10 Best Songs by U2 | TheReviewGeek Recommends

The iconic Irish rock band has been making music and winning over fans for over 40 years. With a massive catalogue of hit songs and albums, it’s hard to narrow it down to just 10 of their most recognizable and impactful songs. But if you had to, these would surely make the cut. From their earliest days of punk-inspired beginnings to their exploration into electronica, U2 has produced anthems that have come to define decades.

These are the songs that you’ve sung at the top of your lungs, the ones that bring you right back to a moment in time. The songs on this list are embedded in our culture and consciousness. If you’re ready to take a stroll down memory lane, crank up the volume and get ready to rank the 10 most iconic U2 songs of all time. The countdown begins…

Best Songs by U2
With or Without You

This 1987 power ballad is one of U2’s most recognizable and acclaimed songs. The emotive vocals, atmospheric guitar, and poetic lyrics create a timeless anthem of passionate longing and internal struggle.

When you hear the iconic  intro and Bono’s plaintive cry of “See the stone set in your eyes,” you know instantly what song it is. The melody is simple but unforgettable, building to a climax in the chorus as Bono belts out “With or without you, oh, I can’t live with or without you”.

Best Songs by U2
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

This 1987 classic is arguably U2’s most well-known and recognizable hit. The opening rhythm and drum beat are instantly familiar. Bono’s vocals and lyrics, longing for purpose and meaning, resonate with listeners.

When you’re feeling restless or unfulfilled, this song just seems to speak to you. The melody builds as Bono sings “I have climbed the highest mountains, I have run along the fields, only to be with you.” His raw emotion and passion are palpable.

Best Songs by U2
Pride (In the Name of Love)

This 1984 anthem is one of U2’s most recognizable and impactful songs. “Pride (In the Name of Love)” pays tribute to Martin Luther King Jr., the iconic civil rights leader. With its melodic hook and chorus, “Pride” highlights the power of nonviolent protest and dreaming of a better world.

The song references King’s inspiring “I Have a Dream” speech and although he was tragically assassinated in Memphis in 1968, King’s message of hope, equality and justice lives on.

Best Songs by U2
Where the Streets Have No Name

With its iconic drumbeat intro and soaring melody, “Where the Streets Have No Name” is one of U2’s most recognizable and acclaimed songs. Released in 1987 on The Joshua Tree album, this anthem is a concert staple and fan favourite.

The song was inspired by Bono’s humanitarian visit to Ethiopia, where he saw extreme poverty and learned how a person’s address and family name indicated their social class. He aimed to write a song imagining a place “where the streets have no name” as a metaphor for unity and escape from oppression.

Best Songs by U2

One of U2’s most iconic and recognizable songs is “One”. Released in 1991, this track has become an anthem of unity and togetherness. The melody is simple but powerful, with a pulsing bassline and drums under Bono’s emotive vocals.

The lyrics express themes of cohesion and understanding between all people. Bono sings “One life, you got to do what you should, One life with each other, Sisters, Brothers”, reminding us that we share this planet together, regardless of our differences. Despite religious, political or social divisions, we are all human. The song suggests we should “carry each other” instead of focusing so much on what sets us apart.

Best Songs by U2

U2’s “Gloria” is one of their most recognizable anthems. Released in 1981 on their album October, “Gloria” showcases The Edge’s signature guitar sound and Bono’s passionate vocals.

The song starts with a simple  melody that builds as the drums and bass kick in. Bono sings “Gloria, in te domine, Gloria, exultant,” which is Latin for “Glory in you, Lord, glory, exult.” The verse continues with Bono pleading “Oh Lord, loosen my lips.”

Best Songs by U2
The Fly

The Fly is arguably U2’s most iconic song. Released in 1991, the song served as the lead single for their seventh studio album Achtung Baby. Known for its innovative industrial-influenced sound and Bono’s falsetto vocals, The Fly introduced U2’s new musical direction in the 90s.

The song is centred around a distorted riff and a hip-hop-influenced drum beat. Bono’s vocals are manipulated with a vocoder, giving them an electronic quality. The cryptic lyrics depict Bono taking on the persona of “The Fly,” a vain and boastful rock star. This alter ego was a reaction against the earnest, morally upstanding image U2 had cultivated in the 80s.

Best Songs by U2
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me

U2’s 1993 song “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” is one of their most recognizable and iconic tracks. Featured in the film Batman Forever, this pulsating rock anthem is a quintessential 90’s alternative song. With its pounding drums, distorted guitar riffs and Bono’s vocals ranging from plaintive to soaring, “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” is a mini-masterpiece of angst and longing.

The lyrics explore themes of desire, obsession and losing control in a romantic relationship. Bono croons, showing how intoxicating love’s thrall can be.

At the same time, the repetition of “hold me, thrill me, kiss me, kill me” points to a darker side of passion with hints of violence and masochism. This push-pull between pleasure and pain gives the song a seductive, dangerous edge.

Best Songs by U2
I Fall Down

U2’s 1997 song “I Fall Down” is an underrated gem in their discography. The second track on their album “October” it’s a melancholy yet beautiful song about struggle and perseverance.

The melody is simple but haunting, carried by The Edge’s chiming guitar riff and Adam Clayton’s pulsing bassline. Bono’s vocals are emotive and vulnerable.

Best Songs by U2
The Drowning Man

The Drowning Man is a haunting track that showcases Bono’s vocals. The 1983 song starts slow and builds instrumentally, reflecting the metaphorical story of a man trapped in a cycle of political violence and struggling to break free.

The repetitive lyrics evoke a sense of being pulled down by forces outside of one’s control. The music video, filmed in black and white, features Bono submerged in water, a visual representation of drowning in the song’s narrative.

There we have it, our list of 10 best songs by U2. What do you think about our picks and which one are you going to listen again? Let us know in the comments below: 

5 thoughts on “10 Best Songs by U2 | TheReviewGeek Recommends”

  1. Hey Wayne, thanks for commenting! I do apologize for the grammatical issues there with The Fly, I’ve just gone in and corrected that now. Also, I’ve just tidied up the I Fall Down part as well so its now accurate.

    Apologies for the issues there and the article should now be correct.

    -Greg W

  2. The fly U2’s most iconic 80’s song released in 1991 🤣🤣🤣
    U2’s 1997 song “I fall down” 9th track on the pop album what !!!!!
    Do your research!!!

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