Even Better Than The Real Thing: My Top 30 U2 Songs in order

June 21, 2011 | Nestor Aparicio

As in previous rock and roll entires with Bruce Springsteen and Rush, when the legends come through Baltimore I’m always inspired to write about my love of music and my many, many rich experiences traveling the world and watching concerts and sporting events. With U2′s big night in Baltimore upon us, I proudly present my favorite U2 songs.

Why 30? Well, “Forty” would have been trite and I honestly rattled and hummed these off pretty quickly, like an acrobat.

Enough with the boyish puns, I’ll have a moment of surrender for the first time and present a magnificent list of U2 songs.

But, I’m an unabashed basher of how bad I still think every part of the “Zooropa” and “Pop” albums were and how bizarre and empty those tours were for me. Honestly, I still think it’s some of the worst garbage any great band has ever assembled. The kind of slump that Tiger Woods is mired in currently — just without the physical ailments.

But it’s painful to see greatness go sour. And that era of U2 is just so forgettable that I’ve given them a free pass by choosing to not subject myself to those songs and videos.

But I’ll never forget the first time I heard “All That You Can’t Leave Behind” a decade ago and thinking: “The boys I fell in love with in 1984 are back!” Bono really started singing again on that album and I really like his voice and the urgency and passion in it.

Some of these songs – particularly the hits – have become so played out that they almost sound like Christmas music. But, in writing this list I tried to put myself into the time and place when I first heard the songs and how they still move me and inspire me today.

We’ll all have own lists and opinions. That’s what makes it fun. Feel free to post yours below…

I really love U2. And I hope you have as much fun at the show as I plan to have!

I’m in the front row in the dead center behind the stage — Sect. 113 down low. I’ll be the one wearing the yellow and green Brazil jersey with the U2 logo.

30. Pride (In The Name of Love) – I’m making this 30th only because that’s how great U2 is…
29. With or Without You – Hard to find a better vocal than this one
28. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – Lyrics still work 25 years later
27. When Love Comes To Town – I’m a sucker for the blues and anything with B.B. King
26. Elevation – No better opening song – EVER – than this one on the “All That You Can’t Leave Behind” tour
25. City Of Blinding Lights – Always a great live song, this is one of the more recent ones that sticks with me
24. Exit – Haunting melody, great beat and a fabulous live song
23. Where The Streets Have No Name – Plenty of energy and the start of the greatest album of our generation
22. Desire – “She’s a promise in the year of elections…”
21. New Year’s Day – Love hearing this one every January 1st. Another song of hope.
20. One Tree Hill – “That’s when the rain will break the heart…”
19. One – Can’t leave this one off the list and perhaps it’d be higher if it weren’t so oversaturated
18. October – Beautiful song
17. All I Want Is You – They’re playing this one every night so we’ll hear this one on Wednesday in Baltimore. U2’s best love song…
16. In A Little While – Nice little ditty full of more hope
15. Sunday Bloody Sunday – Can’t hear this and not think of seeing Bono’s breath and passion at Red Rocks in Denver
14. Spanish Eyes – A “rare” B-side that the band rips out on occasion. A treasure!
13. A Man and a Woman – A really nice song. One of those deep track gems
12. Stuck In A Moment – “Don’t say that later will be better…”
11. Red Hill Mining Town – An incredible way to kick off that second side of The Joshua Tree. Bono’s voice on full display here…
10. Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses – “You’re dangerous because you’re honest…” (Peter Angelos once said that to me…)
9. Beautiful Day – “Don’t Let It Get Away…”
8. Two Hearts Beat As One – Underrated and largely forgotten, this one even had a dance version and 12-inch
7. Bad – Sad song, incredibly performed at Live Aid. You should check that one out!
6. Walk On – “You’ve got to leave it behind…”
5. Running To Stand Still – “Run from the darkness to the light…”
4. Bullet The Blue Sky – “Into the arms of America…”
3. The Unforgettable Fire – “Don’t push me too far…”
2. Kite – “I know that this is not goodbye…”
1. Wire – “Here we are again, now place your bets…”

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