Tuesday, May 26, 2015

I was lost I am found (U2) #412 - 413

U2 Gloria/ I Will Follow (Island, K 8510, 1981)

U2 The Three Sunrises; The Unforgettable Fire/ A Sort Of Homecoming; Love Comes Tumbling; Bass Trap (Island 12", L  20046, 1985)

Gloria was my first taste of U2. Specifically it was the video which established my interest and it still looks great: written and directed by Meiert Avis, it was filmed in October 1981 on a barge in Grand Canal Basin in Dublin near Windmill Lane.

The intangible heroic nature of the song was a hook but so were the charismatic lead singer and the enigmatic guitarist (cool pants Edge), and that barge was a genius idea. 

Straight away, I, of course, went out and bought the single (and then the October album).

To me, the song has an 'intangible' nature because I'm never sure whether Bono is talking about his love of a woman called Gloria, or exalting in God, or both at the same time (which is weird).

Weirdly also, it was a big hit in New Zealand (made the top 20) and Ireland only. We had good taste back in the day!

The 12 inch maxi single is an oddity. The Unforgettable Fire is the key track: the 12" is an expanded version of the single which had the live version of A Sort Of Homecoming on the B side. 

It's kind of a strange choice for a single. Much better suited to its place on the parent album.

Hidden gem: The live take of I Will Follow was recorded in Boston. It's inclusion on the B side did its job for me - after October I bought the debut album.

The 12" has a groovy live version of A Sort Of Homecoming - one of my favourite U2 tracks from the eighties period. It builds into a great euphoric anthem as only early U2 could do.

Love Come Tumbling is quite muted and all the better for it (the bombastic gets a bit much sometimes) and the instrumental Bass Trap continues the understated vibe nicely. It's even 'tasteful' (shock horror).

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