Back in the late Eight­ies, for a few months I went to aer­o­bics class, and once ev­ery ses­sion the in­struc­tor put this U2 chest­nut on and ev­ery time my beats-per-minute cranked right up. Not in the slight­est ob­scure, but worth re­vis­it­ing at least once a year, ide­al­ly on this day.

U2 are pret­ty well di­nosaurs now, but then I am too. And when they stomped the earth in the late Eight­ies, it shook. They brought a whole lot of mu­si­cal in­ten­si­ty to the stage, and the best live bass sound I’ve ev­er heard. And pas­sion: I re­call a hot sum­mer night back, then an out­door show; Bono’s arm was in ban­dages and a sling be­cause he’d fall­en off the stage a few nights ear­lier. But then they were swing­ing in­to Peo­ple Get Ready and he said “Gotta have two gui­tars for this one” and ripped the ban­dages off to play rhyth­m. That’s rock&roll.

Any­how, New Year’s Day is a fine song; note what’s maybe Edge’s best ev­er gui­tar break, and the clever way he switch­es be­tween gui­tar and pi­ano. Al­so the, foun­da­tion­al gui­tar isn’t gui­tar at al­l, it’s bass, one of Adam Clayton’s nicest out­ings.

Links · Spo­ti­fy, Ama­zon, iTunes, live video (wow, a lot).

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January 01, 2018
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