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March 20th, 2006

Song of Tomorrow @ 11:53 pm

stay_please:
Feelin' generous...

Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own (Alternate Version) from Unreleased/Rare

You have to imagine some songs, without the audience going crazy over them, are a bit overdone for our boys. "'Where the Streets Have No Name'? Not that bloody tune again!" But alas, we drool over the songs, it excites them, and they deliver time and time again. I often wonder how Bono can deliver songs like SYCMIOYO over and over again, while achieving such emotion each time. Some nights are more emotional than others, I'm sure, but he never lets us down.

This is certainly the inferior of two versions. Alas, 'tis why it was put on some crappy promotional digital release. It is entirely different from our beloved studio version. Edge's chiming guitar is gone until the choruses and the end of the song. And the chorus consists of "Sometimes you can't make it on your own..." The "and it's you when..."s were added later, and make the song, in my opinion.

Aside from the first verse, the rest is entirely different. Lyrically, it's up to par with the other version. But I think the older lyrics beat into us themes we've heard time and again in "Kite" and others, about never being good enough. I think Bono made a wise decision in leaving the living up to his father implied. Literally, it became a dedication, a plea. And while it's lyrically just as strong, Bono's voice is definitely in ATYCLB-mode. I imagine this version was recorded much closer to the time of Bob Hewson's funeral, than in the year winding down to the HTDAAB release. The climactic "sing" is there, but the "Can. You. Hear. Me. When. I." is gone. Even the "sing" is not that great of a note, and Bono sounds parched.

Whereas Yahweh was an alternate clear-cut version of what a song could have been, this one seems to be picked up off the cutting room floor and "eh, why not"ted onto the promotion. Edge blurts out two notes, that I hope were not intended to be on the release. The clear guitar is nixed, and we have a distorted array of chords and a synthed background that makes this sound straight out of Muzak.

While not very strong sonically, this one is interesting to keep around as a note of song development. How long this version lasted before dumping the middle verse, adding to the chorus, and changing guitars is unknown to me. It's interesting to wonder whether the released version came on a whim a week before deadlines, or if it was in the works and constantly morphing over the years.


Tough, you think you've got the stuff
You're telling me and anyone
You're hard enough

You don't have to put up a fight
You don't have to always be right
Let me take some of the punches
For you tonight

Listen to me now
I need to let you know
You don't have to go it alone

Sometimes you can't make it on your own
Sometimes you can't make it on your own

When I was a young boy, in the suburb of cedarwood
I wanted to be great
'Cause good would not be good enough

Now that I'm older
I don't see things any clearer
Nearer now, but still a long way off

Listen to me now
I need to let you know
You don't have to go it alone

Sometimes you can't make it on your own
Sometimes you can't make it on your own

Sing
You're the reason I sing
You're the reason why the opera is in me

Hey now, gotta let you know
A house still don't make a home
Don't leave me here alone
(Leave me here)

Sometimes you can't make it on your own
Sometimes you can't make it on your own
Sometimes you can't make it
Best you can do is to fake it
Sometimes you can't make it on your own


I will upload to Gmail.
ID: u2usendit
PW: vertigou2
 
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Comments

 
From:vintagefuck
Date:March 21st, 2006 08:14 am (UTC)
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A house still don't make a home
I seem to be hearing this a lot these days. I don't know if it's something the general public just started saying or if I just wasn't hearing it before.
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From:inklingfair
Date:March 21st, 2006 06:30 pm (UTC)
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I think Bono made a wise decision in leaving the living up to his father implied.

I agree. The "now that I'm older" lyric seems too "Father and Son" for me...
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From:canadanne
Date:April 1st, 2006 03:17 am (UTC)
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Blimey, I would have expected a bigger response to this one. Such laziness around here! *tsk*

I find this to be the most palatable of the HTDAAB "Alternate Versions" by quite a long way, though obviously it's not a patch on the final arrangement. It stands up pretty well on its own, distinct from the album version with a totally different feel - very soothing and wistful, as opposed to desperate and impassioned. Admittedly the intro makes it sound more like something that would have fitted onto ATYCLB, but I won't hold that against it... ;p

I seem to recall Edge in some interview or other, demonstrating the original chord sequence for this song, and how they finally changed it for the album version and nailed the mood perfectly. I do rather like these old chords as well, though - there's a kind of gentle charm, a warmth about it all. Same with Bono's vocals - they're so soft on this version, it's almost like a lullaby. He even seems to be deliberately putting on a childish voice at times ("Listen to me now"?). And oh, is that a delightful fleckering of Bono-falsetto I hear during the guitar solo and again toward the end...? :)

It's sweet, but incredibly weird, to hear Bono making references to Cedarwood Road and stuff.... the lyrics seem that much more *personal* than the ones on the album version (which were still personal, but a bit more universalised). I guess this is lyrically much closer to the version they sang at the funeral, so it almost feels wrong that we're given such an insight - it's quite a privilege really.

The fact that we're missing most of our familiar chorus is definitely the most dramatic difference here - you can't help but feel there's something majorly lacking, when you keep anticipating those wonderful build-up lines that never come!  I'm so glad they managed to pull this song together eventually, because it wouldn't have been anywhere near as powerful if they'd left it in this state. Those extra chorus lines sound so natural and right, it's hard to believe they weren't always there!

You're also right about the whole "opera" section not being as climactic in this version. That's forgivable, given the obvious demo feel of the track in general, but it's another reason why the album version is far superior and I'd much rather listen to that one.

Overall - it may not be *great* at this developmental stage, but it's nice enough, IMO.

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