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October 11th, 2005

Song of the Day @ 11:30 am

onebadkite:
I'm currently feelin: awake
I'm currently hearin: 4th of July

Le theme:

Bono Takes A Sick Day

Le song:

"4th of July" from The Unforgettable Fire

UF was the last album I got my grubby little hands on.  I even had the Best Ofs, so I knew of things like 'Endless Deep' and 'Bass Trap'.  But putting a lyricless song on an album? No, boys, no!!  Putting it before 'Bad'? Even worse!  It's like a two minute extra wait, and I've already been waiting about 20 minutes anyway.

No, it's not a celebration of American Independence Day.  Even if Bono likes the idea of America, why would they do it?  Adam was playing with a slide bass, Edge joined in, Eno recorded, on 4 July.  That is all.  The song doesn't even invoke fireworks, hot dogs, and apple pie images for me, either.  In fact, I'd have to say I feel like I'm drifting through space.  I feel like watching 2001: A Space Odyssey now.

 
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Comments

 
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From:zoostation
Date:October 11th, 2005 03:56 pm (UTC)
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U R Best.

I still can't get this song. Someone said that it's awfully creepy and it should be played on your porch on Halloween. I may try that. Maybe subliminally I can get people to like U2.
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From:aloneinthelight
Date:October 11th, 2005 04:53 pm (UTC)
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i really like this song, the ambience of it. it's beautiful. It was also totally improvised. Edge and Adam didn't know Eno was recording it. I think it sets up nicely for Bad. But then again, i dont think there is a bad U2 song period.
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From:volare
Date:October 11th, 2005 05:19 pm (UTC)
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I used to play this track to try and get into a calm or meditative kinda mood.... wore out the tape, back in the day.

from The Book:
"..it should be taken rather as a kind of musical diary-entry. this is how we were feeling on 4 July."
From:dysprosium
Date:October 11th, 2005 05:33 pm (UTC)
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But putting a lyricless song on an album? No, boys, no!! Putting it before 'Bad'? Even worse! It's like a two minute extra wait, and I've already been waiting about 20 minutes anyway.

:|

If you say so...I happen to think 4th of July is pure atmospheric heaven.
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From:volare
Date:October 11th, 2005 06:27 pm (UTC)

XD

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it's no' a dead rat... it's a BADGER!
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From:beowulfjones
Date:October 11th, 2005 07:41 pm (UTC)

Re: XD

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Yesh, and it looks angry!
From:amerrydeath
Date:October 11th, 2005 06:03 pm (UTC)
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I used to think it was kind of boring, but now I love it, and couldn't imagine UF without its beauty flowing into Bad. SO good.
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From:neverletmedown
Date:October 11th, 2005 07:12 pm (UTC)
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Oversight: it's not supposed to be a celebration of your independence day...
From:onebadkite
Date:October 12th, 2005 04:37 am (UTC)
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I'm sorry if I offended. :-\ When I used "our" I was thinking of the inclusive group of American U2 fans, and just assumed that's how it would be interpreted. I'm fixing the text nonetheless. But as an American, what else was I supposed to think seeing "4th of July"? I thought I was making it pretty clear that it isn't about what I expected...
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From:neverletmedown
Date:October 12th, 2005 08:23 pm (UTC)
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No offence taken :) However, your post almost implied that you were offended that U2 weren't being patriotic enough, when in fact... why would they be celebrating the national birthday of a foreign country? Yet, there are many U2 songs which celebrate and reference American culture - too many I can't name. But just because a title implies one thing, doesn't mean the lyrics, or the music will be the literal meaning. :)

To me, the song can be interpreted several ways. For one thing, it was merely an experimental instrumental track - Daniel Lanois liked the way Edge was fooling around with the guitar, and recorded it. It happened to be July the 4th. As well, either Larry, or Adam, or who knows, mentioned that with the echoing guitar, they could picture fireworks exploding into the night, randomly... on a night.

It's a haunting moody, atmopsheric song, cinematic music... illustrating an environment that U2 were in at that moment. Don't be disappointed because it doesn't correspond with your expectations of what 4th of July should be. :) And I guess I was also trying to point out that not everyone is American on this forum, so not everyone would feel the same way as you. That is all...

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From:kohls_samurai
Date:October 12th, 2005 04:59 am (UTC)
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Who's is it then? All U2MoL says is:

"Although instrumental, the song was recorded on the fourth of july, it is about how they felt that day. the edge was playing the guitar, completely unaware that brian eno (one of the producers) was recording it."

Wikipedia doesn't list anything else's independence day unless they were playing about the Philippines.
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From:claudiathefish
Date:October 11th, 2005 11:34 pm (UTC)
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I got The Unforgettable Fire on the 4th of July, so I always see fireworks when I hear this song.
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From:bonoffee
Date:October 12th, 2005 02:15 pm (UTC)
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4th of July means nothing special to me so I just see it for what it is - a cool wee track. Lyrics aren't always necessary - I'm partial to a bit of instrumental.
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From:canadanne
Date:October 12th, 2005 10:38 pm (UTC)
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I don't really have much to say about the track itself, because there's so little to it. There's nothing wrong with it as such, but it's the very definition of filler. Along with Elvis Presley And America, it's one of the things that prevents The Unforgettable Fire from being right up there with the strongest U2 albums - the powerful classics are dotted between these weird improvisations that just don't particularly belong on a finished album. I won't skip them if I'm playing through the whole album, but I certainly wouldn't put the CD on especially to listen to 4th Of July!

There are some pleasant sounds on it though, and it does have a certain atmospheric quality. Back in June there was a pair of documentaries on BBC2 about how Bob Geldof managed to organise the original Live Aid, and they used 4th Of July as the background music for the sun rising on the big day - it was *really* effective at conveying that kind of slightly tense, calm-before-the-storm feeling!

What I've always found incredibly odd is that the band Filter apparently did a cover of 4th Of July. I seriously don't understand how you can cover a song that doesn't have any real substance or melody to it!!  I've never heard their version so I dunno what it sounds like. This was the relevant entry in the frontman's blog, from 27/11/01:
"I just bought an old favorite record of mine that I've been missing for awhile called The Unforgettable Fire by U2 which came out in 1984. When I heard the song called "4th of July", a very weird, eerie, ya know, The Edge with his big delay pedal and reverb, I thought something was kind of weird - they're not even Americans, what gives them the right? So, not unlike how they stole back "Helter Skelter" from Charles Manson for The Beatles, very lightheartedly, I'm going to steal back the "4th of July" for us Americans. I hope Bono doesn't get pissed."

Funnily enough I came across this picture of Filter at the time, and at a glance I thought they seemed to be modelling their appearance on U2 a little bit as well!  Pop-era Edge, Zoo-era Adam, Bono and Larry?!

Filter

...And the pose always reminds me of this pic. *g*

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