Song of the Day #3,231: ‘With Or Without You’ – U2 vs. David Bowie

Our next Montauk Madness matchup pairs two legends, one who sadly (and triumphantly) passed away last year and another struggling to remain relevant after spending the better part of four decades as the world’s greatest rock band. David Bowie vs. U2.

Had I faced this decision before Bowie’s passing, I likely would have gone with U2. Apart from the hits, I knew Bowie’s work mostly by reputation. Of course, Bowie’s hits alone put him in contention, but I own almost all of U2’s albums and consider them at worst enjoyable and at best masterpieces (The Joshua Tree remains one of the seminal listening experiences in my life as a music fan).

Following Bowie’s death, though, I set out to give his discography the attention it deserves, buying and immersing myself in a dozen of his most celebrated albums. That exercise cemented for me what everybody else already knew, that Bowie was a ground-breaking, original and transcendent artist.

He gets my vote here.

See the stone set in your eyes
See the thorn twist in your side
I’ll wait for you
Sleight of hand and twist of fate
On a bed of nails she makes me wait
And I wait without you

With or without you
With or without you

Through the storm, we reach the shore
You give it all but I want more
And I’m waiting for you

[Chorus]
With or without you
With or without you
I can’t live with or without you

[Bridge]
And you give yourself away
And you give yourself away
And you give, and you give
And you give yourself away

My hands are tied, my body bruised
She got me with nothing to win
And nothing left to lose

[Bridge]
And you give yourself away
And you give yourself away
And you give, and you give
And you give yourself away

[Chorus]
With or without you
With or without you
I can’t live, I can’t live with or without you
With or without you
With or without you
I can’t live with or without you
With or without you

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2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,231: ‘With Or Without You’ – U2 vs. David Bowie

  1. Dana says:

    And Bowie gets my vote as well, though not a tough call as I generally am indifferent to annoyed by U2.

  2. The Cool Guy (Daniel) says:

    I have to give this one to Bowie as well. Though I recognize U2 as a great rock band and appreciate their immense talent, Bowie completely revolutionized music. I don’t think we can get use the word legend on U2. They didn’t reinvent the wheel, they just are a much better wheel than some other bands. Bowie broke down gender stereotypes with his outfits and made veins vulnerable and feminine cool. He was a true individual who can’t be replaced nearly as easily as I think U2 can. All in all I’ve gotta give this one to Bowie.

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