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U2: Into the Heart: The Stories Behind Every Song Paperback – September 15, 2005
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As far as additional content goes, there is a section that covers B-sides, non-album songs, the Passengers album, and ...Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
While this certainly isn't an exhaustive insight into U2's writing process; it is still an interesting peek behind the curtain. Read morePublished 11 months ago by John Stratton
Wish I could give it 2.5 stars. If you've been a U2 fan for more than 10 or 15 years, there's really nothing new here. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Prime Meridian
Fascinating to learn how your favourit songs were 'born'! Sometimes very surprising that my own interpretation of lyrics is so different from the one the band had in mind, even... Read morePublished 18 months ago by elly rigor
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 23 months ago by Caraculiambro
My husband is a huge U2 fan and this book was a Christmas present. He loved reading and learning about the lyrics to his favorite music. I would recommend this for U2 fans.Published on February 1, 2014 by Rosanne Dutzer