i've never thought it was that good live, studio is definitely better. and i love that song
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Old 02-12-2006, 08:29 PM   #20
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Better live:

Bad
I Will Follow
Pride
Streets
Until the End of the World
Mysterious Ways
Miracle Drug
Original of the Species
Electic Co.

This is just some of what I think are better live than studio and I have seen all of these live.
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