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January 17th, 2006

Song of the Day @ 11:37 am

stay_please:
I'm currently hearin: Dirty Day

"Dirty Day" from Zooropa

I have really never cared for this song. I think it is, by far, the weakest track on Zooropa. Yes, I even place it above 'Babyface,' the winner of U2's least favorite song poll. It is so amorphous, it doesn't really go anywhere, the music doesn't even change until 3:45 or so. Not in tempo, in sound, in anything... it's just there. The lyrics are hardly sung. Even in falsetto Bono sounds like he's talking.


Dirty Day

I don't know you, you don't know the half of it.
I had a starring role. I was the bad guy who walked out.
They say be careful where you aim
Because where you aim you might just hit.
You can hold onto something so tight
You've already lost it.
Dragging me down, that's not the way it used to be.
You can't even remember what I'm trying to forget.

It was a dirty day, dirty day.
Looking for explanations I don't even understand.
If you need someone to blame, throw a rock in the air, you'll hit someone guilty.

From father to son, in one life has begun
A work that's never done, father to son.

(Love, it won't last kissin' time).
(Love, it won't last kissin' time).
(Love, it won't last kissin' time).

Get it right, there's no blood thicker than ink.
Hear what I say, nothing's as simple as you think.
Wake up, some things you can't get around
I'm in you, more so when they put me in the ground.

The days, days, days run away like horses over the hill.



ETA: All I have to do is dislike a song to get you guys to actually discuss it?! I hate every U2 song from here on... keep the comments coming! ;-)
 
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Comments

 
From:amerrydeath
Date:January 17th, 2006 04:51 pm (UTC)
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I LOVE Dirty Day. Have you ever seen/heard it live? Incredible.

Draggin' me down... so good.
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From:themegs
Date:January 17th, 2006 04:54 pm (UTC)
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That's interesting. I've always loved that song, especially lyrically. I thought the vocal fit with the music and the mood of the song. Admittedly, I prefer the remix on the Best of 1990-2000 for the music.

Something I love is that on the remix, Bono screams "WAKE UP!" After hearing that, the next time I listened to the original, I noticed that Bono took a deep breath before that line, as if to scream it, and then he said it softly. I cracked up laughing.

I seem to be in the minority in general because I love Zooropa as an album.
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From:neverletmedown
Date:January 17th, 2006 07:15 pm (UTC)
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I know what you mean, Zooropa has always been one of my favourite U2 albums... I think it's because it's so daring and experimental. Dirty Day has certainly always been one of my favourite tracks on that album.
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From:themegs
Date:January 17th, 2006 07:22 pm (UTC)
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Me too, but they're all my favorite track, for the same reason that every u2 album is my favorite. They're each so different.
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From:arcmorality
Date:January 17th, 2006 04:58 pm (UTC)

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Wow. That song is just mind blowing.

The lyrics are hardly sung. Even in falsetto Bono sounds like he's talking.

But that's the beauty of it really. A nod to a guy who sings later on that album. If Bono sang that song at full pelt it would have been way overblown.

A cracker of a tune. The remixes are even better!
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From:dachelle
Date:January 17th, 2006 04:59 pm (UTC)
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Echoing everyone else above. I love this song. I think Bono's vocals fit perfectly with the lyrics and mood of the music.
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From:zoostation
Date:January 17th, 2006 05:02 pm (UTC)
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You are FIRED from your SOTD duties!
I didn't know you did not like this song!

It's simply awesome!
If you need someone to blame, throw a rock in the air, you'll hit someone guilty.
This right here is the high point of the song. Although I think it's an Irish proverb so you can't thank Bono for it.
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From:sapphires13
Date:January 17th, 2006 05:09 pm (UTC)
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You know, I suppose musically this song is somewhat bland. But it's quite awesome lyrically. There are particular lines in there that are just good for quoting on their own. Dirty Day certainly isn't The Fly in that sense, but it does have it's moments.
I think... I see it as a man telling a story. He doesn't have to sing, and the music is more ambient than anything else.
It's different, yes. But I like it.
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From:fiveandfour
Date:January 17th, 2006 05:12 pm (UTC)
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I quite like this song. It speaks to the dark side of relationships - the resentments that people hold onto that the other person doesn't even remember or would never guess were that big of a deal, how it's possible to be so miserly and petty and not even see you're as much to blame as the other person. I've always thought the prominance of Adam's bass really matched the tone and thrust of the lyrics and like the mini "take off" that occurs between the "You can't even remember what I'm trying to forget" and "It was a dirty day" lines.
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From:sirensong984
Date:January 17th, 2006 05:37 pm (UTC)
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I think this is probably one of Bono's best lyrical displays, as is Zooropa as a whole (YES, even Babyface!). I especially love the Charles Bukowski reference.

But I can see why it's not everyones cup of tea. :)
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From:beowulfjones
Date:January 17th, 2006 05:38 pm (UTC)
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I don't know about it being the weakest track on Zooropa, but Dirty Day does seems to be the most out of place. The rest of the tracks, Stay aside, are fairly experimental for the band; Stay and Dirty Day are... I wouldn't say the most "guitary" of the lot, but at least more "traditional" in sound -- a ballad and a rocker.

Bono's lyrical style also changed substantially from Achtung Baby to Zooropa... on Dirty Day, he's working heavily with transforming clichés and images -- i.e. "I was the bad guy who walked out," "be careful where you aim / Because where you aim you might just hit," "If you need someone to blame, throw a rock in the air..." and the whole last verse. It's a far cry from, say, Acrobat, but I think it's pretty effective: the relationship conveyed is complex but grasping the weight of it through these lyrics isn't hard at all. To me, the song aches with some just barely emitted pain.

The music is in danger of being a bit too simple, but I still think it does the trick -- especially in the live version on the ZOOTV VHS, when the band lets loose under all those lights... woooo-e! Adam's bass sounds like a caged tiger to me, pacing with the lyrics; the beat Larry picks out is a personal favorite -- his accenting varies from the studio version to the live performances but always remind me a bit of Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses; Edge doesn't really have his usual part... instead, he counters Adam's verse line with a crazed chorus scream. The solo he adds in live is a great extention of the song.

Layer on top of that the sudden keyboards that just arrive in the middle for Bono's "From father to son" section, plus the single note that holds through the entire song.

I dunno, it works for me. Might not for others, but definitely does for me.
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From:canadanne
Date:January 21st, 2006 03:34 am (UTC)

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Adam's bass sounds like a caged tiger to me, pacing with the lyrics

Wow, excellent description. That's exactly what it is, but I never would have come up with the comparison!
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From:boriel
Date:January 17th, 2006 06:16 pm (UTC)
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i actually like and dislike this song at the same time...i like the beginning and middle of it. i think the ending part sounds like they threw part of an unfinished second song into the mix just to try and be done with it all. i truly feel like its two songs put together that dont work.

but i do like the beginning and middle..so i do listen to it :))
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From:simu2fan
Date:January 17th, 2006 07:38 pm (UTC)
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it took me a looooong time to like this song but I fell in love with it on the live Zoo Sydney show. It's one of those songs that you have to work at to love. Take a listen to the live version a few times. You might change your mind.

Everyone has a right to their opinion though. You don't have to like every U2 song out there. :)
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From:claudiathefish
Date:January 17th, 2006 09:11 pm (UTC)
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These days, days, days run away like horses over the hill!

I love that. It has some significance to me, but I can't quite put my finger on what I like so much about it. It might be the harmonies.
The ending does sound like a different song, but eh.

I don't know you, and you don't know the half of it.

Fantastic lyrical display, in my opinion.
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From:slfcllednowhere
Date:January 17th, 2006 10:31 pm (UTC)
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It's a Bukowski reference, as the song overall is "for" him.

(And, yes, I also have to say how much I LOVE this song...especially the "get it right" verse...)
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From:reecord2
Date:January 17th, 2006 09:20 pm (UTC)
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The two remixes, the Skysplitter Dub and the Junk Day mix, are miles and miles above the album version.
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From:zoostation
Date:January 17th, 2006 09:25 pm (UTC)

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I prefer Bitter Kiss by far.
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From:reecord2
Date:January 17th, 2006 09:36 pm (UTC)
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I think Bitter Kiss was one of the ones I was thinking of, I can't remember the names of the remixes off the top of my head. It's the one with the cello in it. :-)
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From:zoostation
Date:January 17th, 2006 10:12 pm (UTC)
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Yessssssssssssssssssssss

:drool:
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From:stateless
Date:January 17th, 2006 10:20 pm (UTC)
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YES! everyone else i know likes the other one better, but i'm a sucker for the bitter kiss mix.
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From:canadanne
Date:January 17th, 2006 09:46 pm (UTC)

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Dirty Day rules.
As usual I have limited time at the moment, but skimming through the comments so far, it looks like everyone might have already covered the points I was going to make!!
Sydney video... guh....
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From:stateless
Date:January 17th, 2006 10:20 pm (UTC)
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father to son.

i half expected this tune to reappear on the vertigo tour.
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From:bonoffee
Date:January 18th, 2006 11:37 am (UTC)
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I love this song too. I like the talkyness and the darkness. It appeals to my, well, talky and dark sides, I guess. ;)

I GET SOTD TOMORROW! Aherm. Maybe only a little excited there. Expect random choices from me, 'cause random is teh love.

Oh and Babyface really won least favourite? Has nobody HEARD Red Light? ;)
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From:canadanne
Date:January 21st, 2006 03:26 am (UTC)

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No way can this be considered a weak track - in fact, it's probably what saves the second half of the album from being a total downhill slide. (I love Zooropa dearly, but apart from Dirty Day, the best material is definitely in the first five to six tracks.)

Wow, I'm really glad everyone suddenly came to life for this comment thread, because there are some fantastic descriptions of the song up there, so I don't feel quite as much pressure to try and do it justice myself!  I'm not sure I'd have the words.

Speaking of words, the lyrics to this song are indeed amazingly powerful. That first pair of verses is just... whoa. The way Bono spits out these lines so bitterly:
"I don't know you... and you don't know the half of it.
I had a starring role... I was the bad guy who walked out.
"
God, can I ever relate to that. Friendships that have gone sour, people who love to play the innocent victim and make you look like the one to blame... I'm pretty bitter and twisted myself, so I love a good venting song!  My favourite line of the whole song has got to be "You can't even remember what I'm trying to forget". I can't tell you the number of times I've found myself in a situation like that... what a heartbreaker of a lyric that is. (Some of these lines have a similar effect on me as one of my favourite Keane songs, Your Eyes Open - "For a moment your eyes open and you know, all the things I ever wanted you to know / I don't know you, and I don't want to, till the moment your eyes open and you know." Except Bono sounds so much more... dangerous!)

Which brings us nicely to the *attitude* that's oozing from this song. Whilst the Bitter Kiss remix is a much cleaner and catchier version of the song, the album version has this going for it: a whole lot of menace. It's dark and moody and just dripping with venom - some of it comes across as really threatening, which appeals to my own vengeful streak. This is a song for people who know how to hold a grudge!  It's absolutely fantastic to listen to when you're in that kind of deeply pissed-off mood and you just want to show the universe your middle finger. And what makes it even better is that it's kind of sexy with it, thanks to the awesome use of falsetto at various moments!  I already mentioned that I love the "You can't even remember..." line, but it's not just for the lyric, it's also the way it's sung. And the line before it is vocally the highlight of the song for me - "Draggin' me dowwwn, that's not the way it used to be!". I don't have an emphatic enough "guh" in my vocabulary to convey how truly excellent that line sounds.

And then there's more sweet falsetto on the bridge (to match the sudden oasis of beautifully celestial music), with probably my favourite bit being the octave jump on "A work...". How I adore early 90s Bono vocals, he had such range and control back then!
I also like the way he sings "Wake up..." very softly on the album version. The "WAKE UP!!" scream on the remixes is equally cool, but on the album it's just so smooth and melodic... that whole verse is like some psychopathic killer whispering sweet nothings in your ear.

Some people mentioned the live version on the Sydney video, and for sure I would have brought it up if they hadn't!  It doesn't always get mentioned when people are discussing the 'Heart of Darkness' set, but it's an absolutely essential link in that amazing sequence. The transition from Dirty Day to Bullet The Blue Sky (and then on to RTSS and Streets) is so indescribably mindblowing. Bono makes that line "Loooove... it won't last kissin' time" so much more prominent in the live version, repeating it over and over again in the most gorgeous, haunting falsetto - in the dark - as the rest of the song fades away. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it... such a stunning performance! *goes to fetch her audio CD of that show and practically has seizures of ecstasy*

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