Author Topic: How do people feel that U2 has used bits from Haim/ One Republic songs?  (Read 1226 times)

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Offline radiofreenewport

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Re: How do people feel that U2 has used bits from Haim/ One Republic songs?
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2017, 07:03:48 AM »
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Borrowing and reinventing ideas doesn't bother me. There's an old Eno song that is a clear precursor to Numb, for example. As lucas notes, it's a common practice in other genres. But using ideas outright, especially from lesser songwriters, is bothersome mainly because it makes me wonder why Edge and Bono can't come up with their own ideas that are better. With the general decline in songwriting in this last phase of their career, I often wonder if they've just lost it -- it's happened to many good songwriters -- or if they just aren't putting in the work. They were on such an incredible creative roll from TUF thru Pop, with b-sides that are more inventive than anything they're doing now. While it's not fair to compare any artist to their absolute peak period, it does make me wonder if they're just out of inspiration or aren't working as hard on the creative/composing end as they used to.

But we must not underestimate the importance of the producers to develop all the themes from classic U2. For example, wasn't Lanois that wrote the fingering of the riff of One?

True, but if I remember correctly, Lanois suggested that secondary riff after the magic started to happen, when Edge stitched together two things they were jamming on. That's a natural part of collaboration, obviously. That feels a little different than building a song around an existing Tedder chord progression.

Offline lucas.homem

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Re: How do people feel that U2 has used bits from Haim/ One Republic songs?
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2017, 07:34:14 AM »
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Borrowing and reinventing ideas doesn't bother me. There's an old Eno song that is a clear precursor to Numb, for example. As lucas notes, it's a common practice in other genres. But using ideas outright, especially from lesser songwriters, is bothersome mainly because it makes me wonder why Edge and Bono can't come up with their own ideas that are better. With the general decline in songwriting in this last phase of their career, I often wonder if they've just lost it -- it's happened to many good songwriters -- or if they just aren't putting in the work. They were on such an incredible creative roll from TUF thru Pop, with b-sides that are more inventive than anything they're doing now. While it's not fair to compare any artist to their absolute peak period, it does make me wonder if they're just out of inspiration or aren't working as hard on the creative/composing end as they used to.

But we must not underestimate the importance of the producers to develop all the themes from classic U2. For example, wasn't Lanois that wrote the fingering of the riff of One?

True, but if I remember correctly, Lanois suggested that secondary riff after the magic started to happen, when Edge stitched together two things they were jamming on. That's a natural part of collaboration, obviously. That feels a little different than building a song around an existing Tedder chord progression.

It's hard to try to imagine what exactly happened there, but I think the band got to stitch together a song Bono was writing with a chord progression The Edge was making (a very common chord progression)... but the riff itself sounds like something that Lanois came up with inside Edge's chord progression. If that's true, I must say that bringing a basic chord progression into life through the design of a riff shows much more musicianship than just coming up with a basic chord progression.

However, regardless of what happened to One, I just think that it's not in the band's best strenghts to come up with subtle or sophisticated ideas (although they have good taste in production). That's why U2 need their producers so much. I'd say Bono can come up with soaring melodies and some weird sh** that sounds convincing while The Edge is good at creating ambience and some minimalistic and confused motifs, and then the band knows how to jam together in a really unique way. But those are all very very raw concepts. Some of this rawness go to the records and are even classic U2 (Streets or the whole TUF album, for example), but this kind of stuff that they know how to come up with was all already done before, so it's over.

My point is that the "decline in songwriting" and the supposition that "Edge and Bono can't come up with their own ideas that are better" are not phrases that I'd use after the revelation that OneRepublic came up with the guitar licks from Summer of Love... because maybe that was always the case with U2 for the most part in their career whenever they were doing something more intricate. Or not.

Also, I'd like to say that I do think they still bring a lot of ideas to the table. Throughout their discography, including SOE, somehow U2 got to sound like U2 everytime, regardless of what they were trying out each time. Their DNA is in their music, and not only because they play the songs, but because they come up with a lot of what's inside them.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2017, 08:04:08 AM by lucas.homem »

Offline olimar

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Re: How do people feel that U2 has used bits from Haim/ One Republic songs?
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2017, 07:38:12 AM »
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it makes me wonder why Edge and Bono can't come up with their own ideas that are better. With the general decline in songwriting in this last phase of their career, I often wonder if they've just lost it -- it's happened to many good songwriters -- or if they just aren't putting in the work... it does make me wonder if they're just out of inspiration or aren't working as hard on the creative/composing end as they used to.

We are only talking about small components in 2 of 13 songs, I think thats a bit of a stretch.
White as Snow borrows its melody from a Hymn "Veni, veni Emmanuel".

Offline radiofreenewport

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Re: How do people feel that U2 has used bits from Haim/ One Republic songs?
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2017, 08:20:50 AM »
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It's hard to try to imagine what exactly happened there, but I think the band got to stitch together a song Bono was writing with a chord progression The Edge was making (a very common chord progression)... but the riff itself sounds like something that Lanois came up with inside Edge's chord progression. If that's true, I must say that bringing a basic chord progression into life through the design of a riff shows much more musicianship than just coming up with a basic chord progression.

However, regardless of what happened to One, I just think that it's not in the band's best strenghts to come up with subtle or sophisticated ideas (although they have good taste in production). That's why U2 need their producers so much. I'd say Bono can come up with soaring melodies and some weird sh** that sounds convincing while The Edge is good at creating ambience and some minimalistic and confused motifs, and then the band knows how to jam together in a really unique way. But those are all very very raw concepts. Some of this rawness go to the records and are even classic U2 (Streets or the whole TUF album, for example), but this kind of stuff that they know how to come up with was all already done before, so it's over.

My point is that the "decline in songwriting" and the supposition that "Edge and Bono can't come up with their own ideas that are better" are not phrases that I'd use after the revelation that OneRepublic came up with the guitar licks from Summer of Love... because maybe that was always the case with U2 for the most part in their career whenever they were doing something more intricate. Or not.

Also, I'd like to say that I do think they still bring a lot of ideas to the table. Throughout their discography, including SOE, somehow U2 got to sound like U2 everytime, regardless of what they were trying out each time. Their DNA is in their music, and not only because they play the songs, but because they come up with a lot of what's inside them.

Good stuff, appreciate your thoughts. My sense -- and is based only on obsessive reading and listening over the years -- is that the role and importance of the producers have evolved over the years. Up through War, it seems like Lillywhite was mostly responsible for shaping their raw energy and ideas into something cohesive. I've never gotten the sense that he contributed ideas in the way that Eno/Lanois have. Beginning with TUF, Eno/Lanois gave them some new tools/colors to work with, but again, my sense is that they were more responsible for shaping/directing than adding/collaborating. For example, in the "making of the JT" documentary, Edge plays the original 4-track version of Streets, and it's pretty much fully formed musically. I seem to remember hearing other demos from that era in a similar way, where Edge was largely responsible for the music. It feels like that shifted with AB, where they maybe started relying on Eno/Lanois as collaborators more, to the point where they were officially credited as co-writers on NLOTH.

And to be clear, I don't feel like they've run out of ideas just because they're borrowing fromTedder and Haim. For me, it's a combination of two things:  the increasing reliance on multiple producers and the fact that they've added just two or three songs to the canon in nearly 18 years. On that latter point, I'd argue for Beautiful Day, Walk On, and Vertigo. And even if you add a few others, that's still not a lot of top-shelf songwriting compared to what they accomplished in their first 11 years (Boy thru AB).

I'd love to know more of the inside story of the making of their records, but those secrets will probably never come out. ;-)

Offline radiofreenewport

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Re: How do people feel that U2 has used bits from Haim/ One Republic songs?
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2017, 08:22:08 AM »
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it makes me wonder why Edge and Bono can't come up with their own ideas that are better. With the general decline in songwriting in this last phase of their career, I often wonder if they've just lost it -- it's happened to many good songwriters -- or if they just aren't putting in the work... it does make me wonder if they're just out of inspiration or aren't working as hard on the creative/composing end as they used to.

We are only talking about small components in 2 of 13 songs, I think thats a bit of a stretch.
White as Snow borrows its melody from a Hymn "Veni, veni Emmanuel".

See my reply to lucas above -- I don't think this just because of the Haim and Tedder thing. Just a general feeling given their output from ATYCLB on.

Offline lazyboy

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Re: How do people feel that U2 has used bits from Haim/ One Republic songs?
« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2017, 08:36:47 AM »
Both riffs are 2 of the catchiest on the whole album, so something about that doesn't sit right with me. But saying that, can't really fault them for doing it as both are indeed quality songs as a result!

Offline Rasmus

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Re: How do people feel that U2 has used bits from Haim/ One Republic songs?
« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2017, 08:43:39 AM »
I have no problem with it. How many songs have Bono and Edge not contributed to other artists? It only fair that they are allowed to use material from others like this and it is not even complete songs.

Offline blovesu2

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Re: How do people feel that U2 has used bits from Haim/ One Republic songs?
« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2017, 09:00:41 AM »
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Because it was intended as a song for another band when it comes to the One Rep bit.

Regarding Haim, because it was a bit on an already published song.

What if you found out the main sound on New Years Day is actually from another band? You don't think you'd be a little bit sad?

Sad?? Why? It's a great song - regardless of the source. I enjoy U2's artistic output and if they've collaborated/borrowed from another artist to produce their end result - it doesn't matter to me. U2 are not the heroes some of us make them out to be, they are merely great conduits of the art that speaks to us

Offline JTNash

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Re: How do people feel that U2 has used bits from Haim/ One Republic songs?
« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2017, 10:19:23 AM »
That’s what producers do, hence the reason all that kiddie pop sounds the same

Offline wraitii

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Re: How do people feel that U2 has used bits from Haim/ One Republic songs?
« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2017, 11:19:56 AM »
Hilarious that they picked up West Coast and Bono added "not the one everyone's thinking about". So meta.

Imo it's utterly fine, the bands obviously worked together, and it's neither the first or the last time (see "Do You Feel Loved" for another example).

Offline SwimmingSorrows

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Re: How do people feel that U2 has used bits from Haim/ One Republic songs?
« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2017, 01:01:59 PM »
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Hilarious that they picked up West Coast and Bono added "not the one everyone's thinking about". So meta.

Imo it's utterly fine, the bands obviously worked together, and it's neither the first or the last time (see "Do You Feel Loved" for another example).

Yeah I like that they turned a little OneRepublic ditty about California into a dark commentary on the Syrian Refugee crisis.  That's pretty U2.

Offline 73October

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Re: How do people feel that U2 has used bits from Haim/ One Republic songs?
« Reply #26 on: December 03, 2017, 03:25:45 PM »
U2 are now in the position where they can take other people's ideas, sounds and shake them up. And come up with something better.  That's why U2 are masters at what they do and have the respect they do within sections of the Industry.  They can do One Republic better than One Republic for example.

Offline PookaMacP

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Re: How do people feel that U2 has used bits from Haim/ One Republic songs?
« Reply #27 on: December 04, 2017, 02:33:39 PM »
This one's a bit more obscure, but part of the melody from American Soul (from 1:50 here: You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login) is taken from a track that Gavin Friday contributed to on Howie B's album, Folk: You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login (at 2:13).

Took me ages to figure that one out (Folk was released in 2001).

Offline PookaMacP

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Re: How do people feel that U2 has used bits from Haim/ One Republic songs?
« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2017, 03:46:56 PM »
Responding to the discussion above, I think it's a mix of both things:
– The Edge's struggles with creativity in recent years.
– A tradition of relying heavily on their producers for sounds.

On the latter, they certainly have form:
– The rhythm guitar (i.e. most of the song!) in Running to Stand Still was written and played by Daniel Lanois. Listen from around 44:54 of this: You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

– Also, didn't Brian Eno fall out with U2 because he didn't get any songwriting credits for All That You Can't Leave Behind, on which he apparently contributed more than enough to justify one? As I recall, this is why he and Lanois didn't come back for HTDAAB but were included as full songwriting partners on NLOTH (after they'd made up).

Offline bw

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Re: How do people feel that U2 has used bits from Haim/ One Republic songs?
« Reply #29 on: December 04, 2017, 08:36:50 PM »
How do you think I feel?

Betrayed. Bewildered.