A track from the Joshua Tree days, according to Edge it evolved into I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. I’m not quite sure that I hear the Still Haven’t Found influences though, there isn’t really one part that makes me think “that’s a lyric” or “that’s a sound” from it. But if he says so, it must be true right? Technically he says they kept the drums, which is really hard to pick out from one song to another, although of course I’m a guitarist not a drummer.
The opening drums always make me think “uno, dos, tres, catorce.” So maybe the influence extended a lot further than we think.
AtU2.com has a nice little explanation of Bongolese to go along with the lyrics for Desert Of Our Love. It’s interesting, when you think of a song like Elvis Presley And America, which Bono allegedly heard and sang one time in a stream of consciousness. So to go back and hear this song, and think of him making up lyrics as he goes along, filling in things to get the sound pattern or the rhyming pattern, and have it come out as well as this does, it’s really a testament to his talent as a songwriter. Also to his ability to improvise, which you’ve really got to have when you’re in the front of a band like U2. We see that all the time at shows, where something will happen and he’ll make a comment, or make a speech and slow down the band, or of course with the people they’re pulling on stage.
On the other hand they do have some little comments here and there which sound like them trying to get it down. Like when Bono says “one more verse”, it sounds like he’s telling the band to keep going a little more, and at the end when Eno (I think) says “that’s the best one today.” And very quiet at the end, someone says “Did you simplify the bass drum there?” or something like that. Just makes it really sound like you’re in the moment, in the studio with them. And then there’s the sound which seems to drift a little here and there, back and forth between the ears, or dulling down and up again, does make it feel like you’re in the middle of a mix.
Even though this is a clearly incomplete song, it really sounds good. It’s hard to follow the lyrics, as noted above, because they’re often nonsensical, but listening to them you do actually get a feeling coming through. It’s a religious feeling, a love feeling, a feeling of prayer and desert and early day religion. Hard to explain. If I were to say that it brings forth images of Jesus walking through the desert, and the power and the light and the garden and all that, it might go a little way toward the song’s idea. Really enjoyable, whether or not you understand it.
By the way if you haven’t seen them yet, take a look in the Images section of the blog. Earlier today I uploaded about twenty photos from the four Chicago shows I attended last week. Some of them are really good (if I do say so myself), some of them aren’t great but are representative of either where I was or what I saw, or just an overview of the show itself.
My rating for Desert Of Our Love: 6 / 10