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June 22nd, 2005

Best Vocal Performance (Thrid in a series) @ 01:40 pm

thanks4thefish:
Continuing with my series asking for best performances by each band member, we're going to tackle our favorite lead singer's vocal skills...

Which U2 song is Bono's best vocal performance?

**Note**This discussion focuses purely on Bono's skills as a singer, not the quality of his lyrics. There will be another question respecting Bono's skill as a lyricist later.


The interesting think about Mr. Bono Vox (latin for "Great Voice" of course) is that while he can't hold notes like he used to, he has become a much more skilled vocalist. He developed a falsetto in the 90's to offset the fact that he wouldn't be able to belt out high notes like he did on Unforgettable Fire and War forever. While he has become a better singer over the years, the energy of Bono's voice in the early-mid 80's is part of what propelled U2 to stardom. I remember seeing a behind-the-scens clip on the recording of Pride, and Bono is just totally screaming at the top of his lungs, "In the naaaaaaaaaame of Love", and after that track is done, there's Brian Eno behind the glass sarcastically saying, "Ummm, I think we need a bit more energy from you Bono."

With all that said, my choice for Best Vocal Performance:

Sometimes You Can't Make it On Your Own

This is not a surprise, since the song is meant to be a tribute to his father and his capabilities as an opera singer. But I think it's the height of Bono's career as a singer. Just his voice alone sends shivers up your spine.

Honorable Mentions:

Stay (Faraway, So Close) (my personal fav)
Lemon
Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
All I Want is You
 
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Comments

 
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From:cherrystarz
Date:June 22nd, 2005 06:23 pm (UTC)
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Friend, I think you and I are totally on the same wavelength. As with yesterday's question, as soon as I read it a song comes to mind, and in both cases it's the song you've picked. ;)

I think his voice is amazing on SYCMIOYO. Especially on the "Can you hear me when I sing?" verse. Never has he sounded so strong.
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From:corianderstem
Date:June 22nd, 2005 06:26 pm (UTC)
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I don't know if I can pick his best vocal performance, but I'm glad he's become more of a singer, rather than all the screaming/shouting he did in the 80s. Sometimes it makes my throat hurt just listening to him in some of those 80s performances. ;-)

The falsetto he developed is truly amazing - listen to the Zoo TV version of "Can't Help Falling in Love With You," for a great example.
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From:drive_away18
Date:June 22nd, 2005 06:33 pm (UTC)
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I have to agree with you on "can't help falling in love with you" from zoo t.v.
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From:zoostation
Date:June 22nd, 2005 06:42 pm (UTC)
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SYCMIOYO

Hands down.
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From:signifiers
Date:June 22nd, 2005 06:56 pm (UTC)
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Hmm, I always thought it was Edge that said the bit about "needing a bit more passion"... doesn't Eno say something before that? And then Dan says the thing about "Maybe you could stand up for this one..."

Sorry, I'm trying not to be so pedantic.
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From:thanks4thefish
Date:June 22nd, 2005 07:23 pm (UTC)
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You might be right. Must have been forever ago that I saw it.
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From:rockingthemike
Date:June 22nd, 2005 07:40 pm (UTC)
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Definitely "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own".
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From:reecord2
Date:June 22nd, 2005 09:51 pm (UTC)
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I'm suprised no one has mentioned Kite yet. And I think nothing beats the falsetto from ZOOTV Mysterious Ways.

Anyway, I know Pride isn't an original choice, but I think if it wasn't one of their most famous songs, more people would pick it.

And finally, Red Hill Mining Town. Just beauuutiful and passionate!

kthxbye
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From:thanks4thefish
Date:June 23rd, 2005 04:38 pm (UTC)
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Red Hill Mining Town just missed out on my HM list. It's a great one.
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From:clayboy103177
Date:June 23rd, 2005 01:55 am (UTC)
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On some nights on the Popmart tour, he would really go off on Please so my vote is for Please live...You know right before the solo...
Sometimes is awesome as well
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From:thanks4thefish
Date:June 23rd, 2005 04:37 pm (UTC)
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I thought of some of the live version's of Please as well. It's actually pretty remarkable, because Bono's voice during PopMart was about as bad as I'd ever heard it. He was bailing on high notes left, right, and centre.
From:sabneraznik
Date:June 23rd, 2005 02:50 am (UTC)
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Um... tough one. I think something like "Blue Room" with it's extremes or "Falling At Your Feet" "Velvet Dress" "Dancing Shoes" "Hands That Built..." All incredibly beautiful and nuanced.
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From:celspi
Date:June 23rd, 2005 03:02 am (UTC)
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I definitely agree with all of your choices, but I would like to second "Red Hill Mining Town" (beautiful, period) and also "In God's Country" and actually "With or Without You." Actually, I could go on and on, but I'll stop. :P
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From:redsoxnut545
Date:June 23rd, 2005 03:18 am (UTC)

hon mention?

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i def agree on 'sometimes...', but i have to also mention 'one'. something in the voice is pure and just hits me, and this is before the lyrics come into place. maybe its just me, but i would put this on a list also
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From:splishysplashy
Date:June 24th, 2005 01:52 pm (UTC)

Re: hon mention?

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Lol I mentioned One before I noticed you already had. Sorry! x
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From:fadedgalaxia
Date:June 23rd, 2005 03:30 pm (UTC)
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I say Pride. I think he's fabulous in Pride.
From:deltawing
Date:June 24th, 2005 11:21 am (UTC)
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I wouldn't agree so much with All I Want is You. Its certainly a great song, but the singing is fairly straightforward, and doesn't really show off Bono's talent as a vocalist that much. Wild Horses I would definately agree with though.
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From:splishysplashy
Date:June 24th, 2005 01:51 pm (UTC)
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I'm going to vote for One in addition to those mentioned above. It's the perfect vocal for that song and as such, is one of his best. I think. :)
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From:canadanne
Date:July 4th, 2005 02:40 am (UTC)

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IMHO, Bono's voice was absolutely at its peak during the ZooTV years, so you can take your pick from that era. I also adore his falsetto more than any other sound in this world, so I'd have to go for a song that showed off his high notes. And as several people have already said, Can't Help Falling In Love is without question the best example of that. I still cry when I watch it on the Sydney video, it's the most hauntingly beautiful vocal I've ever heard in my life, and *seriously* impressive.

Lemon is another obvious example, and just so happens to be my absolute favourite U2 song, along with One, which also deserves a mention here.
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From:canadanne
Date:July 4th, 2005 02:41 am (UTC)
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And Mysterious Ways, live, ZooTV-style. It's never been the same since he stopped doing that killer falsetto part.

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