Slow Dancing

A b-side that extends across a decade and three versions, “Slow Dancing” began in 1989 as a half-done acoustic piece that Bono and Edge played on an Australian radio station, before turning up as a b-side to 1993’s “Stay”. It wasn’t finished then, though; Bono had announced it as a song for Willie Nelson, and it ended up as a collaboration that turned up as (yep) a b-side on “If God Will Send His Angels”. The first two versions are relatively coterminous, and it has to be said that the third version isn’t that different either, so they can all be treated fairly similarly.

Even in 1997, there’s a suggestion of the kind of swaying, lighters-aloft feel of Joshua Tree ballad environment in which the song may have started. The lyrics are also relatively straightforward, particularly when the lines No I don’t know why a man/Sees the truth but needs the lies rolls around – it’s once again the idea of a woman as a hypnotic, overpowering force, combined with the occasional hint of self-destruction that often colours other songs in the U2 discography. There’s nothing too radical about “Slow Dancing”, and there is an itching feel that it’s “The Wanderer”‘s poor cousin, but it’s pleasant enough.

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~ by 4trak on June 19, 2008.

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