Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Bono’s track-by-track guide to U2′s Songs Of Innocence

U2’s latest studio album Songs of Innocence was officially released on Friday — after weeks of bluster and endless whiney blog posts about the band launching it for free on iTunes. 

Songs of Innocence, more than any other LP before it, is inspired by the band’s teenage years in Dublin in the 70s.

“It’s a Dublin album, all about being teenagers on the northside and how our city shaped us both as men and musicians,” said Bono.

He also revealed: “There’s a poet called William Blake who had a big influence on me growing up, and he had two books of poetry, Songs Of Innocence and Songs Of Experience.”

The Star provides a song-by-song guide to U2’s album and the inspirations behind each track:

1. The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)

Bono sings about the musical hero of his childhood Joey Ramone and the first time he heard the Ramones when he sings: “The most beautiful sound I ever heard.”
Bono has always claimed the 70s NYC punk icon was one of his greatest influences, as he wasn’t an obvious punk singer, saying: “I heard Joey Ramone, who sang like a girl, and that was my way in.”

2. Every Breaking Wave

The lyrics suggest a looming breakup and more adult concerns like the struggles of a long-term relationship.
In the album liner notes Bono states: “Edge remembers meeting his first love Aislinn outside their first Ramones concert in the State Cinema in Dublin.”

3. California (There Is No End to Love)

With a sound that’s a homage to the Beach Boys, Bono has revealed it’s about the group’s first trip to California in the early 1980s.
“LA seemed the polar opposite of Dublin,” said Bono. “I remember Edge, Adam, Larry and me getting off the plane in California and looking at each other like, ‘This is better than the movies’ and that was just the airport!”

4. Song for Someone

This song is about first love and is believed to be inspired by Bono’s wife Ali. The couple first met when Bono was 13 and Ali was 12.
He said: “If there is a kiss I stole from your mouth, and if there is a light, don’t let it go out.”

5. Iris (Hold Me Close)
Bono was 14 when his mother Iris died suddenly of a brain aneurysm in 1974.
The most emotionally raw song on the album, the confronts a boy’s sudden loss of his mother. “I owe Iris,” Bono says on the album credits. “Her absence I filled with music.”

6. Volcano
Bono writes and sings about the rage of an angry young man wrestling with the loss of his mother, with the words:  “Something in you wants to blow.”

7. Raised by Wolves
This song tells the story of Bono and his friend’s recollections of the Dublin car-bombings in 1974.
The song lyrics include: “Boy sees his father crushed under the weight/ Of a cross in a passion where the passion is hate.”

8. Cedarwood Road
Bono grew up on 10 Cedarwood Road in Dublin with pals Guggi Rowan and Gavin Friday, with whom he remains close to this day. You can’t return to where you never left,” Bono sings.

9. Sleep Like a Baby Tonight
The dark lyrics of this song refer to the child abuse scandals and the blame of the Catholic Church, with the biting words: “You dress in the colours of forgiveness, Your eyes as red as Christmas, Purple robes are folded on the kitchen chair.”

10. This Is Where You Can Reach Me
The song is inspired by a Clash concert that U2 attended in 1977 and is a love song to the band’s Joe Strummer.
“We signed our lives away,” Bono sings.

11. The Troubles
The song is more about Bono and the loss of his mother at an early age than anything about the North.
“I have a will for survival/ So you can hurt me/ Then hurt me some more/ I can live with denial/ But you’re not my troubles anymore,” he sings.

l The deluxe version of Songs of Innocence includes bonus tracks Lucifer’s Hands, which deals with control, as Bono sings: “I can change the world, but I can’t change the world in me.”
Another song, The Crystal Ballroom harks back to the band’s youth, as it used to be the name of McGonagles pub in Dublin, which is now knocked down.
The other two extra tracks are alternative versions of The Troubles and Sleep Like a Baby Tonight.


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