U2’s Pop Track-by-Track

Jam! Music (1997-02-03)

U2’s Pop track-by-track

Britain’s Q magazine has published the first cover story of the year on U2, along with an intriguing track-by-track commentary of the entire Pop album. Here are some of the highlights, posted by hardcore fan D.P. Johnston on the lively U2 mailing list, The Wire. Go here to sign up. (You can also visit Q magazine’s official website, which might eventually include parts of the U2 cover story.)

DISCOTHEQUE: Bono:“When we were recording that, we had the whole studio in mirror balls and disco lights.”

DO YOU FEEL LOVED: “Take these hands they’re good for nothing/You know these hands never worked a day.” Heavy groove-based rocker in the tradition of Even Better Than The Real Thing.

MOFO: Sonic assault as U2 are possessed by the twin spirits of Underworld and The Prodigy.

IF GOD WILL SEND HIS ANGELS: Slow, winding ballad constructed around a title that existed during Zooropa sessions. Bono: “It’s this guy beating up his girlfriend about her searching for answers and just telling her to look around.”

STARING AT THE SUN: Infectious, sky-scraping pop song with echoes of (The Kinks’) Ray Davies and Bowie’s Soul Love.

LAST NIGHT ON EARTH: Steaming rocker with powerful Beatle-y chorus. The last track to be finished, with vocals recorded at 7am on the day of the album cut. Bono: “It felt like the last night on Earth, alright”

GONE: Soaring uplifter oddly reminiscent of The Verve. Edge: “There’s many layers to that song, and there’s another level to it which I haven’t figured yet.”

MIAMI: The strangest track of all. Electro experimental before Mullen kicks in with weighty John Bonham styled groove. Lyrical snapshots of a band trip to Florida in spring ’96.

THE PLAYBOY MANSION: Touching tale of lottery-playing average Joe fantasising about gaining entry to Hugh Hefner’s private Disneyland …(includes) the maybe libellous, “If coke is a mystery/Michael Jackson…History”

IF YOU WEAR THAT VELVET DRESS: Muted and frankly, horny ballad with echoes of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game.

PLEASE: Shuffly, meandering and moody bid-pacer. Edge:“One of the most intricate pieces of music we’ve ever written.”

WAKE UP DEAD MAN: Spaghetti western atmosphere bristling with distant radio voices. A distorted Bono voices his frustration to Jesus: “I’m alone in this world/And a f***ed up world it is too.”

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