Love Is Blindness

Love Is Blindness is the last song on Achtung Baby, and really is the perfect cap to the album. This is a nice slow song, makes you remember the words when you’re finishing listening to the album and to a show. I often find myself humming to this song when I’ve listened to the album and have moved on to something else.

You get this slow organ music at the start, then it leads into slow bass, which really sounds interesting. It ripples, I don’t know how they did that, I’m guessing some kind of delay pedal that Adam borrowed from Edge. It hums like that through the whole song, sounds great, makes it almost hymn-like.

So I did read some stuff about the song that makes it read two different ways, one being the end of a relationship, the other being a terrorist act. Looking throughout the lyrics I do see some of that, the two stories in the same words. The parked car, the crowded street, these are images from terrorism like we see in the Every Breaking Wave video. But then the next line is the thread ripping, knot slipping, and it’s back to the feeling of the doomed love. This is the kind of lyrics I like, where it can be so ambiguous even within the same line. I’ve said before that it’s the genius of Bono at this time, basically through the Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby eras where he was so on his game. It’s not that he hasn’t before or since, still many fantastic songs, but these were the peak of the band lyrically.

“No call and no warning, baby, a dangerous idea, that almost makes sense.” This line I once read was the inspiration for the album title. The theory was that warning in German is Achtung, and because they were in Berlin at the time they got that word, then you add in the baby following it, and you end up with Achtung Baby. Then the next part of the line continues, calling the album Achtung Baby is a dangerous idea, but it almost makes sense, so let’s go for it. Now I cannot at all confirm the veracity of this, I have no idea where I saw or read this twenty years ago now, and I of course don’t know the exact truth. There are always different versions of why an album got a particular name, and it’s often difficult to nail down the correct reason, especially with someone like Bono who likes to keep you guessing.

If you’ve seen Love Is Blindness on Zoo TV, you’ll know how good it is live. They do this whole thing with constellations projected on the tvs, and Bono wearing the MacPhisto outfit, which is very campy now but was a lot of fun when it was live. Then it switches into Can’t Help Falling In Love With You to end the show. It’s really a brilliant end to a show, the two songs together, a slowing down into some great participatory music. There’s also a live version on the back of Stay.

My rating for Love Is Blindness: 6 / 10