U2 Top 40 countdown!! (please do not list spoilers/predictions)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by George Co-Stanza, Dec 22, 2023.

  1. blair207

    blair207 Forum Resident

    Fife, Scotland
    10 - I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. Ranked 19 by me. A great song. I particularly like the live version with the choir on the deluxe JT reissue.

    9 - Until The End of The World. Ranked number 1 by me. A powerful rock song with great guitar and solo and lyrics. The live versions are theatrical and a highlight of the show whenever I’ve seen them.
  2. GungaLagunga

    GungaLagunga c̶r̶u̶n̶c̶h̶ lunch time

    Here here. This is another example of where I ranked it as if I first heard the track, even though now I might change the station or play side B.

    10) - SHFWILF - #2

    9) - UTEOTW - NR - Never came across as an important song to me. It’s a builder where it gets better as it goes along; musically & lyrically, etc. Unfortunately, the beginning doesn’t attract me enough to allow for the goodness that comes later. I’ll probably listen to it 5 times today trying to figure out what I was missing. Hope to like it more afterwards. I have never concerned myself with what U2 fans think, so this ranking comes as quite a shock!

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  3. Johnny Feathers

    Johnny Feathers Forum Resident

    There is something I have to acknowledge here: there are songs that were VERY significant to me when I first discovered U2 that don't mean a whole lot to me now. Pride was a highlight from Rattle & Hum before I even had heard the original on UF--I think initially it was actually my favorite track from R&H, which seems weird to say now. I Will Follow is obviously HUGELY significant in their catalog, and a song that is almost their signature tune at this point. Neither of them are on my list. Maybe at one point they would have been, but while sometimes a song stays with me, like the Fly, other times my interest is more past-tense. I don't begrudge the band for continuing to play those songs, nor do I begrudge fans who still find them inspiring. But I can't always pretend that hearing them played live is as exciting for me as it once was. Such is the fate of the "warhorses", I suppose. A list of what songs I think are their most significant, or important, is going to be different from a list of what I personally still enjoy or want to hear.

    ISHFWILF is another one in that category, but I did keep that in my list at #19. That's debatable, honestly, but as a song I think it still holds up, and if performed well it can still be evocative. Much of that is due to Edge's simple, ringing guitar part.
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  4. Johnny Feathers

    Johnny Feathers Forum Resident

    UTEOTW is always a highlight. I actually think the version heard on the I+E and E+I tours is just about as good as originally played. Edge really stretches out, adding a whole sort of coda to the song with an unaccompanied guitar part, often while Bono is still in mid-rant. It's funny to think this song wasn't an immediate favorite on the album, but it is now.
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  5. Popmartijn

    Popmartijn Senior Member

    The Netherlands
    The latest U2 The Complete Lyrics 1979-1988 book contains a couple of observations from The Edge about some songs discussed the past couple of days.

    First, A Sort Of Homecoming. BTW, I have to say I was very surprised that this one showed up, let alone so high. Yeah, I had it in my top 10, but I didn't expect so many others would rate this song so highly, not after all the other songs that were already revealed in the list.
    Anyway, here are Edge's notes:
    Also the other song from The Unforgettable Fire revealed in this last days got some Edge's notes:
    And finally, here are his observations about the musical yearning in I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For:
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  6. morgan1098

    morgan1098 Forum Resident

    ISHFWILF was #23 for me and UTEOTW was #39.

    40 |Exit (NR)
    39 |Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me (NR)
    38 | So Cruel (NR)
    37 | 40 (29)
    36 | Desire (NR)
    35 | The Electric Co. (37)
    34 | Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses (NR)
    33 | Acrobat (NR)
    32 | Lemon (9)
    31 | Two Hearts Beat as One (NR)
    30 | Wire (NR)
    29 | Love is Blindness (NR)
    28 | Out of Control (NR)
    27 | Zooropa (NR)
    26 | In God's Country (27)
    25 | Even Better Than the Real Thing (NR)
    24 | Zoo Station (31)
    23 | Beautiful Day (NR)
    22 | Ultraviolet (Light My Way) (20)
    21 | Gloria (12)
    20 | Red Hill Mining Town (14)
    19 | Mysterious Ways (NR)
    18 | One Tree Hill (19)
    17 | Stay (Faraway, So Close!) (NR)
    16 | Bullet the Blue Sky (NR)
    15 | Running to Stand Still (32)
    14 | A Sort of Homecoming (16)
    13 | I Will Follow (26)
    12 | The Fly (NR)
    11 | Pride (In the Name of Love) (NR)
    10 | I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For (23)
    9 | Until the End of the World (39)

    Others have mentioned "I Still Haven't Found's" rhythm and drums, but I can't let the moment pass without praising it some more. Yes, it is slowed down (for the "faster" version of the drums check out the demo "Desert of Our Love" on the JT special editions). But this is one of Larry's shining moments; it's not especially complex but it's so memorable with the bass drum doing a slow 4 and all the different things he does with the snares and cymbals. It's absolutely mesmerizing and it gives a mid-tempo song a really wild sense of forward momentum. It doesn't translate quite as well in a live setting, but the album version is one of my favorite Larry moments in the entire U2 catalog.
  7. The MEZ

    The MEZ Forum Resident

    I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For was my #13. Great Vical from Bono & love the Gospel element.
    Until The End Of The World. This is my #4 Favorite. I instantly fell in love with it & have never tired of it, thru periods of my life. Glad to see it made it this high! Bit surprised bout that really.
  8. neo123

    neo123 Senior Member

    Northern Kentucky
    1 for 2 for today (20 for 32, overall)

    I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - This one was #7 on my list. Always liked this song and its chorus, but it was only my 3rd favorite song from TJT.

    Until The End Of The World - Even though seven songs from AB made my top 40, this one did not make it. Matter of fact, it didn't even come close to consideration after initial ranking. Never bothered tweaking its initial ranking since I knew it had no shot of making my list. To me, this song is just not memorable or catchy enough. I'll listen to it and then forget it. I can't recall any lyrics and can't even sing along to it whether I'm listening to the album or at a show with it being played live. Though, it does start off kind of neat (after just listening to it again) with the guitar sounds followed by the drums and bass, but it's still not memorable to me. Bono's vocals do nothing for me on this song and it's definitely not a good song to sing along to with no catchy verses and choruses. Out of all the songs on AB, this is one of just a couple from the album I thought had no chance of making the final list, even though I left 5 off my list.

    My top 5 are all still intact, yet to be revealed. My 6-10 have all been revealed already. Four of my songs from the 11-20 range have not been revealed. I know for sure one (ahem) of them will make it. Another I am quite certain of (but starting to lose hope,) and the other 2 probably have no shot based on the lack of love those 2 albums they come from have received, so far. And for similar reasons all 10 of my songs that haven't been revealed in the 21-40 range, which are a lot, probably have no shot, especially all the ones in my 35-40 range. So, I am 100% sure what six of the remaining 8 songs are going to be, not counting order, but I have no idea what the other 2 will be (hoping at least one of them will be the one I am almost certain of. As for the other, I really don't care, especially if it is one that is not on my list.)
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  9. GungaLagunga

    GungaLagunga c̶r̶u̶n̶c̶h̶ lunch time

    Just one further note, the beginning of Until the End of the World (i.e. before the drums, AB edition…is that a guitar?) sounds brutally obnoxious to my ears. The song might not strike such unpleasantness were it to be excluded, and begin with the drums.
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    GLUDFSSR Senior Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    I Still Haven’t Found - 24
    A song I haven’t gravitated to in a long time. But if played brings back the feelings of how great the song was when released.

    Until The End Of The World -8
    One of the best, when played live you can tell who is a long time fan just from their reaction.
    Top notch classic my 2nd favorite song off possibly my favorite album by the band, depending on my mood.

    39. Love Is Blindness
    38.Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
    37. The Electric Co.
    36. Gloria
    29. In God’s Country
    28. Desire
    26. Bullet The Blue Sky
    24. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
    23. Out Of Control
    22. Beautiful Day
    21. Wire
    19. One Tree Hill
    16. Running To Stand Still
    15. Exit
    14. The Fly
    13. Pride (In The Name Of Love
    12. Two Hearts Beat As One
    11. Zoo Station
    9. A Sort Of Homecoming
    8. Until The End Of The World
    7. I Will Follow

    21 of 32
  11. Jimbino

    Jimbino Goad Kicker, Music Lover

    Northern CA, USA
    Also running 21 of 32 at this point, batting 0.656.
    Here's the items from my top ten that have shown up thus far:

    10 Zoo Station (Hoffman ranked at 24)
    9 Wire (30)

    4 I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For (10)
    3 The Fly (12)
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  12. JeffMo

    JeffMo Format Agnostic

    New England
    I was about to agree with you thinking it is a weird intro and bears little resemblance to the song…until I realized I was thinking of the next track on AB (Who’s Gonna Ride). :laugh:
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  13. SeeDubs

    SeeDubs Forum Resident

    Washington, DC
    10. "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" - I didn't rank it but knew it would come in high on the consensus list. This and another unnamed track made me initially disappointed in The Joshua Tree. I came around, though.

    9. "Until the End of the World" - my #30. Unlike the consensus #10 above, this one did grow on me. For some reason I love how Bono sings "everybody was having a good time."

    Here are my rankings of the revealed songs so far, with the consensus rank in parentheses.

    40 A Sort of Homecoming (14)
    33 Bullet the Blue Sky (16)
    32 Zoo Station (24)
    30 Until the End of the World (9)
    25 Stay (Faraway, So Close!) (17)
    22 In God's Country (26)
    21 Wire (30)
    18 Red Hill Mining Town (20)
    16 Even Better Than the Real Thing (25)
    12 Gloria (21)
    11 Mysterious Ways (19)
    8 One Tree Hill (18)
    6 Two Hearts Beat as One (31)
    5 Lemon (32)
    4 Pride (In the Name of Love) (11)
    2 I Will Follow (13)
    1 Beautiful Day (23)
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  14. musicnonstop

    musicnonstop Kling Klang Kwatsch Kommentator

    Until the End of the World #11
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  15. Doctor Worm

    Doctor Worm Romans 6:23

    I seem to recall Edge or one of the producers saying that it's a mixture of guitar effects and vocals. I could be wrong but I thought I read that somewhere many years ago.
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  16. GungaLagunga

    GungaLagunga c̶r̶u̶n̶c̶h̶ lunch time

    Great point. It's like a partial album theme that makes the coming song sound better, I guess? It sure has thrown me for a loop over the years! I didn't rank Horses either, I'm now noticing. It's unlikely to be coincidental.
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  17. CassetteDek

    CassetteDek social distancing since 1979

    10 I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - (unranked) - I did rank this one, it was just around 41 or 42 though. It was a favorite for a while and now not as much, but obviously a song and especially recording that just has the spook, such clarity of emotion that it usually touches me a little too much nowadays. I love it still, but don't need to hear it much.

    9 Until the End of the World - (my #22) - Not sure how this one ended up at 22 for me because it was easily top 5 for a long time. Probably the biggest mistake of my 40 picks, should have made the top 10 at least but oh well. I can't say any better what's already been gushed about this track by everyone, so I'll point out a few random things about it I've always felt set it apart.

    One, I like the weird guitar intro and the intense "na na na" outro which are both totally absent from the rest of the track. Someone else said 'cinematic' and the recording really is, and part of that is the intro and outro. Just framing this rock song differently somehow. It's subtle but it makes it feel like more of a journey.

    Two, there isn't really a proper chorus; the titular part more of a single-line refrain that gets built to during each verse and then walked away from, not unlike the way a lot of Dylan songs are structured. It's catchy but in a less immediate, more long-form way. Again, cinematic.

    Also, while there isn't really a proper bridge, the third verse functions as one because Bono keeps the vocal melody and rhythm nice and elastic, emoting that verse a different way as only the 'love love love' vocals support him. An intense song in so many ways, glad they left it in the set for PopMart as it really made sense there. Easy to see it as a bit of a template for some stuff off that record.
  18. iainoco

    iainoco Forum Resident

    Catching up after a few days and all made by list bar one! All in my top 20, bar one!

    14 A Sort of Homecoming (#20)
    13 I Will Follow (#10)
    12 The Fly (#150)
    11 Pride (In the Name of Love) (#18)
    10 I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For (#15)
    09 Until the End of the World (#16)

    I don't think The Fly is really the 150th best U2 song but when I was ranking other tunes just seemed better, and it was never going to trouble my top 40 so I left it. It's not a bad song, just one of the weakest on AB, I think it served it's purpose as a single in showing we were moving on from TJT and R&H. In retrospect none of the other singles would have done this as effectively.

    As for the other tracks, it's great to see that TUF track's are getting some love.
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  19. hollywoodswag

    hollywoodswag Forum Resident

    Central Florida
    On the one hand, it’s nice to be in top-ten territory and actually have the respective songs in my top ten. On the other hand, it’s almost anti-climactic, because there’s nothing I really have to add about the songs that are selected. I’m actually surprised that I’m reading so many comments from folks who didn’t have these songs on their lists, and I dare say I find those comments more interesting because, well, it feels like the last revealed track that may or may not have been surprising was Running to Stand Still.

    Okay, maybe it was a little surprising that I Will Follow wasn’t higher, haha.

    I’m particularly interested in the criticism of Until the End Of the World. I liked this song on initial listen, with it being one of the first Achtung Baby tracks not named Mysterious Ways to stand out to me. That drum intro is solid, and gave the song a nice build-up that explodes once the Edge starts hitting those power chords.

    I started getting a little put off, though, by the song’s status in the eyes of many. I felt like it was becoming overrated. I don’t necessarily remember much commentary about it, but rather I believe I felt that way because the song seemed like it just wouldn’t die when it came to live setlists. I was just surprised at its enduring presence in shows, feeling like it probably didn’t deserve to be played as much as it was.

    That, however, was based on studying the band’s setlists and live recordings. Not having seen U2 live prior to TJT30, I couldn’t base my opinion on my experience having been there in person to experience it. Fast-forward a year to e + i…okay, THEN I understood. As was the case with a few songs at that show, I think it helped that it followed what I considered a pretty weak string of songs (The Ocean - Iris - Cedarwood Road - Sunday Bloody Sunday, of which only Cedarwood Road really did anything for me), but it got the blood pumping far more than I ever would have expected. My appreciation for the song, both live and studio, was restored and even elevated beyond that initial impression I had of it, and the slump of my positivity towards it ended that night. Listening to the studio version again a bit while working through these rankings, I found myself liking it even more than expected as it just clobbered so many other songs when putting them head-to-head. It’s got so much force behind it. It’s what you get when you give Acrobat some rhythm and groove, haha.

    Still, though, for those who don’t necessarily rank it highly, if they even like it at all…I get it. I’ve been in a similar position relative to it.

    As for the other track revealed today, I found what I was looking for in I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. Always a respectable song if not one that I connected with for some time, I did grow to enjoy it more in recent years. It’s hard for me to separate it from With Or Without You in my mind because I felt like they existed together as the two far most prominent entries on 80s retro radio stations, which led to overexposure that was often harmful to my opinion on both. This one, however, is one I was able to work through, and I’ve come to view the song more highly than ever, which is clearly a theme for today’s songs.
  20. morgan1098

    morgan1098 Forum Resident

    Time for more alternate version goodies. The version of "Until the End of the World" on the soundtrack album is different. It's rougher and the guitar panning effects are INSANE. I quite like it! But here's the thing: the Until the End of the World soundtrack is available on Spotify, but when you click on the U2 track it takes you to the version from Achtung Baby. This is one of many examples you can use to counter your friends when they tell you "Everything is available on Spotify!" Hell no. You'll have to buy a used CD for this gem. Thanks to @JeffMo for reminding me about it!

  21. JeffMo

    JeffMo Format Agnostic

    New England
    Fortunately it’s a pretty good soundtrack overall - the REM and Talking Heads contributions are strong!
  22. Johnny Feathers

    Johnny Feathers Forum Resident

    Yeah, I bought a cheap copy of this as well as of the Faraway, So Close! soundtracks online. Both have stuff that is not heard on U2's main albums. Frankly, the soundtrack version of this song should have been included in the various Achtung Baby anniversary sets. (They also should have included Night & Day, and Bono's solo version of Can't Help Falling in Love. Oh, and the music video for UTEOTW wasn't included, either!)
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  23. Lazerize

    Lazerize Forum Resident

    10 I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - 28. Maybe their best song. The melody is glorious, the lyrics meaningful and clear, and they do a lot to obscure how odd the song is. Musically, not a lot goes on, even by U2 standards. The groove is prominent, but it’s weird, right? It sounds weird to me. And then there are the layers of guitars - this song is a secret drone rock masterpiece. With a different vocal it would have fit between Loop and Spacemen 3 on a mixtape. I really love the “guitar solo,” too. Instead of doing the predictable thing, Edge does…nothing! Then it’s like he remembered he should have played something, so he hits a couple of chords. It’s perverse, and I love it. It’s remarkable that they turned this slice of stoned psychedelia into such an anthem.

    09 Until the End of the World - 5. I like the fake intro. And the real one - the rumbling bass and drums, the guitar knocking on the door, then the riff…Let’s go! Everyone was in top form, and Edge rightfully gets the majority of the praise for his stellar work that time cannot make less thrilling, but Adam’s bass is the secret weapon.
  24. JeffMo

    JeffMo Format Agnostic

    New England
    This has been a terrific thread and I appreciative all the true discourse, respectful disagreements and varied responses amongst the fans. It’s been very interesting to hear different perspectives!

    If only all U2 threads on Hoffman were like this….:)
  25. AllAboutTheMusic

    AllAboutTheMusic Well-Known Member

    Sydney, Australia
    I still haven't found what I'm looking for, but I have until the end of the world to find it.
    Two very different kinds of spiritual songs thrown together in this countdown .. love it.

    10 I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - (my #2) -
    a U2 classic, I never suffer from over exposure to it. Cinematic, beautiful imagery. Thought it would have been in the top 3 but I understand a lot of people felt it had been played too much. I really prefer the album version to the live recordings I have .. yes the gospel version on R&H is great with the choir, less enamoured with the Paris version, with Bono finishing with the excerpt from Exodus. Unnecessary.

    9 Until the End of the World - (my #22) - its on AB so there is the experimental factor that I don't like .. for the first 8 seconds when my finger hovers over the skip button. Then its all good. I really like the striped back version on SoS too.

    Now 14/32.
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