60 Songs That Saved Bono: A Closer Look

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2020-05-11)

Yesterday Bono posted the second of two playlists that he developed for his 60th birthday celebration. Yesterday’s list was titled “60 Songs That Saved My Life” and came with a hand drawn cover image that read “These Songs Saved My Life” and was signed Bono, May 2020.

On the list was 60 songs. Or 59, or even 58 depending on where you lived and how you were accessing the list of songs. We’ll explain that in a moment.

VIDEO: YouTube Introduction Video

The list was made available at a number of different locations. It was made public simuleoltaneously on Amazon Music, Apple Music, Deezer, Spotify and YouTube Music. It was also featured on U2.Com, which also included a selection of fan letters that Bono had written to some of the artists he included on the list.

The introduction by Bono says “These are some of the songs that saved my life—the ones I couldn’t have lived without, the ones that got me from there to here, zero to 60 through all the scrapes, all manner of nuisance. From the serious to the silly and the joy—mostly joy. I wanted to thank the artists and everyone who helped make them. They were doing the same for me”.

Due to restrictions on content in some locations, the list varies in some countries and is different on some services. In many cases the differences are minor, but we’ll highlight a few of the bigger ones.

1. There are actually 61 songs. Although Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence” appears around the world on the initial list, it doesn’t appear on Apple Music. On Apple Music there’s a different song, which we’re counting as #61 on the list. It appears in each country on Apple, but not on any of the other streaming services. The extra track? “No Surprises” by Radiohead off their OK Computer album. And it is located in the same spot that “Sound of Silence” is located in other countries.

VIDEO: Radiohead “No Surprises”

2. The list has been updated since it was first posted. Initially when the list was posted yesterday, Apple Music did not carry the live version of “Miserere” by Bono, Pavarotti and Zucchero, which was added to many streaming services on Friday. In its place on Apple Music, worldwide, was the studio version of the song. However, early today, the playlist was updated and now includes the newly released live version as well.

3. Apple Music only has 59 songs. Yes, there’s a Simon and Garfunkel song missing as we mention above, but that’s been replaced by a Radiohead one. What else is missing on Apple? One of the early songs on the list isn’t present, the Sex Pistols track “Anarchy in the UK” does not appear on the Apple Music lists worldwide. Thus only 59 tracks are seen in those countries.

4. Region restrictions takes the list on YouTube down to 58 tracks in the USA and Canada. Although you can see the videos in the playlist, two of the videos won’t play in those regions. Both “Anarchy in the UK” by the Sex Pistols and “Never Tear Us Apart” by INXS do not play in those regions, so if you are listening on YouTube you only hear 58 songs, even though 60 show in the list.

5. “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” appears on the list, as performed by Bono with Frank Sinatra. But again, in some regions it doesn’t. In some cases it is replaced with a solo version of Frank Sinatra singing the song, and that seems to be the case on Apple Music and Amazon worldwide. Deezer, YouTube and Spotify all include the duet with Bono instead. On Spotify in the USA, users can see the track with Bono, but it does not play and says it is unavailable in that region.

VIDEO: Frank Sinatra & Bono – “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”

To make the list possible some new content had to be released. On Friday and again today there were some updates to offerings on various streaming sites. “Miserere” was released as a single featuring a live performance of Bono, Zucchero and Pavarotti. This was a worldwide release, and not just to the streaming services carrying the playlist, it was also released at other stores such as Tidal and Qobuz. The track was added to Apple Music today and the playlist there was updated to switch from the studio version to the live version as of this morning. The song is only available as a streaming track and cannot be downloaded.

U2’s “Stay (Faraway, So Close!)” hasn’t been available as a separate single on streaming services, but it is now. It was added to many on many streaming services on Friday. It is a two track single, including “Stay (Faraway, So Close!)” as well as “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” The video for “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” with Frank Sinatra and Bono was also uploaded to U2’s YouTube account, and we’ve embedded it above for you for those that haven’t seen it in a while.

The full list as published on U2.Com is as follows:

60 Songs That Saved My Life
1. Luciano Pavarotti, Bono & Zucchero – Miserere
2. Sex Pistols – Anarchy In the UK
3. Kanye West – Black Skinhead
4. Billie Eilish – everything i wanted
5. David Bowie – Life on Mars?
6. The Beatles – I Want to Hold your Hand
7. Ramones – Swallow My Pride
8. The Clash – Safe European Home
9. Public Enemy – Fight The Power
10. Patti Smith – People Have the Power
11. John Lennon – Mother
12. The Rolling Stones – Ruby Tuesday
13. Elton John – Daniel
14. Andrea Bocelli- Con Te Partiro
15. Elvis Presley – Heartbreak Hotel
16. Johnny Cash – Hurt
17. This Mortal Coil – Song to the Siren
18. Kraftwerk – Neon Lights
19. The Fugees – Killing Me Softly With His Song
20. Prince – When Doves Cry
21. Daft Punk feat Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers – Get Lucky
22. Madonna – Ray of Light
23. JAY-Z feat Alicia Keys – Empire State of Mind
24. Talking Heads – Love Goes to Building on Fire
25. Lou Reed – Satellite of Love
26. The Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony
27. Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart
28. New Order – True Faith
29. R.E.M. – Nightswimming
30. Adele – Chasing Pavements
31. Arcade Fire – Wake Up
32. Pixies – Monkey Gone to Heaven
33. Oasis – Live Forever
34. Iggy Pop – Lust for Life
35. Gavin Friday – Angel
36. Massive Attack – Safe From Harm
37. Kendrick Lamar feat U2 – XXX
38. Bob Marley & The Walers – Redemption Song
39. Echo and the Bunnymen – Rescue
40. Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
41. Pearl Jam – Jeremy
42. Bob Dylan – Most of the Time
43. Beyoncé feat Kendrick Lamar – Freedom
44. Depeche Mode – Walking In My Shoes
45. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Into My Arms
46. Simon & Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence
47. Coldplay – Clocks
48. INXS – Never Tear Us Apart
49. New Radicals – You Get What You Give
50. Angélique Kidjo – Agolo
51. Lady Gaga – Born This Way
52. Frank Sinatra & Bono – Under My Skin
53. David Bowie – Heroes
54. Simple Minds – New Gold Dream (81/82/83/84)
55. Sinéad O’Connor – You Made Me The Thief Of Your Heart
56. Van Morrison – A Sense of Wonder
57. Bruce Springsteen – There Goes My Miracle
58. Daniel Lanois – The Maker
59. Peter Frampton – Show Me The Way
60. Bee Gees – Immortality – Demo Version

And as we mentioned, 46b. No Suprises – Radiohead, appears on Apple Music replacing Simon & Garfunkel.

If you haven’t checked out the list yet, it’s a great mix of music, and Bono has put a lot of thought into choosing songs, and choosing the order. “On one of my lists I have Andrea Bocelli segway into Elvis’s ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ then into Johnny Cash’s ‘Hurt.’ It’s the whole opera isn’t it? You think of Elvis as Rock n’ Roll but I love the opera of him.” I’ve got 60 years of music to reflect upon. Some of it is even recent. That Billie Eilish song, ‘Everything I Wanted’, when i listen to that, I’m just completely, I can’t look away.” Bono said in an interview on the RTE on Friday where he first discussed the list. The full list of services carrying the playlist is available here, and includes Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music, YouTube and Amazon. And don’t miss the article at U2.Com where Bono has shared six letters to the artists on the list. They promise more will follow.

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