If you want to know the story behind the story of one of the most influential rock bands in human history, you NEED TO READ THIS BOOK AND THIS BOOK. Confession: I recently moved all of my books on U2 to my home because I had the feeling there was a movement underway at Otter Creek to hold my U2 books hostage. I know the parties involved and they are on notice. Vengeance is mine. But, if you want to experience the artistry, ingenuity, madness, thump, and soul that is U2 . . . here are my favorite songs. I won’t go into all the reasons these songs make my top list but the criteria includes but is not limited to the following: innovation, lyric, melody, personal past experiences, ability of Lucas to remember (that will be important later), and layers of theology (there are always layers if Bono is involved). Art is mostly subjective. I said it.
You don’t have to love/obsess/think about U2 but you have to respect them. You don’t have to like MJ or LeBron or The Rolling Stones or Bill Russell or the N.Y. Times or but you have to respect what they’ve done and for how long they’ve done it. And, the fact that they are still doing it together (this, their 5th decade).
Get ready. Their album scheduled for release late fall/winter sounds like it’s going to be epic. By the way, I don’t think U2 can be picked apart like many critics are want to do. U2 = an experience. It’s the whole legacy: Bono’s fearlness, The Edge and his infusion of technology and the guitar, Adam Clayton’s . . . well . . . Adam being Adam, Larry putting a beat in your heart you can’t ever get rid of once it gets in you. No one, and I mean no one, is better live than U2. I can’t prove it. But you can’t disprove it.
If you want to listen to vintage U2, I suggest starting with Rattle and Hum and The Joshua Tree as a beginning point. U2′s zenith IMHO. I’ve linked some of the songs below (I know how lazy some of you are, haha). This list shifts from time to time, but this is where I am right now. Check out the Church of Christ love in #1 (that’s my friend, George Pendegrass, brothers from different mothers from the same denom).
15. Stuck in a Moment. Written about a dear friend who’d succumbed to addiction.
14. In a Little While. The song that always makes me remember when Kara and I started dating.
13. Hawkmoon 269. Sheer genius.
12. Bad. Deep, penetrates your soul.
11. Where the Streets Have No Name. The official opening song of the New Heavens and New Earth.
10. Desire. Pure adrenaline.
9. God pt. 2. So genius and philosophical. Classic Bono.
8. When Love Comes to Town. I can dance to this song, in any place, any time.
7. Miss Sarajevo (with Pavarotti). Heart will melt.
6. Running to Stand Still. Me in late high school, early college.
5. Mysterious Way. So many layers I don’t even know what it’s about.
4. One. The ultimate prophetic song of irony.
3. Love Rescue Me. My gospel anthem.
2. All I Want is You (the very first song Lucas ever learned to sing)–I love signing this song to Kara even if she’s not always thrilled.
2b. Pride-In the Name of Love. Dr. King.
1. Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (with George Pendergrass, Rattle and Hum)–turn it up as loud as you can. Close your eyes.