“please stop fightin’ … please, stop … please”

I’ve never been able to figure out why U2 has acquired the degree of “uncool” status it has. Maybe it’s the legacy of the early few albums, which I haven’t connected with. But gradually, beginning with the Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois-produced The Unforgettable Fire and The Joshua Tree, and especially the ’90s electronica-and-dance-influenced Achtung Baby (Eno and Lanois again) and Zooropa (Eno, Flood, and The Edge), they have created some great songs – a few of them masterpieces – that are holding their own. And I can’t think of another band that’s stayed together for over 30 years and continued to grow musically to the extent they have, either.

One of their very, very best is “Please,” from Pop, the album that followed Zooropa. It is in part about The Troubles of Northern Ireland, and never fails to totally nail me… The extraordinary video (below) was directed by Anton Corbijn.

And here is the official live video, recorded in Rotterdam, musically even more immaculate than the studio version…