Where The Streets Have No Name

If you’ve been waiting for this song, then you won’t be surprised at the rating. I suspect that every fan of U2 would give Where The Streets Have No Name the same rating I have, a perfect 10. It is one of only four songs in the U2 catalog that I have given 10, and I will go even further and let out the secret that Streets is my all-time number one U2 song.

There is nothing I don’t like about Streets, from the song to the video to the live performances. The video is great, on top of a roof while the cops try to shut them down. So many images show up, Larry looking at a cop bike, shirtless Adam, the firetrucks rushing through, the crowd rushing across the street. There’s a moment where Bono reaches out and touches a crew guy, who looks like he’s about to fall off the roof. This is the absolute perfect image of Bono at his best, and the iconic image of Edge’s look. And I never even noticed that the sign on the back of the roof said Million Dollar Hotel, which would show up again much later.

I have seen Streets played live several times, and have numerous live versions of the song on my computer. During the last tour I took my video camera to two shows and recorded Streets at both of them (the only other song I recorded was Crazy Tonight). I ought to upload them to YouTube sometime, I suppose. They have become favorites because I taped them myself, of course, but there are plenty of other versions to enjoy out there. In fact my all-time favorite of this song is on the b side of the Electrical Storm cd (how does a cd have a b side?). It’s the combo of Bad and 40 and Streets, which is a combo of three of my favorite songs all together. It flows perfectly of course between the songs, it has Bono’s blessings speech in the intro to Streets, and you just hear the crowd explode as they realize that Streets is starting (you hear that every time it is played, in fact I get tears in my eyes when I hear it start, I love it so much). Then hearing the audience singing “I want to run” is just fantastic. I have honestly set this set of songs to repeat and played it over and over so many times.

I have tried to play Streets on my guitar, and have had some minor success with it. Working through the examples on the U2 Guitar Tutorials site has been a lot of fun. I actually bought a delay effects pedal specifically for this song, that’s how much I love it. I can’t say that I can play it well, but this is such a good song that I even enjoy it when I am playing it badly. It’s one of those songs that I could work on for hours and never get tired of it.

I don’t know what else to say about it. For me, Where The Streets Have No Name is the greatest song ever, U2 or anyone else. If I could only listen to one song for the rest of my life, it would be Streets. If I was suddenly struck deaf, I would be happy in the knowledge that I could remember this song note for note. It’s changed over the year, different from the album original, but it doesn’t matter which to me, I love them all.

My rating for Where The Streets Have No Name: 10 / 10