I thought it was gonna be the usual bloodbath, but I see mostly positive/constructive comments!
Perhaps Guardian readers, contrarily to someone else, have still all of their neurons intact.
Generally speaking the guardian tends to attract people with the ability to express at least semi cogent and well written opinions.....I of course am one of the exceptions to that norm.
Generally speaking the guardian has gone right down the pan in recent years. Agree with you though that the comments are more fun than the list itself. Love the embellished story about Kirsty Maccoll sequencing the album in order of her personal preference for each individual track.
The Guardian like most outlets suffers from the 24 hrs and 'need to keep updating' news culture we have now....so stuff is published that wouldn't have got near years ago - but with so much space to fill and the need to update piles of sub standard stuff gets put up on their website..
Same with the regional papers sites like The Liverpool Echo....full of poorly written articles about 'scouseness' 'remember when' 'words only scousers use' 'things you only know if you grew up in West Derby' '20 things your scouse nan would say' etc. etc. etc......the other regionals are the same as well, especially as they are now nearly all owned by same mob...
There is that - but also editorially it has become a paper that is focused on two main issues and its Oxbridge-educated journalists bang home the same points on each day after day, much to the annoyance of many readers (read the comments section). I can't say more as it'd take us into politics, which we can't discuss here.
As for the list it's nice to see "Into the Heart" and "October" on it. The early U2 were brave in rejecting the typical model of masculinity that most bands of their era (and every era?) promoted: drugs, booze and sex. Probably because of the loss of his mother, Bono turned back to the idyllic days of "boy"hood, and the close maternal bond boys have to their mothers. Into the Heart is one song that touches on that, and it was not a fashionable topic in pop, never has been. "A boy tries hard to be a man... he stops to think, he starts to wonder why/cry" is a brilliant lyric.
I mean, technically they didn't exactly reject writing songs about sex ("An Cat Dubh", anyone?) but I definitely agree with you, it's been refreshing to listen to their earlier work and compare to their peers of that time--much cleaner, insightful stuff from U2. And "Boy" is such a great album, I still can't get over the fact that 19/20 year olds wrote that.
An Cat Dubh is a very negative and misogynistic assessment of sex and resolves itself in Into the Heart - a desire to return to the pre-adolescent days of childhood. In terms of glorifying boyhood and distrusting the sexual allure of women it reminds me of the novel "The Go-Between" by JP Hartley.