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February 10th, 2006

SOTD @ 01:35 am

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Date:February 11th, 2006 04:10 am (UTC)

The Stay single is probably the best U2 single package ever... no wonder it's so bloody difficult to find, and so frelling expensive when you do find it!  I really treasure my copy.

Slow Dancing is an utterly gorgeous song (I overuse that word so much on Song Of The Day, I know!!). I adore both versions and I don't think I could ever pick a favourite, they both bring different qualities to the song. No doubt I'll have a chance to talk about the Willie Nelson collaboration some other time, but for now I'll concentrate on the U2-only acoustic version.

Combine the two, and what you get is both powerful, beautiful and heartbreakingly wonderful. And this is before you add in Willie Nelson's astounding vocals! <-- wow, I think you've already summed it up pretty well there, I don't think I can come up with a better choice of words!  It's one of those perfectly bittersweet ballads that U2 are so good at - dark and angsty but also laced with aching romance that makes your heart melt. And whilst this original version isn't as musically rich or polished as the later recording, I think it captures the melancholy better. It's so much more downbeat, like a late night rendition, and Bono's vocals are incredibly tender and bruised... really haunting. I love Edge's soft "do do-do do, do do-do do" backing vocals during the bridge, and I also love the way Bono sings the word "shadow" in the final verse!  Plus I like the way this version ends - it trails off almost as if Bono just gets lost in his thoughts, or can't bear to dwell on the subject any longer, which I think is slightly more emotionally effective than the sense of closure you get at the end of the 1997 version.

Other thoughts on the song in general - well, the poetry of the lyrics is stunning, it's definitely in a similar vein to She's A Mystery To Me. I can't *really* choose any favourite lines because I like them all, but I suppose I'd highlight the opening verse if I was absolutely forced to narrow it down. I can't believe some people play this song at their weddings, with lyrics like "My love is cruel as the night / She steals the sun and shuts out the light / All of my colours turn to blue, win or lose"!  I also like the line "I don't know why a man sees the truth but needs the lies", it's so true.

The melody is beautiful, it's certainly an ideal song for slow dancing, at least in a musical sense. There's a lovely flow and contrast between the verses, chorus and bridge. And the vocal harmonies on both versions are wonderful, it's one of the standout features of the song.

I hope I've covered everything... this is one of those songs that deserves a thorough review!

To save you the trouble, I've ripped and uploaded both versions:
~ U2 acoustic
~ U2 with Willie Nelson
I'll stick them in the Gmail account as well.

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