The List

Rameen's List

1. Bad
2. All I Want is You
3. One
4. Night and Day
5. With or Without You
6. Please
7. Where The Streets Have No Name
8. Elevation
9. So Cruel
10. Beautiful Day
11. Even Better than the Real Thing
12. An Cat Dubh/Into the Heart
13. Desire
14. New Year's Day
15. Hawkmoon 269

Shauhin's List

1. With or Without You
2. Bad
3. Walk On
4. Sunday Bloody Sunday
5. New Year's Day
6. Beautiful Day
7. Ultraviolet (light my way)
8. Please
9. One
10. Lemon
11. Pride (In the Name of Love)
12. Bullet the Blue Sky
13. Where the Streets Have No Name
14. Original of the Species
15. 40

Comments on the Favorite 15

Rameen's #15 selection: "Hawkmoon 269"

This song got in to the top 15 on the very last day. It kept creeping up as the selection process continued until it eventually broke through. Little known fact, Bob Dylan plays the organ on this track. It starts calm but ends roaring. The Edge says, "I enjoy it when Bono pours himself into our songs and he does so on this track". Bono commented, "I especially like Talesh sharing that it would be a nice touch to add gospel singers at the end, pure genius". Descriptive memorable lines throughout, Like coming home and you don't know where you've been, like black coffee, like nicotine... Like a fighter's rage, His dreams in a cage...Like lies need the dark....I Need Your Love.

Shauhin's #15 selection: “40”

Although a short song, this is a classic, a song U2 fans love to “chant” and “sing-a-long” at concerts. If I could only take 15 U2 songs to an island to have forever, I’m bringing this one for sure. Very powerful and emotional, not to mention meaningful. The simple line sung throughout, “How long to sing this song?” could be one of the best lines U2 has ever put together.

Rameen's #14 Selection: "New Year's Day"

To me, this is the best track on War. The tempo is moving and it brings me back to the days when music videos first began gaining popularity. U2 banging out this song in the snow with the white flag and horses, good stuff. Best line, "So we are told this is the Golden age, And gold is the reason for the war's we wage...." The Edge is "cutting" it up. Classic Rock and Roll U2.

Shauhin's #14 Selection: "Original of the Species"

Some songs take multiples tries at listening to the song before you like them, but this song was never one of them. In fact, if U2 had released this song on the radio, it would have been an instant hit. I guarantee it. Bono has casually referred to this song as the best song on the Atomic Bomb album, and I completely agree. Also, this is a song the Beatles would have loved, since the sound and influence of their music flow through it.

Rameen's #13 Selection: "Desire"

Another song that had to battle to break in to the top 15. Though the album is up and down, I love the energy of the Rattle and Hum songs. This song is still not old when I hear it on the radio and as Bono says, "I love it when they use our tracks on NBA commercials, this is an NBA favorite". Best line, She's the dollars, She's my protection, She's the promise, In the year of election...

Shauhin's #13 Selection: "Where the Streets Have No Name"

An oldie, but a goody. The first 60-90 seconds of mood music are simply outstanding (My compliments to Daniel Lanois & Steve Lillywhite, producers on the album) Although this song has been played a million times on the radio, it still sounds great. Great video too!

Rameen's #12 Selection: "An Cat Dubh/Into the Heart"

This is a song I can listen to over and over. In essence, two songs put together. This song comes from U2's first album and their youth shines through. After the first 3 minutes of haunting music, the song changes tempo, speeding up then slowing down. This song oozes mood and this is part of it's appeal. In my eyes, a great track from future superstars. "Into the Heart of a child, I stay awhile, oh I can go back" and I do go back over and over again.

Shauhin's #12 Selection: "Bullet the Blue Sky"

The mix of the music/melody and lyrics are just outstanding on this song. The dark, cynical, jagged-edge, rough tone is conveyed not just by Bono’s voice and lyrics, but the musical instruments too. THAT is what makes this song so good. Other cynical, dark U2 Songs like Silver & Gold and Love & Peace that came after all, in my opinion, follow this song’s template. They say Adam Clayton stepped up (finally) in the making of this song—Hoorah for Adam!

Rameen's #11 Selection: "Even Better than the Real Thing"

I am close to this song because of my vivid memories of the release of the Achtung Baby soundtrack. In the winter of 1991, I walked into the Virgin Records store in Paris (on the Champs Elysees). Two albums were coveted and promoted at the time, Michael Jackson's-Dangerous and U2's Achtung Baby. I remember being there, listening to this song with people from all over Europe swept up by U2's sound, especially around the 2:15 mark when the Edge's smooth solo rolls in. Even Better Than the Real Thing has a great beat, mood and is classic U2 on, what I believe, is U2's greatest album. By the way, MJ's Dangerous album was a great album as well.

Shauhin's #11 Selection: "Pride (In the Name of Love)"

Certain songs are just legends, and this is one them. This Martin Luther King tribute song is about love, freedom, and hope messages that often flow through U2ís music. Another song which has deep emotions that leaves you humming the song 10 minutes after you've listened to it.

Rameen's #10 Selection: "Beautiful Day"

Though this song has been played too much, it makes the top 15 as you have to strip it down to what it is: a great, great song (that was overplayed). Bono is terrific and the band knew this was going to be a huge hit when they put it out. Everything works well in the song. I especially like it when the song slows down, "See the world in Green and Blue, See China right in front of you".

Shauhin's #10 Selection: "Lemon"

What a wonderful song off the Zooropa album. So much range in this song musically. Bono does a fantastic job with his voice, singing high and low. This is a song that really shows why U2 is fantastic, they can get "outside the box" and loosen up their sounds and lyrics and still make quality music. The best song off the Zooropa album and a song that is truly deserving of its top ten status. I loved seeing a huge Lemon on the stage during the Pop-Mart tour!

Rameen's #9 Selection: "So Cruel"

Great song coupled with great lyrics from U2. This is a moody song that builds as the song progresses. Bono brings his "A" game and is disciplined in his vocals throughout. The band's music gains momentum throughout. "Oh Love, like a screaming flower...Love, dying every hour...". Achtung Baby is filled with great songs and this one is a favorite of mine, the more I listened to it, the more it kept creeping up on the list.

Shauhin's #9 Selection: "One"

Anyone who can write lyrics like this is a pretty special songwriter. This is a song whose stock has continued to rise with me over the years. Though years after release, this song still is one I crave to listen to—it has the potential to one day break the top five.

Rameen's #8 Selection: "Elevation"

This is a song that exudes attitude (great to get fired up for a game or concert). I can see why they opened the tour with this song having the crowd whaling the woo hoo's. Favorite rendition: U2 on SNL (Val Kilmer hosting) and Bono going off stage with cameramen chasing him as he plays with the audience throughout (including a little Doors impersonation with Val). In fact the entire SNL episode is hilarious but I digress. This engaging song is U2 full force and energy. "...explain all these controls, I can't sing but I got soul, the goal is Elevation".

Shauhin's #8 Selection: "Please"

This is a great song and really shows why U2 is the "MDE," Most Dominant Ever. This song has that dark, cynical, edgy feel that makes U2 not just a "love song" band. Lyrics like "your catholic blues, your convent shoes, your stick on tattoos, now they're making the news, your holy war, your nothern star your sermom on the mount, from the boot of your car...please...please..get up off your knees. The tempo in this song is just fabulous. This song, and the album POP in general, were quite underrated

Rameen's #7 Selection: "Where the Streets Have No Name"

I love listening to this song as if it was a new release. I remember being in the Coliseum and this is what U2 opened with back in the 80s. The Edge's guitar driving it home throughout and Bono's "...still building and BURNING down love, burning down love, and when I go there, I go there with you, it's all I can do" great ending!

Shauhin's #7 Selection: "Ultraviolet (Light My Way)"

What a great song! This song is slow, fast, medium, filled with emotion. The lyrics to this song are fabulous. “Oh sugar, don’t you cry; Oh child, wipe the tears from your eyes; You know I need you to be strong; And the day is as dark as the night is long; Feel like trash, you make me feel clean; I’m in the black, can’t see or be seen; Baby, baby, baby...light my way; (alright now); Baby, baby, baby...light my way.” An amazing song on an amazing album. This is the best song on the Achtung Baby album.

Rameen's #6 Selection: "Please"

Mood--that is what this song exudes. The change of tempo of the song and the edgy Bono lyrics are great. A match between the brothers as it hit Shauhin's list at #8. The best song on the Pop album and they do a great live version as well.

Shauhin's #6 Selection: "Beautiful Day"

This song is very special to me. It is, as Bono once said in an interview on TRL (MTV), “this song is about a person whose been in car crash, or lost their car keys, or lost their tickets to the Yankees, and still knows that everything is going to be okay.” I remember this song and I remember listening to this song almost everyday as a form of therapy in the early 2000S as I recovered from a relationship break up. This song, became the banner, for my “embrace change” campaign. The great thing about this song is the message in it is exactly what Bono said: it is about remembering that things are okay and it is a beautiful day, things will be okay. Or as the lyrics go: “It's a beautiful day; Sky falls, you feel like; It's a beautiful day; Don't let it get away.” I still feel good when I hear this song, even though it has been overplayed.

Rameen's #5 Selection: With or Without You

Brooding and oozing with Joshua Tree attitude. With or Without You is U2 at it's finest. This song was my favorite U2 song at one point in my life. Adam Clayton's bass at the beginning and Bono dominating the song. "Through the storm we reach the shore, you give it all but I want more". Epic U2.

Shauhin's #5 Selection: New Year's Day

Despite how old this song is, it is still a fabulous song and one of the early songs that you really hear the Edge’s unique and distinct guitar sounds. Brother Talesh pointed out the tempo—I agree. The changing tempo in this song is outstanding. Although U2 made many songs after this one, when you really listen closely to this song, you just have to throw your hands in the air and say, “this is top 5, bar none.” I also have a distinct memory of the video of this song, despite how young I was. I think it may have been the first time I “saw” U2. I always remember the mountain of hair those guys had! “Gold is the reason for the wars we wage”—CLASSIC BONO

Rameen's #4 Selection: Night and Day

At number four, no one expects this song because it is not known by many people. An AIDS benefit album saluting Cole Porter brings out one of my favorite U2 songs of all time. Night and Day is one of those songs that gets under you and U2 once again demonstrates their range. The opening "...tick tick tick of the ivory clock..." until the haunting Night and Day crooning by Bono at the end, creates the great mood of the song. As you can tell, I am a big fan of the moody songs of U2 and this one ranks up there. The synthesizers, Edge and Bono's fantastic rendition make this secret song (since it never was released on a "U2" album) one of my fav five. I can (and have) listened to this song over and over and it still is not old.

Shauhin's #4 Selection: Sunday Bloody Sunday

Power. Charged. Energy. Intensity. This song has all of these qualities and some. For me, this song put U2 on the map for good. What a powerful song, an important song, a serious song—still resonates today and is why they always play this song in concert. As Manie B. would say, “a great song to chant to.” I loved it when U2 played this song during Live Aid in 1985 and with the Wembley Stadium already in a frenzy, Bono said to the crowd, “You know the words. You know the words. Repeat after me. Sing ‘no more.’ I get fired up just writing about this song. At the end of the day, like New Years Day, Sunday Bloody Sunday is simply better than most of the songs that came after it. The lyrics to this song are darn near perfect, the music a perfect compliment. I’ll just provide a sample: “And the battles just begun; There’s many lost, but tell me who has won; The trench is dug within our hearts; And mothers, children, brothers, sisters torn apart.”

Rameen's #3 Selection: "One"

A song that has only grown in stature over time. Originally, I would consider this a very good song (on a great album, Achtung Baby). However the lyrics, Bono's singing, the melody have only increased over time. This could be due to the resurgence during the ONE campaign, but whatever the reason, this is a classic U2 song and moved up every week as I was formulating the top 15.

Shauhin's #3 Selection: "Walk On"

I love this song. I repeat, I love this song. The great thing about this song is it actually was my third favorite song on the “all that you can’t leave behind” album for many years, behind Beautiful Day and Elevation. But as the years wore on, I came to see the deep beauty in this song. Much like “Evolution” by Pearl Jam, some songs are like wine, they get better as they age. Songs and music in general are at their best when you “feel” it, you feel the emotions in the song. This song does that for me. It has an Amnesty touch to it, this song is about Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, a Burmese activist who was sentenced to house arrest in 1989 for protesting her government. Walk On is the song I listen to these days when I want to feel hope and inspired. During U2’s “all that you can’t leave behind” musical tour, they always closed the concert with this song. At the time, I didn’t understand why, but now I do: It encapsulates what U2 is about: Hope. I also love the fact that U2 chose this song to play at the 9/11 Tribute to Heroes concert (Bono with glasses off) and performed a great live version of it. Wonderful lyrics: “And I know it aches; How your heart it breaks; And you can only take so much; Walk on, walk on; Leave it behind; You've got to leave it behind.” I really encourage anyone reading this blog to listen to this song with your eyes closed. When you finish, you’ll be inspired, and pumped up to take on life’s challenges.

Rameen's #2 Selection: "All I Want is You"

Simple, melodic, seven minutes of mood, power and grace. The Edge's guitar, Bono's soulful singing and most importantly, the strings/keyboards. When U2 incorporates strings into their songs, I think it raises the quality of the song. A great music video that accompanies the song does not hurt. I can listen to the last three minutes over and over as I just think it is mesmerizing. When songs can convey feeling/spirit and take you to another level, you know you have a great one. This song was actually at number one coming into the selection process and only dropped to the second slot at the end.

Shauhin's #2 Selection: "Bad"

If there was a top ten list for me from years 1985-2008, this would have been number one. But similar to my Pearl Jam list (available upon request), the song that had been my informal number one, ends up finishing second. This song is amazing, U2 at its finest. My good friend Eddie Vedder once referred to this song during a concert as, “the best song ever written about addiction.” I will and can never forget hearing this song during the Live Aid concert in which U2 put on the best 25 minute concert performance I’ve ever seen. Powerful, emotional song. The Edge influence is all over the song. Lyrically flawless. Some favorite lines: “If I could throw this; Lifeless lifeline to the wind; Leave this heart of clay; See you walk, walk away; Into the night; And through the rain; Into the half-light; And through the flame.” Simply put, Bad is a perfect song, and one I still don’t tire of listening to. In the end though, this list is not about concert performances and songs performed live by U2, and I think the number one song is slightly better when you eliminate the incredible ability for U2 to perform Bad live.

Rameen's #1 Selection: "Bad"

This song did not start at number one but that is where it ended. The Edges guitar, the sounds/music and Bono's spirited vocals do what the great songs do...they move you. Listening to it over again brought out how well done the recorded version really is. Some would argue the live version is even better and I cannot argue with the Live-Aid version being one of those epic moments in rock and roll history (though live version songs were not a part of this review). Even if you throw out the live versions, this song stands alone. Brian Eno's influence is heard throughout and it is an epic production that transitions, shift and ends with grace. A song with soul.

Shauhin's #1 Selection: "With or Without You"

Is there anything I need to say about what a fantastic song this is??? At the start of this top 15 list, I knew this song would be high, but I wasn’t sure how high. It reached number one. Just an absolutely incredible song. Anyone who has been in and out of a serious relationship can relate to this song. The emotion of this song carries it. The lyrics and the music and the song itself are just perfect. The song is about relationships and Bono wanted to write about it in a way that carried true meaning to people. He succeeded in my opinion. The long, loud, emotional yell Bono lets out in this song as the music builds is the climax of this song. That yell is one for the ages and cannot be duplicated in concert. Just fabulous. Any band that can make a song like this are special. They’ll be talking this song for years to come. …Truly a deserving number one all-time favorite song.

Copyright 2009 - Beheshti-Waterhouse