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Old 05-07-2008, 05:05 AM   #1
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The Best Tour For Bad

Being my all-time favourite U2 track, I always eagerly listen out for the new performances of Bad each and every tour to see what the band have decided to do with it this time around and how well Bono sings it, and over the years I've drawn various conclusions about the percieved strengths and weaknesses of each incarnation:

UF Tour: These were exciting days for the song as the band were developing and exploring how the play it most effectively on stage and discovering that they'd actually created something genuinely special. In some ways the 84-85 performances of the track were the most unpredictable, there was a real free-wheeling quality and the number, that it could quite literally go anywhere and there was also something very uncalculated about it all, Bono's improvisations could come thick and fast and the band would follow wherever he led, the duration of renditions could sometimes surpass the 15 minute mark and would always vary in intensity and drama. The WAIA version is astonishing.

JT/Lovetown Tours: For me the 87-89 period saw the most consistent performances of the song, Bono's voice reached a real peak in the late eighties and it seemed to me that this was the era when he felt most confident about singing the song, night after night roaring at the top of his voice and making short work of the high notes which had caused a fair degree of difficulty during 84-85. Whereas I like the 87 versions, I've always felt that they were looser as a live act on the JT tour and were not as tight a unit as they had been on the UF tour and would go onto be on the LT tour. I think perhaps the reason for the popularity of these performances is more to do with Bono's development as a both a singer and a frontman rather than the overall cohesion of the band. I still really rate the Rattle & Hum version though.
The Lovetown renditions are some of my very favourite, the band were in electrifying shape, taking risks and coming out on top plus Bono had developed into a first-class vocalist, some his work of the R&H album and this tour is absolutely sublime, velvety smooth but also capable of real raw explosive power. So performances of Bad during 89 were often full of searing strength, Bono threw in a variety of interesting snippets and the incorporation of All I Want Is You into the main melody on a couple of dates resulted in some awesome performances.

ZOO TV: I both like and dislike the 92-93 renditions of this, occassionally they could seem a little perfunctory, the 10-15 versions of the 80's are a thing of the past and Bono would more often than not stick to the same snippets, plus I've always had mixed feeling about using the falsetto for the high notes, don't get me wrong he developed and used this particular skill very well and it did make some kind of sense in the ZOO TV setting but using it for Bad seemed the take something away from the song for me. On the other hand, there were some nights that the saw the song return to former glories as with Bono in strong voice he belted out the number like a man possessed and kept the thing unpredictable by incorportating snatches of So Cruel, Let It Be and Fool To Cry into the melody. Washington 92, Milan 92 and Lyon 92 are some of greatest versions I've heard.

Popmart: Unlike most fans, I really love the Pop versions of Bad, the band actually re-tooled the song, giving the sequencer melody something of a techno twist, witholding the tension of the track by only breaking out into full band for the second round of 'Let It Go's' and Edges unusual driving solo which was unlike anything he's done before or since. Bono voice was in pretty good shape for the final leg of the tour and at the time I remember being very surprised at how well he pulled off the Santiago, Sydney abnd Toyko renditions of the song. Looking back I wished they had attempted this particular incarnation earlier on in the tour or at least nights when his voice was strong, Leeds 97 stands out for me especially.

Elevation/Vertigo Tours: The Elevation versions of Bad are the worst for me, the emotion and drama of the track was often present but the big notes proved to be elusive for Bono's voice and so I personally felt the song never quite took flight, it always appeared slightly restrained for me and Bad is one of those all-or-nothing tracks. I thought maybe the tunes best days were behind it so I was very pleasantly surprised by the Vertigo renditions which not only featured the band in great condition but also an upswing in both the quality and range of Bono's voice, the song was actually able to soar again and the Toyko 06 version is a revelation not only is his voice clear as a bell but he attacks the high notes with real gutsy determination, recalling the tracks 80's heyday.

In the end the mid to late eighties versions will probably always be supreme for me, they simply had a quality and a resonance that was unique to that particular time.
But which tour do you think was the absolute pinnacle for Bad?

Sorry about the length.
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Old 05-07-2008, 05:16 AM   #2
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everything from the elevation tour is just horrible.

Joshua tree tour versions of BAD (the song) are and will be the best. duh.
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Old 05-07-2008, 05:42 AM   #3
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i still prefer the WAIA version
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Old 05-07-2008, 07:07 AM   #4
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Uf tour
COH
ZooTV
Popmart
Vertigo
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Old 05-07-2008, 07:43 AM   #5
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I'm holding my hand up as the only person (probably!) who simply doesn't like BAD.

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Old 05-07-2008, 08:05 AM   #6
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COH tour versions. They were just six but all amazing,powerful. And early JT Tour 1st leg versions were great as well comparable to COH versions but as the tour went on Bono was decreasingly able to hit "Wide Awake" in former power and so long like on COH.
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Old 05-07-2008, 08:06 AM   #7
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JT and LT

agree with you all the way....
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Old 05-07-2008, 08:10 AM   #8
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hmmm his voice was better on the elevation tour compared to popmart he hits the note better in popmart because the band have lowered the key to g and the wide awake note was a high b and he never really hit as well

elevation tour was back to a flat meaning the high c but i think they should have stuck with G because bonos voice was not fit enough at that stage
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Old 05-07-2008, 08:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2lunatic
COH tour versions. They were just six but all amazing,powerful. And early JT Tour 1st leg versions were great as well comparable to COH versions but as the tour went on Bono was decreasingly able to hit "Wide Awake" in former power and so long like on COH.
Bono did never hit the note on JT tour. Either on LT/ZOOTV/POPMAR/ELEVATION.
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Old 05-07-2008, 08:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by kingofsorrow
i still prefer the WAIA version
The WAIA version is my favourite U2 track of all time. It sums up everything I love about them.
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Old 05-07-2008, 09:09 AM   #11
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Yes, WAIA is fantastic.

Does anyone have good "Bad" examples from the COH tour?
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Old 05-07-2008, 09:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by last unicorn
Yes, WAIA is fantastic.

Does anyone have good "Bad" examples from the COH tour?
The ultimate COH version is 1986-06-15 - East Ruthford, check it on my webstie, a long snippet from it is on the highlight file.

www.bonosvoice.st
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Old 05-07-2008, 11:17 AM   #13
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I think the Joshua Tree version was the best they have done with the song.

Unlike most of you I liked the Vertigo version. Sure it wasn't with the same passion or quality of Unf. Fire or Joshua Tree but I think when they finished the show with it on Vertigo it was perfect setlist pacing for ending the show and elevated the song for me.

Absolute worst version for me is tied between Zoo/Popmart(fortunately this version wasnt done much) and Elevation.
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Old 05-07-2008, 11:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by shaun vox
[B]everything from the elevation tour is just horrible.

You are an energy vampire. I read stuff like that and I'm sure a part of the reasonable man I am, dies.
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Old 05-07-2008, 11:54 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Blue Room

Unlike most of you I liked the Vertigo version. Sure it wasn't with the same passion or quality of Unf. Fire or Joshua Tree but I think when they finished the show with it on Vertigo it was perfect setlist pacing for ending the show and elevated the song for me.
I LOVE the Vertigo versions of Bad.

And Peter, thanks for the link and for reminding me to listen into your samples again.
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Old 05-07-2008, 12:06 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by last unicorn


I LOVE the Vertigo versions of Bad.

And Peter, thanks for the link and for reminding me to listen into your samples again.
Im glad you like it
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Old 05-07-2008, 12:12 PM   #17
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As I always say:

BAD anytime, anywhere, anyhow, anyway for me...

Simply BAD

Simply.

.
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Old 05-07-2008, 01:02 PM   #18
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UF Tour by far. The song was so fresh and epic back then. I mean, it still is now (one of the rare oldies, along with New Year's Day, that still sounds amazing today). There were so many legendary versions on the debut tour (the 16-minute East Rutherford one, the Bologna one...).
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Old 05-07-2008, 05:32 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Blue Room
I think the Joshua Tree version was the best they have done with the song.

Unlike most of you I liked the Vertigo version. Sure it wasn't with the same passion or quality of Unf. Fire or Joshua Tree but I think when they finished the show with it on Vertigo it was perfect setlist pacing for ending the show and elevated the song for me.
um, I don't really think "most" people here dislike the Vertigo version's, in fact I'd say that most people hear rank Vertigo quite high if we're talking about the last 17 years....

Peterrr....I'm really surprised by your list, Vertigo is last for you?!?!

i say 86 versions and 89 versions are best, then vertigo versions, then zoo, then pop/elevation
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Old 05-07-2008, 10:10 PM   #20
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I'd say Zoo TV and PopMart had really great versions of Bad

Elevation was just shit IMO
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