Apr 122013

Is there a particular part in a song that you like enough to wait through all the boring (or worse) bits? While flipping stations this morning I landed on a song I’ve never warmed up to, except for one part: U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday.” I have always liked the “How long, how long must we sing our song?” break enough to wait through the song’s annoying elements. (And I know I’m probably in a tiny minority of people who find this song annoying for the reasons I find it annoying.)

That song and the War album mark my initial drifting from my high school U2 fandom. The song is not terrible and there are always elements I like, but the open martial snare beat, swishy hi-hats, and the Celtic violins that punctuate the song always bugged me. I don’t like the production of War; to my ears it exposes the things I like least about the band’s rhythm section. For some reason, too, the production of Bono’s voice on “Sunday Bloody Sunday” made me feel for the first time that he was trying too hard to transcend his band’s humble music. These days, the wiser, kinder, gentler me has come to appreciate Bono’s abundance of pomp, but I still get the sense he’s milking me a little too hard on that song, at least until the “How long, how long must we sing our song?” break kicks in. That break delivers the goods in ways I was accustomed to the goods having been delivered on U2’s first 2 albums.

This morning, like most times that song has come on the radio, I stuck with “Sunday Bloody Sunday” in all its swishy, high-end hollowness so I could enjoy that break. How about you, what song has a specific part you like so much that you’ll tolerate the rest of the song for a few measures of glory?


  8 Responses to “I’ve Been Waiting”

  1. I almost hate to bring up this old RTH war wound again, but, the Beatle’s “She’s A Woman”. A turd of a song with a great, twice-occuring middle eight.

  2. Beautiful example – and you know how staunchly I stand on the turd side of that debate!

  3. My pick would be “That’s what I like about you” by the Romantics. Just a simple hard rocking tune sung by the drummer. I like how the rest of the band sings what I like. I like the harmonizing.

  4. One of these came on in the grocery store this morning: I love John Oates’ harmonies on the chorus of “Say It Isn’t So” enough to sit through the rest of the song, which very much is not one of their best.

  5. “awwwwWham Bam Thank Ya Ma’am!”

    Neither proud nor mature. Res ipsa loquitur


  6. I think the Eagles are one of the most boring bands ever, but I”ll listen to “Tequila Sunrise” just for the harmonies on that “you just get numb” part. Pretty forgettable song otherwise.

  7. “Ten Years Gone” is one of those plodding riff Zeppelin tracks but I love the part where, after Plant goes “Did you ever really need somebody / and you need em bad” and Page hits a single bright chord up to that 1st guitar solo. Then they get back to business on that sludgy riff.

  8. misterioso

    As a U2 fan pretty much from the beginning, and a big fan of War always, I nonetheless never much liked “SBS.” It was the kind of song that struck me the way, I imagined, almost all U2 struck non-fans. The passage of 30 (!) years, and my having ignored it as much as possible for those 30 years, has helped: I don’t hate it any more and see the power of it–yes, especially the “how long” sections.

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