If there is one band that best captures the spirit of this blog, it’s U2.

The Unforgettable Fire
The Unforgettable Fire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve listened to U2’s music for many years.  The first U2 album I picked up was “Unforgettable Fire.”  The song “Pride (In The Name of Love)” — I just had to have it in my collection.  I’ve blogged about that song all by itself here before, around the time of April 4, while making … a statement.  There’ve been a few more U2 albums added to my collection since that “Unforgettable Fire” purchase, to put it mildly.

But even going back before that time, U2’s music was stamped into my brain.  It wasn’t just the music.  It was also the message behind it, the lyrics that went with each song.  It was powerful.  It did for me exactly what music before it — the music of Stevie Wonder in his “strong message” years in the 1970s — did for me.

It gave me the desire to make statements of my own, to try not to pull punches when I believe strongly in something.

Some people tend to get upset by what they call the “preaching” that Bono does either before, during, or after his songs.  I dig it.  It takes guts to stand up on a stage in front of millions of fans around the world and “stand up” for what you believe in, to reach inside people’s thoughts and hearts, to leave a memorable imprint.

If Bono were someone who did all that preaching and didn’t practice any of it, I’d have a concern.  Instead, he’s one of the better known humanitarians in the world today.

Everyone needs to practice what they preach, as long as it’s good for mankind.  That’s the spirit.

My cowboy hat’s off to you, Bono!

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3 thoughts on “My music playlist for today (May 24, 2012 edition)

  1. I have had a problem with late-period U2, not for the ‘preaching” but just because they used to be MY band, sorta, and then they went mega and things just weren’t the same. I saw them I don’t know how many times during the ’80s and ’90s. First time was in a venue with about 1200 seats, on the War tour. Bono still could (and did) body-surf through the crowd then, and when he was passed overhead at that gig, I was in the 6th row and I happened to get hold of his backside. Not on purpose, honest…in fact I would’ve preferred anywhere else. 🙂 It was very powerful to see them in a relatively small place, and as their music and their venues grew bigger, something got lost for me. By the time I saw them in a Miami enormodome with a giant lemon onstage, I was kinda done. They seemed like a parody of who they had been, and artistically I think that was sort of their intent. It just didn’t sit well with me. I still respect them enormously as musicians and people, but I am a lot less devoted as a fan than I used to be. When I see their concert at Red Rocks, I still get goosebumps, though, and I think I always will. 🙂

    1. That’s some great insight you’re giving here, Chris. You do raise some good points, especially interesting on the “parody” part. As huge as their shows have become more recently … are they parodying themselves? Or have they bought into their megastardom? I’d hope it’s not the latter. I still respect Bono tons for the difference he’s trying to make outside of the music, though.

      1. Well, my theory is that, in the ’80s, it was still safe to be idealistic and earnest. There was Live Aid, and big concerts for Amnesty International, and all kinds of political and social awareness being mixed into the popular music scene. As the ’90s dawned, that all became less cool. Irony was the thing, and I think U2 decided to play along. Those ’90s records and tours dripped with irony and that was just a reflection of the times and an effort to stay in the safety zone. That’s why I wasn’t nuts about it. I am certain they never stopped supporting the things they always supported before, but they didn’t put the same public face on it for fear of being out of step. Now we’ve gone back to a certain level of non-ironic earnestness again, Bruce Springsteen’s recent output being a great example, and so it goes…

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