U2 VidWorks – Mofo (Phunk Phorce remix)

For a long time, I would have argued with someone if they told me that U2 had made a promotional video for “Mofo.” It never occurred to me that the band might make a video for a song’s remix and not one for the “proper” studio version, and so I assumed that this video was something that some fan had put together, and not something official from the band. Since the only single for “Mofo” was the remix single, I suppose it makes sense to think of the remix as the “proper” version, at least as far as radio play is concerned. To be honest, though, I might prefer it if this video hadn’t been made, and I will tell you why. U2’s video for the Phunk Phorce Remix of “Mofo” is nothing but a collage of video images gathered from the PopMart Tour. Very little of the video is actually of the band performing the song “Mofo.” I suppose that it makes more sense if one thinks of the video as a promotional piece for the PopMart Tour, as opposed to a promotional piece for the song “Mofo.” Still, if they were going to make that move, I might have preferred it if the video had featured a medley of songs from that tour instead of just one song, like what one might find in some of the electronic press kits from other tours. What’s more, the version of the song from the video was never performed live, so the whole thing feels like a big fake, and I don’t like it. That said, there is some artistry involved in the way the thing was put together. I especially enjoy the way the footage of Lara Croft, Tomb Raider, shooting her gun from the big PopMart screen is timed and cut to perfectly match the percussion that divides parts of the song. I also like the way the video captures the excitement and energy from a gig on the PopMart Tour. I can understand why U2 would release a promotional video hyping up the tour since it was so maligned in the press, but I would simply prefer to have that video labelled as what it really is. Additionally, I think that U2 missed a great opportunity here to create and release a video that features the song “Mofo,” whether the album version of the live version. Both of those renditions of the song contain lots of energy and would have been great marketing pieces for the tour while also getting one of the best songs from their new album played on the video channels. I much prefer the route that U2 took for the song “I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” on the 360 Tour, when they actually performed the version of the song that the video was set to to get footage that was appropriate for the music. I guess I am a little bit of a purist, in that I prefer my music videos to be of the band performing the song that the video is for.

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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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