No Line on the Horizon
by U2

Album: No Line on the Horizon (2009)
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Songfacts®:

  • The Edge told Mojo magazine January 2009 that this song was inspired by an FX pedal recommended to him by Ben Curtis of Secret Machines. He explained: "It's this kind of 21st century distortion. Guitar is such a versatile instrument, anything that gives it a different personality."
  • The song's title was inspired by the view from Bono's study window on the Irish coast at a certain time of day, when the sea seems to melt into the sky.
  • This song started off as an improvised slow-paced ambient number before being reworked into a Punk-Rock tune. The Edge told Rolling Stone: "It's very raw and very to the point. It's like Rock & Roll 2009."
  • Bono told Q magazine February 2009, that the No Line on the Horizon album is divided into two parts, "Dark" and "Daylight." He said: "In my head, it all happens over 24 hours."
  • The Edge explained to Rolling Stone that the album title "is an image." He added: "Bono tells me. It's like when you're moving forward, but you're not exactly sure what you're heading towards - that moment where the sea and the sky blend into one. It's an image of infinity, I suppose - a kind of Zen image."
  • Co-producer Daniel Lanois told Brad Frenette of the Canadian newspaper The National Post the story of this song: "Larry Mullen was - without anyone else playing - he was just trying out a few beats on the drums. And Brian Eno sampled him. Brian Eno's station was right next to Larry's - we have little stations in the studio - so at any point Brian could record what Larry was doing, and manipulate it and sample it and so on. He did that, and it started out as a little Bo Diddley sample beat. Kind of jazzy, but it had a vibe to it. As soon as Eno sampled that, we jumped right on top of it and started playing over it, including Larry. And we came up with what I think is space age rock and roll - space age rockabilly. Bono had this idea - where the sea meets the sky and you can't tell the difference between the two. And the vocal happened very early on, that whole - a-whoawhoawhoawhoa! - that little hook. The vocal delivery, the vibe was there right from day one. I was very proud of Bono."
  • The album was leaked online a few weeks before its official release, prompting US to make it available for streaming on their MySpace page. They decided it was better for fans to stream it for free than to download it illegally. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France

Comments: 3

  • Mike from Fair Haven, VtI like the groove of this song-but on the deluxe version of the album, there is a second version of it-it's a little faster and the chord changes are more pronounced-I actually like it better than the original album version-very raw feel to it
  • Grayson from Cleveland, Ohthis song sounds like something from the Achtung or Zooropa...
  • Grayson from Cleveland, Ohbrilliant song. one of the best in their catalogue.
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