#144 U2 – Bad (Live)

U2’s performance at Live Aid (the 1985 show) single-handedly turned me onto music. More specifically it was the way they played ‘Bad’, an album track from their 1984 masterpiece ‘The Unforgettable Fire’. The live version of ‘Bad’ contains so many more magical detours than the studio version, tender and awkward one minute, proud and regal the next it never fails to affect. ‘Wide Awake In America’ was released at a time when Ireland was rife with unemployment and emigration which meant the young people were either bored silly or about to leave their friends and family for an uncertain life abroad. U2 somehow made the pain a bit easier to swallow, establishing a token of pride in being Irish (something that would escalate as the Football team grew in stature). This was U2’s golden era when Paul Hewson’s bombast could be written off as youthful arrogance. ‘Bad’ is music in technicolor, the Edge’s riffs are expansive, Larry Mullen supplies the necessary rallying beat while Adam Clayton tugs his bass with eager nonchalance. It must have got tiresome for the other members in the band as the lead man pulled a pretty girl from the crowd to dance with but for many of those watching it was inspirational. Oh, I am being sentimental but what childhood memories are not? KD

U2 – Bad (Live)

Album: Wide Awake In America
Year: 1985
Buy: Wide Awake in America

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  1. February 26, 2006

    U2 – Bad might be the greatest live track of all time. I had the pleasure of seeing it live last year and nothing compares.

  2. February 27, 2006

    Agree. I have a cassette (what is that?) with the Live Aid version of Bad. Trying to get it converted to an MP3. It segues from “Bad” into snippets of “Walking on the Wild West End” and “Ruby Tuesday”.

  3. February 27, 2006

    agreed all around, greatest live song ever ever ever.fernando – any version you want, live aid, rattle and hum, whatever, email me and i’ll mp3 you:eagle2108@gmail.compeace

  4. Anonymous
    April 2, 2006

    Is there anyway to get that BAD (live aid version) with RUby Tuesday on CD? I have been looking forever!

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