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Old 11-15-2005, 06:59 PM   #1
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Check out my list of U2's influences

And please tell me if there is anyone you think I've missed.

http://rateyourmusic.com/list/zootvc...ern_rock_band_
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Old 11-15-2005, 07:06 PM   #2
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Good list. But you forgot Echo And The Bunnymen, one of the greatest post punk bands:

Quote:
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."
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Old 11-15-2005, 09:10 PM   #3
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Well I think a list like this can be somewhat decieving.

Artist are influenced by their surroundings advertenly and inadvertently.

Some of these bands have influenced their sound, some their lyric writing, some they just took from the attitude of the band.

But there is a thin line between liking the band and the band actually shaping your sound. Some of these may be a stretch...
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Old 11-15-2005, 09:39 PM   #4
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zootvc15, that is a very, very good list. I believe you pretty much covered it all!

I mean, I was reading through it and I came across influences that I would not have even guessed but you look at it, and it's like - oh yeah!
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Old 11-15-2005, 10:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
Some of these may be a stretch...
Such as?
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Old 11-15-2005, 10:17 PM   #6
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One factual error: U2 never covered Paint It Black live.

Also, some of the songs you say were covered live were simply snippeted. Speaking of snippets, Joy Division's Love Will Tear Us Apart and Transmission have been snippeted in With Or Without You.
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Old 11-15-2005, 10:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by zootvc15


Such as?
Well, yes they admire Prince, but I can't see how Prince shaped their sound. Same with Boomtown Rats or Bee Gees. I also see REM as great friends and peers, but I can't think of any point where they were really influenced by them.
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Old 11-16-2005, 01:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


Well, yes they admire Prince, but I can't see how Prince shaped their sound. Same with Boomtown Rats or Bee Gees. I also see REM as great friends and peers, but I can't think of any point where they were really influenced by them.
Firstly, I'm not just talking about U2's sound. Other things like lyrics, aesthetic, look, inspiration, etc, go into it.

Re Prince: I wouldn't go so far as to say that Prince "shaped" their sound, but there is a big difference between "shaped" and "influenced", and I am certain that songs like "Mysterious Ways" like "Lemon" and their whole aesthetic AB thru Pop was influenced by him.

Re Boomtown Rats: I think that the mere fact of them being an Irish rock band who got some recognition and were taken seriously very early in U2's career means that U2 could hardly help being influenced and inspired by them. And isn't it obvious that Bono has been influenced by Bob Geldof?

Re Bee Gees: I know U2 have cited them as an influence, although I cannot remember where, and the influence is apparent to me on Lemon and others.

Re REM: Simply by virtue of being U2's biggest competition throughout most of the 80's and the first part of the 90's, I think their influence is inevitable, and it is obvious to me. As allmusic.com says, "R.E.M is the point when post-punk turned into alternative rock". That kind of influence is hard to avoid.
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Old 11-16-2005, 01:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Axver
One factual error: U2 never covered Paint It Black live.

Also, some of the songs you say were covered live were simply snippeted. Speaking of snippets, Joy Division's Love Will Tear Us Apart and Transmission have been snippeted in With Or Without You.
Thanks, I didn't mean to say they had covered Paint It Black live.
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Old 11-16-2005, 08:50 AM   #10
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That is a pretty comprehensive list -well done. You have covered a lot there. I like the way you haven't missed the trad and folk elements which are often forgotten about.

I feel you should also include the following:

(1) Siouxsie and the Banshees - Bono has said that the vocal style of Siouxsie was an influence in the early years

(2) The Associates - Bono has said the stage craft of the lead singer Billy MacKenzie was an influence on his own stage craft and performance, especially in the early years

(3) My Bloody Valentine - Edge has said they were a big influence on the sound of Achtung Baby

(4) Sonic Youth, similarly, an influence on Achtung

Others that might be worth including, although it is questionable as to whether they were influences as such or just musical contemporaries:-

(5) Simple Minds

(6) Big Country
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Old 11-16-2005, 09:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by zootvc15


Firstly, I'm not just talking about U2's sound. Other things like lyrics, aesthetic, look, inspiration, etc, go into it.
I understand that and even mentioned that in my first post. But if you are going that broad then you are missing many many others, such as; George Clinton & the Parliment Funk (as Bono's cited about the Lemon), Motown, NIN(listened to a lot during AB), Jimmy Rodgers(if we're using covers as evidence), Coldplay(Bono stated as writing a piano based song similar to Coldplay during Bomb sessions), Righteous Brothers(Cover), Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Springsteen, etc...


Quote:
Originally posted by zootvc15

Re Prince: I wouldn't go so far as to say that Prince "shaped" their sound, but there is a big difference between "shaped" and "influenced", and I am certain that songs like "Mysterious Ways" like "Lemon" and their whole aesthetic AB thru Pop was influenced by him.
Well I could debate that most of what they may have taken from Prince, the mix of sexuality and spirituality, Prince took from Marvin Gaye and Al Green. Prince is a true talent, but he wears his influences on his sleeve.


Quote:
Originally posted by zootvc15

Re REM: Simply by virtue of being U2's biggest competition throughout most of the 80's and the first part of the 90's, I think their influence is inevitable, and it is obvious to me. As allmusic.com says, "R.E.M is the point when post-punk turned into alternative rock". That kind of influence is hard to avoid.
Well then by that definition you must add The Police and Simple Minds among others.
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Old 11-16-2005, 03:15 PM   #12
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Thanks, I meant to add the following:

George Clinton & the Parliment Funk (as Bono's cited about the Lemon), Motown, NIN(listened to a lot during AB), Jimmy Rodgers(if we're using covers as evidence), Righteous Brothers(Cover),
The Police and Simple Minds among others.

However, I would debate Pearl Jam and Radiohead.
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Old 11-16-2005, 03:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by zootvc15



However, I would debate Pearl Jam and Radiohead.
They're bands influenced by U2.
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Old 11-16-2005, 04:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by zootvc15

However, I would debate Pearl Jam and Radiohead.
I knew these would raise question.

But that was part of my point, if we use their peers REM as an influence, then we must use these bands.

Quote:
"Larry...talk[s] about how both Radiohead and Pearl Jam seem to have sidestepped the big fight to be part of pop music. U2 would like their company. 'We don't want to be the only band out here doing this kind of thing,' he says. 'I mean, there's a beautiful voice, Thom Yorke's voice,' says Bono. 'I just want to hear it on the radio. I want rock to chase pop down the road, but I understand that some people couldn't be bothered. I really do understand that.'" sigh.
Bono sees them as peers and would like their company.

This is what i was talking about being the thin line of admiration and influence.
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Old 11-16-2005, 05:25 PM   #15
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I just don't think U2's sound, lyrics, image, aesthetic, or anything, is or has been any different than it would have been if Radiohead or Pearl Jam never existed. U2 certainly knows they exist, but I don't think they have affected them in any way that comes through in their music.
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Old 11-16-2005, 05:34 PM   #16
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Have U2 ever cited The Police as an influence? If not, that's weird. Listen to the 'Regatta de Blanc' album [among others I'm sure. I haven't heard them in ages!], some of those tracks [especially the title track] sound so preminiscent of early-U2.
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Old 11-21-2005, 07:32 PM   #17
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Interesting list, at first glance this may be 50% complete, so hopefully others will contribute some more, her are my additions:

The Jam,
(Paul Weller's Band)

I'm pretty sure Adam started to play a Rickenbacker bass, because that's what the guy in the Jam was using. they were also an inspriration from a commercial standpoint, PMcG wanted U2 to be a singles band like the Jam, but their early singles didn't really give any reason to think they could do that, so they became an Album/Live band instead.


The Doors

numerous live snippets. No four man band can go around these guys. Especially when you have a lead singer like Bono. You cannot ignore Jim.


Them
(Van Morrison's band, a.k.a. the Irish Rolling Stones)

you have Van on the list but you should also mention his band
"...G.L.O.R.I.A. gloria G.L.O.R.I.A. gloria..." snippet in Exit (RnH)


Iggy Pop

your list mentions some punk bands, Iggy is the godfather of punk, although when U2 started they deliberately didn't want to be punk (after a bad experience opening for the Stranglers). I feel you cannot have Bowie and Reed on your list as well as the Ramones and the Clash and not have Iggy on there.
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Old 11-23-2005, 08:13 AM   #18
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One glaring omission -- Roxy Music. Original producer of 'Atomic Bomb' was Chris Thomas, obviously chosen by U2 for his work with Roxy -- you can realy hear the influence on something like "All Because of You," which sounds like one of the early Roxy rave-ups. Also, Larry mentioned Roxy by name (along with Patti Smith and Television) at the Hall of Fame induction as artists that were important to them.

Can't rememeber -- did you include Public Image Ltd. on your list? Their 'Second Edition' album is certainly a blueprint for U2's sound.
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