Monday, April 25, 2011

U is for.....

U is for.....U2.

Like a lot of people of my generation, I fell in love with U2 in the early 80s. I was a little young to be fully on board when Boy and October came out, but U2's third album, War, was a musical turning point in my life. I remember seeing the videos for New Year's Day and Sunday Bloody Sunday on MTV, and I was hooked. From that point on, the music of U2 has been like a soundtrack to my life.

I've seen U2 live three times in my life. The first show was in 1992 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison. It was right before I left Madison for Minneapolis. The songs of Achtung Baby always remind me of that transitional time in my life. The second show was in Phoenix in 2000. Meg and I were new parents, and it was our first night away from Scout. It was after 9/11, and near the end of the show the names of all those who died in the towers scrolled down the huge screen. The emotion in the building was palpable; it was a night I'll never forget. The third show was in Phoenix again, last October. I'm not a huge fan of the latest album, but it was a fun show. We were on the floor of the football stadium, and I remember looking up through the open roof at a beautiful star-filled sky as I listened to songs that took me back in time. Me and 70,000 other people.

When I decided on U2 for this post, I got to thinking about my favorite U2 songs. The U2 catalog is full of classic songs, a perfect repertoire for a nice little top ten list. Ask me to name my top ten U2 songs another day, and I might come up with a completely different list. As I sit here writing, these are the songs that make the cut.

10) Where The Streets Have No Name
9) I Will Follow
8) One Tree Hill
7) Ultraviolet
6) Bad
5) With Or Without You
4) Sunday Bloody Sunday
3) Beautiful Day
2) One
1) Pride (In The Name Of Love)

If you're a U2 fan, let me know your top 3 in the comments. Concert stories would be good too. If you're not a U2 fan, what band or musician has provided the soundtrack of your life?


  1. I'd have to add "Lemon" and "Some Days are Better than Others" =)
    Love U2!
    happy u day (and tag u r it! visit me if you want to play =)

  2. Oh Yes - Where the Streets have no Name and also Sunday Bloody Sunday AND With or Without You and...Oh, all of them! :) I also loved them with Mary J. Blige (One) and GreenDay (The Saints are Coming)

  3. Until The End of The World is my favorite, followed by Walk On and New Years Day.

    I saw them live in 1992 here in Houston and they put on an excellent show.

  4. My best memory of U2 was listening to Joshua Tree on a walkman while steaming toward Antiparos in the Greek Cyclades (or Kyklades, depending on your bent)... I had sort of grown beyond U2 at that point in my life, however the album was perfect for the moment... and I still haven't found what I'm looking for.

    I recommend you watch "It Might Get Loud".

  5. First memory of U2 was in 1984 while in London and Bob Geldof got everyone together for the "Feed the World" song. I was a fan until recently. If there was any musician who depicted my life it would have to be Vivaldi's Four Seasons. I know not rock, but the best thing I can come up with at 8 in the morning while waiting for my tea to brew.

  6. YES!! U2!!

    I'm going to see them next month (after waiting an extra year because of Bono's back surgery, grrr...)

    And if they don't play Gloria, I Will Follow, and A Sort of Homecoming there's gonna be a riot. They owe me. :)

    Oh, yeah, Joshua Tree was the soundtrack to a trip I made through Arizona and New Mexico soon after the album came out. It was perfect for that trip.

  7. October (the song)

    Running to Stand Still

    Miracle Drug

    (seriously..who can't like a song with the line "freedom has a scent like the top of a newborn baby's head)

    A few posts ago, you mentioned that music was a part of what help you break through at Southwest. I'm pretty sure that's one of the things that brought us together. I was new there too, just like you. I had a U2 Boy pin on a shirt one day, and someone commented on it. I remember an intramural basketball team we played on called Unknown Pleasures. It was the perfect name.

    You know I could name a hundred U2 songs I love. But the three I listed stand out.

  8. Hey, great choice for U! ;)

    I can't really pick just three songs, but One is my favorite, not just of U2, but my favorite song, period. Others that come to mind are New Year's Day, Streets, Sunday Bloody Sunday, and The Fly.

  9. U2 -- never seen them in concert, but they are really something special. "New Year's Day", "With or Without You", and "Sunday Bloody Sunday" stand out as my favorites.

  10. U2 is one of my faves. I love the song Beautiful Day. They play it at the end of Twins games when they win so I always go to a game hoping to hear U2. Also Where the Streets Have No Name and Pride.

  11. I have never seen them in concert, but I certainly hope to!

  12. Squilla's AuntApril 25, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    My first U2 song is still probably my favorite, "Sunday Bloody Sunday".

    And I did see them in concert in Minneapolis in March of 1985 - the Unforgettable Fire tour. We knew the concert promoter, so we had 3rd row seats. One of my friends got pulled up on stage to play the guitar. And I remember that my youngest sister came with me and was in danger of being trampled when everybody rushed the front of the stage, so I spent a lot of the concert with her on my shoulders. I still think she owes me for that one.