If you are a regular reader of my posts, it should come as no surprise that this week we are discussing my absolute favorite music video ever made, U2’s promotional video for “All Because of You.” There is just SO much energy and excitement oozing out of every frame of this video, I can’t help but love it. From the very first second, which is punctuated by a quick burst of guitar noise as the screen is divided into smaller squares wherein we can observe the band preparing for the day to come, this video is special. As I think about it now, part of what makes this video so great is the decision to include live noise from the day that isn’t necessarily part of the song, such as the police radio and the cheering crowd. It makes the video feel like it is happening right now every time I watch it. The concept, a simple one that can easily be described in just a few words, is this: U2 takes to the streets of New York, playing their song from a flat-bed truck. Wonderful ecstasy, bordering on mild chaos, ensues. It might help to give a little background for those who weren’t around at the time. My memory is that it was just a day or two before the release of U2’s album “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb,” maybe even the same day as the album’s release, when they recorded this video, and I remember that the day was capped off by a small “surprise” concert which was performed underneath the Brooklyn Bridge. Parts of that concert were aired on MTV back when the channel actually played music, and the whole day was a very special affair. It is hard for me to imagine anyone launching an album cycle in grander fashion than this, to be perfectly honest. It was a really special time for me and for other fans of the band.
Part of what makes this video so great is the fact that the band members all look super cool and relaxed, like they are having the time of their lives. I believe that for Bono, especially, it really helps him be at his best when he feels that he has the support of the audience, and he definitely had that on this day. There are so many wonderful moments in this video, most of which have to do with the crowd which followed U2 around the city or watched them for a few minutes. I especially enjoy the dude who throws up a peace sign, then changes to a fist of defiance. If that isn’t U2 in a nutshell, I don’t know what is. The office workers who are dancing in the window of their building are another highlight, as are all the swooning girls. To see the effect that U2 has on people thrills me to no end, and this is one video that showcases that in spades. I don’t know if U2 will ever captivate a city again like they did on this day, but I’m glad that Phil Joanou captured the day for all of us to enjoy.
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