The Edge on U2’s New Single, Surprises From ‘The Joshua Tree’ Tour

U2 has a way of being dormant for a period of time, and then all of a sudden, they’re everywhere. 

Lately, they’re wrapping up their 2017 Joshua Tree tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of their landmark album, but they’re also in the early stages of promoting their upcoming album, Songs of Experience, which dropped its first single, “You’re The Best Thing About Me,” just last week.

So, where did such a poppy track come from?  WMMR’s Pierre Robert found out in a recent conversation with The Edge:

“What we look for is a kind of defiant joy.  That was the starting off point musically, and I know with Bono he was lyrically working with the idea that each song lyric would be like a letter to somebody that was significant in his life.  This letter was addressed to Ally (Bono’s wife), but also to himself.  On the surface, it’s a kind of love song.  The phrase ‘best thing about me’ was actually lifted from a piece of writing from an Irish journalist who was commenting on Bono, and in a kind of dismissive way, he said, ‘Well, Ally’s the best thing about Bono!’  So he grabbed that phrase and said, ‘I’ll use that in a song to Ally…’  It’s not a straight-forward love song; it’s kinda got some tension in it.  At the same time, it’s just this beautiful, uplifting, melodic piece.”

 

As U2 wind down to the last dates of the Joshua Tree tour, the band have taken note to some of the surprises that come with playing an album in its entirety live, and according to The Edge, one track in particular stood out:

“'Red Hill Mining Town’ was only played for the first time on this tour.  We never played it until now partly because we often shy away from slower songs.  Our live show requires a tempo and vitality to kinda keep the momentum, so a slow song has to be a showstopper.  ‘Red Hill Mining Town’ is a great song, but we just never seem to find a place for it in the set.  Now, of course, on this tour playing the entire ‘Joshua Tree’ album front to back…we were obliged to play it, but what was so nice is to discover that it really works live, and it actually became one of the highlights of this tour.”

The Joshua Tree tour will come to an end on September 22 in San Diego, while Songs of Experience is due out December 1.

To listen to this interview in its entirety, visit the MMaRchives page.

 

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock blogger that loves the smell of old vinyl in the morning.