Sunday, August 11, 2013

Song Of The Week: 8/11/13

Song: "Moment Of Surrender"

Artist: U2

Album: "No Line On The Horizon"

Year: 2009

"Moment Of Surrender" is a song about a drug addict undergoing a crisis of faith. The term "moment of surrender" is a common phrase that addicts refer to when they finally reach a point that they come to terms with the fact that they are an addict and that they need help. Those who go through addiction often wind up questioning their faith, whether that be faith in God or faith in humanity or even moreso, faith in themselves. U2 formed as a band back in 1976. The band members, vocalist Bono, guitarist The Edge, bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. were all classmates in a school in Dublin, Ireland when they formed the band. Though the band's influences were rooted in punk rock such as The Clash, The Jam and the Buzzcocks, their early sound was more in line with the British new wave movement. In 1979, the band released the EP "Three", which was only released in Ireland. By 1980, the band signed a contract with Island Records and released their first full length album, "Boy". This album would feature the band's first U.S. hit single, "I Will Follow". In 1981, the band released "October". Bono, The Edge and Mullen almost left the band at this time due to a conflict with their spirituality and them being rock stars. Luckily, the band felt that they can continue being in a rock band and still maintain their spiritual beliefs. In 1983, the band featured a harder edged sound with their album "War". This was especially true on their hit single "Sunday Bloody Sunday". The band also recorded a live album and video called "Under A Blood Red Sky" at this time. 1984's "The Unforgettable Fire" was the band's attempt to get more ambient and experimental. The album featured the single "Pride (In The Name Of Love)" which became the first single to chart in the U.S. Top 40. In 1985, U2 performed at Live Aid which was a huge benefit concert to aid in the Ethiopian famine relief effort. 1997 was a pivotal moment for the band. "The Joshua Tree" was released and topped the Billboard 200 charts for nine straight weeks. "With Or Without You" and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" were the band's first #1 singles and the album went on to win two Grammy Awards. "The Joshua Tree" was very much inspired by American culture and especially American music, most notably rhythm and blues and soul. In 1998, as a coninued homage to American music, the band released "Rattle And Hum". This album would feature live material as well as some studio tracks, some recorded in Memphis' famous Sun Studios, where Elvis Presley's early recordings were made. In 1991 the band released "Achtung Baby". This album marked one of the most trying times for the band. Internal conflicts about musical direction nearly split the band apart. It wasn't until the band got together in the studio to work on the landmark song "One" that the tensions began to dissipate and unity amongst the band members was once again apparent. "One" literally saved the band. In 1992 and 1993, U2 embarked on the ambitious "ZooTV" tour. The tour represented the sensory overload that is the digital age. In 1993, the band released "Zooropa". The band had mixed feelings about this album and felt it was more of an interlude rather than a proper album. 1995 saw the release of "Passengers". This album received poor reviews, the only highlight being "Miss Sarajevo" which featured Pavarotti on vocals. In 1997, the band released "Pop", an album which focused on tape loops, electronic programming and samples. This album felt like it was hurried and some felt it was a disappointment. The band did play a show in Sarajevo after the Bosnian War was over however. This proved to be a real highlight for the band. In 2000, the band finally decided to get back to their roots and make a great rock and roll record. This album would be "All That You Can't Leave Behind". This album debuted at #1 in 22 different countries. Thanks to hit singles like "Beautiful Day" and "Elevation", the album won three Grammy's. In 2002, U2's performance at halftime of SuperBowl XXXVI was an epic performance and touching tribute to the victims of 9/11. It is considered the greatest halftime show in SuperBowl history. In 2004, the band released "How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb". This album doubled the record sales in one week of it's previous album setting a record. In 2005, U2 was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. In 2009, the band released "No Line On The Horizon". The sales for this album were low by U2's standards and it was really their only album which didn't feature a hit single. To promote the album, the band embarked on their "U2 360" tour. Lasting two years, this was the highest grossing tour ever. For over 30 years, U2 has been one of the biggest bands in the world. Though at times, their drastic stylistic changes turned off some fans at times, they eventually always seem to get back to their roots and make some great songs and albums. The band is not afraid to wear their activism on their sleeves, or their spirituality, and their fame has allowed them to support several causes that they hold dear to them. Currently, it has been said that they are at work on a new album which they hope to have released some time in 2013.

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