Author Topic: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees  (Read 19561 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline sulphur76

  • Refugee
  • *
  • Posts: 208
Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #555 on: August 03, 2017, 11:03:12 AM »
It is a 3 minute pop rock song with big guitars and drums and a big chorus. Yes, the subject matter is very different from Start Me Up or Mysterious Ways, but at its core, it is a commercial single.

Of course, this is just my opinion.


Offline Rising Sun

  • Stateless
  • *
  • Posts: 119
Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #556 on: August 06, 2017, 09:09:00 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
It's an old debate, U2 have never been a "rock'n'roll" band in the true sense of the term, as they've radically changed their sound on every album, and none of them features the stereotypical rock sound (which requires a prominent blues element).
Only exception could be R&H, on few songs only.

I've always thought that the category that fits them the most is "alternative rock", a label that means everything and nothing, with the exception of the only common denominator, which is the absence of a remarkable blues influence.

Nowadays, they fit easily in the pop rock label.

It seemed an odd fit when they were nominated and won the Grammy for Zooropa in the Best Alternative Album category after the heights of popularity reached with Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby (the other nominees were Nirvana, R.E.M., The Smashing Pumpkins, and Belly)...but I agree they fell into the alternative rock category until All That You Can't Leave Behind.


Offline Rising Sun

  • Stateless
  • *
  • Posts: 119
Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #557 on: August 06, 2017, 09:28:14 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
It is a 3 minute pop rock song with big guitars and drums and a big chorus. Yes, the subject matter is very different from Start Me Up or Mysterious Ways, but at its core, it is a commercial single.

Of course, this is just my opinion.

I have a hard time separating the categories their work fell into at the times it was released from how it is perceived or sounds now.

U2 didn't fall into easy categories early on and through Unforgettable Fire, though were closest to post-punk, a bit of new wave, epic rock, and "big music" (coined by The Waterboys' Mike Scott).

And through Unforgettable Fire, all those "big music" bands were basically equals (Big Country, Simple Minds, The Waterboys, etc.).

The popularity that followed certainly changed things, but they've definitely been in the pop rock, rock, adult contemporary vein since All That You Can't Leave Behind.

I don't know if the easy categories of old have the same relevance to the music world today...there's SO MUCH music at one's fingertips and mouse clicks these days that it sometimes comes down to "good music" vs. "bad music" or "popular" vs. "alternative" or "mainstream" vs. "weird."

I mostly like "good weird alternative" but if that was a category I don't know if U2 falls into it anymore.

They seem to be striving for "good popular mainstream."

I wish they'd get weird.

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."  Hunter S. Thompson

« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 09:33:18 AM by Rising Sun »

Offline shineinthesummernight

  • Running to Stand Still
  • **
  • Posts: 1,094
Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #558 on: August 06, 2017, 02:24:41 PM »
If I had to, I'd still classify U2 as "Alternative", although many posters are definitely right in saying they've flirted heavily with pop and even adult contemporary.

Offline The Exile

  • Up With the Sun
  • ***
  • Posts: 5,074
  • Been around the back, Been around the front.
Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #559 on: August 12, 2017, 09:54:33 PM »
Cool little piece about Radiohead, and Ed mentions U2's ambitions in contrast with their own (I even queued it up for you):

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Offline il_capo

  • Child of Grace
  • **
  • Posts: 1,609
Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #560 on: August 14, 2017, 02:38:54 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Cool little piece about Radiohead, and Ed mentions U2's ambitions in contrast with their own (I even queued it up for you):

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Interestingly self-reflective.  He seems to contextualise U2's ambitions in regard to their being from a relatively marginal country: Ireland.  And he says that Radiohead being middle-class Englishmen who went to elite private schools are more into the idea of the purity of art, and the indie ethos of selling fewer records - both concept he admits are ultimately b/s.   

I'm not sure R.E.M. ever had the ambition to be the biggest band in the world, it just sort of happened to them after years of touring and making great records, and they didn't seem to know what to do with it.  They stopped touring at the point they were most successful (Out of Time and Automatic).

Offline Saint1322

  • Staring at the Sun
  • **
  • Posts: 1,333
Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #561 on: August 14, 2017, 03:50:37 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Cool little piece about Radiohead, and Ed mentions U2's ambitions in contrast with their own (I even queued it up for you):

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Interestingly self-reflective.  He seems to contextualise U2's ambitions in regard to their being from a relatively marginal country: Ireland.  And he says that Radiohead being middle-class Englishmen who went to elite private schools are more into the idea of the purity of art, and the indie ethos of selling fewer records - both concept he admits are ultimately b/s.   

I'm not sure R.E.M. ever had the ambition to be the biggest band in the world, it just sort of happened to them after years of touring and making great records, and they didn't seem to know what to do with it.  They stopped touring at the point they were most successful (Out of Time and Automatic).

R.E.M. most assuredly had no such ambitions. In fact, even in the heyday of Document/Green/Out of Time/Automatic/Monster, they knew they were building to a level of success they wouldn't be able to maintain. Peter Buck gave an interview on the eve of the Monster tour, their first to headline big arenas every single night. 'We haven't toured in five years, and in that time we had our biggest album and biggest single. WE WILL PROBABLY NEVER BE THIS POPULAR AGAIN'. He was 100 percent right.

Coming out of Green, they were burned out by the road, and Peter was bored with the electric guitar. So they made one nearly entirely acoustic album (OOT) and then one with more ambient sounds and experimentation (Automatic). Both were a reaction to their early jangly sound that they really intended be kind of contrarian, but people loved it. They thought Losing My Religion was going to be a disaster. Mike Mills says 'It has no chorus, it is more than 5 minutes long, and the main instrument is a mandolin. It mentions 'religion' which makes people uncomfortable. I could go on all day about why that single should never have worked.' Then Monster was itself a rebellion against the rebellion, lol.

Here's the point. There are some bands I am about to mention that I love, like, dislike and despise, so this is not based on my opinion, but my observations:

U2, Coldplay, Oasis and The Killers are BIG bands that made BIG music that wanted to be noticed and ride the wave as high and as far as it would take them. And they did. REM, Radiohead, Metallica and Pearl Jam just kind of did their thing and woke up one day as the biggest band in the world at one time or another. To this day, no one in any of those bands can tell you how that happened, because they never intended it to happen. They just made music they enjoyed for their audience, and that music resonated with more people than they ever imagined.

Offline Johnny Feathers

  • Elevated
  • ***
  • Posts: 3,782
Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #562 on: August 15, 2017, 08:47:07 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
U2, Coldplay, Oasis and The Killers are BIG bands that made BIG music that wanted to be noticed and ride the wave as high and as far as it would take them. And they did. REM, Radiohead, Metallica and Pearl Jam just kind of did their thing and woke up one day as the biggest band in the world at one time or another. To this day, no one in any of those bands can tell you how that happened, because they never intended it to happen. They just made music they enjoyed for their audience, and that music resonated with more people than they ever imagined.

Nit-picking here, but I'd say Metallica knew exactly why they became the biggest band in the world: shorter songs, more hooks, and ballads.  Not to mention, an album that didn't sound like it was recorded in a trash can, and finally embracing videos.  Their self-titled album was about as deliberately accessible as anything, and it worked like a charm.  It's not a criticism, either.

Offline Saint1322

  • Staring at the Sun
  • **
  • Posts: 1,333
Re: U2, Please: Get Up Off Your Knees
« Reply #563 on: August 15, 2017, 09:40:20 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
U2, Coldplay, Oasis and The Killers are BIG bands that made BIG music that wanted to be noticed and ride the wave as high and as far as it would take them. And they did. REM, Radiohead, Metallica and Pearl Jam just kind of did their thing and woke up one day as the biggest band in the world at one time or another. To this day, no one in any of those bands can tell you how that happened, because they never intended it to happen. They just made music they enjoyed for their audience, and that music resonated with more people than they ever imagined.

Nit-picking here, but I'd say Metallica knew exactly why they became the biggest band in the world: shorter songs, more hooks, and ballads.  Not to mention, an album that didn't sound like it was recorded in a trash can, and finally embracing videos.  Their self-titled album was about as deliberately accessible as anything, and it worked like a charm.  It's not a criticism, either.

Later on, absolutely, when they brought in Bob Rock for the black album. Early on? They were a garage band. I agree 100 percent. That's a great point.