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U2 — With or Without You
Album: The Joshua Tree
Avg rating:
8.2

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1464









Released: 1987
Length: 4:48
Plays (last 30 days): 0
See the stone set in your eyes
See the thorn twist in your side
I 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

With or without you
With or without you
I can't live
With or without you

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's got me with
Nothing to win and
Nothing left to lose

And you give yourself away
And you give yourself away
And you give
And you give
And you give yourself away

With or without you
With or without you
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
Comments (207)add comment
One of the songs that drove me running from FM radio. It was played and played and played and played and played, over and over and over and over.  I never understood the business model that served to actually annoy some of the audience with repetition. Payola? Lazy as crap program directors? Rotation fixation? Classic? In what sense? 
It's not a bad song, it's got passion, but imo it simply does not deserve hundreds of spins. This is the first time in maybe 5 years.  I don't miss it. 
One of the best bands ever - Talk Talk, followed by one of the worst!!

I do the like the variation though. Love RP! 
Interesting to read all the invested comments about U2, positive and negative.  Lots of RP listeners clearly care.  

I don't get the aversion to listening to a popular song on RP that has been on heavy rotation elsewhere.  Nothing prevents FM radio or popular channels from heavily playing a song that fits well on RP.  

This is my shameful secret.  I don't listen to FM rock anywhere.  Haven't for decades.  So if RP plays good music that was or perhaps still is popular elsewhere, well at least for me and my kind, it is a blessing.  We might not be buying U2 CDs but we still want to hear it.

Heavy rotation elsewhere is fine.  It is OK to admit publicly that you listened to FM rock stations and other popular music channels.  We promise not to think less of you.  Don't let narcissistic position politics get the better of your collective music experience.  ;-)
Ugh again with the prolific playing of U2. RP please take them out of the rotation!
 alcolp96277 wrote:
Wasn't it written for every mom? 
In the fifth grade our friend told everyone this song was written for his mom... 

 

 

I believe it is written for Jesus/God
You know, it plays well today. Which is usually how it goes on RP. 
 carlnsue wrote:

Bravo to that!  I've never found a better playlist.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
 lizardking wrote:

Agreed - although really now, it is Bill's station and he can play it if he wants to! 

In all seriousness, I remember when I first logged onto RP (11 years and 1 month ago) back when there was not that PSD button, nor any kind of smartphone app with a skip button for that matter, and I'm just amazed at how many people complain about what BillG decides to play on HIS station when they can, with ease, pick something else.

What a concept.

I for one appreciate BillG's soft-spot (or for the naysayers, a hard-on) for U2 as it gives me a chance to listen to music I would normally avoid out of hand.  U2 came out when I was a kid and fell in the category of what I did not listen to, and now about 30 years later I can finally say "hey, it's actually pretty good" - so as always, a big fat THANK YOU to BillG and RebeccaG for their love of music and sharing it with all of us. 

Peace



 
Bravo to that!  I've never found a better playlist.
 carlnsue wrote:
Keep playing it, Bill!  It's classic, well-done, and hit's you emotionally "just there".

 
Agreed - although really now, it is Bill's station and he can play it if he wants to! 

In all seriousness, I remember when I first logged onto RP (11 years and 1 month ago) back when there was not that PSD button, nor any kind of smartphone app with a skip button for that matter, and I'm just amazed at how many people complain about what BillG decides to play on HIS station when they can, with ease, pick something else.

What a concept.

I for one appreciate BillG's soft-spot (or for the naysayers, a hard-on) for U2 as it gives me a chance to listen to music I would normally avoid out of hand.  U2 came out when I was a kid and fell in the category of what I did not listen to, and now about 30 years later I can finally say "hey, it's actually pretty good" - so as always, a big fat THANK YOU to BillG and RebeccaG for their love of music and sharing it with all of us. 

Peace


Keep playing it, Bill!  It's classic, well-done, and hit's you emotionally "just there".
I agree Bill, I could here that song all the time.  In fact I had a friend from high school that put it well, he said he wanted to have the guitar solo at the end as his doorbell when he grew up!
Was a huge fan back in the day...not so much any more, but I did see them live at BC place in Vancouver touring this album and they were fantastic. Bono actually climbed up the lighting scaffolding and hung from the top much to the surprise of The Edge who was trying to keep the song going with a repeating riff while looking up rather nervously...it was really freakin high up..Great live band back then kinda lost interest in them after this album.
 leechi wrote:
generic, mediocre and boring.. a band where the term "overrated" truly fits.  

 
Ditto
 alcolp96277 wrote:
Oh, how can you say that? I like it, so your opinion is invalid.
generic, mediocre and boring.. a band where the term "overrated" truly fits.  

 

 
Dude, opinions, by definition, cannot be invalid. They're simply opinions, not facts. 

Of course, the opinion that U2 is overrated is actually true, so your liking the band is merely a reflection of your poor taste. 
Wasn't it written for every mom? 
In the fifth grade our friend told everyone this song was written for his mom... 

 


Oh, how can you say that? I like it, so your opinion is invalid.
generic, mediocre and boring.. a band where the term "overrated" truly fits.  

 


generic, mediocre and boring.. a band where the term "overrated" truly fits.  
I waited 35 years to see this band, and they blew me away... 
 Lake Superior! Live ten miles away, in Michigan. And I'll add a Lake Michigan one last year, live, at the United Center. Holy shit, what a concert!

easmann wrote:
 k8ling1114 wrote:
my heart holds a specific memory for this one. snowy winter lake superior scenery from skyline parkway in duluth, mn. my poor 17 year old self just crushed by a boy. oh, the emotions of the young!


 


 Proclivities wrote:

Apparently, it's an "Infinite Sustain Guitar" which was used on this recording.

 
thanx 4 posting that
Damn, as soon as I hear that bass it just takes me straight back to jr high in light speed fashion...
 
 eveliko wrote:
Can someone finally tell me if this is an Eventide or an AMS delay on the guitar?

 
Apparently, it's an "Infinite Sustain Guitar" which was used on this recording.
'On a bed of nails she makes me wait' Is that why all his songs sound so painful!!!
In the fifth grade our friend told everyone this song was written for his mom... 
 adpucci wrote:
I wish you'd lose the key to the u2 drawer, Bill. and the Coldplay one too... {#Undecided}
 
My sentiments exactly
 shampa1n wrote:
Oh no, not again. A vapid power balad. Looking at the ratings seems i'm wrong. Ah well.
danmaiullo wrote:
You're not wrong. 3

 
Neither of you is wrong, per se.   You just have an opinion that is not shared by 8.3 out of 10 discerning listeners.
PSD
Can someone finally tell me if this is an Eventide or an AMS delay on the guitar?
 k8ling1114 wrote:
my heart holds a specific memory for this one. snowy winter lake superior scenery from skyline parkway in duluth, mn. my poor 17 year old self just crushed by a boy. oh, the emotions of the young!

I wish you'd lose the key to the u2 drawer, Bill. and the Coldplay one too... {#Undecided}
 shampa1n wrote:
Oh no, not again. A vapid power balad. Looking at the ratings seems i'm wrong. Ah well.

  You're not wrong. 3


This whole album was part of the soundtrack for the end of a bittersweet senior year in high school. Amazing time, amazing music, amazing memories. 
Heard this song at breakfast one weekend many years ago, spent somewhere in New England with two friends in the process of breaking up.  Sometimes great music is literally the soundtrack of our lives.
where's that confounded bridge?
simply U2 as usual
PSD
big stud Romeo Tuma wrote:

The Joshua tree is a plant in the southwestern United States, with sword-shaped leaves and greenish-white flowers grouped in large panicles...

a group of Mormon settlers who crossed the Mojave Desert in the mid-19th century named the plant the Joshua tree, after Joshua of the Old Testament— the forks of the tree reminded them of Joshua's hand raised as he prayed, and also the shape of the leaves reminded them of Joshua's spear...

the name of U2's album, The Joshua Tree, is complicated... first, the entire album has a religious theme... second, the title is a tribute to the global power of the United States...  third, the album also shows U2's fascination with American culture, politics, and forms of music...

this is a cool song...

 
This song be soooo seminal...  love it...

 
A 10. Just turn up the volume and relax for 3 minutes ...
 Ag3nt0rang3 wrote:

I thought you were going to say "in my tomb..."
 
Why?  Does everybody in your womb love this song?  I possess no womb...  everybody in my church loves this seminal album...

 Lazarus wrote:

Everybody in my church loves this song...
 
 
I thought you were going to say "in my tomb..."
One of the better U2 songs...but I have to say...I'd be happy more 'without' than 'with' this song. Just so sick of Bono and the U2 orchestra.

Everybody in my church loves this song...
 
my heart holds a specific memory for this one. snowy winter lake superior scenery from skyline parkway in duluth, mn. my poor 17 year old self just crushed by a boy. oh, the emotions of the young!
Gotta thank Eno and Lanois for this as gem as well!
 Dangerpussy wrote:
Purrrfection, pure and simple. This might be my favorite song of all time.
 
Dangerpussy, where are you these days?  Yes, this is a brilliant song from one of the best albums of all time...

 
Oh no, not again.

A vapid power balad.

Looking at the ratings seems i'm wrong.

Ah well.
talk talks rainbow blends perfectly over into this. genius. thanks rp!


profound...  love it...
 
 jberko wrote:
Over Rated Band.
 
Your "rating" system is based on songs, albums, and bands like this.  This was U2 at the top of the world.  Your problem is that it was everywhere (mine too, in retrospect) and thus became "mainstream" and killed by AOR radio.  Believe me it wasn't blase when Joshua Tree came out.  Everybody went "...whut?  WOW."




This is a great pilgrim song...  love it...

 
Over Rated Band.
Overplayed.  But one of the only songs that can be overplayed and not lose its magic.  
As the rating is described

10 - GODLIKE!

Excellent no matter how many times I hear it

 
Spigolli... if you're a fan of U2 but not Bono's voice, listen to U2 and Mary J. Blige on "One Love"... I wish they had done more together.  I think she brings another level of powerful soul to what U2 offers, and Mary and Bono harmonize briefly, but beautifully near the end.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpDQJnI4OhU
I remember when this record came out and exactly where I was when I first dropped the CD into the player and heard this song come out of the speakers. I was hoping for another "Bad" and it took me a few listens to understand how great it was.
I like me some "Bad" and all, but this song always makes me stop, turn it up, and listen.
 MiracleDrug wrote:
the PERFECT song...from the PERFECT album...
 
I second that emotion.

the PERFECT song...from the PERFECT album...
 heliophagus wrote:
Always the song of Helena as we explored the far recesses of the Navajo reservation, and of Moab, and of each others' far from simple souls, late last century. I always think of this as Helena's song. It rivets me through and through each time I hear it, instantiating the sights, sounds and scents of a now far distant series of epiphanies without which I would be poorer yet blissfully ignorant of that rich vein of being.
 
...amen...
Always the song of Helena as we explored the far recesses of the Navajo reservation, and of Moab, and of each others' far from simple souls, late last century. I always think of this as Helena's song. It rivets me through and through each time I hear it, instantiating the sights, sounds and scents of a now far distant series of epiphanies without which I would be poorer yet blissfully ignorant of that rich vein of being.

 rathersnappish wrote:
U2 are one of those bands that an awful lot of people love and an awful lot of people hate.  Personally I'm a fan, but I can certainly see why so many people find them (or Bono specifically) insufferable. Not to mention that they haven't made a decent album since Zooropa. I think it's a shame that the singles from The Joshua Tree are so overplayed because the album is itself is a thing of beauty and one of the greatest ever made. 
 
I've never had any strong feelings about this band, one way or the other.  They've had some very good songs and some not-so-good songs; this, for me, is one of the former, despite its overplay elsewhere.

This album was revolutionary considering the decade it was released.  Now it is saddled with the baggage of U2 but at the time it was released it was incredible. 


Again, fantastic song that I could easily go without ever having to hear again.
I'm no fan of the gayties vocal style of Bono (not that he's gay or that there would be anything wrong with that) but I have to admit this is a great tune.   One day I expect there'll be an even better cover version, followed by a "rediscovery" of the original.
 rathersnappish wrote:
U2 are one of those bands that an awful lot of people love and an awful lot of people hate.  Personally I'm a fan, but I can certainly see why so many people find them (or Bono specifically) insufferable. Not to mention that they haven't made a decent album since Zooropa. I think it's a shame that the singles from The Joshua Tree are so overplayed because the album is itself is a thing of beauty and one of the greatest ever made. 
 

I think you just had an entire conversation with yourself and answered all of your own questions!{#Lol} 
Nearly five minutes of perfect pop...
LOL, I guess I posted something to the same point a while back.. Sorry for the repeat.
 
Dangerpussy wrote:
*IF* I had to name my absolute favorite song of all time, I think I would pick this. Purrrrrfection!  <3

 


U2 are one of those bands that an awful lot of people love and an awful lot of people hate.  Personally I'm a fan, but I can certainly see why so many people find them (or Bono specifically) insufferable. Not to mention that they haven't made a decent album since Zooropa. I think it's a shame that the singles from The Joshua Tree are so overplayed because the album is itself is a thing of beauty and one of the greatest ever made. 
Wow, so appropriate for me right now.
Probably their best album. Great song that has been diminished by overplay. I am sorry, very few songs can maintain their power with extreme overplay. Does not reduce the quality of the song, but the effect upon ones hearing it.

A really terrific song/album.  And, I don't have to be religious to like it.



The Joshua tree is a plant in the southwestern United States, with sword-shaped leaves and greenish-white flowers grouped in large panicles...

a group of Mormon settlers who crossed the Mojave Desert in the mid-19th century named the plant the Joshua tree, after Joshua of the Old Testament— the forks of the tree reminded them of Joshua's hand raised as he prayed, and also the shape of the leaves reminded them of Joshua's spear...

the name of U2's album, The Joshua Tree, is complicated... first, the entire album has a religious theme... second, the title is a tribute to the global power of the United States...  third, the album also shows U2's fascination with American culture, politics, and forms of music...

this is a cool song...



I'd rather hear Negativeland's version, but that would be illegal, thanks to those four guys from Ireland.
Thee best song of ALL-TIME! The true St Peter would agree - imposters may not.

Purrrfection, pure and simple. This might be my favorite song of all time.
 SaintPeter wrote:
They still suck!

How did that happen?
 
"still stuck" = they've sucked for a long time
"how did that happen" = they started sucking recently

your comment makes NO sense = your comment is false

This is a great song

 deepwoodskev wrote:
Oh, how I played this over and over and over the last half of senior year of high school.
 
...i remember putting discreet marks along the margin of my drafting table so i could play the bass line with my parallel bar whenever this song came on the radio...
They still suck!

How did that happen?
best album of the 1980's.  bar none.  having said that this song has suffered a bit of overplay (but to be expected in 23 years.)  christ, has it been 23 years already?!?!?
Oh, how I played this over and over and over the last half of senior year of high school.
 horstman wrote:

Perhaps the weakest song on an otherwise spectacular album.

My original sentiment still stands.

 
I've always thought this album, and this song in particular, was a slight homage to Bruce Springsteen's version of American music. It segue's pretty well with Solsbury Hill.

Good band...good song...overrated heavily. Over rated and over played...so it has a strange presence here on RP. 


love it...

 
 horstman wrote:
Without . . . .please?

{#Silenced}
 
Agreed!!  After all these years, this song still irritates me.....  Major sappy.  I guss it filled the "mass appeal" niche.  WAY too overplayed on the radio.  (And reminds me now of Rachel & Ross on Friends....  ugh.)  And don't get me wrong — I LOVE U2 — their early works (Boy, October & War) are so passionate, fired-up and hungry.  Their later stuff — Achtung Baby & Zooropa — were unique departures at the time, and have still held up well, in my opinion.  At least they've made an effort over the years to attempt to reinvent themselves, with mixed results.  Not many other bands from the 80's are still together even — got to give them props for staying power.  

am i the only one who doesn't see the supposed brilliance of U2?  I am just not into them.. their songs don't DO it for me.. at all...
 horstman wrote:

Perhaps the weakest song on an otherwise spectacular album.

My original sentiment still stands.

 
I disagree....for the one reason that this is significant  in my life.

Wow that's quite deep....did I really say that?


Thanks Bill, I needed this today.
 horstman wrote:
Without . . . .please?

{#Silenced}
 
Perhaps the weakest song on an otherwise spectacular album.

My original sentiment still stands.

I'm not much of a U2 fan. Don't dislike them, just not into them. But it was really nice to hear the opening guitar riff of this track as I opened the office door today. Nice way to start the morning!
{#Bananajam}

A great song off of an amazing album that will stand the test of time. 
 helgigermany wrote:
As not a fan of U2, i say, this is one of their good tunes!!

 
As someone who used to be a fan of U2, this is about the only song of theirs left that I can enjoy listening to.  Maybe One on occasion.

I can't believe this song is 23 years old.  As they say, life is like a roll of toilet paper.  The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes.  And when you need it the most, it runs out.


As not a fan of U2, i say, this is one of their good tunes!!

 WayUpNorth wrote:
Mexican beach on the Pacific, bottle of Don Pedro, sunset, this song, my 30th birthday.  Those were the days ...
 

Reisling wine on the banks of the Mosel River - yes sir, those where the days .....  10 ++++
 dedawson wrote:
Ramasutra to U2?  Now THAT's a segue!
 
Friggin' GREAT segue, I'd say!  And I don't think I've ever noticed how fantastic the drumming is in this song.
Mexican beach on the Pacific, bottle of Don Pedro, sunset, this song, my 30th birthday.  Those were the days ...
I don't normally bump my own comments, but this kid is worth checking out . . .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4CR3GoB3YY

Ramasutra to U2?  Now THAT's a segue!
 romeotuma wrote:


This song is soooo good for the ears... and the soul...
 
Yes, sooo coool.  Love it . . . classic . . .

ha, great follow up from Vieux Farka Toure - Bullet the Blue Sky

...brilliant, as usual!
Without . . . .please?

{#Silenced}
I just don't get U2. Lousy vocals, mediocre band. I just don't get it.
The worst part about this song is that it ends.
What a powerful, beautiful song. Love this C.D. It's too bad that they seem to have lost that certain strength of pure art.
Overplayed but still a stone cold classic.
Love this song.


This song is soooo good for the ears... and the soul...


 Ag3nt0rang3 wrote:
Stop listening to shitty fm radio.
 
I don't, but thanks.

 ScottFromWyoming wrote:

Jesus. Once a month is all it gets played. And I do not give a flying rat's what radio station overplays something. I can't hear your crappy FM so I do not care.

 
This song was last played five days ago.  Bad was just played yesterday.  Where the Streets Have No Name was played one week ago.  Pride was played two weeks ago.  New Year's Day, ten days ago.  Mysterious Ways, three days ago.  The epitome of overplaying, Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, was played five days ago. Desire, one week ago.

Meanwhile, such gems as Salome haven't been played since January. Beautiful Day was just played this week, but before that?  January. 

Dear sdn,

Stop listening to shitty fm radio.

Respectfully,
AO 

 sdn wrote:
Dear Radio Paradise,

    This is a wonderful song.  It is, however, woefully overplayed on every so-called classic rock station on Earth.  You can't walk into a shopping mall or drugstore without hearing it.

    There are so many good U2 songs to choose from; why do you usually play the already-overplayed?  Please — send us "deep cuts", not "greatest hits".

Love,
sdn

 
Jesus. Once a month is all it gets played. And I do not give a flying rat's what radio station overplays something. I can't hear your crappy FM so I do not care.

 On_The_Beach wrote:
Check out this amazing kid doing a tasty version of With or Without You on acoustic guitar. Incredible.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4CR3GoB3YY
 
Definitely a prodigy with technique...a little Steve Vai-esque. Does he do the composition I wonder? {#Think}

Dear Radio Paradise,

    This is a wonderful song.  It is, however, woefully overplayed on every so-called classic rock station on Earth.  You can't walk into a shopping mall or drugstore without hearing it.

    There are so many good U2 songs to choose from; why do you usually play the already-overplayed?  Please — send us "deep cuts", not "greatest hits".

Love,
sdn

Check out this amazing kid doing a tasty version of With or Without You on acoustic guitar. Incredible.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4CR3GoB3YY

 Peace_tode wrote:
the simplest yet most effective guitar riff at the end.Off beat quarter notes

Nice catch. 

Edge has talked about playing that last little riff which, at the time of the recording, really was an opportunity for him to lay down a big solo. But he mentions getting a lot of satisfaction by showing some restraint at the end, letting the guitar just gently fade out.  What's cool is that I've seen live versions where he actually "goes big" at the finish, unlike the album version, laying down one of his amazing, patented solos.  And I'm thinking to myself all the while, "So that's how it was supposed to go."


I still am not over my crush on The Edge - still in my Top 5.
I actually like this song (9) and some other U2 stuff quite well.  But I couldn't resist.  Bono Vox.  Mr. "Good Voice"

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXlPU0TWMds

 


 ajlept wrote:
.... I don't believe that they make their music to be successful. It is successful because it fills the musical needs of their listeners. If RP doesn't change it's format or direction, yet it becomes popular beyond expectations, do we stop listening?
 
If one is in it for the music, of course not.  For those that are trend-sucking hipsters, the answer will be yes...

Bill and Rebecca play just about the right amount of U2, and far more variety than you'll hear on commercial radio.  Keep it up!

Just about any song off this album is worth hearing.
 Excelsior wrote:
You know, I think I hear U2 more often on RP than on Clear Channel.
 
You never listen to any terrestrial radio! You're always on here, complaining about the music/artists that Bill plays.

Come on now, confession is good for the soul, lad! {#Pray}
  Good song but I am  really tired of this one, {#Headache}
sorry only 6,  overused

 HarrO wrote:
Excellent Album. If they only could have focused a little more on subsequent efforts, they would have been a truly great band.
 
 I concur!