Three Pop Songs

4 Mar 2022106

Three Pop Songs

'Edge I'd describe as a gardener, Larry as a chef, Adam as a keen polo expert and Bono as a very enthusiastic beachcomber.'

That's Howie B,  'vibemaster' and producer, with Flood, of Pop,  released twenty five years ago this week.

'They wanted to make something different. They had this hunger to make new music. Pop is a magic album. I listen to it, there's music there, songs, beats. I'm glad I had something to do with it...' 

Discotheque, the first single, was followed by Staring At The Sun, Last Night on Earth, Please and If God Will Send His Angels.

But if you had to pick just three songs from the twelve tracks on Pop, what are they…  and why?

Cast your vote here and then tell us why in the comments… and what the album means to you.

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Best album ever
No weak songs on this one
Scott Cleaver
Pop in nz
Never forget that day, 3rd March 97 and out came this glittering cd called pop and I couldn’t believe that it was actually u2! It’s so beautifully raw and rough yet so she sad of its time and they should do an anniversary edition too. Any missed tracks or different b-sides? It’s an absolute shame that we don’t touch on this album enough
Uncompromising album
Pop is a great album with a completly diffrent sound. It proves that u2 is a great band that is not affraid to deviate from their style. Wake Up Dead Man is real gem on this album.
Moved to SF same time!
In March 97, I was 27 and just moved to San Francisco. I knew one person. I would get in my car on a weekend and drive south down route 1 to Santa Cruz, turn around and drive back. Pop was my soundtrack.
Great Album
Just a great album and an amazing show
First 3
I still love hearing the album play from beginning to the end. The 3 songs I enjoy are the first 3. I remember listening to that album for the first time. I’d heard and seen Discoteque for the first time on MTV. That one song gave me excitement for the new set of songs. I so wanted an extension of the new sound from Achtung Baby! And this was it! I got that and more. When the song Do You Feel Love kicked in with that bass line I was hooked. I often listen to that song on repeat. Then after that unexpected groove, I was hit with MOFO! Amazing! The most open and honest lyrics and punch in the face music. I hope the band plays that song someday in one of their reimagined versions.
A glance into the future
So far ahead of any other rockband. It’s rock dance and punk in disguise. A really great album that is timeless and still actual.
Found this difficult to choose ? as the voting seems to suggest - no real forerunner
POP was ahead of its time, just like Ach
30 years from now, Discotheque will still sound like something from the future. It was the obvious choice as the first track from this unique, asymmetrical album. Mofo is what I put on during my daily exercise regimen, either live or studio version, I love the droning synthesizer that keeps propelling this song, it's an unbelievable track, perhaps U2's best song live (yeah, I said it). I love Adam's bass in Please, I love that this kind of track can only come from 4 Dublin lads who are so in sync with each other musically and lyrically. Please is full of pulsating heartache and hope. Per usual, it all starts with the rhythm section of Adam and Larry.
LNOE Want to see this live.....
Viktor Ozhiganov
My favorite album after Zooropa & Achtung Baby. But some times Joshua Tree is the Best! And I made a little mix for Discoteque about 10 years ago.
U2’s best kept secret
A song is only as good as its bass line. And Mr. Clayton runs loose in POP. Easily my favorite U2 album. It’s daring, it’s non-complacent, it’s vibrant with brilliant lyrics and supported by smart videos. It merits a long overdue anniversary re-release. While it may not have been a commercial success, it was a creative one, a celebration (pun intended) of post war art, and a decadent culture we clearly did not understand and whose consequences we continue living.
First U2 show!!
POP reminds me my first time in a U2 show: POPMART tour in São Paulo (Brasil)!!! Good memories!!
underrated pop!
I've never really understood the lack of love this album was the first U2 album I owned and in all honestly is the reason I'm a fan of the band today, and I know the same is true of many fans of my generation. It was perhaps a move away from their traditional sound at the time, but was something which as a young teenager really resonated with me when it came out, given the other types of music I was into at the time. As mentioned in other comments, I wish they'd incorporate some of Pop into their live shows - I'd love to have seen Discotheque or Mofo live. The former still sounds fresh and fantastic to this day, and deserves a lot more love than its gets! Not all U2 fans discovered them via the Joshua Tree or Achtung Baby, and only came to those albums as a result of pop! If the walk-on intro to their pop world tour followed by mofo doesn't get the blood pumping then check your pulse as it might just be missing!! :-)
The consensus is that Pop was the least fulfilling of the three album arc of reinvention that started with Achtung Baby and Zooropa. Whilst using the same trajectory it never reached the critical and commercial heights attained by ZOOTV - but then it never could. It has gems that began to shine during the live shows but so many songs have never been revisited since the Pop Mart tour. It’s a real shame as there are some real dark and deep cuts that are channelled within it. The superfluous, disposable wrapping were lost on many who took it at face value. Like all U2’s albums it transcends the time time when it was created. With the band re-issuing so much older material now is the time to give it a re-appraisal. It’s not as bad as its made out to be and remember without it there would have been no return to basics with Atyclb that set up them up for the 21st Century.
Pop for Men
Pop for Men is what I think Bono called it at one point…honestly think this album was cool but a little bit of a letdown. I expected more verve and inventiveness after Achtung and Zooropa. Something was missing or unfinished. And the production still sounds less sharp than it does on other albums. Wish they’d remaster this.
I discovered U2 during the PopMart, so... you can imagine. I remember MOFO live at the EMAs and I am still impressed. Gone and Please. Perfect photo today (13-3-2022) Happy B-Day, Adam!! ♡
Seriously Pop
I bought this new in 1997, with the previous "U2" album being Original Soundtracks Volume 1. Pop at that point, became and has remained, my favourite U2 album. Top three tracks: Discotheque. It's just truly awesome. A huge wave of good vibes. Gone. For a long-term U2 fan, this is one of the dying embers of Edge's trademark guitar sound. Some of us still love the effects rather than the technical ability. I'm not coming down. Staring at the Sun. Not sure why I like this one, it just works for me. Lyrically brilliant. Overall. I love the improvement in Bono's singing that shows through on this album and I can only attribute that to time spent with Pavarotti. Bono's renditions of Miss Sarajevo over this years shows this also. So much unnecessary criticism was directed at this album, when at the time it represented the best of everything that was going on with both U2 and the world in the mid 1990s. Unforgettable Fire was pushed back into sentimental second place by this release. For me, Pop and it's numerous outtakes and remixes represent U2's finest hour.
Under estimated by the band nowadays
I discovered Pop quite late, around 10 years after it was released and it became one of my favourite U2 album. The songs are brilliant, especially in live where they reach an impressive intensity. But except the old 1997 shows and a little bit during the elevation tour, where are the songs nowadays? I respect the new material which can be really good, but after attempting around 30 shows during the last 15 years, I never experienced any Discotheque, Please, Mofo, Last Night on Earth or Gone... and I think it's a waste. Maybe some of them will come back during a future tour. U2 is not just about Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby. The identity of the band is made by all of the albums released and I hope there will be more turn over of the songs during the future shows.
If You Wear That Velvet Dress
It's like listening to a whispered secret
Pop Music - Live
Good memories of U2 live front row first in May in Dallas and then November in San Antonio. November was so much better. It was great to see how the concert evolved as the tour progressed. Do you feel loved reminds me of a woman I was dating at the time and eventually broke up with. Among other things she caused me to miss meeting Bono at sound check in Dallas.
Cassette Generation
I remember pre-ordering POP at the store. The clerk asked me if I wanted the cassette or CD. When I asked for cassette, it seemed the whole store and people froze. That was the last cassette I ever bought. Also, a personal favorite is "Holy Joe."
POP goes the world
When Pop was released I had to get used to the amazing new sounds this record brought to the table. Nothing sounded like this not even U2. They definitely broke new ground with this record. The dynamics of this record is astounding. Please was such an amazing song. Such a passion could be felt in the Bono’s delivery of the lyrics. Gone was another one of my standout songs on this record. My third favourite song because you’re only allowed to pick only three is Do You Feel Loved. Again an amazing sounding song. Pop redefined U2 I think in a good way.
Like every U2 record, Pop was a surprise I was awaiting with much anticipation. Having heard the single Discotheque before the album´s release I was thrilled by its stunning complexity of sounds and rhythms inspired by European musical directions that were popular in the 90s. It´s one of my favourite songs and along with the whole album I was listening to it many times in spring and summer of 1997. "Mofo" is another fascinating track and when I was lucky to see an incredible Popmart show in my country Austria it was a tremendous show opener. The futuristic stage, gigantic video screen and silver lemon offered innovative visual effects. Under enormous layers of sound "Mofo" reveals a dark mood, with Bono addressing his mother and expressing a feeling of mourning. Lines like "lookin´ for baby Jesus under the trash" sum up what this album deals with: The search for soul under a glittering surface. Oftentimes, there is a sense of despair, doubt and lament about the apparent absence of God in a confusing modern world. In our times overshadowed by a senseless war in the Ukraine, a pandemic and climate crisis these feelings are more omnipresent than ever. For me "Gone" is another haunting piece filled with deep emotion. Its great guitar sounds contribute to a lot of power, which became especially evident during live shows. With Pop U2 completed an era full of experimentation, a courageous trilogy that began with Achtung Baby.
Where is the love and
Where are the streets of no name Listen to PoP on vinyl and it sounds very good. The insect in you ear is maby the solution to Peace. Insects are very important for the food circle. Military is still in town. Staring at the SuN, it’s sound is still good. The War stil goes on. The long walk to freedom is to long. The less you the more you beLIEve. Last night on earth, I had that One’s and I felt nothing at all. The Oekraïne is now the IE of the world. And what is it that this spiritual war comes from? Hate, maby. Zoo-Europa, the money. The beautiful girls of the Oekraïne? To much. We? are in à deep.sadness, that never will die! Love, light and wishdom. PoP has some very good moments! Thanks U2! Miss You Sugar. .. … 14:40. PEACE ON EARTH? Why not?
Pop - Great album!
Pop is great! Sometimes, I hope that the band create a thematic pop concert and try to experiment a tracklist of dance/pop songs... Mysterious Ways, Discotheque, Real Thing, Numb and things like that... This record deserves a deluxe version urgently!
Disco, Loved, Mofo
What a way to start an album!!! Awesome!
Pop is more appreciated 25 years later b
Mofo in studio or live gets my blood pumping each and every time I listen to it.
It'll be great when it's finished!
If I'm restricted to album tracks, then Gone, Discotheque, and Staring at the Sun. If I can choose live versions, then I'll take the extended Last Night On Earth and Please (and seriously, who approved that Please album mix with an out of tune bass for 2/3 of the song?). If I can choose remixes, then the Hexidecimal Discotheque is a contender. If I can choose any version, then I'll add my own mashup of the album and single versions of If God Will Send His Angels. I like this album a lot, and I always have, but it's always felt like a real missed opportunity. Too bad it was released unfinished and then had to get ATYCLB-ified for the '90s Best Of.
Best songs on album, including Mofo
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