You're the Best Thing About Me
by U2

Album: Songs of Experience (2017)

Songfacts®:

  • This guitar-heavy anthem was released as the lead single from Songs of Experience on September 5, 2017. The tune is one of the most straightforward love songs that U2 have dropped. Bono penned the track as a way of telling his wife, Ali, how much she means to him, something he felt was important in light of current events.

    "You're putting out a song about your girlfriend when the world is on fire?," Bono asked, anticipating one reaction during an interview with the New York Times. "Yes. Joy is an act of defiance."
  • The song received its TV debut during U2's visit to The Tonight Show on September 8, 2018. Speaking in an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on the show, Bono described their new single as "punk-Motown" and "punk Supremes," adding, "In these difficult times it's important to tell your loved ones how you feel."

    The Edge added: "I think maybe even more important than ever in these times it's important to have that joy, because that's the best response."
  • Alison "Ali" Hewson is an Irish activist and businesswoman, who has been married to Bono since 1982. Other U2 songs inspired by Ali include "In A Little While," "Two Hearts Beat As One," "With Or Without You," "Sweetest Thing," "All I Want Is You" and "Landlady."
  • Bono said that with this song, he wanted U2 to create joy in these insane times. Asked to elaborate by Rolling Stone he replied:

    "Unlike happiness, joy is one of the hardest human emotions to contrive for an artist but it is the mark of my favorite artists whether that be the Beatles, Prince, Beethoven, Oasis. It is life force itself. And I think something to do with the spilling over of gratitude for just being alive.

    Indeed as I think of it, Beethoven has his 'Ode To Joy.' The Supremes singing 'Stop! In the Name of Love' to me is one of the great anti-war songs. Although think it's about a lover's betrayal, the highness of the melody, the simplicity of the statement could be Ramones, could be Coldplay but I don't think there's anything more defiant than joy in difficult times.

    And the essence of romance is defiance. This is where rock & roll came in, this is what makes us useful. We must resist surrendering to melancholy for only the most special moments.

    That's a long way to say check our new single out, 'You're the Best Thing About Me,' it's kind of like punk Supremes."
  • Directed by Jonas Åkerlund and filmed in early September 2017 during the band's tour, the music video is a travelogue featuring the four band members sightseeing and meeting and greeting in various places around New York City. The location is fitting as the quartet played their first US club gig there in December 1980.

    The Irish band called the visual; "a serenade to the city's iconic symbols of American compassion and liberty."
  • U2 released a mini-film to accompany the single directed by Tatia Pilieva, whose 2014 short First Kiss won a Gold Lion at Cannes.

    The visual follows four different couples for the final 24 hours they are together before one partner has to leave. "It's a love song," explained Tatia Pilieva. "What's interesting is not the bringing people together; it's the separation."

    "The key for me is that when these people are saying goodbye, they are still very much in love," she added. "I didn't want to film a bunch of breakups. I didn't want to put that into the world. I wanted to put out something positive. Yes, it's positively heartbreaking, but there's love all over it."
  • The song has a pained coda of, "Why am I walking away?"

    "I never wanted to do Ali the disservice of a sentimental song, so I wrote a midlife crisis one instead," Bono explained to The London Sunday Times. "It is a portrait of an idiot."

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