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.