Sunday, 16 September 2012

Favourite Songs: U2- The Unforgettable Fire

It is really easy to bash U2 these days, with subpar records and lead singer Bono trying to save the world,  it is easy to forget they were one of the greatest bands in the world at one time. A lot of modern day artists owe a debt of gratitude to U2. Without them, there would probably be no Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene and countless other bands.

My favourite record by U2 is The Unforgettable Fire. This was the first time that Brian Eno and his young understudy Daniel Lanois worked with the band and Eno's influence is all over the record. On the previous three albums that U2 released Steve Lillywhite had styled their music toward anthemic post punk with echo laden guitar and big drums. U2 couldn't do this sound forever and they needed to make a change, so they brought in Eno to make a more artistic sounding album. The transitional album got mixed reviews but those who love it, really love it. It is reported that Miles Davis asked that the album be played while he was on his death bed.

The title track, The Unforgettable Fire, was the fourth track and the second single off the album. The inspiration for the song was an art exhibit by survivors of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The dark mysterious dream-like song is textured with soundscapes, ambient guitar, and a fade out featuring eerie violin strings. Watch a live version of the below via YouTube

The Unforgettable Fire was re-issued as a box set in 2009 and is available on Amazon or check your local record store.

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