Tuesday, March 17, 2020

U Talkin' 2 Me?

Even though you're stuck in a moment you can't get out of, it is still a beautiful day on this  St. Patrick's Day, so I thought I would rank the songs of an obscure Irish band. And I'm doing this with or without you. 

I have chosen to rank the songs from their 2006 compilation album, U218 Singles, even though there are really sixteen singles because two of them are new songs just for that album and I'm not ranking those. 

16. "New Year's Day" -While I do like all the songs that I will be ranking today, there have to be ones that are on the bottom and if I'm being honest their early songs (anything that pre-dates 1987!) are going to be bottom tier for me. This song is fine, but I can never remember how it goes until I listen to it.

15. "Sunday Bloody Sunday" - Another of their super early singles. This particular song isn't very melodic or catchy and has more of a harsh sound. I know some people "can't believe the news" that I ranked this so low, but what can I say? 

14. "Desire" - De-siiiiiii-iiiiiii-re. This song sounds so Irish with its harmonica and blues-y rhythm! (I kid, of course, this song is as Americana as it gets). Great beat throughout the song. 

13. "Vertigo"  - This song. Is so. Catchy. But it is. Also. Kinda. Dumb. It really. Gets. Into. Your head, yeah yeah, yeah.... (Can you tell I was trying to write that to the tune of the song? Yeah, I realize it doesn't translate very well with text!) Before I listened to this song for this project, I was trying to see if I could remember how it went because it had been a little while since I last heard it. I was able to get "Hello, hello, I'm at a place called vertigo", but then all of a sudden, I start getting "You make me feel like I can fly" in my head and I've got  Elevation in my head. This song reminds me of that one, but just not as good, as you'll soon find out considering where I placed that one on my list! 

12. "Walk On" - They played this song at the live 9/11 benefit concert that aired on all the channels a couple weeks after the terrorist attacks. I don't remember this, of course, I came across it while looking up this song. However, I do remember this song being played during an episode of Alias. Oh, priorities! To be fair, I've probably seen that episode three times and the live benefit concert was only aired just the once. I like the beginning of the song where the name of the album it's from (All That You Can't Leave Behind) is uttered and the ending is my favorite part with the chanting of the "All that you _____ "lines.  I still like the rest of the song, but the middle does kinda drag. Hot take: ATYCLB is my favorite U2 album (although the last few songs aren't really that good).

11. "Pride (In the Name of Love)" - I know a lot of people love this song (as in they usually rank it in the top three) and I DO like it, but I just like the majority of their other singles better! If it's any consolation, I have it ranked as the highest pre-1987 single! I do think it is their first truly great single (sorry, Sunday); it's actually from their fourth album. I've listened to their first three albums and they literally all sound the same to me. 

10. "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own" - I like this song, especially the chorus. It has a very melancholy feel to it. 

9. "Mysterious Ways" - The opening guitar riff (and the same one that plays throughout) on this song is sick. I would try to emulate it for you, but I don't think it would come across on text! You probably already know it and if you think you'e never heard this song, I bet you would recognize it instantly. 

8. "With or Without You" - Surely I can't be the only one who thinks of Ross and Rachel when they hear this song? Honestly, if I hadn't done a Friends re-watch a couple years ago, I wouldn't have remembered this song plays in an early episode. Ross calls a radio show to dedicate the song to Rachel because he upset her (I believe this was the time when he made a pro/con list about her and she found out about it), but Rachel calls the radio station who abruptly stops the song after she tells them what he did! 
It has a very romance song feel to it, but if you listen to the lyrics, he says, "I can't live with or without you." I'd be a little offended! But I do love the song.

7.  "The Sweetest Thing" - This song is so adorable and if you ever hear it at a wedding, the groom better have blue eyes and the bride better have brown eyes ("Blue eyed boy meets a brown eyed girl") otherwise, why are you playing it? I know this song from their first Greatest Hits album, but after doing research about it, I found out it was never on any of their studio albums, instead it was released as a B side for the single of "Where the Streets Have No Name." I was super confused for a second because I forgot about the existence of "B sides". You see, children, a long, long time ago before there was iTunes or Spotify or what have you, people could buy singles without buying the entire album. Usually there would be an extra song on the other side of the record or cassette. Back in my youth, I did buy a couple of CDs of singles (Mariah Carey's "I Still Believe" comes to mind) and they usually put on a couple other songs or remixes of the original song. Yeah, I know, I don't know how people lived back in those days! When Napster came into my existence it was truly the best day of my life. Ah, Napster, we shared so many good memories together. Usually the suckier songs are reserved for B sides (I mean, they didn't make the official album, so...), but this song is really good so it doesn't surprise me they put it on their compilation albums. 

6. "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of" - Hmm, this song seems highly appropriate for what's going on now!  This song could also be known as "A Song That You Can't Get Out of Your Head". I like the part where he says "my oh my", like he just tacked it on there because the line needed more words. "It's just a moment; this time will pass", indeed. 

5. "Elevation" - Or, should I say, "El! Uh! Vay! Shun!" I was tempted to put this song even higher, or, ahem, elevate it :::insert groan here::: I don't know if I can have it surpass the other songs though, it's probably way too high as it is, but, god damn it, I love this song. I do not remember this song playing on the radio (it was a single), but I do remember it being used as promotion for movies and the '02 Olympics. I think this may be the only song ever to use the word "excavation". 

4. "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" - I mean, this song is a classic, what else do I have to say? I feel like this is their most singable song because as soon as it comes on the radio, you know all the words and has a easy melody to hum/sing to. Am I the only one who sings this song when I'm trying to find something and can't find it? 

3. "Where the Streets Have No Name" - I love this song. I absolutely have no knowledge when it comes to music terms or instruments, but I love the constant beat/tempo of the guitar and drums. It is insane that this song came from the same album as "With or Without You" and "ISHFWILF" and they were all stacked as the first three songs! 

2. "One" - "Is it getting better?" Yes, Bono, yes it is. "Did I disappoint you?" No, Bono, no, you did not, not with this song! As you can see, "One" almost made my number one, but not quite. "One" is my number two U2 song!  Mary J. Blige also does a version of this song with Bono (thirteen years after the original)  and while I think that one (heh, no pun intended) is great too, the original is still the best. The other three songs in my top four, plus With or Without You and Pride still get radio play, but for some reason, this song gets ignored. I don't get it! At least they sang it on Glee so it got some love there! This is one of those songs you sing while waving your phone in the air (or your lighter if your super old school!) You sing your bleeding liberal heart out on this song, Bono!

1. "Beautiful Day" - "It's a beautiful daaaaayyyy!" Yep, their most overplayed and popular song is my favorite. (Although it probably has some competition for being their most overplayed and/or popular). It's not just my favorite U2 single; it's my favorite U2 song. Look, I admit that I love this song for the nostalgia it brings me. It was kind of hard to escape this song in the early 2000s; it was pretty much everywhere. When he sings the bridge with all the "See the [whatever]" stanzas, the only one I can ever remember is "See the bird with the leaf in her mouth." 

Here are three honorable mentions:
-"City of Blinding Lights"
-"Even Better Than the Real Thing" - honestly, I'm surprised those two weren't even on that album!
-"The Wanderer" - so this is actually a song I was long familiar with because I own a Johnny Cash album and it's on that album because he sings it! I guess U2 wrote the song and it is on one of their albums from the '90s, but they got Johnny Cash to sing it. And this was probably one of my top five favorite songs on the Cash album, so who knew it was actually a U2 song? I sure didn't until literally a month ago! 

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