Here’s another example of a great, obscure song from a well known band. In my opinion, U2’s “No Line on the Horizon” is their strongest and most adventurous album since “Achtung Baby,” and I drone on about that in my long-winded review. “Winter” was initially slated to be included on “No Line,” I assume in place of “I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight,” but was replaced late in the game. But in the Limited Box Set, it appears on the bonus DVD’s Anton Corbijn film, “Linear” (where “I’ll Go Crazy” is excluded, hence my theory).
Rumors are that it’ll be released on their next album, “Songs of Ascent,” but we’ve heard similar rumors about the even more obscure (and also terrific) “Mercy,” from the “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb” outtakes, and that never saw the light of day; at least not yet.
So, what makes this song magic? It takes me back to some of the most atmospheric music that U2 ever produced, 20 to 25 years ago. It proves once again that U2 can still come up with something imaginative, and avoid the commercialism some of their most recent material can sometimes feel like. If “Songs of Ascent” lives up to the promise of “Winter,” it would have the potential of being a huge older fan hit, if not a commercial success. And if they quickly release this (say, in 2010), it could hold up as well as their last “in-between” release, “Zooropa“.
Here’s the video from the Anton Corbijn film, “Linear”: