The Edge 1/20/21

The Edge‘s guitar contributions to U2 have been ranked and rated by Guitar.com, which has posted a list of the “Top 20 Greatest Guitar Moments.” Topping the list is “The Fly” from 1991’s watershed Achtung Baby album, followed by 1987’s “Bullet The Blue Sky” from the mega-platinum, The Joshua Tree, and the Top Three rounded out by that album’s opening track, “Where The Streets Have No Name.”

Prior to listing The Edge’s Top 20 most essential moments on record, Guitar.com, posted, “At the heart of their sound, U2’s guitarist has undergone his own process of constant reinvention. But even as his gear stash has grown from a couple of guitars, a handful of pedals, a Vox and some gaffa tape to become a touring rig that looks like a Guitar Center warehouse, he’s stayed a step ahead of his imitators, managing to refine but never jettison the simplicity and directness of his playing.”

The intro went on to read, “The Edge has often referred to being ‘at odds’ with the guitar; and has characterized his playing as a “struggle or a fight” with the instrument. Here, we choose 20 battles he most definitely won, some against all the odds, among an exhaustive back catalogue of sonic explorations.”

When we last caught up with The Edge, he told us that in many ways — as the band’s primary instrumentalist — he’s responsible for the sound design surrounding the band: [“Most of U2’s songs, the kind of arrangement tonalities, are created by the guitar sounds, so it kinda falls to me to be able to recreate most of the studio sounds live, or at least — if not the same sound as what we had going in the studio — something that is as good or better.”] SOUNDCUE (:17 OC: . . . good or better)

The Edge says he’s looking forward to experimenting with new guitar sounds in the studio: [“My guitar playing has been fairly minimalist over the years — I like to try and make as few notes as I can get away with, y’know, create as big an effect as I can, to really explore what guitar could be, y’know, and really push the boundaries of what guitar in a rock n’ roll band can sound like.”] SOUNDCUE (:18 OC: . . . can sound like)

The Edge’s Top 20 “Greatest Guitar Moments” as ranked by Guitar.com:

1. “The Fly” – Achtung Baby, 1991
2. “Bullet The Blue Sky” – The Joshua Tree, 1987
3. “Where The Streets Have No Name” – The Joshua Tree, 1987
4. “Pride (In The Name Of Love)” – The Unforgettable Fire, 1984
5. “Beautiful Day” – All That You Can’t Leave Behind, 2000
6. “Until The End Of The World” – Achtung Baby, 1991
7. “I Will Follow” – Boy, 1980
8. “Even Better Than The Real Thing” – Achtung Baby, 1991
9. “Sunday Bloody Sunday” – War, 1983
10. “Bad” – The Unforgettable Fire, 1984
11. “New Year’s Day” – War, 1983
12. “Gone” – Pop, 1997
13. “Unknown Caller” – No Line On The Horizon, 2009
14. “Zooropa” – Zooropa, 1993
15. “Love Is Blindness” – Achtung Baby, 1991
16. “A Sort Of Homecoming” – The Unforgettable Fire, 1984
17. “Desire” – Rattle And Hum, 1988
18. “With Or Without You” – The Joshua Tree, 1987
19. “Mysterious Ways” – Achtung Baby, 1991
20. “One” – Achtung Baby, 1991

TL; DR

  • Guitar.com has posted a list of The Edge‘s “Top 20 Greatest Guitar Moments” with U2. Topping the list is “The Fly” from 1991’s watershed Achtung Baby album.

SIDE NOTES

  • Recently released are a clutch of 20th anniversary editions of U2‘s 2000 Grammy Award-winning All That You Can’t Leave Behind album. The releases feature a new 12-track remaster of the album with additional track “The Ground Beneath Her Feet,” and a 51-track super deluxe box set.
  • All That You Can’t Leave Behind was released on November 17th, 2000 and featured such U2 classics as “Beautiful Day,” “Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of,” “Elevation” and “Walk On.”
  • The album was produced by Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, and topped out at Number Three on the Billboard 200 albums chart.