I’ve Got a Reputation to Keep Up Here

So, I was saving this video for a full-on ‘U2 as it pertains to church music’ (but with a much catchier and wittier title…I mean, obviously 😉 ), but as I have now seen it on about 17,000 different websites (yep), I figure if I don’t post it here soon, my reputation as a U2 fan might suffer a few points. And I cannot afford to suffer a loss of points in any amount on my U2 fan status, because I am trying to save said points up because whomever has the most U2 fan points by the time the next album is out, receives a hug from Edge. (Obviously I made that up, but now I just can’t seem to help myself from wondering if it’s true. Nope. It’s true. I’ve decided.) Hence, the rad:

Pretty stellar stuff there. Edge sounds resplendent, as always, and it was a good call to use U2’s original keyboard track for it, which I believe is actually Edge on the keys, too. (Could be Brian Eno, but I’d rather it be Edge. So, I’m going with Edge.) Props to Matt Bellamy for doing a great job with the vocals, and staying true to the original melody, but still using his own vocal strengths and not trying to be Bono. Anyone else notice though, that Dominic on the drums had a little bit of trouble keeping tempo in a couple places? Not as easy of a drumbeat as it sounds.

And, as long as we’ve opened this box (I promise, I won’t open it as much I want to…hehe), there is going to be a post pretty soon here recanting my original post on U2’s latest album. Most U2 albums grow on you…this one has actually done the opposite for me. Still some great tracks, but overall…well, some interesting posting that you’ve not yet heard from me is coming soon; on a couple different levels. In the meantime, here is a version of the somewhat unfortunate first single off of that album, that I wish they had come up with in the first place.

Now that sounds like a U2 song! Or at least a Passengers song. Cityscape-ish, innovative, great harmonic structure that makes the melody work way better…only version of the song now, as far as I’m concerned. Can’t do much about the lyrics, unfortunately. Good thing I’ve got like, 10 other U2 albums to keep me happy. They’re allowed to be human every once in a while, right? And we’ve got Viva La Vida to help carry us. Well, at least before Coldplay then gets too big to be cool anymore. Probably too late for most of us ‘hipsters’, huh. 😉


26 thoughts on “I’ve Got a Reputation to Keep Up Here

  1. Karl. This is how out of it I am right now… this is the first I’ve seen this – lame I know. What a great rendition – I’m a BIG fan of covers, especially when an equally talented band covers something. Of course, nothing beats the Rattle & Hum Version when they suck all the power out of Arizona to kick off the song… goose bumps.

  2. Oh, and the World Cup version of “Get on Your Boots” was unbelievable! This version’s awesome as well… just in a more techno-ish way.

  3. haha Totally!! I still can’t listen to the Beatles’ original of Helter Skelter without hearing U2. And that World Cup version was great, too! The one I heard was this ‘fish out of water’ remix, but with the African chants. Way cool…and if they’re using this version, it means they’re recognizing that their original was…uh…shall we say lacking? hehe

  4. Everytime I think about selling my Strat, some great guitarist like Edge comes out and shows me a Strat put to good use. Of course the TC delay and vintage AC30s are other factors in that great sound he has.

  5. By the way, side note (off the subject a bit), have you played one of those AC30cc’s? A friend of mine got one. Ick. That thing sounds horrible. Maybe it had to do with the master being turned down a bit too low. (I hate master volumes.) But gosh, that thing sounded ugly. Sounds NOTHING like an original AC30. I’m serious. It sounded like a Line6 amp or something.

  6. You are not alone, Karl, I never really got into the new one. I do like a couple songs, but overall, it just never connected with me. I really liked the last one, seemed like they were getting back to the old sound more, but not so much here. Even the 360 show just couldn’t touch the last tour, imho, and it didn’t help that they opened with 4 songs from the new one. And it wasn’t really 360. Maybe next album…but at least we have the good stuff they can’t take away.

  7. It really just seems that Bono has nothing left to sing about that is as powerful as his previous albums so now he just makes up crappy lyrics and his melodies have lost their creativity. It’s a lot of the same note over and over again… piss poor job really.

  8. I really didn’t hear any drumming problems (i am a drummer) but maybe i just missed it.
    To be honest one of the things that has always bugged me about the early U2 years is that Larry Mullen really wasn’t a good drummer. I mean he kept time alright but his beats were often very disjointed and awkward sounding. Everytime I hear “Sunday, Bloody Sunday” I cringe.

  9. Dan… that’s actually one of the things I love(ed) about Larry. He said to the rest of the world, “You don’t need to be Neil Pert or Vinnie Colaiuta to make amazing music”.

    I also remember working at a music store, having Achtung Baby on and a drummer saying “that’s so lame, a good drummer shouldn’t need loops – he should be able to do it all live”. I completely disagree(d) with him on that. I guess that was a little rabbit trail.

  10. Didn’t Coldplay get too big on their first album? 😉 I’ll admit I was a Coldplay hater because I thought Doves were much better on their first two albums and didn’t get the same success. Then they stalled out and Coldplay has been coming on strong with their last two albums. I got that first Muse album and thought it was ‘why does everything sound like my iron long-terrible’. Just like Coldplay, they proved me wrong. But that Twilight soundtrack song that sounds like it came from Phantom of the Opera is sweet revenge!

    I would love to hear more worship guitar players do the Aachtung Baby or Pop era Edge. It’s probably too out there with the fuzz, feedback, and whammy pedals. I think it’s great that the Edge is reportedly looking for 3 more SDD3K’s to add to his 17. 🙂

  11. David–ya know, some people just absolutely dig their CC’s. I’ve played a couple, and have found exactly what you described. Tinny, tons of treble, and no body. Very different from the ’60’s ones.

    And Edge with a strat is golden! 🙂

    Alex–I’m not sure if it’s available, yet. I got it sent to me for being a member at U2.com . 😉 Ya, I’m a geek. hehe I’d guess it’d be on iTunes by now.

    Sam–for sure!!

    WideAwake–I agree! And I loved the last album, Dismantle, too. Some amazing stuff there. And this latest one, try as I might, just did not captivate me in the normal U2 way. But you’re right…at least I can play Ultraviolet and Miracle Drug whenever I want. 🙂

    Ben G–whoa, you took the words out of my mouth. No melodies, and no conviction to the lyrics…and those are the two things that probably make U2 good above anything else. It seems like they took some half-decent songs, and then dressed them up all pretty with some good orchestration and arrangements and such. But the songs just aren’t there to begin with. Good call!

    Dan W–well, it definitely could have been my love for U2 just trying to find something to point out and say, ‘They didn’t do it as good!’ haha

    As for Larry’s beats on the first few albums, I can hear where you’re coming from. He’s become an incredible drummer now, but some of those early ones were somewhat academic. However, sometimes simplicity is the poetry with them.

    Larry is quoted as saying that he wishes he could redo the New Year’s Day beat. He says they were running out of time in the studio on the War album, and so he just kept time as a scratch track, and they never got around to re-recording the drums for it. And now he can’t change it, because the song as it is has become so iconic. haha

    Alex–I totally agree! And you’re one of the huge ones that introduced me to that mindset. Do what the song calls for, and little (if any) more.

    And stoked to have you back in the blogging world! All it took was a little U2, right? 😉

    James Orr–whoa! That sounds awesome! Open and full, but still sounds nice and tight on the finger-picking. Props, my friend!! So rad.

    Dan–I agree, Coldplay has stepped it up, especially this last album, for me. I think I may have written off Doves too early…I heard one song a few years ago, didn’t dig it, and then that was it. I’ll have to give them another listen.

    And ‘Twilight’? I choose to believe that I have no idea what you’re talking about. 😉

    Definitely agree on doing different era’s of Edge. Especially the fuzz stuff. 😀 I think part of the reason most people don’t, is that the Joshua Tree clean and open delay stuff or Unforgettable Fire ambient stuff, both lend themselves really well to a looser, less structured playing style, which most worship leaders tend to do. I think a lot of the pitch-shifting and fuzz-laden riffs require more of a structured song style. Hopefully the church is getting there, though. hehe In a few more years, maybe we can be where U2 was in 1991! 😉

    And wait…Edge is adding more delay?! Score! Edge, you are a legend.

  12. I actually fooled around with “Streets” with our worship team before church last Sunday. With the church PA I could really see how the dotted eighth delay creates a wall of sound. Sounded like a lot more going on than just my strumming. I was just doing the rapid strumming of the full chords, not trying mimic the intro lick etc. Now singing it while playing would be a trick. And I’m not even talking about the time changes — just singing while strumming the main 4/4 portion of the song. Just a question of practice I guess.

    • This story reminded me of one time where I sat in with my sister-in-law’s worship team a few years back. We did a song I wasn’t really familiar with (I can’t recall the actual name of it) and the worship leader described it to me as “basically it’s U2’s Where The Street Have No Name.” So I immediately kick on my delay and start playing streets. Then the worship leader says, “We should play it just like that…” It was really my first experience playing U2 in a worship setting. Now I look for places to throw in anything I can that I’ve copped from Edge over the years.

  13. Regarding Larry, Its not that i mind his beats being simplistic, I hate overplaying as much as the next guy. I actually don’t really like Neil Pert’s playing. Its that on some songs a straight 2 +4 would’ve sounded better.
    “Sunday, Bloody Sunday” epitomizes this (at least to me). Not really a simple beat, but it just doesn’t sound good. Again, I really think a simple, 2 and 4 would’ve sounded better. Just me i guess =)

    I completely agree about loops though, lots of great drummers play with loops.

  14. Randy–nice! That’s the beauty of delay…you can play less, sound better, and focus more on leading people in worship. 🙂

    KennyG–beautiful. Brings tears to my eyes. Literally. 😀

    Dan W–I hear ya on that. The first time I heard that song, I did think that he messed up. I guess over the years, I’ve come to hear it so many times that I now describe it as genius. hehe 😉

  15. Yah, now I wonder if I can use the dotted eighth on Amazing Grace my chains are gone, or maybe even The Old Rugged Cross 🙂 The Boss DD7 is ok, has a setting specifically for that, but not programmable so I can see I’m going to have to shop for one where I can program presets since most songs only call for a mild slap back, etc. One bit of good news is our Youth Pastor married a young lady who I would call a semi-pro vocally — lots of experience and she wants to work into leading with her acoustic guitar. She already spotted the fact that I can do some “color” stuff as a backup electric player, but can’t do that while leading. Maybe I’ll actually be able to use my strat and Barber Small Fry Burn Unit !

  16. Randy–that’s awesome news! Hope she works out leading with ya. And ya! Dotted 8th delay, tapped in on the slow songs and becoming more of a dotted quarter feel, can have an awesome affect! 🙂

    Larry–haha Wow. So uh…not a big Coldplay fan there, eh? Personally, I love them…especially what Johnny Buckland brings to the table with his atmospheric guitar style so that the piano can drive a lot of the rhythms. In fact, I can’t seem to remember how I ever lived with their last album. 😀

    However, I can see where people can have their music not do anything for them. And Muse’s last few albums have been very, very good! 🙂

  17. In response to “Get on Your Boots” being a terrible/non-U2 song, it really started to grow on me once I formed the theory that it’s talking all about the verse “how beautiful are the feet of those that bring good news”. “Sexy boots” = “beautiful feet”. 🙂

    Also, for those interested in Pop-era U2 sounds in modern worship, check out the newest LP from David Crowder Band, Church Music. Don’t let the album title fool you, it’s definately expanding the definition of “church music” in a good way.

  18. Interesting concept! I love it. I heard Edge talking about how it’s about the fact that men have ruined the world so much trying to lead it, that now it’s time to give women a shot. hehehe But I like yours better! 🙂

    And I like that ‘Church Music’ album. Seems like they went places other worship musicians aren’t. Good stuff! 🙂 Cheers!

  19. Haha, well, maybe it’s both, Karl. 🙂 It’s just like U2 to hint at scripture while talking about world affairs or vice versa.

    To expand my theory a bit, “you don’t know how beautiful you are” had to do with how much we’re needed both in telling and living the good news. Plus the line “I dont wanna talk about wars between nations” makes me think of having the “gospel of peace” for shoes (Eph 6), which now that I think of it is an odd verse when the rest of the chapter is talking about combat armor. 😀

  20. Love it, bro! Very compelling argument. 🙂 And I think that’s one of the things that makes U2 so great; that their music can speak to everyone at different levels. It’s sometimes like a stream of consciousness for Bono, and he’s talking about his childhood, God, and an ocean all at the same time. 🙂

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