Sunday, March 19, 2017

Pop- 20 Years on ....

March is a big month for U2, in 1987 The Joshua Tree was released. In 1997 U2 released Pop, what was then and still is now one of my top three U2 albums.

A favourite both in terms of the song writing and the music which was unlike anything U2 (or perhaps anyone) had done before. I vaguely recall hearing Discotheque prior to the album release. 

After the album was released I joined the U2 fan email list WIRE so I could find out more about the album and tour. It was the first tour I followed, and eventually the first time I saw the band live. It was also the first time I made an effort to buy each single. The highlights being a new mix of If God Will Send His Angels, Slow Dancing (w/ Willie Nelson) and live versions of Please and Staring at the Sun and the stunning acoustic version of Sunday Bloody Sunday from Sarajevo sung by the Edge.
Back to the album, I recall being struck by the lyrics the first few times I listened to the CD. It was one of the deeper albums U2 have written. The standout tracks for me were If God Will Send His Angels, Staring at the Sun, If You Wear that Velvet Dress and Please. The album still resonates with me as much as when I first heard it, primarily because the songs have not aged, Please is as relevant now as when it was written.

PopMart was the first time I saw the band live. It was just a special show. The two lasting memories of that night were hearing the first notes of Bad and the performance of One.  Bad has always been one of my favourite songs so it was awesome to hear them play it live (complete with snippets of Waltzing Matilda).

The second moment was at the end of the concert when Bono dedicated One to Michael Hutchence, the band turned off the lights and the screen and played illuminate by an electrical storm. That moment highlighted to me what a special band they are. and how Bono was able to create extraordinary moments out of nothing.

It still bothers me that U2 seem to have forgotten the album exists. With only Gone, Discotheque, Please and Staring at the Sun played in concert since the PopMart tour. PopMart is up there as my favourite tour. I would have loved to see at 20th Anniversary Edition of Pop complete with another PopMart show and other remixes from the era. 

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