My Favorite U2 Songs
The other day I ranked every U2 album by ranking each song. Even though I ranked each song, that was more about ranking each U2 album. Now I want to share my favorite three songs off each album. This time I am including the b-sides because they are some of my favorites.
THE JOSHUA TREE – I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, Luminous Times, Red Hill Mining Town
RATTLE AND HUM – Heartland, Love Rescue Me, Hallelujah Here She Comes
ACHTUNG BABY – Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses, So Cruel, Acrobat
ALL THAT YOU CAN’T LEAVE BEHIND – In a Little While, Ground Beneath Her Feet, Summer Rain
UNFORGETTABLE FIRE – Pride, Bad, Unforgettable Fire
NO LINE ON THE HORIZON – Get on Your Boots, Breathe, No Line on the Horizon
POP – Gone, Please, Staring at the Sun
OCTOBER – October, Rejoice, Gloria
WAR – New Year’s Day, Two Hearts Beat As One, Sunday Bloody Sunday
SONGS OF INNOCENCE – Volcano, Iris, Cedarwood Road
ZOOROPA – Dirty Day, Zooropa, The First Time
BOY – Out of Control, Stories for Boys, A Day Without Me
HOW TO DISMANTLE AN ATOMIC BOMB – Original of the Species, Love and Peace, City of Blinding Lights
And if I were to rank those songs in order of my top ten favorites, it would be as follows:
- I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
- Luminous Times
- Red Hill Mining Town
- Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
- Love Rescue Me
- Get On Your Boots
Seven of my top ten favorite U2 songs haven’t changed since Rattle and Hum, a year after I got into U2. With the release of Achtung Baby and Pop, “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses” and “Gone” pushed their way into the my top ten. And then for almost fifteen years, my top ten remained the same until 2011 when I was on the road for almost three months driving across the country and back (a few times) to attend every U2 show in the US on the 360 tour. It was then that “Get on Your Boots” cracked my top ten. I know a lot of fans do not really enjoy “Boots”, but I love it!
“Get on Your Boots” is my 10th favorite U2 song because of the 360 tour. Hearing it today brings me back inside the circle behind the stage. On the first leg in 2009, I loved the energy of it. And what really hooked me is when Larry would stand up and shout, “LET ME IN THE SOUND!” while pounding his drums, and Bono was facing him singing. Then on the last leg in 2011, Bono and Larry would stand back to back and sing, “LET ME IN THE SOUND!” Those words became my anthem on the road driving over 18,000 miles trying to get to each show – “LET ME IN THE SOUND!” Today it is still my answer tone on my phone, and I’m sure “LET ME IN THE SOUND!” will be blaring from my car as I pull into the parking lot at each stadium (or arena) on the next tour.
“Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses” is my fifth favorite U2 song. It is a very emotional and angry song that breaks my heart. In fact, I made my first love sit down and listen to the lyrics as I read them to him after he had broken up with me. If I could have written a song about us, “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses” would have been it. Listening to “Wild Horses” now brings me back to when I was 20 traveling around on the ZooTv tour, my first U2 tour.
“Heartland” is my fourth favorite U2 song. I am not going to lie. This is a favorite of mind because it bridges my two obsessions (Elvis and U2 together). To me this song will always represent Memphis and U2’s time in Memphis visiting Graceland and recording at Sun Studios. Whenever I hear “Heartland,” I am again that 16 year old girl watching Rattle and Hum in a sold out movie theater in November of 1988. “Thumb a lift there Edge!” as the boys sit on the hill overlooking the Mississippi River (a place years later I would walk mornings with my dogs) and U2 walking through Graceland (a place that would become my happiest place on earth and I would visit many, many times years later) and Larry talking about how he loved the Elvis movies. This was really the first time I learned that Larry loved Elvis as much as I did.
“Red Hill Mining Town” is my fifth favorite U2 song. I was obsessed with this song when The Joshua Tree was released. Over and over I would listen to it. Just the passion of Bono’s voice still gives me goose bumps. And the pounding of Larry’s drums goes without saying. I didn’t know what the song was about at the time. I just knew how it made me feel – alive!
“Luminous Times” is my second favorite U2 song, a close second. It brings me back to my first days as a U2 fan. This song gives me chills every time I hear it, even though I have listened to it over and over again the past 26 years. The lyrics are so passionate, and the way Bono sings them is so heart wrenching. I absolutely love it! My favorite part of “Luminous Times,” the part that really gets to me is, “I love you ‘cause I need to, not because I need you. I love you ‘cause I understand that God has given me your hand. He holds me in a tiny fist, and still I need your kiss. Hold on to love.” U2 has never played “Luminous Times” in concert. When I met Bono on the ZooTv tour, I told him how much I loved “Luminous Times” and asked if they would ever play it in concert. Bono answered me by saying they were thinking of putting out a b-sides album. (Huh? That’s not what I asked.) Before the 360 tour began, Edge mentioned in an article that they were thinking of playing some b-sides that they had never played before like “Luminous Times”. It never happened, and if it did I’d probably pee my pants.
“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” is my favorite U2 song of all time. It was my first favorite U2 song and what solidified me as a U2 fan, along with Larry Mullen Jr. “With or Without You” introduced me to U2, but “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” made me a fan. “Still Haven’t Found” has literally been my theme song. It says that life is about the journey, not the destination. I still have not found what I am looking for. But I love the journey, the quest for what truly makes me happy. I cried when U2 played “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” at the second show in Anaheim on the 360 tour in 2011 because they hadn’t played it yet that leg. Even though I had heard it at lots of shows before, that was a special moment for me in Anaheim. Besides being a fantastic, spiritual and uplifting song, “Still Haven’t Found” is an amazing video – my favorite. It captures U2 during The Joshua Tree era in Las Vegas, my second favorite city. As a side note, I find it interesting (if not ironic) that Larry is on the cover of the single of my favorite song.
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Why no “Miami”? where’s the love for “Miami”?
Sorry, not a huge fan of Miami.
^ I could never get into “Miami” either… probably one of my least favorite U2 songs.
It THRILLS me to see “Heartland” in your Top 10; it’s in mine, too. 🙂
Thanks for reading Erin! Glad to know there is another Heartland fan out there 🙂