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Music Monday – U2 – Gone

05/16/2011

One song, four versions.

U2’s “Gone” from the Pop album is a song that appears to be important to several members of U2, but has nothing seemed to come forth in a form that the band is satisfied with. The song has gone through four different rebirths since it was released, with in my opinion the Mike Hedges version being the best musical version, even if it lacks the emotion Bono brings to the song in the Elevation Tour 2001 Boston version.

I agree with Jeffrey Overstreet that an acoustic version of this song would be amazing. There is just so much power and emotion in the lyrics, that if Bono could just cut lose with Edge playing on acoustic, the roof would be blown off wherever they are playing.

I consider U2’s Pop to to be the bands “lost” album yet also one of their best. “Lost” because the band has all but ignored it since 2001 except for two performances of “Discotheque” in 2005, and a snippet of lyrics here and there. The album had a troubled production history and was released in an unfinished state, which is another reason why there are so many different versions of the songs available. There is a richness and deepness to the album that wasn’t seen until 2009’s No Line on the Horizon. “Gone” is just one example.

From Wikipedia:

“Gone” is the seventh track from U2’s 1997 album, Pop. It is also featured on the compilation album The Best of 1990-2000, in a reworked version. A highlight of the PopMart Tour, it was often dedicated to Michael Hutchence during the final few months of the PopMart Tour and during the following Elevation Tour. Bono frequently refers to it as one of his favorite songs of the band’s. The Edge has also stated he was very pleased with the “New Mix” of the song available on The Best of 1990-2000.

“Gone”, along with several other tracks from Pop and previous album Zooropa were remixed and either dubbed “The New Mix” or “Mike Hedges Mix” to help fit in with the more instrumentally-conservative songs of All That You Can’t Leave Behind. Some reviews of the “Best of…” notably Allmusic’s review singled out the remixes of “Pop” songs saying “So, all the Pop material (“Gone,” “Discothèque,” “Staring at the Sun”) is given new mixes, as is “Numb” [from Zooropa], none improvements and all undermining the actual career arc of U2 in the ’90s.”

I’d disagree…and the band seems to as well.

The original version, on 1997’s “Pop” album…

Popmart’s version from Mexico City…

Elevation Tour’s version from Boston 2001…

And the final version, Gone (Mike Hedges version) from The Best of 1990-2000…

U2 – “Gone”

You get to feel so guilty, you got so much for so little
Then you find that feeling just won’t go away
You were holding on to every little thing so tightly
‘Til there’s nothing left for you anyway

Goodbye, you can keep this suit of lights
I’ll be up with the sun
I’m not coming down
I’m not coming down
I’m not coming down

You wanted to get somewhere so badly
You gotta lose yourself along the way
You change your name but that’s OK, it’s necessary
But what you leave behind, you don’t miss anyway

Goodbye, you can keep this suit of lights
I’ll be up with the sun
I’m not coming down
Down
I’m not coming down
Down
I’m not coming down

And I’m already gone
Felt that way all along
Closer to you every day
Didn’t want it that much anyway

You’re taking steps that make you feel dizzy
Then you learn to like the way it feels
You hurt yourself, you hurt your lover, then you discover
What you thought was freedom just was greed

Goodbye, no emotional goodnight
I’ll be up with the sun
Are you still holding on
Not coming down
Down
I’m not coming down
Down
I’m not coming down

Gone, sun, done, sun
Gone, sun, done, sun
Sun

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Grant permalink
    05/16/2011 9:56 pm

    Good song. Agree that the Heges mix is the best. Bono, please stop trying to play guitar live. We can’t hear you in the mix and you don’t even play the whole time….so…put it down and just sing.

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