U2’s New (Completely Unnecessary) Compilation

U218, which arrives in stores Nov. 21, is a waste of time for anybody who already has the best-of collections that they released a few years ago.

There’s nothing in these 15 singles that you don’t already know by heart, except…

  • the recent U2/Green Day collaboration-cover of “The Saints are Coming,” which does indeed rock, and…
  • “Windows in the Sky,” which is as jubilant and celebratory as “Beautiful Day,” and which U2-friendly churches are more than likely to integrate in their worship-band performances on Sunday mornings, thanks to some clear-as-day references to Christ’s resurrection. It’s a good song, but not one of the all-time greats. In fact, it sounds a lot like what you might expect if you created software that would produce the Most U2-ish U2 Song Ever. It features their familiar, multi-layered production, a bold guitar-bridge to let the Edge steal the spotlight, and a contagious sing-along chorus that allows Bono to launch into predictable falsetto flourishes. It also includes a couple of typically forced Bono-rhymes. Fun, high-energy stuff, but far from groundbreaking.

It is what it says it is… a pile of U2’s singles. My “best-of” list would look quite a bit different, but all of these songs are excellent. Here’s the track listing according to U2 Swiss:

1. Beautiful Day
2. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
3. Pride (In The Name Of Love)
4. With Or Without You
5. Vertigo
6. New Year’s Day
7. Mysterious Ways
8. Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of
9. Where The Streets Have No Name
10. Sweetest Thing
11. Sunday Bloody Sunday
12. One
13. Desire
14. Walk On
15. Elevation
16. Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own
17. The Saints Are Coming
18. Window In The Skies

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  • Stuart B

    Aight. I’ll give it a shot.

    Favorite Song From Each Album:

    Boy – Another Time Another Place
    October – Fire
    War – Drowning Man
    UABRS – New Year’s Day
    UF – none of them/hate the album (ok…maybe Pride)
    Joshua Tree – In God’s Country
    R&H – God Part II
    Achtung Baby – Until the End of the World (speaking of which…is the movie any good?)
    Zooropa – Some Days Are Better Than Others
    Passengers – Your Blue Room (I count it as an album)
    Pop – Staring at the Sun
    ATYCLB – In A Little While
    HTDMAAB – Original of the Species

    Favorite Live Song – Until the End of the World
    Favorite Studio Song – Mercy

  • Cpt Casual-T

    FWIW, my top 10 U2.

    One Tree Hill
    Hawkmoon 269
    Running to Stand Still
    All I Want Is You
    40 (Live)
    Elvis Presley And America
    Walk On
    Race Against Time (B side)
    City of Blinding Lights

    A couple of their 90s songs would make it in my top 20. “City” gets played a lot when my wife is out of town – “and I miss you when you’re not around”.

  • Len

    “When Love Comes to Town” didn’t make your top 30? I’m sure it was number #31, right? I forgive you and will keep readind your blog. ;-)

  • Bob K

    But don’t forget the 10-song Live from Milan DVD that comes with the deluxe edition – that’s the reason I’ll be buying a copy.

  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    Hmmm. Good question.

    My personal list of favorites will probably be quite different from others’ fans lists:

    Here are about 30 favorites:

    –MY TOP TEN–
    With or Without You
    Where the Streets Have No Name
    I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
    Love is Blindness
    Until the End of the World
    Running to Stand Still
    Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own

    The Fly
    Mysterious Ways
    New Year’s Day
    All I Want Is You
    When I Look at the World
    God Part 2
    In God’s Country
    All Because of You
    Silver and Gold
    A Man and a Woman
    Walk to the Water
    Luminous Times

  • Stuart B

    So…what would be your Best of setlist? I have a hard enough time just coming up with a Top 3…

  • Josh

    Yeah, it’s gratuitous, and a waste of money for real fans, but, for the uninitiated, this as about as good of an introduction to the band’s body of work as you could hope for in a single-disc set. It’s obviously not thorough or comprehensive, but it does at least cover all of their most utterly essential songs. The sequencing of the tracks seems to make a lot of sense to me. And the fact that they’re labeling it a collection of SINGLES rather than the absolute BEST U2 songs makes it okay for them toinclude four tracks from ATYCLB while skipping Pop altogether.