Author Topic: The Best Thing...enters UK charts at 92 (yes 92!)  (Read 7085 times)

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Offline Ronan

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Re: The Best Thing...enters UK charts at 92 (yes 92!)
« Reply #30 on: September 16, 2017, 10:14:15 AM »
Maybe the reason for the low position in charts in the Ireland and the U.K. is maybe because the release the song on the Wed 6th and not Friday the 8th.

Offline 73October

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Re: The Best Thing...enters UK charts at 92 (yes 92!)
« Reply #31 on: September 16, 2017, 02:50:35 PM »
I thought the charts went from Friday-Thursday so this weeks is based on sales from 8-14 September?

Even Liam Gallagher's new single is only 1 place above U2 on the UK charts.  Neither are EdNiallSwiftBrunoBieber lets face it.

Offline skelter

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Re: The Best Thing...enters UK charts at 92 (yes 92!)
« Reply #32 on: September 17, 2017, 04:23:48 AM »
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Nothing against the song, really, but I wasn't expecting it to be a hit, really.

The Best Thing tries to be modern musically, but it isn't in major ways (very rockish and oldschool in songwriting and overall arrangement). Sadly, it's not a masterpiece either, which could help bringing some attention. Bono's voice is too strained and unnatractive in many parts of the song. Also, the marketing wasn't really good enough (more now than ever, you should not only sell the song, but also a lifestyle). Another problem is that U2 isn't really targeting a spefic audience sonically or in their marketing (even because of the history of the band of contradicting what their brand represents), which is bad in a commercial point of view. And then there's all the bad hype around U2 and the fact that they are old.

Nobody was paying attention. Nobody cared.

Can you elaborate what you mean by oldschool overall arrangement? Sounds intriguing.

I admit the 2nd verse starting "I've been crying out, how bad can a good time be" is a bit tedious. However when the climax starts later with the solo and Edge's bridge singing, that's the fun part.

Offline Dono

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Re: The Best Thing...enters UK charts at 92 (yes 92!)
« Reply #33 on: September 17, 2017, 06:17:39 AM »
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Nothing against the song, really, but I wasn't expecting it to be a hit, really.

The Best Thing tries to be modern musically, but it isn't in major ways (very rockish and oldschool in songwriting and overall arrangement). Sadly, it's not a masterpiece either, which could help bringing some attention. Bono's voice is too strained and unnatractive in many parts of the song. Also, the marketing wasn't really good enough (more now than ever, you should not only sell the song, but also a lifestyle). Another problem is that U2 isn't really targeting a spefic audience sonically or in their marketing (even because of the history of the band of contradicting what their brand represents), which is bad in a commercial point of view. And then there's all the bad hype around U2 and the fact that they are old.

Nobody was paying attention. Nobody cared.

Can you elaborate what you mean by oldschool overall arrangement? Sounds intriguing.

I admit the 2nd verse starting "I've been crying out, how bad can a good time be" is a bit tedious. However when the climax starts later with the solo and Edge's bridge singing, that's the fun part.

So, have you bought the single? What does a non U2 fan think of it? I've heard "It's not very U2" and also "it doesn't really sound like them", but when I asked that person to name 3 other U2 songs they said "With you or without you", "Beautiful something" and "Do they know it's Christmas" so that's what you might be dealing without outside the fan base! But I was at one of the JT shows with a casual fan, a U2 virgin and a take them or leave them. All 3 thought it was one of the best live shows they'd been to.

Any new stuff from them is great, especially as it's tailored to how Bono can sing nowadays. Little things and Best thing sound excellent live. The album will be great, but might take a bit of listening to. Don't all new albums take a bit of getting used to?

But we are our own worst enemies as we hype the whole thing up so much and many of us seem to expect every album to be another JT or AB. You don't hear Bach or Beethoven fans complaining about no new material or tours......

Offline Clarky

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Re: The Best Thing...enters UK charts at 92 (yes 92!)
« Reply #34 on: September 17, 2017, 06:21:26 AM »
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It's their best song in 10 years.

No..

Magnificent, Moment of Surrender, Cedars of Lebanon, White As Snow, No Line on the Horizon, Every Breaking Wave, Ordinary Love...all better imo

Offline lucas.homem

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Re: The Best Thing...enters UK charts at 92 (yes 92!)
« Reply #35 on: September 17, 2017, 06:46:12 AM »
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Nothing against the song, really, but I wasn't expecting it to be a hit, really.

The Best Thing tries to be modern musically, but it isn't in major ways (very rockish and oldschool in songwriting and overall arrangement). Sadly, it's not a masterpiece either, which could help bringing some attention. Bono's voice is too strained and unnatractive in many parts of the song. Also, the marketing wasn't really good enough (more now than ever, you should not only sell the song, but also a lifestyle). Another problem is that U2 isn't really targeting a spefic audience sonically or in their marketing (even because of the history of the band of contradicting what their brand represents), which is bad in a commercial point of view. And then there's all the bad hype around U2 and the fact that they are old.

Nobody was paying attention. Nobody cared.

Can you elaborate what you mean by oldschool overall arrangement? Sounds intriguing.

I admit the 2nd verse starting "I've been crying out, how bad can a good time be" is a bit tedious. However when the climax starts later with the solo and Edge's bridge singing, that's the fun part.

First, one of the reasons for it sounding oldschool is the instrumentation. There are some modern colors here and there, but they went for the classic '4-men rock band' for the flesh and bone of the song: we have a really proeminent guitar riff, aggressive drums and an almost metronomic bass. Compare it to the Kygo version, for instance, to see the difference. Of course, you can say that U2 play rock instruments and so that was unavoidable, but I don't see it that way, considering they've deviated more from the rock sound in the past (in studio) than now, even with those same instruments. Or you can think of the example of Coldplay. It's the way you play the instruments. And the rest of the production, sure.

In my opinion, the leading trend of modern music is creating cool beats and (sometimes) drops that are very influenced by hip hop and electronic music. They have to be sophisticated and simple. And on top of that you put a tune that is both catchy and sexy. Having that in mind, The Best Thing sounds oldschool because the only element remotely close to that is the groove of the guitar riff (when alone with the catchy tune), but then the the song gets overloaded with drums and bass that are doing completely different things, very dettached from that feel, very straightforward too. It's the rhythm section of a rock band giving you that full and big sound.

The bridge is not less oldschool than the rest. It's been their job for decades (or centuries) to bring some surprise and climax. By the way, there's a lot of hit singles nowadays that don't even use bridges.

And look how the patterns change in some parts of The Best Thing, not only in the bridge, but in the chorus and in that "why am I walking away" part. Look at all the emotional contrast between different sections of the song, like a rollercoaster of feelings (this is even done with tonal key changes). Well, I think all of this is very different from current music, because nowadays you try to keep the same vibe throughtout the song (more of state of emotion than a narrative).

As for the melodies and the structure (verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus), I think those  were very conventional too... but modern music still uses those techniques, so it's appropriate.

Conclusion: oldschool songwriting and modern music have some overlapping characteristics. In what they are similar, U2 was modern enough. In what they differ, U2 was oldschool (with a modern shine here and there).
« Last Edit: September 17, 2017, 06:50:02 AM by lucas.homem »

Offline skelter

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Re: The Best Thing...enters UK charts at 92 (yes 92!)
« Reply #36 on: September 17, 2017, 06:59:08 AM »
Thank you for explaining, lucas homem!

Offline Scarlet2016

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Re: The Best Thing...enters UK charts at 92 (yes 92!)
« Reply #37 on: September 17, 2017, 08:27:02 AM »
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It's their best song in 10 years.

No..

Magnificent, Moment of Surrender, Cedars of Lebanon, White As Snow, No Line on the Horizon, Every Breaking Wave, Ordinary Love...all better imo

No.

Offline sulphur76

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Re: The Best Thing...enters UK charts at 92 (yes 92!)
« Reply #38 on: September 17, 2017, 09:07:11 AM »
I do find it funny that a week ago many people who loved the song raved it was going to be a hit. Now that it doesn't look that way ,  it's all "no one listens to the radio anymore," "streaming charts are where it's at."

Yeesh.

Offline Luzita

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Re: The Best Thing...enters UK charts at 92 (yes 92!)
« Reply #39 on: September 17, 2017, 01:02:03 PM »
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Nothing against the song, really, but I wasn't expecting it to be a hit, really.

The Best Thing tries to be modern musically, but it isn't in major ways (very rockish and oldschool in songwriting and overall arrangement). Sadly, it's not a masterpiece either, which could help bringing some attention. Bono's voice is too strained and unnatractive in many parts of the song. Also, the marketing wasn't really good enough (more now than ever, you should not only sell the song, but also a lifestyle). Another problem is that U2 isn't really targeting a spefic audience sonically or in their marketing (even because of the history of the band of contradicting what their brand represents), which is bad in a commercial point of view. And then there's all the bad hype around U2 and the fact that they are old.

Nobody was paying attention. Nobody cared.

Can you elaborate what you mean by oldschool overall arrangement? Sounds intriguing.

I admit the 2nd verse starting "I've been crying out, how bad can a good time be" is a bit tedious. However when the climax starts later with the solo and Edge's bridge singing, that's the fun part.

First, one of the reasons for it sounding oldschool is the instrumentation. There are some modern colors here and there, but they went for the classic '4-men rock band' for the flesh and bone of the song: we have a really proeminent guitar riff, aggressive drums and an almost metronomic bass. Compare it to the Kygo version, for instance, to see the difference. Of course, you can say that U2 play rock instruments and so that was unavoidable, but I don't see it that way, considering they've deviated more from the rock sound in the past (in studio) than now, even with those same instruments. Or you can think of the example of Coldplay. It's the way you play the instruments. And the rest of the production, sure.

In my opinion, the leading trend of modern music is creating cool beats and (sometimes) drops that are very influenced by hip hop and electronic music. They have to be sophisticated and simple. And on top of that you put a tune that is both catchy and sexy. Having that in mind, The Best Thing sounds oldschool because the only element remotely close to that is the groove of the guitar riff (when alone with the catchy tune), but then the the song gets overloaded with drums and bass that are doing completely different things, very dettached from that feel, very straightforward too. It's the rhythm section of a rock band giving you that full and big sound.

The bridge is not less oldschool than the rest. It's been their job for decades (or centuries) to bring some surprise and climax. By the way, there's a lot of hit singles nowadays that don't even use bridges.

And look how the patterns change in some parts of The Best Thing, not only in the bridge, but in the chorus and in that "why am I walking away" part. Look at all the emotional contrast between different sections of the song, like a rollercoaster of feelings (this is even done with tonal key changes). Well, I think all of this is very different from current music, because nowadays you try to keep the same vibe throughtout the song (more of state of emotion than a narrative).

As for the melodies and the structure (verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus), I think those  were very conventional too... but modern music still uses those techniques, so it's appropriate.

Conclusion: oldschool songwriting and modern music have some overlapping characteristics. In what they are similar, U2 was modern enough. In what they differ, U2 was oldschool (with a modern shine here and there).

Thanks for your excellent explanation. This helps me understand why I don't much care for what's on pop radio. It all sounds like monotonous dance music to me. Which is fine when you're on the dance floor but all the time? Really? Kids these days.

Offline Luzita

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Re: The Best Thing...enters UK charts at 92 (yes 92!)
« Reply #40 on: September 17, 2017, 01:12:38 PM »
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I do find it funny that a week ago many people who loved the song raved it was going to be a hit. Now that it doesn't look that way ,  it's all "no one listens to the radio anymore," "streaming charts are where it's at."

Yeesh.

Funny, but I've been on this forum a lot the past couple of weeks and I don't recall many people raving that the song was going to be a hit. I only recall quite a few people saying they like the song and think it's good.

Offline shineinthesummernight

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Re: The Best Thing...enters UK charts at 92 (yes 92!)
« Reply #41 on: September 17, 2017, 02:24:47 PM »
It sounded super radio friendly to me.  I wouldn't put it with their best work by any means, though.

Offline miami

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Re: The Best Thing...enters UK charts at 92 (yes 92!)
« Reply #42 on: September 17, 2017, 02:44:31 PM »
Singles Charts don't matter anymore these days folks. No serious musician or band worth their salt pays any attention to them. Does anyone apart from teenage girls actually even look at them?

Album charts are better barometers of where a band or artist sits in the world these days. Let's see how the album does.

Offline sulphur76

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Re: The Best Thing...enters UK charts at 92 (yes 92!)
« Reply #43 on: September 18, 2017, 06:44:37 AM »
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I do find it funny that a week ago many people who loved the song raved it was going to be a hit. Now that it doesn't look that way ,  it's all "no one listens to the radio anymore," "streaming charts are where it's at."

Yeesh.

Funny, but I've been on this forum a lot the past couple of weeks and I don't recall many people raving that the song was going to be a hit. I only recall quite a few people saying they like the song and think it's good.

Just a few from the original thread; I didn't go through all 40+ pages. I'm not naming users as I'm not trying to troll people. My comment is just an observation of the inability to admit when the band has made a misstep.

"However better than Blackout and best chance of chart success in years."

"I love the bridge. I think it's a nice departure from what they have put out as the first single on the last few albums. And by looking at the negative reviews on here, I'd say it will probably be a hit too."

"it's got legs folks... it's a good one... and **** has provided a very helpful analysis to counter those who see this as a simple pop song, musically speaking"

"Best Thing is gonna be huge I think."

"I have a serious ear worm from this song and it just keeps departing in my head. I feel it's going to be a hit."

Offline Luzita

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Re: The Best Thing...enters UK charts at 92 (yes 92!)
« Reply #44 on: September 18, 2017, 08:38:42 AM »
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I do find it funny that a week ago many people who loved the song raved it was going to be a hit. Now that it doesn't look that way ,  it's all "no one listens to the radio anymore," "streaming charts are where it's at."

Yeesh.

Funny, but I've been on this forum a lot the past couple of weeks and I don't recall many people raving that the song was going to be a hit. I only recall quite a few people saying they like the song and think it's good.

Just a few from the original thread; I didn't go through all 40+ pages. I'm not naming users as I'm not trying to troll people. My comment is just an observation of the inability to admit when the band has made a misstep.

"However better than Blackout and best chance of chart success in years."

"I love the bridge. I think it's a nice departure from what they have put out as the first single on the last few albums. And by looking at the negative reviews on here, I'd say it will probably be a hit too."

"it's got legs folks... it's a good one... and **** has provided a very helpful analysis to counter those who see this as a simple pop song, musically speaking"

"Best Thing is gonna be huge I think."

"I have a serious ear worm from this song and it just keeps departing in my head. I feel it's going to be a hit."


Congrats, you found some examples of people predicting a hit. (Though one of your examples, the one starting "it's got legs," doesn't really do that.) I went back and browsed the original thread (though not all 40 pages) wondering if maybe I misremembered the tenor of the conversation but from what I saw, no. Some people were saying they liked the song, and on repeated listens found it more complex than they originally thought. There were also plenty saying they hated the song and expected better from U2.

Perhaps the instances in which people predicted a hit just stood out to you more than they did to me.