March 3rd, 2006

U2 Tree

(no subject)

This might be a dumb question, but why is the GOLD version of "Joshua Tree" so much more expensive? Are there special features? I mean obviously the music kicks ass, and of course no album has ever been greater before or since, but I see the gold version on eBay selling for literally hundreds of dollars.


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... ;)

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