It’s Saturday night, and I’m listening to Saturday Night. Yeah, so this is one time where I am overruling the random number generator and picking a song.
Saturday Night was only released on the deluxe version of Boy, it wasn’t released before that anywhere else. It was a leftover track that didn’t go anywhere at the time, at least until they worked on October and reworked the song into Fire. Now, I haven’t reviewed Fire yet this year, so I may be giving away some spoilers here, but I do have to say that between the two songs, I find myself preferring the one they didn’t release over the one that they did. Fire might be suffering from that old U2 problem of too much editing, too much twisting and turning until you have watered down the original sound that you liked.
The music in Saturday Night is pretty clear, there are strong and distinct drums, bass and guitar. It’s very much what you would expect for an early U2 song, clear and distinct parts that are not necessarily meshing together perfectly, and more importantly working in a very basic way, not yet adding in all the extras to each of the parts that they do within a few years (although not by the time they do October, which perhaps is why I like Saturday Night a little better than Fire).
Bono sounds very Boy as well, of course. He has that distinctive voice from the time, inexperience you might say but it’s also something else, a rawness to it. Youth, probably. I think I would agree with myself over the last several months if I were to say that Bono’s voice on Boy is probably the most identifiable of all the albums. I mean, you can’t confuse the different songs, but if you were to somehow remove the music, and twist around the words enough so that you didn’t know what songs he was singing, you’d still be able to say this voice is from Boy, that voice is from October, that next one is from All That You Can’t Leave Behind and so on. Kind of like doing the Coke vs Pepsi thing, hiding the voices in unmarked cups and getting people to decide. There’d be many that you could tell, some you couldn’t. I think (getting back to the original point) that you’d be most accurate on Boy than on any other album.
It’s an interesting song lyrically too. You get the early, raw Bono, not necessarily a great wordsmith at this point but clearly showing interesting tendencies. Bringing up bits and pieces and making them work well together. The cadence of the first couple of verses, which is a line, then a line, then a third and longer line which rhymes with the second. Interesting. ABB I guess you would say, but that doesn’t show the complexity that the first two lines are short and the third is long.
The feeling I get from the song is the idea of two people meeting on a street corner on a Saturday night, but not really meeting. Like they are meant to be together forever, but instead they are two ships passing in the night. He is going one way, her the other, and they happen to be beside each other for just a moment before going their separate ways. I guess if you believe in the theory of multiple universes being created based on every decision, there is one that they are together in. Otherwise, it’s just quite sad.
My rating for Saturday Night: 4 / 10