I love that the title of the song was Pete The Chop, named after a friend of a friend, and when they left the song off the album, the record company said “Whatever Happened To Pete The Chop,” giving the song a subtitle. It wasn’t released until many years later, on the War anniversary version, but it was around for many years in U2 fandom, as bootlegs from live versions, and in myth and legend. Pete The Chop is one of those early songs that I heard of but never heard, that sat in my U2 wish list for many years until finally I heard it.
Edge says that this song is “Stylistically quite different to anything else on ‘Boy’” which I really have to disagree with. I think it sounds a lot like the rest of Boy, musically and lyrically. There are parts where I think of other songs on Boy, but also on other albums. Quite a lot of it reminds me of songs like Electric Co., at least the music does, but also Out Of Control. Then there’s the line “sing it, sing my, sing my song,” which comes back to Gloria, a song that was released a year later on October. So this could very well be one of those songs that reverberate through the ages, bouncing around here and there and giving echoes of itself.
But really, the song is quite similar to many of the others on Boy, and despite the record label liking it and wanting to keep it, I think it was a reasonable decision to drop the song. As I’ve said before this year, several times when reviewing some of the b sides or songs left off, they’ve not made the cut because they sound too much like something else. That’s what I think happened here. You don’t want every song on the album to sound the same, but it all depends on the theme you’re going for. I think that Songs Of Innocence had the best theme of any U2 album yet, going back to that innocence and making the sound just like the old days. But even then, they’re good enough to get the theme floating through rather than making everything sound the same. The theme on Boy, not so obvious, and the sound not too much the same either.
I write this before watching the HBO show tonight. I expect I will talk about that tomorrow, although it may even take a few more days for it all to sink in. I have read several items about the show, some spoilers here and there, and I fully expect to be crying my eyes out as I watch certain points. If you have seen stuff from yesterday’s show (Paris 3), or if you remember the show after 9/11 which I have talked about a few times here and there, then you might be able to guess what I am talking about. Enjoy the show, and come back to see what I have to say about it.
My rating for Treasure (Whatever Happened To Pete The Chop): 3 / 10