Theme From Let’s Go Native

A lot has been written and said about “Miss Sarajevo” being the best thing to come out of the Passengers’ sessions. Heck, Larry seems to think that “Miss Sarajevo” is the only worthwhile piece of music to come out of those sessions. I know that Bono also has strong feelings about “Your Blue Room,” and I’m also quite partial to that song, but another song from Original Soundtracks 1 that I think is pretty fantastic, and one that doesn’t get nearly the good press of those other two tracks, is “Theme From Let’s Go Native.” It’s the last song on the album, and it follows closely on the heels of several of the most experimental pieces on the record. It’s also mostly instrumental, but it still stands out as one of the most accessible songs to come out of the whole project. There’s a little bit of an Achtung Baby era industrial rock feel, with big thundering drums and a powerful bass riff. There’s also (I said it was a rock song, didn’t I?) a great guitar part that throbs with intensity and urgency. I feel positively compelled to bob my head when I hear the track. The icing on the cake is Bono’s occasional wail. We  can probably safely chalk it up as Bongolese, as I’m not sure what exactly he is saying…but in this case, it doens’t really matter, does it? I’ve heard Bono talk in the past about the power of sounds versus words, and this song is a perfect example. Bono’s wordless howl in “Theme From Let’s Go Native” is sexy, moving, and provocative all at the same time. It makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. It is a powerful statement, and it combines with the propulsive music behind it to demonstrate the power of rhythm and melody without a single definable word being spoken,

Like most of the Passengers album, “Theme From Let’s Go Native” has never been performed live by U2. I don’t expect the band to ever perform the track live…it’s not well known enough, for one thing, and there’s also fact that it’s mostly instrumental, so Bono wouldn’t have much to do during that performance (we all know that nobody wants to watch Bono dance for the length of the song.) What might be cool, however, would be for U2 to use it as an intermission piece, a la Gavin Friday’s cover of “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kill Me, Kill Me.” It is an exciting enough piece of music to hold the interest of the crowd while something interesting plays or shows on the big screen. I really think it would work, and the die-hard U2 fans in the crowd would get a big kick out of it, I’m sure. If anyone from U2’s camp reads these articles, I wouldn’t even need any  compensation for the idea. It would just be a thrill to hear “Theme From Let’s Go Native” played loud at a U2 concert, even if it was pre-recorded.

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Ever since I realized as a kid, while poring over the liner notes of the Bob Marley - Songs of Freedom boxed set, that writing about music was a viable career choice, one of my greatest desires has been to write about U2. The band has been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to contribute a little something to the fantastic online community that's been built around the band.

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