The Unforgettable Fire & U2's new album direction

J ([email protected])
Tue, 28 Jul 1998 05:17:21 -0700 (PDT)

   I think in order to predict U2's new direction in whatever future
album, we should look in the Unforgettable Fire which was an album
ahead of its time. The problem now is just to pick out some elements
from the album that might be employed in a new album.

    For some reason, the Unforgettable Fire album has sort of like
"predicted" the direction U2 would embark on the future.

    The driving bass line of "A Sort Of Homecoming" was a precursor to
the driving bass line of "Do You Feel Loved." Both songs are by the
way among U2's most underrated songs.

    The ringing minimalist, echo and reverb filled riff of "Pride"
gave us a glimpse at future mimalist Edge riffs such as "In God's
Country." Yet, it also looks back to the past such as "I Will Follow"
and the anthemic guitar driven anthems in War.

   "Wire" shows Larry capability at drumming with speed and precision.
 It also introduces Larry playing the 16-beat, something he would
later re-discover in "Lemon."

    "The Unforgettable Fire" track showed us a peek into Bono's
falsetto, which he would later fully use to perfection in the Achtung
Baby album as well as the whole of "Lemon" which was in falsetto and
one verse in "Can't Help Falling In Love."

    "Promenade" seemed like an ascendant of Bono's emotional and horny
sining tone that would be fully utilized in the 90's.

    "4th Of July" wouldn't be lost if it was placed in the Passengers
album. It is ambient and provides a certain kind of atmosphere.

     "Bad" seemed to merge the Joshua Tree ringing and echoing style
with the U2 two-chord A-D configuration which brought forth "All I
Want Is You" and "Tryin' To Throw Your Arms." U2 employed similar
chord patterns but on differnet keys with "I Still Haven't Found,"
"The First Time," and "Running To Stand Still" (which incidentally
covered the same topic as "Bad" which was heroine addiction).

     A portion of "Indian Summer Sky" had Bono over-dubbing his low
octave voice with a higher octave version, just like he did in
"Babyface" and "Discotheque."

    "Elvis Presley And America" shows U2 improvising. This song
really wouldn't be lost if you were to put it in the Salome Outtakes.
This would be a future warning of the spontaneity and improvisations
on the spot U2 is capable of pulling off and still making it look like

    "MLK" is a song credited as being performed by U2but all you hear
is a voice and a synthesizer. This song started the U2 use of
synthezisers to make good music, which was really used in fll harness
in Achtung, Zooropa, and Pop. It also portrayed Bono's expression of
his admiration for certain peple that would lead him to write
"tribute" music such as "Two Shots Of Happy And One Shot Of Sad."

    To make a long story short, I think the Unforgettable Fire
contains basically all the elements of what U2 eventually did in the
future. I wonder what element from any song here would somehow
indicate the direction of U2's new album.


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