There’s a time and a place for everything, they say. And in my humble opinion, for whatever that may mean, there’s an end coming. I know I upset a lot of people when I say this but my impression is this will likely be U2’s last tour. I could be hopelessly wrong about that. I would not be surprised if I wasn’t. Especially if Bono keeps hurting himself!
Given that probability, I think it’s time to explore something that I would have loved to see long ago. Edge, striking out on his own as a recording artist. Context is important and, for a man with so much talent, we do not know what he’s capable of outside the context of U2.
We’ve seen the odd collaboration over the years. We’ve seen songs like “Numb”. But we’ve never seen what he could do all on his own. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to see him explore his own musical inspirations? From the beginnings with Television-inspired riffs to the electronic resonance of industrial to the culture madness that is New Orleans to home and his Irish roots. Without the need to be U2, the possibilities are endless.
I don’t think it would take him long escape the structure he has spent most of his life in and spread his wings much further afield. What sounds and song ideas were long left in the dust because they didn’t work with U2? Having Brian Eno in his camp for so long, he could surely expand and innovate well past any boundaries we’ve seen to date.
The man can surely sing but I’d love to see both vocals and instrumentals as he would see fit. Perhaps he could do an album of collaborations like Santana did. How cool would it be to see him record a song with Dave Grohl or Tom Morello? After watching It Might Get Loud I would die to see him record something with Jack White. Can you imagine? I’d also love to see something with Chris Cornell (feel free to comment on any artists you think might be interesting co-creators for Edge).
Given the changing musical landscape these days, he could simply record a song and put it out there periodically. There truly is no need to limit himself with finding some definition for an album. Fully exploring his creativity on a song by song basis would be, well, magnificent!!
He wouldn’t even need to tour unless he wanted to do so. I think seeing him do a small number of small shows in smaller venues would be the greatest way to provide an intimate environment so people could really get to know him, as him alone.
It would be fantastic to see this man show the world what he looks like on his own. Unencumbered by the boys club of U2. Able to stretch his wings and truly explore and innovate and put it all out there. He deserves that opportunity. I’m curious if he wants that opportunity. I hope we get to see it sooner than later.