Out Of Control is one of those songs that floated around the periphery for me, for many years. It was an okay song, pretty decent, had good beat and lyrics, but just wasn’t a grabber. It probably wasn’t until seeing it live (and I can pinpoint the date, November 25, 2001, here in Dallas) that it took off in my estimation. I think that’s the way so many songs have come through for me, hearing them and liking them, and having them climb once heard live.
Out Of Control has good music, it plays neatly together, especially in the live versions recently where they seem to have taken the innocent version of the song and made it much more experienced. I’m not saying it was bad in the old day, just fairly basic, as I’ve noted before. They were a learning band on their first few albums, took them a while to learn their instruments and what they could do, and how to do it together. This is no surprise to anyone. But over the years they’ve gotten so much better at it that you hear those old songs played through experienced hands and they sound so much better. This is essentially the theme of Innocence + Experience.
The lyrics are amazingly good for a what, 20 year old Bono at the time? Maybe only 19. But there is some real depth in them, it’s got the story of Iris in it, it’s got a lyric like “one day I’ll die, the choice will not be mine, will it be too late, you can’t fight fate.” That is absolute poetry right there, that is one of the best lyrics Bono has ever written, and like I said it’s coming from when he was just a kid. The line is one of those lines that pops into my head based on so many triggers, just say the word fate around me and I’ll be at the very least thinking it if not singing it.
Listen to the version from 360, the one on U22, right after you listen to the album version. You’ll hear what I’m talking about, there is so much more to it. The guitar is stronger, has more confidence, the bass is much more obvious, the drums are, well, still the drums. It is this more modern version that I prefer, and the one I have tried playing on my guitar. I can’t say I’m good at it, but not terrible, at least for the easy parts. But that’s the way I like to play, play all the easy parts and let Edge do the difficult stuff. I’d be Bono in the band, at least with regard to the guitar playing.
Bono has recently taken to introducing the song with “this is our first single,” and you just know that’s the way he introduced it way back in the day, the same way he was introducing the band on stage during the song this year is the same way he did it way back when. I love that, it really does bring out the Innocence.
I was very happy when they played Out Of Control in Chicago, it was definitely on my shortlist of songs I really wanted to hear. You know, I’ve thought about this a couple of times, but I really do need to put together a full live version of the tour, every song. I have one show downloaded that I play, it happens to be Boston 2 (because I loved the version of Bad that night), but I ought to get all the songs and put them in my preferred order (which may or may not be the band’s preferred order).
My rating for Out Of Control: 9 / 10