Tag Archives: U2

The Best U2 Ever

Last night I endeavored to do something that’s probably blasphemous in the eyes of many. At least what I came up with might be considered sacrilege. I set out to create a CD of my personal favorite U2 songs. For those of you who know U2, that’s no small feat. Limiting yourself to 74 minutes is pretty tricky. To be honest, I cheated. My wife made a favorites CD, too, so some of my favorites are on her CD, and that saved room on my own CD.

What’s truly difficult about this endeavor, is choosing which version of a particular song you want. I have five different versions of “Bad” alone (the album version, the Wide Awake in America version, the Rattle & Hum DVD version, the Elevation 2001 DVD version, and the Live Aid version). Of course I’m a U2 freak, so I’ve been able to download a number of songs and I figured out how to rip the audio off my DVDs so I could have some quality live versions.

A project like this can tell you a lot about someone. I think mine says that I like slow depressing songs, loud bangy songs, and live versions of the classic anthems. I think Abby’s mix shows her hope in spite of it all.

And whenever you do something like this, there’s going to be the detractors. The pissed off people who are looking for their own favorite songs and are bound to be disappointed. For those wondering what almost made my list, “Discotheque” was the last song cut. I also flirted with “Silver and Gold,” “Hawkmoon 269,” “Gone”, “Until the End of the World,” “Fly,” “Pride,” and “I Will Follow” (live from the Elevation 2001 DVD). I was also briefly tempted by “Lemon” and “Babyface,” because I like to sing along in a bad falsetto. And of course just about anything from All That You Can’t Leave Behind–I love that album, but for the most part I opted for live versions. I also think it’s funny that we have nothing taken straight from Joshua Tree, probably the best U2 album ever. Again, we opted for the live versions.

And with no further babbling, I present the Best U2 Ever:

Best U2 Ever (Kevin)
1) Beautiful Day live (Elevation 2001 DVD)
2) Wake Up Dead Man (Pop)
3) Exit live (Rattle & Hum DVD)
4) Last Night On Earth (Pop)
5) Bad live (Rattle & Hum DVD)
6) Lady with the Spinning Head (Best of 1990-2000 B-Sides)
7) Acrobat (Achtung Baby)
8) Out of Control live (live from New York, Oct. 24, 2001)
9) Please live (History Mix DVD)
10) Sunday Bloody Sunday live (Rattle & Hum DVD)
11) Mofo (Pop)
12) 40 intro/Where the Streets Have No Name (Elevation 2001 DVD)
13) Love is Blindess (Achtung Baby)

Best U2 Ever (Abby)
1) Elevation live (Elevation 2001 DVD)
2) Mysterious Ways (Achtung Baby)
3) MLK (The Unforgettable Fire)
4) The Sweetest Thing (The Best of 1980-1990 B-Sides)
5) Peace on Earth (All That You Can’t Leave Behind)
6) I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For live (Rattle & Hum DVD)
7) Unchained Melody (The Best of 1980-1990 B-Sides)
8) Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of (7)
9) Everlasting Love (The Best of 1980-1990 B-Sides)
10) When the Stars Go Blue featuring Bono (VH1 Presents the Corrs live in Dublin)
11) With or Without You live (Rattle & Hum DVD)
12) One (Achtung Baby)
13) Grace (All That You Can’t Leave Behind)
14) Walk On live (Elevation 2001 DVD)
15) October (October)
16) All I Want Is You (Rattle & Hum)

Wankers

From atu2.com: “It looks like there may be another U2 tribute/covers album in production. The official website of the U.K.-based Christian band Delirious? mentions the project, and that Delirious (a band which often gets compared to U2) recently recorded its version of “Pride” for the album. They also report that P.O.D.’s cover of “Bullet the Blue Sky” will be part of the project.” Could there be a CCM U2 cover album in the works?! That could be interesting, given the love/ignore relationship in the Christian market for U2.

Not that U2 cover songs are ever any good. Though I can imagine a few songs that could be included:

dc Talk – “40” – from Solo
Guardian – “Pride” from Live (oh wait, we already have that one!)
Circadian Rhythm – “Gloria” – from Over Under Everything
Caedmon’s Call – “In God’s Country” – from Guild Collection Vol. 2
Newsboys – “Running to a Stand Still” – from live performances
Tree63 – “Pride” – from live performances (oh wait, don’t we have this one?)
Third Day – medley of “Give/Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus/With or Without You/Your Love Oh Lord” – from Offerings II (admittedly cheating since it only includes one line from “With or Without You”)
Michael W. Smith – “40” – from the Worship DVD (wait, another repeat!)
Sandtown – “Pride” – from Based On a True Story (yes, that’s the third time we’ve seen “Pride”)
Darlene Zschech – “Walk On” (hear a sample) – from Kiss of Heaven

And then there’s the U2 songs I’d like to see covered by Christian bands (though I realize this may be sacrilige to some of you):

Five Iron Frenzy – “Exit” / “Wake Up Dead Man”
Jars of Clay – “Sunday Bloody Sunday”
Justin McRoberts – “All I Want Is You”
Switchfoot – “Bad”
Relient K – “Out of Control”
Sixpence None the Richer – “Please” / “Where the Streets Have No Name”
Superchick – “I Will Follow”

Okay, that’s enough. What U2 songs would you like to see Christian bands cover?

My Changing Musical Tastes

I’ve said this before in various musical tirades (tirades about music, not set to music), but I think I grew up in the back closet of the music world. My family had little or no musical talent. The closest my brother and I came to playing instruments was the recorder in third grade. Between you and me, I sucked at it. A piano sat in the corner of our house for 20 years, and for most of those years it was out of tune. My mom was the only one who could ever play it and I don’t ever remember that happening.

When it came to recorded music I was still in the closet. My musical education began with what was popular. A stint of <a href=”http://www.mtv.com/”>MTV</a> watching in second and third grade made me a fan of Bon Jovi’s <i>Slippery When Wet</i> and the Beastie Boys’ <i>License to Ill</i>. But then the New Kids on the Block (see the Backstreet Boys of the late 1980s) hit it big I was disgusted. I turned to Weird Al Yankovic for relief, and my musical education consisted lesson by parody—I rarely knew the original. There was the occasional popular song that I heard and liked (for some odd reason): the Beach Boys’ “Kokomo,” Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” But for the most part I wasn’t a big music fan.

Then I discovered Christian music. I listened to <i>Petra Praise: The Rock Cries Out</i> and I was shocked. Church music with guitars and drums? At first I thought it was a bit much. But then the rebel in me screamed for more and I was hooked. A dozen Petra albums later I was a true Christian music junkie. I have a collection of over 150 CDs I don’t listen to anymore to prove it. I even had a Christian Rock radio show in high school. I basically missed out on the entire music scene in the 1990s.

So when I came to college and lived for four years with roommates who were proud <a href=”http://www.u2.com”>U2</a> addicts, it was only a matter of time. I had heard of U2, but I knew nothing about them. If I heard one of their songs on the radio I couldn’t have identified it as U2. It took two years of U2 roommates and it began to sink in. During my senior year I finally caved in completely.

And I discovered a world of some of the best music I’ve ever heard. It’s easy to get over-dramatic about U2 being the best band in the world, but there’s a lot of truth in that statement; especially when you’ve spent the last eight years listening to Christian rock.

Tomorrow I’m going to my first U2 concert—the Elevation Tour. The tickets just about wiped out my entertainment budget for the year. My wife and I will have to cram ourselves into the closet with a stereo to simulate another concert experience this year. I’m looking forward to the show, which isn’t exactly an understatement. I know it will be good, but I’m trying not to get my expectations too high. It’s easy to expect too much and be let down. I’d rather be genuinely impressed.

What I most respect about U2 is their ability to confront God. They don’t have an evangelistic message. All four members aren’t even Christians. Yet God still comes out in their lyrics, as if he were an undeniable part of life. U2 simply accepts this and lets the Spirit come out in some amazing music. They don’t try to package a message in four easy steps. They don’t shoot for a specific JPM (Jesus’s per minute). They just sing about life—all the ways that life can suck, and all the ways that life is beautiful. It’s refreshingly honest.

I guess you could say I’m a fan. We’ll see how the concert goes.

The Most Honest Christian Band Ever

The new U2 album, All That You Can’t Leave Behind, came out today. Ordinarily I wouldn’t comment on this, but recently I’ve been reading a biography about U2. Put that along side my roommates’ intense love for the band and a weekend spent actually listening to some of their songs and you have more than enough reason to sit up and take notice of the four men from Ireland.

Before coming to college and rooming with U2 fans (every year) I couldn’t name a U2 song. If one was playing on the radio, I wouldn’t have known. I was raised on Christian music (by my own choice, certainly not by my parents’ will) so I had an extremely limited knowledge of mainstream music. Oddly enough, my strict desire to hear only Christian music kept me from hearing what has to be the most honest Christian band I’ve ever heard.

Continue reading The Most Honest Christian Band Ever

Wearing Jeans to Church

“I can’t believe the news today / Oh, I can’t close my eyes / And make it go away / How long… / How long must we sing this song?/ How long? How long…/ ’cause tonight…we can be as one / Tonight… / Sunday, Bloody Sunday / Sunday, Bloody Sunday / Sunday, Bloody Sunday” (“Sunday, Bloody Sunday” by U2)

“The problem’s not Hollywood, the problem’s not Washington / The problem’s a weak divided church of schizmed Christians.” (“Unite” by the Supertones)

How is it that I can walk into a church and feel judged because of my grubby blue jeans and scruffy tennis shoes? Do torn jeans instead of a suit and tie make the difference between a Christian and a hell bound punk? I certainly don’t remember Jesus pausing to comb his hair and put on his best tunic before marching into the synagogue. When is this going to end? When will the church be able to stand as one unified body? Or will we continue to squabble as the world looks on and laughs?