Author Topic: A review of U2's Lead Singles  (Read 523 times)

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Offline gottago

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A review of U2's Lead Singles
« on: November 27, 2018, 06:36:28 PM »
1) Boy - A Day Without Me and I Will Follow released at the same time/Though ADWOM is a nice song on the album, I Will Follow is an absolute U2 classic. We have a winner!

2) October - Fire/And we have our first miss.

3) War - New Years Day/Another U2 classic for the win!

4) The Unforgettable Fire - Pride (In the Name of Love)/Another U2 classic for the win!

5) The Joshua Tree - With or Without You/Another U2 classic for the win!

6) Rattle and Hum - Desire/U2 classic? I would put it there. It won a Grammy, so we will call it a win!

7) Achtung Baby - The Fly/Though beloved by most fans and myself, this, unfortunately, was the bands 2nd miss.

8 ) Zooropa - Numb/The boys miss again.

9) POP - Discotheque/Though initial reception was decent, this one fell off the charts like a lead balloon to become their third miss in a row.
*Fun Fact- This was U2's last top ten single in the US.

10) All That You Can't Leave Behind - Beautiful Day/The boys get back on track for the win!

11) How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb - Vertigo/For the win!

12) No Line on The Horizon - Get On Your Boots/For the miss from the mouth of Larry, that it was a "catastrophic choice" and that it was "the beginning of the end." Should of... would of... could of went with Magnificent.

13) Songs of Innocence - The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)/Another miss.

14) Songs of Experience - You're the Best Thing About Me/This song won't see the light of day live again. A miss.

Lead Single Wins
1) I Will Follow
2) New Years Day
3) Pride
4) With or Without You
5) Desire
6) Beautiful Day
7) Vertigo

Lead Single Misses
1) Fire
2) The Fly
3) Numb
4) Discotheque
5) Get on Your Boots
6) The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)
7) You're The Best Thing About Me



Offline laoghaire

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Re: A review of U2's Lead Singles
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2018, 06:54:17 PM »
Comments:

Can't believe they didn't lead with Gloria! Ah, well, it got major MTV play.

I disagree that The Fly was a miss. Sure, One and Mysterious Ways were the big hits, and Real Thing a bit too, but The Fly was perfect to make us all go WTF? THAT was the sound of the Joshua Tree being chopped down.

Numb was weird, I was happy with it at the time but looking back it was like, what? No big deal though.

I wasn't plugged into the scene but I thought Discotheque was a great lead single.

Wait, what? Beautiful Day wasn't a top ten single? That song ruled the world that year. That aong was the biggest song from like 2000-2002. Also, Vertigo wasn't a hit?

Boots was a big miss, yup.

Miracle, should have gone with EBW.

Best Thing, we'll never know but I would have picked Red Flag Day.

Offline NintendoFan204

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Re: A review of U2's Lead Singles
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2018, 05:20:01 PM »


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I disagree that The Fly was a miss. Sure, One and Mysterious Ways were the big hits, and Real Thing a bit too, but The Fly was perfect to make us all go WTF? THAT was the sound of the Joshua Tree being chopped down.

That was such a freakin' bold move. I love it. I wish I could have been alive to experience that song being released as the lead single. That must have been so jarring to U2 fans.


Offline laoghaire

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Re: A review of U2's Lead Singles
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2018, 05:47:04 PM »
It WAS jarring. U2 were the guys from Rattle and Hum. Earnest, taking themselves very seriously. When I heard The Fly on the radio for the first time, I was gobsmacked. I didn't get it. I knew it was technically them but it wasn't them. I honestly didn't like it the first few times, but I started to get it, this new "voice." It rocked, unlike anything else at the time.

Even though I hated it at first I would not change one iota of that experience. Me hating it at first was actually part of what made it so great.

Offline Tortuga

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Re: A review of U2's Lead Singles
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2018, 05:57:49 PM »
Why does everybody hate Boots so much?  I think its great!


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Offline laoghaire

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Re: A review of U2's Lead Singles
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2018, 06:54:49 PM »
In my journey through NLOTH, I never got into Boots or SUC. (The other song in the dreaded trilogy, though, I say exactly that: why does everyone hate it so much!? I really like it!).

But my life is better with more U2, not less, so if you share what you like about Boots I might be able to hear it myself. It's happened for me before.

Offline TongueInMyEar

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Re: A review of U2's Lead Singles
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2018, 06:14:18 AM »
For me the problem with Boots was being the first single. I remember excitedly listening to radio waiting for new song to be played, and then when it was I felt it was a poor Vertigo rehash. When I bought NLOTH I really enjoyed the album but couldn't fathom why that was first single.

Over time the disappointment has passed, and actually I quite enjoy the song now. The riff is pretty cool, and the changes I don't find as jarring as I once did.

The Fly I can't see as a miss, it was probably the song that made me fall in love with U2.

I do think the last 3 albums have had poor singles choices. Similar to Boots, I actually quite like both the songs, they were just the wrong choices for me.
SOI should have been maybe Raised By Wolves, with Every Breaking Wave acoustic second.
SOE probably Red Flag Day or Love Is Bigger, with Little Things second. I actually think GOOYOW is a good single choice too.

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Re: A review of U2's Lead Singles
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2018, 07:32:07 AM »
Never understood Boots being the first single either. For me, it's just a bland rock song. It doesn't fit into NLOTH, at all. I've had NLOTH playing recently in the car.  Boots disrupts the whole flow of the album.  Everything is going great then six tracks in, you get this bland rock song. Sure, I've read the lyrics and seem to understand lyrically where the song was headed.  But, they just blew it with a formula rock music arrangement.  There could have been other great potential for the song, but they blew it, imo.  And to make it the first single is crazy.  It's so out of place in the album, it's not even funny.

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Re: A review of U2's Lead Singles
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2018, 08:52:19 AM »
I'm not a big fan of SOI/SOE but I do like some of the songs on those albums.

For SOI, I think they should have used EBW or SFS as the lead single.

For SOE, my choice would have been LOH or AS.  I know that they are diametrically different songs but I like both.

Offline zoo adam

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Re: A review of U2's Lead Singles
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2018, 09:11:18 AM »
'The Fly' & 'Discoteque' both got to number 1 in the UK. Both are liked by U2 fans.

Would also class 'Numb' as a hit. It was so different but good.

The Miracle is a proper song, so a relief after Boots.

'The Best Thing' is alright as a feel good song. But a notch down from other lead singles.

Boots is the obvious miss. Both in chart success & being hated by fans.

'Fire' is a miss although U2 were not trying or expecting it to be a number one.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2018, 09:13:23 AM by zoo adam »

Offline laoghaire

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Re: A review of U2's Lead Singles
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2018, 12:51:36 PM »
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SOI should have been maybe Raised By Wolves, with Every Breaking Wave acoustic second.

Oh, I like that, good call.
**EDIT: Missed the acoustic part. I think the pop version was the way to go in this case, though the acoutic version they call the Radio Edit should have also been dropped in, but pop first. In my incredibly humble opinion. Which people come in droves to read.**

Re: SOE, GOOYOW actually served as my lead single in a sense. I'd heard The Blackout and Best Thing of course but when I started working on the album (months after release), I watched the YT video for GOOYOW by... oh, there goes my memory again... but that was my entry point anyway.

Little Things is a strong song and an all time favorite of mine but I don't see it as a single. Not in 2018, anyway. What radio station would play it? I know they used to play Bad back in the day but that was a different time.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2018, 01:00:44 PM by laoghaire »

Offline laoghaire

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Re: A review of U2's Lead Singles
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2018, 12:55:25 PM »
Hey, did anyone notice that the OP, who said The Fly was a miss as a lead single:

1) Has The Fly as their avatar?
2) Has a screen name of "gottago"? (I'm running out of change...)

Not holding your feet to the fire gottago, but was amused by that! Have some faith!

Offline Vox

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Re: A review of U2's Lead Singles
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2018, 01:33:09 PM »
In response to the OP, I’m not sure what qualifies as a “win” or a “miss.”  One could look at a song as a “win” if it was a commercial success (“With or Without You”) or set the tone of the forthcoming album (“The Fly”). 

In my reckoning, based on that, “The Fly” is most surely a “win” (set the tone and also had chart success in many countries). 

“Numb” is a “win” [set the tone, maybe didn’t chart, but at the time it was one of U2’s most well-known songs for people in my age group (please no one tell me that didn’t happen and argue it with crazy or ridiculously inane statistics, I’m telling you where I was at it did happen)]. 

Same with “Discotheque” which set the tone, was played at bars I frequented, and as the OP says, charted well.

I’m in the minority of people who like “Get on Your Boots,” but then again, I have a strange fixation with No Line on the Horizon.  However, the song probably wasn’t very representative of the album it came from and also didn’t chart well (still, it was U2’s last Top 40 song in the States, if you don’t count “XXX” with Kendrick Lamar).

Offline Tortuga

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Re: A review of U2's Lead Singles
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2018, 04:46:21 PM »
I agree the Boots does not fit in the flow of NLOTH and should have been a bonus track or something.  BUT, that ha s nothing to do with whether or not its a good song.  I also get the Vertigo similarity but if we were to cull the U2 catalog of one of those because they sound alike I would cull it of Vertigo. 

I like Boots because of the lyrics, because the music is well-paired with the lyrical content, and because of “Let me in the sound”. It manages to walk the line of being about something serious but also just being a fun tune and does both equally well.  Do you know how hard that is to pull off?  As for it being a formulaic rock song...hmm....maybe somewhat, but much less so than Desire or The Showman.  Desire is a straight rip-off of Bo Diddly.  The Showman is built on the 1950s/60s bouncy call & response template.  I don’t think that alone is enough to make a song a miss.

So as someone else said you have to define what is meant by a “miss”.  If you’re talking about a lead single I think the main consideration should be “did drive interest in the new album”?  Whether or not it fits the rest of the album would not be a strong criteria with regard to its status as a single.  As far as mainstream appeal, I think Boots had as much potential as any of the other singles while still exhibiting that multi-layer meaning thing U2 does well.


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Offline laoghaire

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Re: A review of U2's Lead Singles
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2018, 05:43:52 PM »
Hey, do you have an example of a song from the 50s/60s in the same mold as The Showman? I've been trying to put my finger on the genre but it's eluded me. I don't need it to sound super similar, just trying for an example of the general category of song.