God Part II

U2 were almost certainly on shaky ground when attempting to effectively write a sequel/answer to John Lennon’s “God”, and whilst the end result really isn’t as appalling as it could have been, amongst the nine studio tracks from Rattle and Hum this is probably among the weakest. It sounds awkward somehow, like the band is trying too hard to rock out. This is probably most true of Edge and Bono, really; Larry splashes a lot more cymbals and percussion than normal, giving a slightly eerie tone to the song, and Adam provides this three note pulse that is effectively propulsive. It’s not that Bono’s lyrics aren’t occasionally striking either; most notable is the (totally inappropriate for an album of Rattle and Hum‘s ethos, but hey) line You glorify the past when the future dries up. Not only does it preview the kind of listed philosophising of “The Fly”, but it’s also a pretty damn true sentiment too, as anyone who’s read the Daily Mail with a critical eye will attest.

Given that this was 1988, and U2 weren’t totally out of touch with contemporary music, this number also has an alter ego in the Hard Metal Dance Mix. Incredibly stupidly named, it’s not particularly special either, although in 1988 most remixes tended to be slightly twiddled versions that added slightly more funk to whatever song was most suitable for clubs anyway. In this case, we’re given more of the phased guitar stuff that happens halfway through the album version, so it sounds a bit more “techno” (although not really), and some totally unnecessary bongo beats that seemed to be all the rage in the late 80s and 90s, for reasons I can’t fathom. You even find that sort of thing on Nine Inch Nails’ Pretty Hate Machine. Seriously, what’s going on with that?

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~ by 4trak on May 26, 2008.

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