Holy Joe

“Holy Joe” actually possibly proves slightly more representative of the at-the-time forthcoming Pop album than “Discotheque”; it uses more guitar and cuts more directly to Pop‘s main lyrical points – namely in the presentation of a character who’s overly materialistic. All he’s asking for, after all, is Devotion….and some appreciation/a little heavy rotation. No prizes, then, for guessing what kind of character Bono may be referring to, and indeed such an explanation of the song and its wider context were presented after its only live appearance at the tour press conference at K-Mart (though the performance is possibly the highlight, given that the rest of that event is an excruciating series of journalists not getting the joke).

That said, it retains an energy that the end of the album lacks, so it’s still not an entirely useful piece of evidence. In its own right, however, it’s a solid tune, and was clearly also used as the ideas dump with regards to effects, what with its masses of distortions, reverbs, filters and phasings. And it’s further evidence, along with “Last Night on Earth” and “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” that the Edge around this time was seriously determined to put away the delay pedal, and as a direct result often ended up with a rougher, harsher approach to playing. The drumming is laden with masses of reverb too, which gives it an odd lack of clarity. Given Bono’s distorted vocal, this may have been a step too far for casual fans – but then, clearly so was Pop. And quite simply, I argue that those people are wrong.

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~ by 4trak on July 1, 2008.

One Response to “Holy Joe”

  1. This is just amazing, both mixes. šŸ™‚

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