Clayton and Mullen: Absent in Some of U2's Musical Highlights - U2 Feedback

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Old 07-24-2004, 10:13 AM   #1
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Clayton and Mullen: Absent in Some of U2's Musical Highlights

Reading most U2 polls from the past, fans usually vote One from the Pavarotti and Friends concert in Modena as the best version ever of one.

During the Popmart Tour, when Bono and Edge started doing the b-stage acoustic version of Staring At The Sun -- virtually all the fans were unanimous in saying that the acousitc version was much better than the full band version.

Many have preferred the Elevation Boston version of Stay (Faaway, So Close!) over the Zoo TV versions citing that the former was more emotional and poignant over the latter.

The Edge Popmart version of Sunday Bloody Sunday was so popular among most U2 fans. While not as popular as the Joshua Tree Tour and War Tour versions, fans reminisced over Edge's Popmart version more than the much abridged (and soon dropped from the setlist) Zoo TV version, or the slowed-down-to-turtle-pace version of the Elevation Tour.

Just most recently, a lot of fans selected the Jools Holland version of If You Wear That Velvet Dress featuring Bono as the sexiest song - above the original POP album version.

The common thread of all those songs I just enumerated are that Clayton and Mullen did not take part in the performance of those songs. It was either Bono and Edge, or Bono alone or Edge alone. No Clayton. No Mullen.

So what am I getting at? It just seems that in a number of significant musical highlights in U2's career, Clayton and Mullen have been missing the boat.

Sure both Clayton and Mullen have their own highlight with the Mission Impossible Theme that did well in the charts. But purists and critics alike don't agree with Mullen's shortcuts towards the beat of the theme, converting it from the more complicated 5/4 to a standard simple 4/4. It should be worth noting that Mullen has never drummed a U2 song 5/4 ever. Perhaps it is for lack of skill that he had to simpify the theme song?

While Clayton and Mullen seem to miss out on the highlights - they are included in some of the lowlights. Clayton's drug bust in `89 to his missed gig in `93 are examples. For Mullen, it's a matter of unprofessionalism - from dropping the drumstick in the studio recording of Ultraviolet (and not even bothering to correct it thus leaving us fans with a "broken" version of the song in the album version - listen a somewhere after the two minute mark) to missing most of the POP recording sessions to back surgery (leaving the album unfinished) to being the single reason the live full band version of Staring At The Sun was scrapped.

So what if Clayton had that cool fur coat when he was younger? So what if it was Mullen who posted the note in the bulletin board? I think these members of the rhythm section should contribute a little bit more to add even more musical highlights for the band. At least it's been a longtime since they gave U2 lowlights, but that's just about it. They haven't been pushing the musical envelope of their playing.

I hope the new album and the upcoming tour will show Clayton and Mullen with more passion, more drive, more professionalism and more love. While they possess these traits in abundance already, a little more of everyting good won't hurt.



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Old 07-24-2004, 12:00 PM   #2
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Old 07-24-2004, 12:18 PM   #3
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i assume this is a joke, and you are just bored... so i will play along.

the larry dropping the drum stick is absurd. i have heard it and it is on the album , but the band fought larry to keep it on the album. larry was really annoyed and frustrated they put it on the album, he said it made them look incompetent. he argued for three hours over taking it out. (niall stokes- into the heart)

i like stay and sats better as a full band- sydney the best version i've heard of stay.
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Old 07-24-2004, 12:49 PM   #4
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So becasue acoustic versions of songs sound good, Larry and Adam are bad?
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Old 07-24-2004, 12:52 PM   #5
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(why does anyone bother?)

I don't think that fans preferring a certain version of a song necessarily makes it better.

One - yes that is a really good version, but IMO One is one of the very few U2 songs that will not be matched live.

SATS - works really well acoustic, and Bono referred to it live as being "death by mid-tempo". What can you do - not every song works in a full band version. That said, I like the POP version and the live version.

Stay - I prefer the Elevation version, too. That is not to say Zoo TV's full band take on it was bad.

SBS - Popmart's version is probably my favorite (otherwise I'm not into that song and as far as I'm concerned they could play it less live). I don't think other versions differ much, except the latest one being slowed down. (from what I understand, the audience loved having the full band version back) The song got a new relevance after 9/11.

If you wear that velvet dress - Bono's jazzy/big band/swingy version is so different it's hard to compare. I prefer the POP version, but the solo version has a better vocal IMO.

Here we go again with Clayton's arrest and missed concert. I think being arrested ONCE and missing ONE show in 20+ year career (or 25, if you count the pre-Boy years) is a great record for a member of a rock band.
I didn't even know Larry dropped the stick in Ultraviolet until I read it once on this forum - and even then I could barely hear it. I don't really care for such things, you see. Or the changed bass playing in Please from Adam. I think majority of fans aren't so nitpicky and just enjoy the music.

Pushing the envelope? AFAIK, both Adam (I read an interview with his teacher) and Larry took lessons after Zooropa. Which, at that stage in their career shows admirable humility and willingness to learn new things.
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Old 07-24-2004, 01:28 PM   #6
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Jick, the only here that really makes me think badly about Larry is about switching from 5/4 to 4/4 on the Mission: Impossible theme. Otherwise, everything else you've said is subjective. And the whole dropping the drumstick thing IMHO is an interesting thing to listen for in a song.

Now, I would like to know where I can get all those tracks you mentioned (ie: one at pavarotti and friends) so I can hear for myself.
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Old 07-24-2004, 01:47 PM   #7
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The Mission Impossible Theme was switched to 4/4 so it could be played in dance clubs. That's straight from Adam's mouth. If you ever try to bust a move to a 5/4 beat you'll understand why this was done.

Besides, the song opens in 5/4; they switch to 4/4 about 20 seconds, or so, in. So it's not like they can't play in that time signature.
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Old 07-24-2004, 02:13 PM   #8
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Please don't discount the fact that your opinions on what songs/events that you consider "U2's Highlights" are entirely SUBJECTIVE.

Have you ever been in a band? Have you ever been in a studio with a band? Well, I've been lucky enough in my career to witness the recording of a beautiful album by a band. Dropping a drumstick is as simple as it falling out of your hand, and NOT a matter of unprofessionalism.

Perhaps you should do some research to realize that Mullen heads up U2's merchandising operations and has several vaults of U2 memorabilia back in Dublin. Hell, he was instrumental in helping assemble and manage U2's exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Did you go to the exhibit? I sure did.

As for Clayton, he contributions to the backbeat of U2 are immeasureable, and since you are not in the studio as a member of U2 or hell, even a studio technician, it is simply not your place to think you have one iota of an understanding of what goes into the performance and composition of a band's music.

There is a reason why U2 share their profits EQUALLY. A band is a marriage of sorts - and there is no reason to assume you have it nailed for this band. They are wonderful because ALL of them have devoted their lives to every facet of this band.

And u2girl is right, I don't know why we even bother anymore. You are guaranteed to your opinion Jick - as long as you understand that it is your opinion.
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Old 07-24-2004, 03:22 PM   #9
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I don't like closing threads because a thread that is closed draws more attention to it than a thread that isn't (we all just love staring at a good car crash)

I also want to believed you're not an annoying troll but just someone who expresses his opinion and that should be possible at every forum

on the other hand a forum is meant to create a discussion
and I don't see any meaningful discussion coming from this thread
should any discussion come from this thread it will be in a fighting way and frankly I wouldn't know whether to blame the posters or the person who started this thread

I think what I'm trying to say is:

“Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe.”
~Frank Zappa
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