Friday, July 14, 2017

"Pride (In the Name of Love)" by U2

Rated 10 Alert!
Song#:  2100
Date:  10/27/1984
Debut:  85
Peak:  33
Weeks:  15
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  U2's third album, War, was a political-leaning collection that built upon their brand of arena-ready rock. It was their biggest seller to-date and fans were eager for the next installment. Yet the band was ready for a change. They wanted to back away from the heavy lyrics and stomping rock of War and move towards something more experimental. To help with that, they brought in electronic/ambient music pioneer Brian Eno and his collaborator Daniel Lanois. The resulting album, The Unforgettable Fire, was loose, atmospheric, and nearly a direct opposite from War. To announce their new sound and direction, this first single was issued. Rock radio jumped right on board and the track made it to #2. The action there helped the song become the band's first Top 40 Pop entry. The album would be their second to reach #12 and go platinum. Although there would be no further singles from the album to reach the Pop chart, this song and the album set the band up for major success.

ReduxReview:  I thought War was a great album and like many others I looked forward to the band's next move. I was excited when I heard this song as I thought it was brilliant. I bought the album and then found myself disappointed. I didn't really get it. Many tracks had this weird, muddy sound and some of them seemed half finished. I just wasn't sure what they were doing and I ended up filing away the LP. Years later I rediscovered it and developed a fondness for disc. It really was a transitional album, which makes it an important entry in their catalog even though it doesn't rank among their best works. However, tracks like "A Sort of Homecoming," "Bad," and this song are standouts. This song in particular was stunning. It was an epic, arena-ready tune that sounded bigger than life and contained lyrics that had depth. It served as a signal of what was to come for the band.


Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This song was inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr. Originally, Bono wrote the song as a more negative look at then-US President Ronald Reagan. However, the song just wasn't working. Bono then decided to go the opposite direction and took a more positive approach with King as the inspiration. The song did end up having one slight factual error though. The lyrics say "early morning, April 4" as being when King was killed, but it was actually around 6 p.m. Bono realized the mistake later and will on occasion now sing "early evening" when doing the song in concert. 2) "Pride" was not the only song on the album to be about Martin Luther King, Jr. The short lullabye-like tune "MLK" was also dedicated to the civil rights leader and would serve as the album's closing track.


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