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  • Writer's pictureBridget Buckley

13 Days of U2: Day 9


Pop (1997)


I still remember sitting in my college dorm when U2 announced the Popmart tour from the lingerie depart of a New York City KMART. I wasn’t the only person in the world that thought they were a few cards short of a full deck. I was sure they had lost their minds. The irony, and the effort at performance art in the moment, were totally lost on me (and apparently lots of other people).

They announced the tour even before they finished the album…never a good sign. The first song, “Discotheque” pulls from the techno and electronica sounds that influenced them at the time. Not a favorite and not played live much (although they will throw in a verse here and there), it was supposed to set the tone of an overindulgent world.

“Staring At The Sun”

The song doesn’t seem to match the electronic feel of much of the album and it proves that they were really struggling to just get the songs finished in time for the tour. They now play it live with only a guitar.

“Wake Up Dead Man”

A shout to Jesus for help, only Bono can get away with singing the world is “fucked up” while arguing with God. Actually, the first verse and chorus was written by The Edge, but that doesn’t make it any less effective. Bono has said, “You can’t have an argument with God if you don’t believe he exists.” I suppose if you don’t like songs about God, then you would definitely dislike U2. But I love that they can start an album with an over the top, overproduced “Discotheque” and end with a cry out to the Lord for help.

Sounds like a pretty normal day to me.

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