I admit it: I’m a fan.
I remember first hearing U2 on the Philadelphia station WMMR (93.3 on your dial)in 1984. It seemed like that station played “Bad” every 30 minutes or so.
Three things have always stood out for me in U2’s music: 1) The sonic power of Bono’s voice; 2) the eery landscapes of the Edge’s lead guitar; and 3) the spiritual longing at the center of most of the lyrics.
So here they are . . . more than 30 years of songs distilled into my five favorites.
5. Hawkmoon 269. A forgotten song lost in the middle of a much-reviled album, Rattle & Hum. But I love it all from first chords to final howls.
4. One. Simply beautiful.
3. Beautiful Day. When I first heard it in 2001, I thought, “oh, that’s OK.” But isn’t that the measure of a great song — it sounds better now than when first released?
2. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. The gospel-choir version from Rattle & Hum is especially moving.
1. Where The Streets Have No Name. Someone is doing this one at my funeral. I hope people will still know how to play it in 60 years. It’s also U2’s most enduring video.