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June 21st, 2005

Best Guitar Performance (Second in a Series) @ 01:55 pm

thanks4thefish:
Last week I started off by asking everyone what they thought was Larry's best performance on the drums. I expect debate to get much more heated on this question:

Which U2 song is The Edge's best performance on guitar?

This is a hard one for me because Edge is unique amongst rock n' roll axemen. He's not a Guitar God in the traditional mould of Jimmy Page or Jimi Hendrix. On the contrary, what makes him unique is his ability to hold back on guitar when the song calls for it (e.g. Please), while also driving a song with power chords when appropriate (e.g. All Because of You). I once read that for The Edge, a guitar note is very expensive, and so he uses them only when necessary, hence the rarity of face-melting guitar solos in U2's catalog.

So my choice...

Until the End of the World

One simple reason: I can play a good chunk of U2's catalog on guitar, and this song is the most fun to play of any of them!

Honourable Mentions:

With or Without You
Bad
The Fly
Bullet the Blue Sky
 
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Comments

 
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From:cherrystarz
Date:June 21st, 2005 06:16 pm (UTC)
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I was going to say Until The End of the World as well. ;)
From:jimijam
Date:June 21st, 2005 06:25 pm (UTC)
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I Will Follow, Discoteque and All I Want Is You are other good ones.
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From:beautifulday
Date:June 21st, 2005 06:57 pm (UTC)
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All I Want Is You

Yes! The longing, the barely contained passion, the build up...and release at the end. Perfect.

Gorgeous and by far my favorite.
From:jimijam
Date:June 22nd, 2005 07:47 am (UTC)
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That description just said it all. Perfect :-)
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From:drive_away18
Date:June 21st, 2005 06:29 pm (UTC)
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I play a lot of U2 too...i think edge is the best in the alternative section. There was a guitar world poll and he was beat out by John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I think Mysterious Ways is a great guitar song.
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From:thanks4thefish
Date:June 21st, 2005 07:29 pm (UTC)
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Yes, the live arrangement of Mysterious Ways is lots of fun to play on guitar; lots of chords, lots of little riffs, fun solo at the end.

The comparison with Frusciante brings up the one failing, IMO, of The Edge: you never see him doing any live spontaneous jams, whereas Frusciante and Flea do them constantly on stage. But overall, that's a pretty small nit to pick.
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From:reecord2
Date:June 21st, 2005 07:43 pm (UTC)
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I have decided I need to see the Chili Pepeprs live before I die, because I got their last DVD from Slane and it blew my mind.
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From:thanks4thefish
Date:June 21st, 2005 08:19 pm (UTC)
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They are tons of fun live. I've seen them three-ish times (one was a free performance on the street in front of an HMV in my home town, and it was pretty nutty so I'm not sure it counted). They're not always very tight live (and Kiedis often sounds off key), but when they pull it together it's very cool. I saw them at Slane when they opened for U2 in 2001 and they had the crowd going nuts.
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From:rockingthemike
Date:June 21st, 2005 06:40 pm (UTC)

Um.... *raises hand*

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GONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
From:jimijam
Date:June 21st, 2005 06:45 pm (UTC)

Re: Um.... *raises hand*

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Good choice. I forgot about that song :-)
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From:rockingthemike
Date:June 21st, 2005 07:09 pm (UTC)

Re: Um.... *raises hand*

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:D one of my U2 faves.
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From:aloneinthelight
Date:June 21st, 2005 07:43 pm (UTC)

Re: Um.... *raises hand*

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I love the bit on the Boston dvd when he gets pissed and just starts shredding the strings and busts the guitar. Rock and Roll!
From:dysprosium
Date:June 21st, 2005 07:11 pm (UTC)
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The Fly.
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From:aloneinthelight
Date:June 21st, 2005 07:42 pm (UTC)
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Not enough can be said about The Edge. Sometimes I just have to sit back in awe of the fact that he really is just an artist in every sense of the word. To the little sounds in the background he cooks up, his splendid intro to City of Blinding Lights. His subtle approach. Words cant say.

But, im putting my two cents in for Bad. His part, when the song gets intense with Bono shouting "NO...NO...." is so strong and intense yet its not. Just those notes repeating over and over. Gives me chills every time. Im also in awe of his guitar work at the end of One. Such a simple chord sequence yet I think that it has more emotion than any "guitar god" could try to produce. He is the best.
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From:thanks4thefish
Date:June 21st, 2005 08:14 pm (UTC)
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Something along the same line is With or Without You. The simplicity of the chord progression at the end of the song is just perfection. I remember seeing the "Classic Albums" episode on the making of The Joshua Tree, and The Edge talks about how satisfying it is to play the end of that song with those simple chords rather than going out with some overweening guitar solo (though I confess, I rather enjoyed the guitar solo he tacked on to the end of that song during the Joshua Tree tour).

I'm in total agreement with you on Bad. It's one of the simplest songs in the world to play on guitar, but it's so immensely powerful. The only reason I didn't mention it in my original post is because I think all the band members contribute rather equally to the building intensity of Bad, rather than one band member standing out. Ditto With or Without You.
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From:aloneinthelight
Date:June 23rd, 2005 02:51 am (UTC)
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I agree about Bad. The biggest build up really is Larry's drumming increasing and eventually breaking out. Incredible
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From:reecord2
Date:June 21st, 2005 07:49 pm (UTC)
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I know this is somewhat random, but on certain live versions of Stuck in a Moment, the Edge is just playing the most beautiful guitarlines. Live versions of this song are just so FULL of melody from him.
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From:sapphires13
Date:June 21st, 2005 08:57 pm (UTC)
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Until The End Of The World!

As I said on a recent LJ entry of mine:

Random: I really love the guitar riffs on this song. Rawr **eats Edge**
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From:splishysplashy
Date:June 21st, 2005 09:16 pm (UTC)
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My personal fave is The Fly. I just think it's brill, my fave ever actually :D
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From:clayboy103177
Date:June 22nd, 2005 12:57 am (UTC)
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I dont remember the actual name of the song, but its on the Achtung baby outtakes (bootleg) The first incarnation of The Fly and Ultraviolet, (one jam session spawned those two tracks) anyhow it has the most AWESOME guitar solo and outro I think Ive ever heard from the man. Those of you who voted for The Fly should take a listen...very much worth it and you'll wonder why they didnt leave it like that for the album.
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From:thanks4thefish
Date:June 22nd, 2005 01:46 am (UTC)
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Would that be Lady With the Spinning Head you're thinking of? If so, I agree, it's brilliant. I love hearing the early gestations of other songs!
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From:clayboy103177
Date:June 23rd, 2005 02:01 am (UTC)
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yep thats right, God I love that ending!!!
From:sabneraznik
Date:June 22nd, 2005 03:45 am (UTC)
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This one is just too hard because of the reasons you listed. but I could say: "ONE" on Live from Slane DVD. Always makes me feel like I'm flying without wings. AWESOME!! But in truth, can't pick one, they're all awesome.
From:onebadkite
Date:June 22nd, 2005 04:19 am (UTC)
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What makes the Edge so wonderful, is exactly what this post started saying... that he isn't some drama queen guitar god out for the glory. He plays what the music demands. And that's why the "Without or Without You" guitar simplicity is so wonderful, and also why the solo (mentioned above) is just as wonderful. So, while all of Edge's guitarness is wonderful, I'm gonna name a few solo-esue pieces I love.

Until The End of The World - I've never seen a guy look like he's having so much fun playing an instrument. THAT's sexy.
Bullet The Blue Sky - juuuust great stuff.

And the more subtle parts:
Stay (Faraway, So Close!) - it's kinda redundant during the verses, but I love how it builds during the choruse.
Wire - I love the intro for some reason. I just got my hands on the UF album (long story as to why I never had it), and I can't stop listening to this song. :-)
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From:moydrumm
Date:June 25th, 2005 04:06 pm (UTC)
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Defenitly The Fly, the song is just building up an orgasm and it ends with an unforgettable climax
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From:canadanne
Date:July 4th, 2005 02:09 am (UTC)
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Yep... I, too, immediately thought of several Achtung Baby tracks (The Fly, UTEOTW, Mysterious Ways, Zoo Station...) as well as Bullet The Blue Sky and New Year's Day. City Of Blinding Lights and All Because Of You are good examples off the new album. I'd also like to suggest Love Is Blindness, which I don't think anyone else has mentioned yet... watch that aching solo he does on the ZooTV Sydney video, it's one of the most orgasmic things ever.
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From:canadanne
Date:July 4th, 2005 02:10 am (UTC)

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Ooh, and I forgot to include Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me. My insides go to mush as soon as that sexy intro comes in!
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From:canadanne
Date:July 5th, 2005 01:09 am (UTC)

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I probably need to shut up now, but I'm beating myself up for not mentioning Love And Peace Or Else, which is my favourite song on the new album and one of the most rockin' songs they've ever done. The guitar towards the end almost makes my head explode.

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