ξ (inklingfair) wrote in u2,
ξ
inklingfair
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An early Sunday SOTD

The previous two Bads are from The Unforgettable Fire and Live Aid, so I'm taking the Rattle and Hum one.

Lately I've been posting songs with screencaps - because I'm a child of the MTV generation and process songs better visually (yeah, right) - and this one's gonna get its fair share of the treatment. I MUST say though that I'm rather torn about what to think of Bono here. Sexy? Funny? Ew, sweaty!Bono? You decide.

In an attempt to save bandwidth: screencapped version here.

[EDIT: Right. What the heck, why not? You can view it here, too :D]



"Bad" (Denver, Colorado on 8 November 1987)

If you twist and turn away
If you tear yourself in two again
If I could, you know I would
If I could, I would let it go

(Adam: DUM?-dum...)
Surrender, dislocate


(Um.)

If I could throw this lifeless
Lifeline to the wind
Leave this heart of clay
See you walk, walk away
Into the night
Through the day
Into the half-light
And through the flame

If I could through myself
Set your spirit free
I'd lead your heart away
See you break, break away
Into the light
Through the day
Into the half-light
Through the flame

Sing it

To let it go
And so to fade away
To let it go
And so fade away

I'm wide awake
I'm wide awake

Wide awake
I'm not sleeping
Oh, no, no
I’m not sleeping



If they should ask then maybe
They'd tell you what I would say
True colours fly in blue and black
Bruised silken skies and burning flak [edit: flag? I'm never really sure]
Colours crash, collide...

...in bloodshot eyes

If I could, you know I would
If I could, I would let it go

This desparation
Separation
Condemnation
In temptation
Isolation
Revelation
Isolation
Revelation
Desolation

Let it go
And so to fade away
Let it go
And so fade, fade, fade away
Not fade away
No, no
Not fade away
No, no

Not fade away
Let it go
And so fade away
To let it go
And so fade, fade, fade away
Fade away
Not fade away

No, no
Not fade away

I’m wide awake
I’m wide awake
Wide awake
I’m not sleeping
Oh, no
I’m not sleeping
Oh, no

Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you
Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you

Pleased to meet you
I hope you guessed my name
You know I’m pleased to meet you

(Larry: *BOOM*)
I hope you guessed my name

So let it go
And so fade away
So let it go
And so fade, fade, fade away

(I've always found this really sweet... But I wouldn't want to be Adam)




*fangirlish mode*
This is my all-time favorite U2 song! Larry hitting the cymbals while bobbing his head is so cute! The Edge!guitar is so sexy, and Adam is fantastic.

*serious SOTD mode*
For me, visually this is one of the best songs on Rattle and Hum. The profile-in-shadow shots are gorgeous, especially those of Adam and Edge. I can't imagine this being done in anything but black and white - the lack of color makes the play of light and shadow just so much more dramatic. I think, though, that the frontal shots of Bono with the spotlight on him weren't very flattering - I liked how he was just half-lit up at the start (But then again the audience should see him, so let's not blame the lighting director).

I really appreciated the way Phil Joanou captured the band in concert, with wide sweeping shots and slow pans. I mean, Hamish Hamilton's great, but he doesn't linger, the cameras are all switching so fast you have to catch your breath. There's Larry! Oh, that's Bono again, blurred. Ada-Edge! Guitar! Bono's mug! His hand! Whoa, top-view crowd shot! Anyway...

I guess this live Bad wasn't included in the R&H album because there was already a live one in Wide Awake In America (1985). The WAIA version is a lot "cleaner", and Bono's voice was in far better shape then, but I like the rawness of R&H. (Sadly, Bono can't quite hit that "wide awake" bit in the Elevation (Boston 2001 DVD) version of Bad. Cigars and age, maybe?)

I think the "wide awaaaake!" is much more convincing in R&H because of its relative roughness. Here, "wide awake" is more than just being able to open your eyes - it's a painful and reluctant awakening, and to me, the slow buildup of the song before it is like mumbling, "five minutes more..." to the one trying to rouse the sleeper. Then "colors crash, collide in bloodshot eyes".

If I could pick a favorite line from this, it would be:
Into the light
Through the day
Into the half-light
Through the flame


The programmed intro used to bother me the first few times I heard live Bad, but it's grown on me - now I miss it when listening to the UF version. Edge's playing the same two chords (?) over and over again for most of the song has a very hypnotic effect, and I always find myself waiting for Adam's first Dum?-dum around the first let it go.

There's the heroin angle that most U2 fans know about... But the beauty about Bad is that it's so vague and encompassing that it goes beyond what U2 might have written it about. To me it's something I imagine being written or sung or heard at around four in the morning, when you haven't got a wink of sleep and you've got a crick in your neck and you're not thinking straight anymore and you desperately want to rest (which is ironic, considering the lyrics). Then the dawn breaks and you feel new strength returning to your limbs and you feel like a million bucks. The way it *melts* into Streets adds to the sense of euphoria... but somebody stop me, that's another SOTD.

I'm still not sure why the snippets of Ruby Tuesday and Sympathy for the Devil were often sung during live versions of Bad, but I love hearing Larry's *BOOM* punctuating the Pleased to meet you! parts.

It's been a looong SOTD, I know. Way out of control, sorry.
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