Monday, October 24, 2011

THE ROCK SONG OF THE DAY IS: U2 - WHERE THE STREETS HAVE NO NAME

Where The Streets Have No Name
"Where the Streets Have No Name" is a song by rock band U2. It is the opening track from their 1987 album The Joshua Tree and was released as the album's third single in August 1987.

The song's hook is a repeating guitar arpeggio using a delay effect, played during the song's introduction and again at the end. Lead vocalist Bono wrote the lyrics in response to the notion that it is possible to identify a person's religion and income based on the street on which they lived, particularly in Belfast. During the band's difficulties recording the song, producer Brian Eno considered erasing the song's tapes to have them start from scratch.

"Where the Streets Have No Name" was praised by critics and became a commercial success, peaking at number thirteen in the US, number fourteen in Canada, number ten in the Netherlands, and number four in the United Kingdom. The song has become one of the band's most popular songs and has remained a staple of the their live act since the song debuted in 1987 on The Joshua Tree Tour. The song was notably performed on a Los Angeles rooftop for the filming of its music video, which won a Grammy Award for Best Performance Music Video.

The music for "Where the Streets Have No Name" originated from a demo that guitarist The Edge composed the night before the group resumed the The Joshua Tree sessions. In an upstairs room at Melbeach House—his newly-purchased home—The Edge used a four-track tape machine to record an arrangement of keyboards, bass, guitar, and a drum machine. Realising that the album sessions were approaching the end and that the band were short on exceptional live songs, The Edge wanted to "conjure up the ultimate U2 live-song", so he imagined what he would like to hear at a future U2 show if he were a fan. After finishing the rough mix, he felt he had come up with "the most amazing guitar part and song of [his] life". With no one in the house to share the demo with, The Edge recalls dancing around and punching the air in celebration.

The video begins with an aerial shot of a block in Los Angeles with part of "Bullet the Blue Sky" playing from a radio broadcast. Clips of broadcasts are heard with disc jockeys stating that U2 is planning on performing at 3:30 pm at 7th and Main Streets, and expecting crowds of about 30,000 people. Police show up to the set and inform the band's crew of the security issue that the film shoot is causing, due to the large number of people who are coming to see the band perform. Two minutes into the video, U2 are seen on the top of a liquor store and perform "Where the Streets Have No Name" to a large crowd of people standing in the streets surrounding the building. Towards the end of the song, the police tell the crew that the shoot is about to be shut down. Bono informs the crowd that they are getting shut down and the police come onto the roof of the building while the crowd is heard booing the police.

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