.:: A CELEBRATION ::.    [back to top]

George:  I wanna play the other side of that ["Trash, Trampoline And The Party Girl"], which is "A Celebration", since we have no hope in the world of hearing this tomorrow, since the band's forgotten it we're gonna play that.  This is a terrific track, is it ever going to appear on an album?

Bono:  No... (laughs)  I don't think so.  It ah --

George: Do you not like it?!

Bono:  No I do like it actually, I'm...  Sometimes I hate it, I mean it's like with a lot of music, if I hear it in a club it really excites me, and I think it is a forerunner to War and a lot of the themes.  It was great in Europe because...  A song like "Seconds" people thought was very serious -- on the LP War "Seconds" -- it's anti-nuclear, it's a statement.  They didn't see the sense of humour to it, it's sort of black humour, where we were using a lot of clich├ęs; y'know "It takes a second to say goodbye", blah blah, and some people took it very seriously.  And it is black humour, and it is to be taken sort-of seriously, but this song had the lines in it, "I believe in a third world war, I believe in the atomic bomb, I believe in the powers that be, but they won't overpower me".  And of course a lot of people they heard I believe in a third world war, I believe in the atomic bomb, and they thought it was some sort of, y'know, Hitler Part II.  And Europeans especially were (puts on outraged French accent) "Ah non!  Vive le France!" and it was all like, all sorts of chaos broke out, and they said, "What do you mean, you believe in the atomic bomb?"  And I was trying to say in the song, I believe in the third world war, because people talk about the third world war but it's already happened, I mean it's happened in the third world, that's obvious.  But I was saying these are facts of life, I believe in them, "I believe in the powers that be BUT, they won't overpower me".  And that's the point, but a lot of people didn't reach the fourth line.

(from a radio interview on KZEW Dallas, June 12, 1983, transcription by Scarlet of U2 Interviews)

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.:: DEEP IN THE HEART ::.    [back to top]

The song that Marc [Coleman] engineered -- "Deep in the Heart" -- is very free form.  It's unusual for U2.

Edge:  That's exactly what it is.  It's a bit like the "4th of July" of this record.  With "4th of July" Adam and I were in this room playing and we didn't even know we were being recorded.  It was the same with "Deep in the Heart."

Adam:  It was actually recorded on a 4-track cassette machine.  It was the only recorder set up.

Bono:  "Deep in the Heart" was a simple three-chord song idea that I'd written on the piano, about the last day I spent in Cedarwood Road, in my family house.  After I left and went out on my own my father was living there by himself, and there were a lot of break-ins.  Heroin addiction in the area was up and kids needed the money.  Anyway, my father decided to sell the little house, and before he moved out I went back there and thought about the place, which I'd known since I was small.  I remembered a sexual encounter I'd had there -- "Thirteen years old, sweet as a rose, every petal of her paper thin... Love will make you blind, creeping from behind, gets you jumping out of your skin.  Deep in the heart of this place..."  The simple piano piece that I had was nothing like what these guys turned it into to, which is an almost jazz-like improvisation on three chords.  The rhythm section turned it into a very special piece of music.

(from "Luminous Times" by John Hutchinson, Musician, October 01, 1987)

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.:: ELECTRICAL STORM ::.    [back to top]

Jo Whiley:  We have tens of thousands of questions coming in from all over the world.  The first one says, Dear Bono, Edge, Larry and Adam, I absolutely love "Electrical Storm," and was wondering if you could tell me what inspired the lyrics to this song.

Bono:  It's hard.  When I'm writing the lyrics to songs, I try to put into words what the band are doing musically.  You know, the lyric tends to grow out of the melody, and the melody grows out of the chords.  The title "Electrical Storm" came to me as a sort of just a suggestion about the nervous times that we live in, and post 9-11, and all that, but actually it ended up being a song just about lovers trying to clear the air, really.  And I just left it there.

(from "U Asked U2!" by Jo Whiley, MSN Entertainment, November 05, 2002)

[Edge:]  "We had a few tunes that came out of the early sort of demo session, and that was a song that just spoke to us.  That piece of music really had a power, a certain kind of authority that really interested us.  And so we took that piece of music and started working on it back in Dublin.

I think what we connected with was a certain kind of an energy, and a certain sense of foreboding jeopardy the music had, which sort of spoke to us about what's going on right now.  It's essentially a love song, but it's like a love song set against this time we're living in, this strange time where no one really knows what's gonna happen.  [There's] something ominous in the air. And that was kind of the jumping-off point. And it's very much, I think, a song of the moment; it's also, I think, a connecting point to our next record.  I really think that, in terms of arrangement, it's really back to guitar, bass, and drums, the primary colors of rock'n'roll, I think that's where we're gonna take the next album."

(from "U2 In The '90s: Bigger, Better, More Beloved" by Wes Orshoski, Billboard.com, November 11, 2002)

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.:: THE GROUND BENEATH HER FEET ::.    [back to top]

U2 say it's unlikely the song they've written with Salman Rushdie will come out as a single.  "The Ground Beneath Her Feet" is the name of the track and is also the title of Rushdie's latest novel.  However, there are plans to make it available on the Internet.

"I said to Bono and the band's manager, Paul McGuinness, copies of the novel when it was finished are in manuscript", Salman Rushdie told Radio One.  "And, to my delight, Bono rang up some weeks later and said he'd written a melody, which he thought was one of the most beautiful melodies he'd ever come up with".  And Salman says he agrees: "A few weeks after that I heard it and I think it's a lovely song.  It's a sad love song.  It's a ballad.  In the novel it's a song that almost the hero writes just after the earthquake in which his wife is killed".  Salman says the earthquake actually opens the novel: "So it's a kind of lament for his lost love.  So I always knew, you know, that it wasn't going to be an uptempo foot-tapper, because it's a sad song.  I think it sounds like, I hope, one of those big U2 ballads for which Bono's voice, actually, is beautifully well suited".

(from BBC, April 1998)

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.:: THE HANDS THAT BUILT AMERICA ::.    [back to top]

[Edge:]  "This song was written after we were approached by Martin Scorsese to think about maybe writing a song for [his new historical film] 'The Gangs of New York.'  We went and met him in New York, and went up and saw a rough assembly of the film.  A few weeks later we went into the studio to work up some ideas, and one of the ideas that we came out with was 'The Hands That Built America,' the music anyway.  We got back to it a little later on, later on last year, and finished it in the spring of this year.  So, it's kind of a very recent piece, somewhat inspired by September 11th -- the final verse makes reference to New York during that period.  But it's really inspired by the movie.  It's a song about that period of time in the 19th century when so many immigrants came to America from Europe, and what it was like to arrive in this crazy town called New York.  It was an incredible thing to sort of realize what New York was at that time.  I can only imagine it was kind of like Nairobi -- incredibly dangerous.  Actually, probably much worse than Nairobi, but, like, full of people trying to find a way to get away from the city.  It's full of all kinds of diseases associated with overcrowding and bad sanitation, ruled by gangs and corrupt politicians.  It was like, just, chaos."

(from "U2 In The '90s: Bigger, Better, More Beloved" by Wes Orshoski, Billboard.com, November 11, 2002)

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