Thursday, July 10, 2008

Top 40 at 40 #29

# 29 U2- Bad 1984

This is a song where the lyrics, although they are pretty special, had no influence on its inclusion on my list. The song is about heroin and a friend of Bono's who went too far. I never connected with that...I was too busy drinking Dixie Belle vodka with a pepsi chaser in the back of a yellow VW Bug to care about that...What I mean is... It is more about a time in my life that I hold dear. High School...I make no bones about cherishing my time at Fairport High School in upstate NY during the mid 80s. Sometimes I goes a bit overboard in the nostalgia the point where people might want to tune I had no "real" college experience long enough in one place to have any close friends from those years. My closest friends are the ones I know from High School and the couple years previous...a long...time...ago But the story behind my love for the song and the band during those years had always been one I could not forget....I'll try to make it short, ok?

It was January 1985 and I was a junior in high school. Van Halen had broken up and U2 picked up a lot more real estate on the inside of my locker door. I had enjoyed the WAR album from '83 but then on Oct. 1, 1984 The Unforgettable Fire was released and everything changed about what I liked about the band. The songs were dreamy, atmospheric and sparse, not nearly as hard hitting as WAR..thanks to Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, the producers who chose to record most of the album in a Castle named Slane. Echo and orchestration and a loose rhythmic feel coursed its way through the album and I became instantly attached to it. The album came out in the Fall and it "sounds" like autumn to me. Especially 4 songs, A Sort of Homecoming, The Unforgettable Fire, Promenade and Bad. I smell the fallen leaves, wet ground at football games, fires burning at a keg party in the woods. I see scarves blowing and thick jackets and mud on boots.I feel a chill, the wind blowing the hair off of the back of my neck. To this day, when I think of an autumn soundtrack, I think of this album, and not just for the memories of those three years. It is by far, my favorite U2 album. Nothing touches it. You can have your Achtung,....Baby. Close your eyes and listen to Promenade.....and tell me you don't think of the Fall. Football, Coca-cola, radio,radio,radio,radio.......

Since I choose to not include all four of those songs on such a self competitive? list I chose Bad. I can remember singing this song at the top of my lungs in my Driveway on a cold,snowy January night in 1985, waiting to be picked up by my friend Chris Hixon. We were going to the basketball game where he would meet his future wife Lori at the concession stand. He was on crutches and couldn't drive, so he showed up in a big white van with a certifiably insane guy named Darryl at the wheel. I was so cold waiting...I just kept singing that refrain "I'm WIDE AWAKE, I'm not sleeping." overandover. I could never forget that night. All the pictures in my mind.... and this song was the score. This album was the soundtrack to 84-85 for me.

Top 5 U2 songs (surprise,surprise) 1) Bad 2 )A Sort of Homecoming 3) The Unforgettable Fire 4) Promenade 5)Surrender(War-'85) Just missed..Running to Stand Still(Joshua Tree)

07 Bad.m4a
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