WCSX Classic Cuts
U2: “Bullet the Blue Sky”
The Hook: They updated it to incorporate hip-hop sonics when they played it live on the Popmart Tour, a decade on from its release on The Joshua Tree.
Album: The Joshua Tree
Writers: Music: U2; Lyrics: Bono
Stats: Never released as a single, but continues to get airplay in on rock radio stations.
Background: U2 has occasionally tinkered with the sound of some of its songs in concert. Interviewed during 1997’s PopMart Tour, guitarist The Edge explained why they decided to incorporate some hip-hop sonics into a classic cut from The Joshua Tree, “Bullet the Blue Sky.”
In an interview done during U2’s 1997 PopMart Tour, The Edge spoke about updating the sound of “Bullet the Blue Sky” live to make use of sounds that were prominent a decade on from The Joshua Tree’s release. OC:…rhythmic slant. :22
“When we had Public Enemy with us on the road we talked to Chuck D about our tunes and what he thought of them. And he at the time thought that ‘Bullet the Blue Sky’ was a song that could really go in a sort of hip-hop direction. It’s not really hip-hop, but it’s borrowing some ideas from that form and it’s kind of giving it a lot more swing and a lot more of a ‘90s rhythmic slant.”