Two Shots of Happy, One Shot of Sad

Much of 1990s rock – be it grunge, alternative rock or industrial rock – took its cues from the 1970s in the form of early metal of Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath variety, and indeed the original industrial of the Throbbing Gristle type. This isn’t particularly odd – much of the history of rock is about reacting to the immediate past by drawing from a generation before. What was odd was that U2 were seemingly unafraid to not just draw from the 1970s and modern developments, but also the 1950s and, to a degree, the 1930s, evidenced by their covers of “Night And Day” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”. It continued into the Pop era with “Two Shots of Happy, One Shot of Sad”, overtly written for Frank Sinatra during the ZooTV era and carried over to Pop as a b-side. Technically, only Bono is here, although it’s hard to think what the band could do without turning it into a “Stay” rip-off.

Given that it is fundamentally designed to be a Sinatra song, it can’t be said that it either sounds a) very U2, or b) very radical; it’s a sound heard many times before, with a familiar rise and fall to the verses, a familiar habit of a titular refrain at the end of each verse, and of course an arrangement that doesn’t shock either. It’s not that it’s a bad song, merely a predictable one, and it suggests excess reverence for Sinatra that hinders it. One pair of lines to single out, though, as particularly neat: You call it a compromise, well what’s that?/Two shots of happy, one shot of sad. Indeed.

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~ by 4trak on July 9, 2008.

One Response to “Two Shots of Happy, One Shot of Sad”

  1. […] – bookmarked by 4 members originally found by nankezi on 2008-10-24 Two Shots of Happy, One Shot of Sad https://arattleandhum.wordpress.com/2008/07/09/two-shots-of-happy-one-shot-of-sad/ – bookmarked by […]

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