Even better than the new thing

U2 favorites courtesy of the Weekly crew

“October” (1981) No need for ringing guitars and pounding drums here; piano and a ticking metronome evoke an aura of pure, glorious melancholy. Plus, proof Bono once sang earnestly without over-emoting. –Spencer Patterson

“Sunday Bloody Sunday” (live version, 1983) 1. Wikipedia calls the guitar line “simple but harsh”; I vote for “raggedly lovely.” 2. It’s political, about something other than getting laid—war, pain, humanity. 3. However, if I played guitar like that, I could get laid. –Scott Dickensheets

“The Unforgettable Fire” (1984) Never ages for me. It’s a major motion picture, the template for everything U2 did with Brian Eno in the 1980s and ’90s—and it’s still the best of that lot. –Geoff Carter

“Red Hill Mining Town” (1987) A startling marriage of hope and despair, a commentary on a mining town on the brink of collapse and the blood bonds that keep its survivors holding on to each other. –T.R. Witcher

“Stay (Faraway, So Close)” (1993) In my Discman days of the early ’90s, “Stay” was my soundtrack for visiting the statue of Victoria (my middle name) at the top of Germany’s Berlin Victory Column. (Bono communes with said statue in the video.) –Xania Woodman

“Staring at the Sun” (1997) In the midst of the much-maligned, electronic-driven Pop is this haunting, ethereal ballad, with only hints of drum looping and guitar effects. Deserves a place with “One” and “Stay” in U2’s trinity of great ’90s ballads. –Josh Bell


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