U2 Radio Roundtable – Love is Blindness

As a die-hard U2 fan, I sometimes forget that not every note which the band have ever emitted was pure, solid-gold manna, sprinkled from the heavens above by the four Irish gods of rock. I think that every fan probably has one or two songs that, for whatever reason, just doesn’t do it for them. While writing about “Love is Blindness” recently, it was brought to my attention that for some among us, that song the fly in the ointment (pun intended). We decided to get some of our staff writers together for a little experiment – Joe Pitt is leading us off with his rationale on why “Love is Blindness” should have remained on the cutting-room floor, and then the rest of us pitch in with our own two cents. I hope that some of you readers will find yourselves suitably motivated to speak up for or against “Love is Blindness” after reading what we’ve said.

U2 - Achtung baby - Deluxe edition (Cover)Joe – Love is Blindness does not see the light of day on my iPod or in my car. It also is one of my least favorite U2 songs. I think that part of the reason that I don’t like “Love is Blindness” is that it’s on my favorite U2 CD. All the way through Achtung Baby, from the opening of “Zoo Station” to the “Don’t let the bastards grind you down” in “Acrobat”, U2 ROCKS! The whole CD is just electric, and then “Love is Blindness” comes in. Total buzz kill! I know that U2 puts a lot of emphasis on song placement and I am so glad that they put that song last on the album. If it were anywhere else on the CD, I would have probably killed myself. The song does not work for me melodically either. To me, it is very choppy, and maybe that’s what U2 is attempting, but I always feel edgy after each listen, and if I had a dog, I would probably feel like kicking it after each listen. I LOVE The Edge, but his guitar solo comes off as nails on the chalkboard to me. Edge is a maestro with the guitar, but to me it sounds like he’s playing the solo with a chisel. Again, that may be what they were trying to accomplish. The song is too downtrodden for me. The group that is famous for its positive outlook and uplifting lyrics pulled the rug out from under all its listeners with “Love is Blindness”. I understand that most of Achtung Baby did that, coming off of the Joshua Tree and Rattle & Hum, but “Love is Blindness” pulled the rug out from under the listener and let them crash through the hole in the floor that the rug was covering. I know that I am in the minority with this song, but if I want to feel sad, edgy and jumpy, I’ll listen to Nirvana. For this listener, Love is Blindness epitomizes darkness and U2 went total eclipse on this song. Like most eclipses, I hope we don’t see another one for a long time.

 

Kevin – “Love is Blindness” would have been a perfect track 13 on the Achtung Baby CD for the simple reason that it is such a melodramatic mess. Like Joe, I think this song is one of my least favorite U2 songs, and is one of the songs that causes my finger to twitch on the FF> button on my phone (yes on my phone, as I’ve stopped playing CDs a while back). It doesn’t seem to flow, to me, and like Joe stated it’s very choppy sounding, and I just don’t care for it. “Love is Blindness” is a deep, brooding songs that just doesn’t translate to me. I’d much rather have had “Blow Your House Down” as part of the Achtung Baby CD, and have Acrobat be the last track. “Love is Blindness is the only pimple on what is otherwise a spectacular album, and is still my all-time favorite U2 release.

 

From_the_Sky_DownBrook – I enjoy “Love is Blindness”. It has never been in my top 10 or anything like that, but it’s a solid cut and a GREAT final track on what I regard as the greatest album in their catalog. The lyrics are among some of the best Bono’s ever written; some songs have that one out of place lyric that make you go, “What was he thinking? A mole, digging in a hole?”, and “Love is Blindness” doesn’t have a single lyric like that. “Thread is ripping/the knot is slipping/blindness.” It just all makes sense! And Edge playing it solo and taking over vocals on “From the Sky Down,” to underscore the story of his divorce? Wow! It gave a whole new meaning to “Take the money…honey…blindness.” So in short, thumbs up from me and God bless the hands that built America!

 

Joshua - I think that “Love is Blindness” is just about the most eloquent meditation on love and relationships that I’ve ever heard. There’s so much back and forth that goes on between lovers as they go back and forth across that proverbially thin line between love and hate again and again that it’s difficult to express it all with words. That’s why music is so much more powerful than simple poetry – it imparts feelings and ideas that defy description by other means, and “Love is Blindness” satisfies this fan on every level, intellectually, emotionally, and physically – especially with that toe-curling guitar solo at the end.

 

So there you have it. Two of us against the song, two of us in favor of it. It’s deadlocked, even-steven. Now, we need you, dear reader, to break the tie. Comment below and tell us where “Love is Blindness” lands for you – is it the agony or the ecstasy?

 

"U2 Radio Roundtable - Love is Blindness", 5 out of 5 based on 4 ratings.

Ever since I realized as a kid, while poring over the liner notes of the Bob Marley - Songs of Freedom boxed set, that writing about music was a viable career choice, one of my greatest desires has been to write about U2. The band has been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to contribute a little something to the fantastic online community that's been built around the band.

Home Forums U2 Radio Roundtable – Love is Blindness

This topic contains 8 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Pam 4 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #9203

    broadsword
    Moderator

    As a die-hard U2 fan, I sometimes forget that not every note which the band have ever emitted was pure, solid-gold manna, sprinkled from the heavens a
    [See the full post at: U2 Radio Roundtable - Love is Blindness]

    #9204

    Chris
    Participant

    One of my favourite U2 songs…Perfectly placed at the end of Achtung Baby, drawing a little bit of melodic spark from Acrobat,which insinuate themselves like a mysterious and subtle spiritual presence into Love is Blindness, this masterpiece goes to show how deep feelings can touch…What this song brings in terms of emotional perfection is that the feelings of weakness, despair and sadness -although the lyrics sung by Bono evoke those feelings-are surpassed and the feeling of relief becomes more and more present as Edge just shatters the darkness with his solo which punctures the cracks and lets the light get in ! I consider his performance better and more intimate than on the live version of Love is Blindness..especially on the part that fades out…I stated it before and I’ll say it again..they should have included the full version of Edge’s “dance with the devil” on the 2011 Anniversary CD !!!

    Every-time I listen to this song I sense a feeling of calm and relief ! In my mind it creates a feeling, it’s hard to describe it, similar to Bullet the Blue Sky….there’s no coincidence they included the live versions of the two songs on the “Stay (Faraway, So Close!)” single !!!

    This is what I think !

    #9209

    joepit
    Moderator

    Isn’t music great, Chris. Where you feel calm and relief listening to LIB, I feel edgy.

    Bring on the debate!

    #9219

    broadsword
    Moderator

    Thank for the well-thought out response, Chris. I’m glad you got involved in our debate!

    #9252

    ericbobg
    Participant

    While I’ve always liked the song, I’ve come to love the song and had a sort of rebirth through the documentary “From the Sky Down” that was mentioned, but also through the cover by Jack White that was on the Achtung Baby cover album done by the magazine Q. I first heard the Jack White version in the trailer for Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby and when I realized what the song was it gave me chills it was so good. The rebirth also came as I read about and realized the importance of the song’s placementy in the ZooTV tour setlist right at the end. It’s a bitter end, pointing out the false nature of the spectacle and giving in – momentarily – to the reality of pain caused by love – only then to be followed up by the snippet “I can’t help falling in love with you” – saying that despite the pain that can result from love, we love love and we keep coming back for more. So beautiful.

    Love the lyrics, love the slow burn feel and then build up to that hauntingly epic guitar solo. I really love this one and the more you learn about it the deeper its meaning becomes. Thanks for the forum to discuss it.

    #9253

    ericbobg
    Participant

    And ditto to Chris, especially the similarity to Bullet the Blue Sky. The guitar solos on the lives versions of those two songs are among my favorite from the Edge.

    #9254

    joepit
    Moderator

    Ericbobg, Broadsword hit a homerun with his write up. For the reasons you listed are the reasons I dislike it. I agree with your synopsis of LIB, but I just can’t get into it.

    Guaranteed, Leeny will love this song when she realizes my dislike of it. ;)

    #9267

    Leeny
    Participant

    I hope my comments here won’t give Chris heart failure or make Joe cry, but I think taking a close look at LIB has helped me to clarify why I seriously don’t like the album AB.
    .
    I had always liked One and Mysterious Ways, but the CD as a whole just didn’t sit well with me. When I realized so many of my friends loved AB, I thought I must be missing something, so I spent months listening exclusively to AB trying to figure out what it might be that I was missing. I tried REALLY HARD to love it, but it just wouldn’t come. My tentative conclusion was that I fell in love with U2 too late. If I had listened to AB for the first time when it was initially released, I probably would have been young enough to love it as much as everyone else. To some extent I still think this holds true. But this blog has shown me that it is more than that.
    .
    Immersing myself in the AB album, and learning the lyrics of the less familiar songs did help me to appreciate each song separately. When they pop up randomly on my iPod I feel no urge to FF. I grew to love the musical genius of Zoo Station!! Even the bug song doesn’t bug me like it used to. And EBTTRT brings me back to some amazing 360 memories. :)
    .
    But the album as a whole does to me what LIB does to Joe. It makes me feel uneasy. It’s too much darkness concentrated in one place. It’s one unhealthy relationship after another (the story of my life :P ). Worse, it’s filled with temptation, and listening to the CD I find myself drawn to possibilities I otherwise know to be wrong.
    .
    This happens in a way that is especially true with LIB. The lyrics of LIB are well put together. Bono’s voice is soothing, almost assuring. But the message is all wrong. Love isn’t blindness. Lust and selfishness are blindness. Love is eyes-wide-open hard work. Love is an action verb; it’s not a vacation.
    I do understand that this song is part of the whole package of AB… Everything you know is wrong, etc. I get that U2 were criticizing the very things they appear to be placing on a pedestal. Perhaps they did it too well. Perhaps the imitation which was meant to expose, has instead come too close to flattery.

    #9268

    Pam
    Participant

    I´ve always liked Love Is Blindness and like a different colour it creates a great contrast to the breathtaking noise we hear when listening to songs like The Fly or Zoo Station. When Achtung Baby was released I bought the vinyl version of the album and for me it was interesting to observe that both sides ended with music that seemed to calm down after the enormousness of experimental sounds. Under the soft surface of Love Is Blindness, however, I can sense a lot of tension, revealing the inner struggles going along with a relationship. In my opinion it expresses all the sorrow The Edge had to go through after his divorce. The song´s melancholy created by minor harmonies flows gently until one note suddenly breaks through that lonely darkness. Sharp as a razor blade, it screeches, disturbs and shouts out all the hurt and anger with heartbreaking force. A haunting revelation of sincere emotion.

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