I don’t know anything about Cole Porter. Not into old music, not into show tunes, don’t really follow that kind of thing. I have mentioned before that there are some songs that U2 have covered which have made me dig into the artist’s history, but this is not one of them. I am not at all a fan of the way U2 do it, so it hasn’t caused me to go on. And since I don’t know much about Cole Porter, I can’t even tell you if this is a relatively good version of the song.
This was released on an album called Red Hot and Blue, which I never heard any of except for this. It was I believe a charity album, something to do with supporting AIDS, which was a worthwhile thing even more so then that it is now. In the nineties AIDS was ravaging the world and nobody cared, whereas today it gets attention and money and interest. I can’t say that it has been solved, but your odds are much higher today than they were then. And this album was probably one of the reasons for that, raising interest at the time and helping to follow on into the future.
The song itself is terrible. I’m not going to lie. It is bad all round, there is nothing redeeming about it. The guitar (I think, it’s hard to even tell if that’s what’s making the noise), sounds kind of warped and distorted, and it’s pretty gross sounding. They only released this song as a U2 release on the back of One, called the Steel String Remix, and it really didn’t sound any better. And then you get to the singing. Again, I don’t know the Cole Porter version at all, so I can’t tell you if Bono is trying to imitate Porter, or what, but he really sounds bad. He switches from the deep and dark to kind of screechy. It doesn’t work, he is too often drowned out by the music to be heard and is incoherent at times. I don’t know what the words are about anyway, so it doesn’t matter too much that I don’t understand him. The whole song is unlikeable, and puts me in a bad mood when I listen to it.
Now let’s talk about the video. Yes, for some reason there was a video, it was directed by Wim Wenders, who ended up doing some good stuff with U2, but this wasn’t it. If you haven’t seen it, don’t seek it out. Or maybe you should for posterity’s sake. This has to be a strong contender for worst U2 video ever, competing with the Corbijn version of Pride that I just mentioned a couple of days ago. This one doesn’t make any sense, it is horrible in many ways. It starts with Bono sitting on some stairs, holding himself and singing with some really creepy looks at the camera. For some reason they then show each of the band members sitting by themselves, not moving, for a few seconds. Then they go to a dark room, where a different band member pops up in the back every so often, while Bono creeps around again, this time with open shirt, and doing some really bad lip-syncing (which is matched by the rest of the band badly synced to the music when they play their instruments). There’s even a moment where Larry is in the back, and then he just turns and walks off-screen. Appropriate.
My rating for Night And Day: 1 / 10