U2 are not known for their music videos and that goes double for their quiet, no-nonsense drummer. Over the years though, that ‘quiet’ drummer, Larry Mullen Jr., has made quite the splash in a few U2 videos. The five great Larry videos are “Electrical Storm,” “Numb,” “Unforgettable Fire,” “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and “One.” Coincidentally, or not so coincidentally, these are my favorite U2 videos as well.
The music video for “Electrical Storm” is known among U2 fans, especially Larry fans, as U2 porn. Seriously, watch the video below and you’ll see – especially if you love Larry Mullen like I do. The video is all about Larry – Larry wet, Larry in the tub, Larry in the ocean, Larry kissing. Every time I listen to “Electrical Storm,” the video plays in my head. Without the video, I probably wouldn’t even give “Electrical Storm” much thought. It is a good song that becomes great when its video plays in my head as I listen to it.
I am sure Edge fans will cringe when I rank “Numb” my second favorite Larry video because it is THE Edge video. But if you remember about halfway through the video, there is a point where Larry pushes Edge off of the stool and Larry is just sitting there staring at the tv, which in turn looks like he is staring at me since I am watching the tv. He leans in toward the tv very close. It seemed like it went on forever, but in reality it was just a few seconds. I also enjoy the part where Larry is singing into Edge’s ear. I always like anything where Larry sings.
The video for “The Unforgettable Fire” has always been one of my favorites. There is a moment in this video, about three minutes in after Larry and Adam are walking down the stairs and are outside by the fire, when Larry looks up at the camera and smiles. It is just a moment, but like Bono said about Larry in Chicago on opening night of the 360 Tour in the U.S., “When he smiles the sun comes out.” Coincidentally, that night in Chicago was the first time I heard “Unforgettable Fire” live.
“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” is my favorite U2 song and my favorite video, but I am not sure which came first. Do I like the video because of the song or the do I like the song because of the video? I am pretty sure I like the video because of the song, and because it takes place in my second favorite city, Las Vegas. I really don’t think of this video as one my favorite ‘Larry’ videos, but I would be remiss if I did not include “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” on anything I wrote about U2 music videos. That being said, there is a great scene when Larry and Bono are walking down Freemont Street singing, and Larry is fixing the sleeves on his leather jacket. And there is another moment of a close-up of Larry singing. These are brief moments, but whenever Larry is singing I am happy.
One of Larry’s most memorable roles was in U2′s first video for “One.” It was so memorable because it was shocking to see the usual manly and macho Larry dressed up as a woman. I actually prefer the second video for “One” with the buffalo, but this first one was Larry at his finest.
As much as music is a crucial part of my life, I think I am a very visual person. Most of my favorite songs are my favorites because of either their music videos or because of the live performance of the song I watched on television. For instance, I love the song “Electrical Storm” because of its video. Also, “Heartland” is one of my favorite songs and I think mostly because it reminds me when I watched it being playing in the film Rattle and Hum while Larry, and U2, were touring Elvis Presley’s Graceland. Speaking of Elvis Presley, I first discovered and became interested in Elvis through his movies – then his songs. Yes apparently, music videos were significant to my musical upbringing.