Fortunate Son

For certain reasons (possibly lack thereof, for that matter), U2’s Doctor Who-like regeneration – Achtung Baby – seems to possess a ludicrous amount of b-sides that are covers. Quite why this is isn’t clear, but once past the remix-heavy double-hit of “The Fly” and “Mysterious Ways”, you find that the remaining three singles seem to have a good EP’s worth of covers on them, and it doesn’t stop with “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses”, either, because there there’s a version of Credence Clearwater Revival’s 1969 single “Fortunate Son”.

Given that the song’s a protest at the Vietnam War, though, and this version’s release comes after the Gulf War but before the Bosnian conflict or the Rwandan genocide, it doesn’t work in its original purpose. It doesn’t thematically (or musically, for that matter) fit the a-side – indeed, it sounds like it should be back in the Rattle and Hum era. Ultimately, it sounds like something they wanted to do, thought it would be nice, did it, and then (for some reason) stuck it on the fifth single of the album. It’s not a bad song, and by no means is it a terrible performance, but it is, possibly more damningly, utterly pointless.


~ by 4trak on June 13, 2008.

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