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U2: Into the Heart: The Stories Behind Every Song Paperback – September 15, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
1. Not all of the songs have interpretations of the lyrics. Most, but not all. The stories told in each song's profile follow no formula or criteria - some cover lyrics, some music, some production, some inspiration, etc. Those stories are great and I like their inclusion, but I much prefer that every song had a lyrical explanation.
2. The author at times seems to marginalize the amount of Christian reference in U2's music. It just doesn't come up in proportion to how big it has been throughout U2's history.
3. Where is "Holy Joe" ? Other B-Sides are covered!
4. At times it's difficult to determine which points are the author's speculation and which are his conveyances of U2's thoughts and ideas. He admits in the introduction that some editorial speculation and interpretation - but I'd like some clarity about which is which, because I'm more interested in what U2 has to say than reading Stoke's brainstorming about his take.
As for the positives:
1. The book is very comprehensive (except for Holy Joe!) and very well organized - chronologically by album with a section in the back covering B-Sides, and other stuff not on albums. It gives a 2 or 3 page 'profile' on each song with several nice color pictures.
2. Despite my crticism above about not offering a lyric interpretation or explanation of every song, Stokes did a great job of finding some very interestings stories on other aspects of how songs came together.
3. And the last thing is that there don't seem to be any, or at least not many other books like this out there. I know there are others on this topic (covering U2 song by song) but the ones I've seen don't do as good of a job.Read more ›
If, however, you are looking for a book that gives information on how certain songs came together with some lesser known facts thrown in and, in some cases, the meaning of the lyrics then this book will make interesting reading.
The main bulk of the book covers all the songs on every U2 studio Album from Boy to How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb (including Rattle & Hum) and briefly touches on B-Sides, Passengers, Edge's Captive soundtrack, The Million Dollar Hotel Project and a number of other 'side projects' undertaken by band members over the years. Interesting comments from producers, people who worked with the band and of course all the band members themselves, gives quite a facinating insight at times to how certain songs came about.
Niall Stokes has known U2 ever since they were a young up and coming Dublin band and has therefore been lucky enough to get plenty of access to the band over a 25+ year period and he's not done a bad job. The title is as it suggests, 'Stories Behind Every U2 Song' and not 'What The Lyrics To Every U2 Song Are About.' If you're a big U2 fan like me, some of the pictures and some of the stories are already familiar but there is enough in here that I didn't know that kept me from putting the book down and so it gets a 4 star review.
You can get better insight into songs/albums by going thru U2 interviews on YouTube. At least it's from "the horses' mouth" instead of thru irresponsible writers who use quotes out of context (as in the case of this author). Note: read the excerpt on "All Because of You" - just plain stupid. There is a lot more to that song than what the author "chose" to include in his book, which resembles a badly written term paper, along with unwitty photo captions.
U2 is much more profound than this book leads you to believe. The author also completely leaves out the spiritual aspects of the band and their songs - obviously he has no understanding of the topic, and almost mocks it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Look, if it were still the 1980's, this book would have been a gold mine. It has a lot of miscellaneous facts that U2 fans would pore over myopically. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Caraculiambro
This otherwise readable book is so fraught with typos and poor grammar that it is almost embarrassing. "Running To Stands Still? Read morePublished on October 13, 2011 by 4ster
I don't want to be redundant with the other reviewers, but I too was disappointed with the content of this book. Read morePublished on March 13, 2010 by S. Schofield
This is a great book that explains the stories behind U2's songs, through the album "Vertigo". It explains that the late Joey Rammone, really liked the songs in the "What you Can't... Read morePublished on March 1, 2009 by Gary Covington
alaround great coverage of all U2 songs done in thier career every song has a story to it the write up on all of there b side songs is also great too!!!!Published on June 17, 2008 by Tyler sargent
The book is a detailed account of all the songs sung by U2. I originally bought the book for a friend as a birthday present, but was so impressed that I had to buy one for myself.Published on April 21, 2008 by Gabrielle Janik
This book gives great back story and insight into every song of every album by U2, including B-sides and the Passenger's album. Read morePublished on February 12, 2008 by Greggory P. Adams
I recommend this book to any U2 fan. It is very interesting to hear this author's point of view on U2's songs.Published on December 12, 2007 by Helen Ellis
Niall Stokes did perfectly well by compilling such precious informations on U2's songs. If you have any of the band's biographies published to date, you're not done not until you... Read morePublished on January 28, 2006 by Claudio Dirani