Song of the Day #4,782: ‘Some Days Are Better Than Others’ – U2

If you want to feel old, consider that U2 is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year. During that span, they’ve released 14 albums and sold nearly 200 million copies worldwide. They are among the most revered and successful bands in popular music history.

And yet, they feel almost completely irrelevant these days. It’s been four years since their last release, the unmemorable Songs of Experience, and 15 years since their last bona fide hit, 2004’s How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.

I guess that’s the fate of any band lucky enough to stay together for multiple decades. You don’t hear much about The Rolling Stones these days, either.

I wonder if U2’s trajectory would be any different had they not tried that ill-advised iPhone stunt with 2014’s Songs of Innocence. By forcing a download on hundreds of millions of unsuspecting Apple customers, they cast themselves as corporate spammers in the eyes of a whole generation that hadn’t yet had a chance to discover them organically. The fact that the album was mediocre certainly didn’t help.

I don’t know if they’d have a higher profile today had they skipped that intrusive stunt, but it’s hard not to see that moment as a pivot point in their storied career.

Here’s a song from 1993’s Zooropa, back when U2 was the biggest band in the world and eager to take chances musically rather than in their marketing.

Some days are dry, some days are leaky
Some days come clean, other days are sneaky.
Some days take less, but most days take more
Some slip through your fingers and on to the floor.
Some days you’re quick, but most days you’re speedy
Some days you use more force than is necessary.
Some days just drop in on us.
Some days are better than others.
Some days it all adds up
And what you’ve got is enough.
Some days are better than others.

Some days are slippy, other days are sloppy;
Some days you can’t stand the sight of a puppy.
Your skin is white, but you think you’re a brother.
Some days are better than others.
Some days you wake up with her complaining.
Some sunny days you wish it was raining.
Some days are sulky, some days have a grin;
And some days have bouncers and won’t let you in.
Some days you hear a voice
Taking you to another place.
Some days are better than others.

Some days are honest, some days are not;
Some days you’re thankful for what you’ve got.
Some days you wake up in the army
And some days it’s the enemy.
Some days are work, most days you’re lazy;
Some days you feel like a bit of a baby
Lookin’ for Jesus and his mother.
Some days are better than others.
Some days you feel ahead;
You’re making sense of what she said.
Some days are better than others.

Some days I hear a voice taking me to another place.
Some days are better than others.

One thought on “Song of the Day #4,782: ‘Some Days Are Better Than Others’ – U2

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    While you don’t hear much new music from The Rolling Stones, they can still pack stadiums when they tour. Not sure if the same can be said for U2.

    And while the iPhone sellout was certainly a misstep, I don’t see this as the reason for their current lack of success in terms of album sales or popularity. Other legendary artists like Springsteen, to name one example, have continued to put out new material that has gone largely unnoticed. In fact, I’m hard pressed to think of any artist or band that was huge decades ago and is still relevant with new music,

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