Friday, June 12, 2020

"I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" by U2

#1 Alert!
Rated 10 Alert!
Song#:  3162
Date:  06/13/1987
Debut:  51
Peak:  1 (2 weeks)
Weeks:  17
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  U2 scored their first #1 hit with "With or Without You," the first single from their fifth studio album The Joshua Tree. As the LP was spending its eighth week of a nine week run at #1, this second single debuted on the Pop chart. It would quickly make its way up the chart and become the band's second #1. The track would also get to #2 at Rock and #16 at AC. The gospel-influenced song would end up getting Grammy nominations for both Record and Song of the Year. While it was considered a heavy favorite to win both categories, it got aced out by "Graceland" by Paul Simon (Record of the Year) and "Somewhere Out There" by Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram (Song of the Year). However, the band didn't go home empty handed. They won for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group and Album of the Year.

ReduxReview:  This gospel flavored track was the exact right song to release after "With or Without You." Its memorable chorus, universal message, and mainstream appeal made it an easy contender to top the chart. There must have been a bit of divine intervention in getting this song out as it wasn't supposed to be the second single (see below). While I liked "Red Hill Mining Town," it really wasn't a single-worthy track and it could have easily affected the album's momentum. Plus, the video was awful. Luckily for them, fate intervened and the right song got released. It not only became a signature song for the band, but a lasting classic of the era. In 2004, Rolling Stone placed the song at #93 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It was their second highest ranking song on the list. Their 1991 hit "One" would come in at #36.


Trivia:  This song was not originally scheduled to be released as the album's second single. The track "Red Hill Mining Town" was to be pushed out, but ended up getting set aside and ultimately was not issued out as a single. There were a couple of reasons for the this. First, the band ended up not liking the video that was filmed for the song, which had been directed by Neil Jordan (Mona Lisa, The Crying Game). Second, it ended up that Bono just couldn't sing the song in a live setting. The chorus hit the very upper register of Bono's range, which is apparent on the recording. When he tried to sing it in rehearsals for the band's tour, he just wasn't hitting the notes. The band then decided to not play the song on tour. Because the band couldn't really perform or promote the song in a live setting, it wasn't very smart to release it as a single. Therefore, plans were scrapped and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" was quickly pushed out instead. It turned out to be a wise choice with the song hitting #1 and garnering two Grammy nods. The associated video for the song also became a big hit on MTV and would later be nominated for four MTV Music Video Awards. U2 wouldn't perform "Red Hill Mining Town" in concert until 2017 when they did a tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree. they wanted to play the full album from beginning to end and therefore had to include the track.


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