Thursday, July 23, 2009

Rock of Ages: U2 - "Sunday Bloody Sunday" (1983)

Before the swaggered their way to mediocrity in the late 90's, U2 was this awesome little band from Ireland that was filled with anger and sorrow for their little country. Ireland is still split and for the Irish, that is some bullshit. Their iconic album War is filled with songs against these injustices and show more than just the hardships of a war torn country, but the songs also showed a people oppressed and hurt. The cover art alone shows a small child in stark black and white showing that all are affected by such conflicts. It's no denying the power upon first hearing "Sunday Bloody Sunday." Those drums come in with their effective battle march power and searing hi-hat infused rhythm. The guitars join next along with the faint sounds of strings and Bono's strained voice, filled with the last drop of sanity that the man has for what has happened in his country for years. "How long/How long must we sing this song" is a very very striking lyric and after it's sung, the bass kicks in and it's a full on protest march. Easily one of the best protest songs ever written, "Sunday Bloody Sunday" still hits home some 25 years later.

From Guthrie to Seger to Dylan, there are copius amounts of protest songs. Luckily U2 struck a chord with the era where jsut protesting and singing songs about your dissent with the times at hand, they added an element of anger. It's by no means punk rock anger, but it's a controlled anger. The Edge's guitars still soar to heights the way they always do, but they jangle like the tolling of bells and scratch at the walls at times. "Sunday Bloody Sunday" is a song to blast, to ring out in the streets, to sing along together in a pub. It's an anthem for the ages.

Up Next: Prince melds music and movies and it's now 25 years old! WTF

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