Amazing Grace is one of those songs that everybody knows. Everybody sings along with it when they hear it, at least the first couple of verses. There is a version of Amazing Grace on the Duals album, and it sounds fantastic. Supposedly taken from the 360 tour version from the Rose Bowl, although I’m not sure about that. There’s a bit online that says that they overdubbed the Soweto choir onto the 360 recording, I don’t know why they’d do that, because surely there’s a version that is real, and sounds good.
The start of the song has a little bit of guitar, but that then disappears into the background when the voices take over. It is a powerful song, really well done, and quite emotional in many ways. The music then fades away on the Duals album, while in the live version it rolls into Where The Streets Have No Name, and it really works well as an intro to that. I am surprised at the many different ways that U2 have been able to open Streets, it seems to be well done as a song that can be led into. You are singing away at some song, which is nice and sweet - like Amazing Grace, or Mother And Child Reunion, or Hallelujah - and that song fades and Streets kicks in. Great way to get there.
If you watch Bono on the 360 video, he is out front with the guitar playing, while the rest are faded into the background, and they come back up when Streets kicks off. But the best part to watch is Bono singing Amazing Grace (yeah okay, the best part is Streets, we all know that, but go with me here). Bono playing this, Bono singing it, his eyes closed as he falls into the song, it’s just amazing. There’s a clear set of emotions on his face, it’s the absolute belief in his faith, you might say. It is a feeling that you would love to have if you were in a church, it’s the feeling that you have looked upon the face of God (sorry, Sheldon). If Bono sang that in church I’d be there watching, this is pure joy and belief and faith. Amazing, I already said that a couple of times. Not sure how you can talk about a song called Amazing Grace without saying Amazing a lot.
Twisting around, I mentioned Belfast 1 yesterday, and I was a little critical of it for not mentioning France so much. I might have gone a little far. Today I didn’t get to hear any of the show, I was in meetings at work and kept looking at the time and the meetings kept going and going and I wanted to scream and stand up and walk out, or at least turn on my phone and find a Mixlr. But I didn’t. And then I went and checked Twitter later and there seemed to be quite a lot more France in the show. I would take credit, but it’s more likely that I just missed it yesterday while I was listening and saw more of it today because I could only read about it.
My rating for Amazing Grace: 5 / 10