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Old 10-19-2004, 10:14 AM   #1
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U2’s Epic Songs

Reading people’s reaction to Blinding Lights and the mention of it as an epic song got me thinking of what would be U2’s other epic songs?

Bad (live)
Please (live)
Streets (album or live)
New Year’s Day (full album version or live)
City Of Blinding Lights (album or live?)

I’d be curious hear how others describe and define an epic song. What makes a song epic?

Also – what are some of the all time great epic songs by other artists? Does U2 have an ability to create more and better epic songs than most other bands? Is it a major factor in determining U2 as one of the top 5 bands in history?

One (live – maybe the War Child Concert version on the Miss Sarajevo single?)?
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Old 10-19-2004, 10:25 AM   #2
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Zooropa and Lemon are epics, both in running time and the swirling soundscapes they create
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Old 10-19-2004, 10:46 AM   #3
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UMMM... good questions...

I have to agree with the last post... Epic songs tend to be longer because they need time create a soundscape, which to me implies that changes in the pace, style and forcefullness of the music aids in telling a story.

Epic Songs by other artists that instantly come to mind...
November Rain - GNR
Stairway... - L.Zep.
Paranoid Android - Radiohead
Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen

U2 Epics...
To me Zooropa and Lemon are the perfect examples and to a lesser extent maybe LIB, TGBHF....

Great Post Topic!
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Old 10-19-2004, 11:05 AM   #4
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Thanks for the list of epic songs by other artists.

Great choice of Love Is Blindness (Live)

Ground Beneath – interesting choice – I wonder how it sounded live on the last Tour?

What do you think of the songs on my list? Any not fit the bill?

U2 tend to place a few epics at the end of the main set list of their concerts. I wonder which will be chosen for this Tour. Imagine a CD-R of just U2’s epics!

Thought of another possible contender - Bullet (Live – ZOOTV)?

Oakville Ontario?
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Old 10-19-2004, 11:19 AM   #5
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the studio version of One is just as epic...

in a different way I think Exit (rattle & hum DVD) was very epic
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Old 10-19-2004, 11:40 AM   #6
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Zooropa
An Cat Dubh/Into the Heart

only two I care to mention right now...
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Old 10-19-2004, 11:44 AM   #7
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I define "Epic" as taking the listener on a journey. The music is as emotional as the lyrics. The song makes your heart feel. It makes you think "globally". It makes you think "How the heck did they come up with this music, those lyrics? That is something I never would have thought of, it's pure brilliance." The song doesn't need to be 8 minutes long either with complex arrangements.

Here are some "epic" songs that I've heard.
stairway to heaven - Led Zepplin
Imagine - John Lennon
Hey Jude - The Beattles
Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
Baba O'Reilly - The Who
One - Metallica

U2 songs I consider truley Epic:
Bad
One
Streets

just missing the "epic" list is Acrobat
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Old 10-19-2004, 12:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Numb1075
I define "Epic" as taking the listener on a journey. The music is as emotional as the lyrics. The song makes your heart feel. It makes you think "globally". It makes you think "How the heck did they come up with this music, those lyrics? That is something I never would have thought of, it's pure brilliance." The song doesn't need to be 8 minutes long either with complex arrangements.

Here are some "epic" songs that I've heard.
stairway to heaven - Led Zepplin
Imagine - John Lennon
Hey Jude - The Beattles
Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
Baba O'Reilly - The Who
One - Metallica

U2 songs I consider truley Epic:
Bad
One
Streets

just missing the "epic" list is Acrobat
Epic

adj 1: very imposing or impressive; surpassing the ordinary (especially in size or scale); "an epic voyage"; "of heroic proportions"; "heroic sculpture" [syn: heroic, larger-than-life] 2: constituting or having to do with or suggestive of a literary epic; "epic tradition" [syn: epical] n : a long narrative poem telling of a hero's deeds [syn: epic poem, heroic poem, epos]

I don't know, as mind blowing a song as it is, I don't think I would classify One (one of my favorites) as an Epic... I would choose a different adjective
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Old 10-19-2004, 12:35 PM   #9
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I consider One to be epic, because it speaks of global issues, yet it could be about your specific relationship w/ your friend/spouse/mother etc. That is really tough to do - make these beautiful lyrics speak to everyone a bit differently. I think it's epic because it's not your usual verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus type of song - the structure is different, it slowly builds and eventually explodes. If the song can make 25,000 people shed a tear during a live performance, then IMHO, it's probably "More than ordinary" ; rather EPIC.
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Old 10-19-2004, 12:38 PM   #10
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Epic = grand

Big themes, big ideas, big sounds.

Lemon, Streets, Zooropa, Bad, Sort of homecoming, etc.
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Old 10-19-2004, 01:17 PM   #11
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When I think of Epic and U2, there are two songs that come to mind.

The first has to be described. I saw U2 three times on the Joshua Tree Tour. The Second time I saw them was at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 18, 1987. Some 80,000 of us filled the stadium that day and I had won a contest on a local radio station that gave me 2nd Row Center seats. It was a pretty great pre-concert with The BoDeans, The Pretenders and The Dalton Brothers even (most people didn't know it was U2 in disguise).

Finally the lights go down and the Coliseum erupts and ever so low you hear an organ slowly building in volume and power. The crowd gets louder as they think they know what is coming. We start to hear Edge walking his guitar like a tightrope, Larry and Adam join in to the steadily building beat, the crowd a frenzy as Where the Streets Have No Name is finally roaring like a Hurricane, Bono walks on stage, and then for only the fourth time in its history (1924 Olympics, 1984 Olympics, and the Pope were the other times), the Coliseum lights its Olympic Torch!! Believe me when I say that the line, "I want to reach out and touch the flame" had extra special meaning that night. It's still brings a chill down my spine to think of it! I still don't think there is a greater song to open a concert with.

The Second is Bad. Anytime I have heard that song in concert it has been an Epic performance. Honorable mention goes to Exit on the JT tour and The Unforgettable Fire on the tour of the same name. Exit was a real surprise because before I heard it in concert I didn't like it that much, and now it is one of my all-time favorites.

That Coliseum Concert was amazing and really left an impact on me so I felt I had to kind of describe what it was like that stupendous night.
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Old 10-19-2004, 05:25 PM   #12
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U2's Epic song has to be UTEOTW Live. Nothing compares to Bono and Edge during the solo at the end of that song.
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Old 10-19-2004, 05:41 PM   #13
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Other Epic songs by other artists that come to mind.

Thunder Road -Bruce Springstein
Born to Run -Bruce Springstein
Break On Through-The Doors
Nobody Told Me- John Lennon ??
Lightening Crashes-LIVE



U2 has loads of Epics.

Interesting thread. I am sure I will be racking my brain for epics all night.
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Old 10-19-2004, 06:00 PM   #14
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streets
COBL
Bad
Mothers of the Disappeard.
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Old 10-19-2004, 06:35 PM   #15
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Streets is the true epic for U2. A sogn that can bring 80,000 people to tears instantly has got to be nothing but.
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Old 10-19-2004, 09:59 PM   #16
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I was thinking today about making a U2 mix cd and calling it The Big Ones. Some songs I would put on it...

Pride
Streets
New Year's Day
Vertigo
Beautiful Day

Hmm, what else?
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Old 10-20-2004, 01:59 AM   #17
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The Unforgettable Fire and New Year's Day are two for me. Great, atmospheric songs!
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Old 10-20-2004, 04:54 AM   #18
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I've always considered epics, in a musical sense, to be songs that start somewhere and transport the listener away, so that by the end of the song you are at a whole new place. I think this has to be done with both lyrics and music, and really that an epic should start low and end high. So for me songs like UtEotW and Beautiful Day just aren't epics, they're rockers!

My tentative list...

Streets
All I Want is You
Bad
One

And CoBL sure has potential!

Recently U2 seem to have shied away from these blatantly emotive types of songs, but boy this album has some very encouraging signs that the epic is back!!!
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Old 10-20-2004, 06:22 AM   #19
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I think Electrical Storm tried to be epic.

It wasn't. But it wasn't a bad song. I still like it.

Now, a real epic:

Elvis Ate America
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Old 10-20-2004, 07:06 AM   #20
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All I Want is You on the Slane DVD - especially the end - Edge's solo followed by Bono's screams and the intro to Streets comes in.
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