A Message of Faith and Hope

I am in the office this morning and I am clearing my desk of most of the noise and around me the sounds of U2 RADIO playing at volumes that a normal office would not allow. However this is not a normal office.

I am reminded that U2's music provides an opportunity to become a believer.  A believer in something higher, call it what you will. When the spirit moves you, that's the start of something powerful.  Bono once said:"all the best songs are co-written by God."   U2's music has always been able to heal and provide some creative flow to be able to see beyond what is in front of me.

I know that U2 fans have thousands of choices to find news, music, videos and more and I am very humbled with the amount of success we have enjoyed. I have faith, I am a believer that does not wear his faith on his sleeve rather in my heart. I allow my actions to speak louder. I have noticed that forgiveness has a way of healing the soul and provides a peace that I enjoy. 

“The Lord is in the House tonight” Going to Church that’s what going to a U2 concert felt like for a few of the fans this past tour. Faith, Love and Hope rising beyond the 50 thousand screaming fans; all in one single space in hopes to see something magical beyond the walls that held them inside.

It was last year that we posted an story from Robert Hunt Jr. within we listed 15 of the most moving songs ever written by U2.  Faith above all can lead you into a direction of the unknown.

Take a look at the list. What would you define as your top 15 moving songs ?


 15. Mothers of the Disappeared

This five-minute gem closes out "The Joshua Tree", U2's biggest and best selling album. It's a brooding, haunting, spooky song that starts with just a faint percussion line and some sporadic guitar feedback. Then it settles into a slow, rhythmic almost dirge-like beauty.

Bono and Edge combine for an achingly gorgeous falsetto chorus while the song gently moves along. The title refers to the Asociación Madres de Plaza de Mayo, a group of Argentine mothers who lost their children, "The Disappeared", during Argentina's Dirty War from 1976 to 1983. As such, this is one of U2's most politically driven songs and it clearly demonstrates the band's interest and commitment to human rights. In a legendary 1989 performance in Buenos Aires, many of the Mothers came out on stage and stood as one holding up posters of their children as the band played this song. Very few rock bands can do that.

 14. Mysterious Ways

 This song is dedicated to that most beautiful of all creatures ... Women. It's a very loud but sensuous song with another of Edge's superb opening guitar riffs. This song is off their successful 1991 album, "Achtung Baby". Baby was a distinct departure from the band's earlier sound as this disc was their first venture into a new techno-dance sound that they would continue exploring throughout the 90's. During their 90's live shows, a belly dancer would join the band on stage during this song. In a case of life imitating art, Edge even married one of the belly dancers, Morleigh Steinberg. Clearly, she moved in Mysterious Ways.

 13. City of Blinding Lights

 "Lights" is from the band's 2004 album, "How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb", and it opened up most nights of the 2005-06 Vertigo Tour. It has a shimmering "wall of sound" feel to it but it's also a kickass rocker with another of the band's trademark sing-a-long choruses. The song is about New York City in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. U2 has had a long and fascinating love affair with America and felt the loss much the same way Americans did. As the story goes, they were flying in to New York at night some time after the attacks and could see the city lit up from above like it always has been. "Oh, you look so beautiful tonight" was the result.

 12. New Year's Day

 From 1983's "War", this was U2's first big hit single. Originally a love song, it was reformed as a tribute to Lech Walesa's Polish Solidarity movement. It's about starting over fresh and new and it features Edge on both organ and guitar. He plays both instruments during live shows as well. Adam's bass line is also one of his best and carries much more of the song's texture than he typically does. And Larry's drums are up front and razor sharp too. Instantly recognizable, "Day" is a concert staple and still one of their most popular and well-known songs.

 11. The Fly

 One of the great "character" songs in the band's catalog, "The Fly" also features one of Edge's most distinctive and agressive "techno" riffs. This "Achtung Baby" song is the definitive break between the band's original sound and their new 90's "industrial" direction. "Fly" still has all the required U2 elements but they're played and mixed in a new way that instantly illustrates two conflicting themes ... Yes, this is U2 and no, we've never heard them like this before. From this point forward, "The Joshua Tree" was history. On stage, Bono assumes the character of "The Fly", a preening, strutting, leather-clad rock star in black wraparound sunglasses. When that phone call from Hell comes, it might as well be "The Fly" answering it. This song is 90's U2. It was their past, present and future.

 10. Running To Stand Still

 A truly lovely song about a sad subject, drug addiction, and heroin in particular. It's an achingly beautiful song filled with pathos and sympathy. Another one from "The Joshua Tree", "Still" has some of the band's most painful and poignant lyrics and some of their best slow song melodies. When played live, the crowd usually gets quiet and then softly sings along with Bono ... "Singing ha, ah la la la de day, Ah la la la de day, Ah la la de day". This is one of the band's songs that really gets down deep inside you. Very few fans can hear this one and not feel the pain and empty sadness. "She will suffer the needle chill, She's running to stand ........ still."

 9. Elevation

 This is a loud, raucous, joyous, all-out, infectious number dedicated to either heaven above or just plain old joy and exhiliration down below. During the band's 2001 tour, they took the unusual step of opening each show by casually walking onto the stage with the house lights still on and then ripping into this song driving the crowd into a pogo stick frenzy. With Edge's raging feedback guitar and Bono's kickboxer poses, "Elevation" was the perfect opener for that tour. The band also played this song during a Saturday Night Live gig that year and drove that crowd and the show host, Val Kilmer, wild too. A mole, living in a hole, digging up my soul.

 8. Pride (In The Name Of Love)

 This is one of the U2's best known songs and it's also one of their best. As most fans know, it's about the Reverend Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. Edge plays a fiery guitar on "Pride" while Adam and Larry provide their customary solid backbeat. But this one is Bono's all the way. Yes, there is a mistake in the lyrics. Dr. King was assassinated in the early evening of April 4, not the early morning. But it doesn't matter. This is a song that crosses over racial boundaries as well as the Atlantic Ocean to recognize a true human hero. And Bono makes sure we know that. The band is rarely more urgent or more intense when they kick into this one.

 7. "40"

 A short and simple song but very powerful, "40" is often played to close down a live show. It's off the band's 1983 album, "War" and the title and lyrics are a reference to Psalm 40 in the Bible. Typically, they play it while the band leaves the stage one at a time. Bono usually exits first leaving the crowd singing the chorus line of "How long to sing this song" over and over. Edge leaves next while Adam and Larry remain. After Adam takes his bow and leaves, Larry and his drums are all that's left. But the crowd is still singing. Then Larry leaves. And we all stay and sing. Over and over. How long to sing this song. How long, how long. Then the lights slowly come on.

 6. When I Look At The World

 This is an obscure little-known track from U2's 2000 disc, "All That You Can't Leave Behind". It was not released as a single and to date, the band has not played it live in concert. But they should. "World" starts with a simple Edge guitar riff, hesitates for a brief pause and then explodes into a beautiful melody with soaring guitar notes and the usual airtight rhythm. Edge is all over this one moving up and down the scales while Bono sings another gorgeous set of lyrics about faith and spirituality. This song is a reminder of just how good U2 is because any other band would have rushed this one out as a single, shot an expensive video and then featured it at every live gig for the rest of their lives.

 5. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

 The boys do gospel. Oh yes, they do. "Found" is perhaps their most beautiful song. The melody is unforgettable and the chorus is so easy and so much fun to sing along with that most fans never mind when this one gets stuck in their heads. "Found" is about faith, religion, redemption, salvation, all mixed into one peaceful simple tune. It's the second of the "Big Three" songs off their mega-hit 1987 album "The Joshua Tree". This is the album that exploded U2 onto the world scene and cemented their legend for all time. And this song, among others on this incredible record, helped seal that deal. For an extra treat, watch and listen to "Found" in the band's 1989 movie, "Rattle and Hum". The boys team up with a Harlem church choir to show everyone what gospel can be. Heaven.

 4. Sunday Bloody Sunday

 "Sunday" is one of U2's first and most famous overtly political songs. It's about the bloody struggle in Northern Ireland and sends a plaintive almost desperate call for peace in that tortured land. Larry's drums provide a tight almost militaristic cadence while Edge uses a simple but powerful guitar riff throughout. This is another song that the band never plays casually. "Sunday" is an intense song meant to force you to wonder just how long this madness, The Troubles, has to go on. U2 opened their Live Aid set with "Sunday" as it was their most well-known song at the time. And they didn't disappoint.

 3. Where The Streets Have No Name

 The signature song from "The Joshua Tree", "Streets" has one of the band's most mesmerizing openings. It starts with a long church organ solo followed by another classic Edge riff. Then Adam joins in with a pounding bass line followed shortly by Larry's hypnotic drums. Finally, at the 1:45 mark, with the buildup at maxiumum intensity, Bono drops in with the opening line "I wanna run, I want to hide." The video for "Streets" is legendary as well. The boys made an unannounced visit to a rooftop in Los Angeles and started playing. A large crowd quickly gathered and soon the LAPD came and shut it down for fear of traffic and crowd control problems. U2 also played "Streets" during halftime of the 2002 Super Bowl just a few months after 9/11. As they played, the names of each victim scrolled behind the band on an enormous screen. At the end of the song, with millions watching on TV, Bono simply opened his jacket to reveal an American flag inside. Nothing else needed to be said.

 2. One

 This is the song that "saved" U2. As the story goes, the band was on the verge of breaking up while recording "Achtung Baby" in 1991. Edge and Bono wanted to explore the new techno-dance sound while Adam and Larry didn't. Finally, Edge came up with the arrangements for "One" and it changed everyone's outlook and approach to going forward with renewed optimism. The lyrics to "One" are ambiguous. Some interpret it as a love song although not a pain-free one. Others see it as a song about individuality as in "We're one but we're not the same." Regardless, the song is simply stunning and shows the band at its very finest. It's an encore number at all shows and has been covered by several other artists including Mary J Blige and Johnny Cash. "One" is the band's highest ranked song showing up on numerous "best ever" lists. It is the "One".

 1. Bad

 The best of the best. This sad but intense song about drug addiction is a huge crowd favorite. It opens with Edge repeating just two simple but unmistakable chiming notes over and over until the rest of the band kicks in and drives it harder and harder. U2 played this song at Live Aid and all but stole the entire show with it. When Bono went down off the Wembley Stadium stage and into the rapturous crowd, the band kept playing past the time they had planned to end the song and so U2 missed out on playing "Pride", the final song of their set. Legend has it Bono brooded over his "mistake" for weeks after the show until finally being convinced that "Bad" was just that good. If you listen to no other U2 song, this is the one. You'll be wide awake. You won't be sleeping.

 

Letter from Bono

A letter from Bono, on the arrival 'of our new baby' - Songs of Innocence.

'Hello, bonjour, ciao, hola, hallo, zdravo, dobar dan, Dia duit, hæ, hej,hei, cześć, olá, ćao, namaste, sawatdee, jambo, pozdravi, Γεια σου, привіт, שלום, مرحبا, こんにちは, , سلام, 你好, Привет….

Remember us? Pleased to announce myself, Edge, Adam and Larry have finally given birth to our new baby… Songs of Innocence. It’s been a while. We wanted to get it right for you/us. We just finished it last week and thanks to Apple and iTunes it’s with you today. That’s already amazing to me as it normally takes a few months to turn this stuff around.

Part of the DNA of this band has always been the desire to get our music to as many people as possible. In the next 24 hours, over a half a billion people are going to have Songs of Innocence… should they choose to check it out. That is so exciting. People who haven’t heard our music, or weren’t remotely interested, might play us for the first time because we’re in their library. Country fans, hip hop afficionados from east LA, electro poppers from Seoul, Bhangra fans from New Delhi, Highlifers in Accra… might JUST be tempted to check us out, even for a moment.

What a mind blowing, head scratching, 21st century situation. Over 500 million people… that’s a billion ears. And for the people out there who have no interest in checking us out, look at it this way… the blood, sweat and tears of some Irish guys are in your junk mail.

You’ll have noticed the album is free to U2.com’ers from the band. It’s also free to everyone on iTunes thanks to Apple. To celebrate the ten year anniversary of our iPod commercial, they bought it as a gift to give to all their music customers.

Free, but paid for. Because if no-one's paying anything for it, we’re not sure “free” music is really that free. It usually comes at a cost to the art form and the artist… which has big implications, not for us in U2, but for future musicians and their music... all the songs that have yet to be written by the talents of the future… who need to make a living to write them.

We’re collaborating with Apple on some cool stuff over the next couple of years, innovations that will transform the way music is listened to and viewed. We’ll keep you posted. If you like Songs of Innocence,  stay with us for Songs of Experience. It should be ready soon enough… although I know I’ve said that before…

I hope after listening to our new long player a few times, you’ll understand why it took so long. We really went there… it’s a very, very personal album. Apologies if that gets excruciating… actually, I take that back. No apologies if it gets excruciating. What’s the point in being in U2 if you can’t go there?
There is no end to LOVE.'
BONO

Christ, Faith, Love, Hope and a New Album

Its not our idea to suggest that God has a place within any music however U2 music has always had themes that create conversation about the beliefs of the band. One could say U2 has a strong Christian faith and yet Bono and the boys have denounced uniform concepts of church and one faith. During this interview Bono was asked the direct question do you pray and to whom. Bono said yes I pray to Christ to know the will of God during this interview in 2013. 

Challenging times for the boys as they try to complete their 13th album and find away to reach out and touch that magic that is U2.  Faith has always been centered around ideas that man has failures and if he is willing to raise above he too can experience greater joys in life.  Its a simpler process to create music and remove the concepts of faith its harder to instill them and kind a balance.  We all could use a little prayer so add U2 to your list and send some positive vibes their way 

Why do we want another U2 album ?

Before we all get up into a fight about what we should talk about and write about when it comes to U2. Lets all remember we are fans and that our love for the music really has created a community.

Lots of emotions are flowing around the future of U2. We all feel the same way. 

I thought about my personal views on the idea and while I was never really one to share my thoughts on the future of U2 and wondered why not.

Why not share what I thought about the whole matter. 

However before we venture down that path here's the comments that have been flying around about the band and their future.

A source commented that: “They never wanted to be the kind of band who just toured over and over again without new material.

“Bono would rather pack it in if it got to that stage.

“At the earliest they will hit the road at the end of this year and after that it’s hard to see how they could carry on.

“Bono is always getting offers to go solo and write his own album. That’s looking like a very likely option in the coming years.”

Earlier this year Bono admitted the band were living in fear of becoming irrelevant.

He said: “We were trying to figure out why would anyone want another U2 album?

“And then we said ‘Why would we want one?’ There was some unfinished business.

“We felt like we were on the verge of irrelevance a lot in our lives.”

The idea of irrelevance really bugs the crap out of me. I think that I have a voice and that sometimes U2 music speaks well for me. I think that the future does belong to be as much as it belongs to that snot nosed little pisser of a kid that comes up behind me.

The music is more about beliefs in something greater than me. A higher place, a freedom from what holds me back. Yet I know that in order to grow I must let go of yesterday and look towards the future.

U2 has give us a great collection of music that can stand the test of time. The themes still hold true today. While some say that God has no place in music others delight in the idea that that you can be a bad boy or girl and be saved daily by grace.

Sure I would love for U2 to grow older with me and carry me into those remaining years.  U2 does not owe me the fan anything, the music was made for me to enjoy.

The shows  allowed me to breathe life into a community of friends. I am not mad nor upset if this really is the end. I know others will not agree. However that's what makes the whole idea of being a U2 fan beautiful.

And love, it's not the easy thing
The only baggage, that you can bring
Not the easy thing, the only baggage you can bring
Is all that you can't leave behind

Maybe hidden in those words was the message that you can't leave U2 behind that that U2 will forever be within your hearts and isn't that the place you would want them to be most often. So ask yourself why do you want another U2 album ? How would another U2 album change the course of your musical experience ? Why could we not just let U2 drift off into the summer afternoon with the thought that we have all been apart of musical history.