kat (bonoffee) wrote in u2,

SOTD (Thurs)

Bit late today because LJ was acting up yesterday, sorry about that, but Thursday's SOTD is...

Sunday Bloody Sunday from Popmart, Mexico City

The song I originally chose, I wasn't bothered about enough to write much. So instead, I chose the Popmart version of Sunday Bloody Sunday. This is, of course, notable because it is sung by Edge!

Doesn't seem like a huge deal. But the effect on the song is pretty big. U2 hadn't played SBS for a very long time, and to compare we have to go back to performances in the 80s, really. The initial SBS performances were very much like the album version, loud and powerful and guitar and drums and it really did hit home, it's a shocking song really when you listen to it. Except maybe after a while, it starts to lose its impact and there has to be a fresh way of looking at it. That was done with the late 80s versions when the band forsook Larry's intro for a quieter, more thoughtful one, and this is best seen on the famous Rattle and Hum version.

It seems to me, though, that maybe the band also felt the song needed a break. It means so much as an anthem and a prayer that it needed to be done differently to regain its force. The Popmart version does this because it's the antethesis of album versions and Bono's speeches. All we have here is Edge and his guitar. And a cowboy hat, but that's a personal pleasure. ;)

Totally stripped down, SBS is given a new lease of life. Edge says at the start that they didn't know if they'd play the song again, and I'm really glad they did, but I'm glad they started playing it again this way. As we had with Corpse, Edge's voice is perfect for the role. He has a plaintive, sad quality to his vocals that contrast with Bono's. It's not better or worse, just different in a positive way, because the song is interpreted in a new way and seen more as a song of loss and desolation rather than defiance and indignance which I think characterise the 'standard' SBS versions. Again, both work brilliantly and it's nice to have the choice depending on your mood!

Edge sings the song really well. I think he has a lovely voice, soft but firm, he clearly means what he sings and of course SBS itself was his idea initially. I imagine he was glad of the opportunity to put his own stamp on the song. Naturally his guitar matches the mood, sombre and wistful and wishing for better times to come along. Strangely, the apparently gentleness of this version doesn't lose the song any of its strength or impact. It's quiet determination rather than anger, and the song is invigorated to different level.

So I love this song. I think it works brilliantly and also in the context of Popmart it worked, because it showed U2 hadn't forgotten what they were all about even in the middle of giant lemons and bubble trousers! And there's also a funny moment leading up to the song with Bono saying "imagine being called The Edge." Lol! I think Edge would be more bothered if that hadn't come from someone called Bono... ;)

We didn't know if we would ever get to play this next song again
Ah, but, we did play it in Sarajevo, about a month ago
And we rediscovered the song
So this is sunday bloody sunday

Can't believe the news today
I can't close my eyes
And make it go away
How long...
How long must we sing this song?
How long? How long...
Tonight...we can be as one

Broken bottles under children's feet
Bodies strewn across the dead end street
I won't heed the battle call
Puts my back up
Puts my back up against the wall

Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Sunday, Bloody Sunday

And the battle's just begun
There's many lost, but tell me who has won
Trenches dug within our hearts
And mothers, children, brothers, sisters
Torn apart

Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Sunday, Bloody Sunday

How long...
How long must we sing this song?
How long? How long...
Tonight... we can be as one
Tonight... tonight... tonight...

Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Sunday, Bloody Sunday

Uploaded to YouSendIt for your listening pleasure. Hope it works!

Must get my thinking hat back on for next week... If anyone has any suggestions leave a comment at my LJ. :)
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