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The Top 100 U2 Songs of All Time

The Best of U2 - U2's Greatest Hits

Citynet Magazine is proud to present the top 100 songs ever recorded by U2: The world’s greatest rock band. Time magazine called them Rock’s Hottest Ticket a decade ago and this still holds true. Many people believe that you haven’t lived until you’ve not just attended, but experienced a live U2 concert. Their stage presence and music is phenomenal. Their songs are tremendous live or studio-recorded! Enjoy! Note that some songs are still being added to complete the list but it’s still very worthy.
The Top 1-20  |  Next 21-40  |  The Middle 41-60  |  Next 61-80  |  The Bottom 81-100
About the List – Get the details of how these songs made it (or didn’t make it) into the best of U2 countdown.

Feedback - Read all about the U2 list and then send in some feedback!

1. Sunday Bloody Sunday Released on War 1983, as single 1986 and on The Best Of (1998). Live versions on Under a Blood Red Sky 1983 and on single B-side 1997. Other live versions on Rattle and Hum, PopMart and Elevation videos.
Best of U2, U2's greatest hits, top 100 songs mp3s, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bad, Gloria, 11 O'clock Tic Toc, I Will Follow, New Year's Day, A Sort Of HomecomingThere is some debate abot the original Bloody Sunday. Some say it was in Russia in 1905 under Nicolas II. Others agree that it occurred in Dublin when 14 people were shot by the “Black and Tans” in response to an IRA assassination campaign against government officials during Easter 1916. The second Bloody Sunday occurred in the city of Derry on 30 Jan 1972 when soldiers from the Parachute Regiment attempted to break up a Civil Rights demonstration. 13 civilians were shot dead and all were unarmed. There is a great deal of controversy surrounding this incident and a British inquest cleared the soldiers involved of any responsibility claiming that they had been fired on first and that the crowd had been throwing nail bombs. Republicans assert that this was a whitewash and the aftermath of Bloody Sunday provided ideal recruiting conditions for the Provisional IRA.
2. Bad Released on The Unforgettable Fire 1984 and on The Best Of (1998). Live version released on Wide Awake in America 1985. Other live versions on Rattle and Hum and Elevation videos.
Best of U2, U2's greatest hits, top 100 songs mp3s, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bad, Gloria, 11 O'clock Tic Toc, I Will Follow, New Year's Day, A Sort Of Homecoming This song was recorded live for Wide Awake in America but not in America. It’s from U2′s concert on November 12, 1984 in Birmingham, England.
3. Gloria Released on October 1981 and as single. Live version released on Under a Blood Red Sky 1983.
Best of U2, U2's greatest hits, top 100 songs mp3s, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bad, Gloria, 11 O'clock Tic Toc, I Will Follow, New Year's Day, A Sort Of Homecoming Some of the lyrics Bono had written for October were kept in a briefcase during the Boy tour. However, the briefcase got stolen and Bono had to improvise during much of the recording, hence the “I try to sing this song…”.
4. 11 O’clock Tic Toc Released as single 1980 and as single B-side 1984.
Live version released on Under a Blood Red Sky 1983.
Another live version released as single B-side 1981.
Best of U2, U2's greatest hits, top 100 songs mp3s, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bad, Gloria, 11 O'clock Tic Toc, I Will Follow, New Year's Day, A Sort Of Homecoming This song was written in 1976 and originally called “Silver Lining”.
5. I Will Follow Released on Boy 1980, as single, and on The Best Of (1998). Live versions on single B-side 1981 and on Under a Blood Red Sky 1983. Other live versions on PopMart and Elevation videos. Best of U2, U2's greatest hits, top 100 songs mp3s, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bad, Gloria, 11 O'clock Tic Toc, I Will Follow, New Year's Day, A Sort Of Homecoming The sound at 2:10-2:16 is a bottle being thrown to the floor. The ‘rattling’ sound is actually an upside down bicycle.
6. New Year’s Day Released on War 1983, as single and on The Best Of (1998). Live version released on Under a Blood Red Sky 1983. Other live versions on Zoo TV and PopMart videos.
7. A Sort Of Homecoming Released on The Unforgettable Fire 1984. Live version on Wide Awake in America 1985 and single B-side.
8. Where The Streets Have No Name Released on The Joshua Tree 1987, as single and on The Best Of (1998). Live versions on Rattle and Hum and Zoo TV videos. Other live versions on PopHeart Live EP and PopMart video. Another live version on Elevation video and single B-side 2001.
9. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For Released on The Joshua Tree 1987, as single and on The Best Of (1998). Live version on Rattle and Hum 1988 with New Voices of Freedom. Another live version on PopMart video.
10. Pride (In The Name Of Love) Released on The Unforgettable Fire 1984, as single and on The Best Of (1998). This version has backing vocals by Chrissie Hynde. Live version released on Rattle and Hum 1988. Other live versions on Zoo TV and PopMart videos.
Best of U2, U2's greatest hits, top 100 songs mp3s, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bad, Gloria, 11 O'clock Tic Toc, I Will Follow, New Year's Day, A Sort Of Homecoming “Early morning, April 4 / A shot rings out in the memphis sky” – Martin Luther King was actually shot around 6 PM… early evening.
11. “40″ Released on War 1983, The Edge playing both guitar and bass. Live version released on Under a Blood Red Sky 1983
On stage Adam usually played guitar and The Edge played bass.
Best of U2, U2's greatest hits, top 100 songs mp3s, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bad, Gloria, 11 O'clock Tic Toc, I Will Follow, New Year's Day, A Sort Of Homecoming This song is based on the Bible’s Psalm 40, hence the title. Bono once explained it as “We spent 10 minutes writing this song, 10 minutes recording it, 10 minutes producing it and 10 minutes mixing it – which has got nothing to do with why it’s called 40.”
12. With Or Without You Released on The Joshua Tree 1987, as single and on The Best Of (1998). Live versions on Rattle and Hum video and Zoo TV video. Other live versions on PopHeart Live EP, PopMart and Elevation videos.
13. One Released on Achtung Baby 1991 and as single. Live versions on Zoo TV and PopMart videos. Also recorded by Passengers and by Adam, Larry and Michael Stipe.
14. One Tree Hill Released on The Joshua Tree 1987.
Best of U2, U2's greatest hits, top 100 songs mp3s, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bad, Gloria, 11 O'clock Tic Toc, I Will Follow, New Year's Day, A Sort Of Homecoming “Jara sang, his song a weapon in the hands of love”. Jara was a Chilean, political, folk singer, who eventually was tortured and machined gunned down for his anti-dictatorship beliefs. His songs infuriated the new government in Chile, so they had broken all the bones in his hand so he couldn’t play his guitar anymore. It was rumored that his hands had been cut off.
15. Running To Stand Still Released on The Joshua Tree 1987 and as single B-side.
Live versions on Rattle and Hum video and Zoo TV video.
16. Bullet The Blue Sky Released on The Joshua Tree 1987 and as single B-side
Live versions on Rattle and Hum 1988 and single B-side 1993. Other live versions on Zoo TV, PopMart and Elevation videos.
17. The Unforgettable Fire Released on The Unforgettable Fire 1984, as single and on The Best Of (1998).
Best of U2, U2's greatest hits, top 100 songs mp3s, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bad, Gloria, 11 O'clock Tic Toc, I Will Follow, New Year's Day, A Sort Of Homecoming This song is about the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima. U2′s influence for this song and album came from seeing a display called The Unforgettable Fire consisting of artwork done by victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Best of U2, U2's greatest hits, top 100 songs mp3s, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bad, Gloria, 11 O'clock Tic Toc, I Will Follow, New Year's Day, A Sort Of Homecoming The lyrics “and if the mountains should crumble / or disappear into the sea / not a tear, no not I” bear a cunning resemblance to Ben E King’s “Stand By Me”.
18. All I Want Is You Released on Rattle and Hum 1988, as single and on The Best Of (1998). Live version on PopMart video.
19. Mothers Of The Disappeared Released on The Joshua Tree 1987.
20. Stories For Boys Released on U2-3 1979. Released on Boy 1980. Live version released as single B-side 1998.
 
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21. Trash Trampoline And The Party Girl Released as single B-side 1982 and on The Best Of Special Edition (199_). Live version released (as Party Girl) on Under a Blood Red Sky 1983.
22. Miss Sarajevo Released on the Passengers Soundtrack 1995.
23. The Electric Co. Released on Boy 1980; live version released as single B-side 1981. Another live version released on Under a Blood Red Sky 1983.
Best of U2, U2's greatest hits, top 100 songs mp3s, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bad, Gloria, 11 O'clock Tic Toc, I Will Follow, New Year's Day, A Sort Of Homecoming The intro used in Under a Blood Red Sky (and all other live versions after this) is actually the intro to “Is That All?” from the October album.
24. Wire Released on The Unforgettable Fire 1984.
25. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me Released on Batman Forever Movie Soundtrack 1995.
26. Like A Song Released on War 1983.
27. Elevation Released on All That You Can’t Leave Behind 2000 and as single. Live version on Elevation video.
28. Beautiful Day Released on All That You Can’t Leave Behind 2000 and as single. Live versions released as single B-side 2000 and on Elevation video.
29. The Fly Released on Achtung Baby 1991 and as single (two mixes).
Live versions on Zoo TV and Elevation videos.
30. Red Hill Mining Town Released on The Joshua Tree 1987.
31. Discotheque Released on Pop 1997 and as single (with remixes). Live version on single B-side 2000 and on PopMart video.
32. Two Hearts Beat As One Released on War 1983 and as single (with remixes).
33. Silver And Gold Released as single B-side 1987 and on The Best Of Special Edition (199_). Live version released on Rattle and Hum 1988.
34. Even Better Than The Real Thing Released on Achtung Baby 1991 and as single (with remixes). Live versions on Zoo TV and PopMart videos.
35. Mysterious Ways Released on Achtung Baby 1991 and as single (with remixes). Live versions on Zoo TV and PopMart videos
The Zoo TV video features Edge’s partner Morleigh Steinberg.
36. An Cat Dubh Released on Boy 1980. Live version released as single B-side 1998. Normally played back-to-back with Into the Heart. An cat dubh” means “a black cat”.
37. Drowning Man Released on War 1983.
38. Seconds Released on War 1983, with The Edge on lead vocal
The track includes a sample from the documentary Soldier Girls. Live at Red Rocks Bono and Edge perform it as a duet.
39. I Threw A Brick Through A Window Released on October 1981. Live versions on single B-side 1983 and on Red Rocks video.
40. Tryin’ To Throw Your Arms Around The World Released on Achtung Baby 1991.
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41. Staring At The Sun Released on Pop 1997 and as single (with remixes). Live versions on PopHeart Live EP and on PopMart video.
42. The Refugee Released on War 1983.
43. Surrender Released on War 1983. Live version on Red Rocks video.
44. Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses Released on Achtung Baby 1991 and as single (with remixes)
45. Until The End Of The World Released on Achtung Baby 1991
Live versions on Zoo TV, PopMart and Elevation videos
46. October Released on October 1981. Live version on Red Rocks video
Included on The Best Of CD but not in the track listing.
47. 4th Of July Released on The Unforgettable Fire 1984 and as single B-side.
48. Love Comes Tumbling Released on Wide Awake in America 1985. Also released as single B-side and on The Best Of Special Edition.
49. In God’s Country Released on The Joshua Tree 1987 and as single. Live version on Rattle and Hum video.
50. Trip Through Your Wires Released on The Joshua Tree 1987.
51. The Three Sunrises Released on Wide Awake in America 1985. Also released as single B-side and on The Best Of Special Edition.
52. Heartland Released on Rattle and Hum 1988.
53. Hawkmoon 269 Released on Rattle and Hum 1988. Additional musicians included Bob Dylan on organ.
54. Van Diemen’s Land Released on Rattle and Hum 1988. The Edge sings this one.
55. Lemon Released on Zooropa 1993 and as single (with remixes).
Live version on Zoo TV video. Also heard on PopMart video
56. Numb Released on Zooropa 1993, with The Edge on lead vocal.
Also released as a video single and on Zoo TV video.
57. Red Light Released on War 1983. Backed by Kid Creole’s Coconuts and trumpeter Kenny Fradley.
58. Indian Summer Sky Released on The Unforgettable Fire 1984.
59. Desire Released on Rattle and Hum 1988, as single and on The Best Of (1998). Live versions on PopMart and Elevation videos.
60. Promenade Released on The Unforgettable Fire 1984.
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61. MLK Released on The Unforgettable Fire 1984. Also on Rattle and Hum video.
62. Elvis Presley And America Released on The Unforgettable Fire 1984.
63. God Part II Released on Rattle and Hum 1988 and as single B-side.
64. Kite Released on All That You Can’t Leave Behind 2000
Live version on Elevation video.
65. When Love Comes To Town Released on Rattle and Hum 1988, as single and on The Best Of (1998). Performed on record and live with B B King.
66. Love Rescue Me Released on Rattle and Hum 1988. Live version with Keith Richard & Ziggy Marley on single B-side.
67. Angel Of Harlem Released on Rattle and Hum 1988, as single and on The Best Of (1998). Backed by Joey Miskulin on organ and by the Memphis Horns. Live version on Zoo TV video.
68. Exit Released on The Joshua Tree 1987. Live version on Rattle and Hum video.
69. Love Is Blindness Released on Achtung Baby 1991 and on Numb video single.
Live versions released as single B-side and on Zoo TV video.

THE REST IS UNDER REVISION!

70. Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of Released on All That You Can’t Leave Behind 2000.
71. Grace Released on All That You Can’t Leave Behind 2000.
72. New York Released on All That You Can’t Leave Behind 2000.
73. In a Little While Released on All That You Can’t Leave Behind 2000.
74. When I Look at the World Released on All That You Can’t Leave Behind 2000.
75. Peace On Earth Released on All That You Can’t Leave Behind 2000.
76. Wild Honey Released on All That You Can’t Leave Behind 2000.
77. Vertigo Released on How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb 2004.
78. Miracle Drug Released on How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb 2004.
79. Orignal Of The Species Released on How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb 2004.
80. One Step Closer Released on How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb 2004.
81.
Crumbs From Your Table
Released on How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb 2004.
82. Yahweh Released on How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb 2004.
83. A Man and A Woman Released on How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb 2004.
84. All Because Of You Released on How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb 2004.
85. City Of Blinding Lights Released on How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb 2004.
86. Love And Peace Or Else Released on How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb 2004.
87. Can’t Make it On Your Own Released on How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb 2004.
88. Sometimes You Released on How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb 2004.
89.    
90.    
91. The rest of the Best of U2 list is under development… They need to release more music to be added! The last bunch of songs, say the final 20, is a little more arbitrary.
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92.    
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94.    
95.    
96.    
97.    
98.    
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100.    

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About U2′s 100 Greatest Songs
The Best of U2 – U2′s Greatest Hits – Top U2 Songs of All Time

What WAS included:

  • Songs that were written and recorded by the entire band.
  • Ditto above but in conjunction with other bands, like Luciano Pavarotti – Miss Sarajevo.

What was NOT included:

  • Other bands’ songs performed live. Sure most were outstanding, like U2′s version of “Help”, but U2 isn’t merely a cover band!
  • U2 had to have recorded it together as a band so the “Mission: Impossible Theme (Mission Accomplished)” by Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen is out.
  • Songs that U2 recorded but were not written by them, like their version of ‘Dancing Barefoot’ which was recorded for the Threesome movie soundtrack. U2 Albums
    Boy (1980)
    October (1981)
    War (1983)
    The Unforgettable Fire (1984)
    The Joshua Tree (1987)
    Rattle & Hum (1988)
    Achtung Baby (1991)
    Zooropa (1993)
    Pop (1997)
    All That You Can’t Leave Behind (2000)
    How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004)

Mainly Non-original U2 Release Albums
Under a Blood Red Sky (Live)
The Best of U2: 1980-1990
The Best of U2: 1990-2000 (Includes some original songs)

20 Non-album Tracks
A Celebration
A Room at the Heartbreak Hotel
Another Day
Boy-Girl
Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)
Deep in the Heart
Ground Beneath Her Feet
Fortunate Son
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
I’ve Got You Under My Skin
Lady With the Spinning Head
Night and Day 1990 -While working on demoing songs for the new album, U2 contribute a version of Cole Porter’s Night And Day (also remixed and sent to British club DJs as a promo-only 12″ single) to the Red Hot and Blue album.
Paint It Black
Salome
Satellite of Love
Slow Dancing
The Ground Beneath Her Feet
The Sweetest Thing
Touch
Treasure
Where Did It All Go Wrong

Other Best of U2 Information

  • Some of U2′s early music was released as singles or short CDs. I typically listed the main albums they were released on.
  • The first 15 songs are pretty interchangeable.
  • The Million Dollar Hotel: Music From The Motion Picture
  • A special thank you goes out to these sites, where a lot of the info came from:
    www.atu2.com and www.warren.org.uk/music/u2.html (site now closed)

Feedback

  • Of course this list is controversial. I’ve been a U2 fan since the 1980′s which gives me at least SOME credibility!
  • If you found any mistakes about the info, please contact us.

 

24 Comments

  1. Der |

    Yea nice list. What a coincidence as my fav song is Sunday Bloody Sunday as it means so much to me. I’m from ireland myself. Not so sure about “I Will Follow” being so high up. I’ve seen them live last Saturday (25/07/09) and they didn’t play it. They could of played it another night of course. Also think “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for” should be slighly higher. At the end of the day, it’s just what the songs mean to you, and everyone will have a completely different list.

  2. Donal |

    Stupid end to the list. HAe you not listened to the last three albums or something? ‘miracle drug’ ‘sometimes you cant make it on your own’ and ‘in a little while’ deserve to be in the top ten.

  3. Sherry Roberts |

    I am looking for a duet Bono did. I cannot remember the name. Don’t know the female artist…
    If you know could you please email me any possibilites?
    Kindest
    Sherry

  4. John Wild |

    In response to Sherry’s querie: Possibly referring to duet with Andrea Corr on the Ryan Adams song “When the Stars go Blue” on the VH1 presents the Corrs live in Dublin CD.

    Re: the list: So many great songs, very subjective. I personally would have included the forgotten gem “I Fall Down” from October.

  5. BrianX |

    John - That’s one of my favorites and I can’t believe it’s missing from here! I’ll put it in when I get a chance.

    Donal - There is no end to the list! I clearly stated above that the bottom of the list is being worked on as I have not had time to update it.

  6. Sherry |

    To Sherry:
    I think you mean the duet with the Corrs? This is the youtube link
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bj6nhpC5Qbo
    The song is called “Summer wine” it’s a great cover!

  7. Linda Benedict |

    I think you could do an update of this list now…Nov 11/09 TNX

  8. Janus |

    I can’t find ‘The hands that build America’… and I’d put it in the very top of the list!

  9. wesley speaks |

    I am thirty. i have brothers in their late thirties.
    I have been exposed to U2 since birth.

    Kite is the greatest U2 song, and the most moving, and inspirational song.

    To write a song about “letting go” moves me more than any of their other songs.

    I love U2 more than anything, but I believe that Kite is their greatest song!

  10. Mike |

    I think Miracle Drug and Sometimes You Can’t Make it on Your Own definetly deserve to be higher. I am alos quesitoning where One is. I would put that in my top 3, most likely at my number one. It was the song that held the group together. Desire is another one I personnaly like. It looks like this guy has only put their 80′s music in the top ten. They have gone to a more rock style in the past few years, but I think without songs like Beautiful Day and Vertigo they wouldn’t be recognized as much in todays world. I must say I Will Follow is a good one, especially live in recent years, it sounds better with Bono’s 2000′s voice than his 1981.

  11. Amin |

    I’m looking for U2′s I haven’t found what I’m looking for, but sung ‘duet’ with another lady, kinda hip hop beat though.. Anyone knows?

  12. martin |

    i think the duet with the girl is,,,,,,,, clannad and bono,,,,,,,,, the song is called ,,, “in a lifetime”

  13. john |

    im having a problem theres this u2 song that i cant remember the name or lyrics to it has a piano playing the whole time and it plays in harris teeter often also it was on a old hbo commercial with like stones rolling in the background please help thanks

  14. vag990 |

    The Unforgettable Fire

  15. cida |

    Since you are such a great Bono/U2 fan, you probably know the name of one song that I’ve seen played in a million fashion shows and All fashion reportage on tv programs. Would you please e-mail me and tell me the name of that song? Sorry I don’t know the lyrics.
    I’ve looked everywhere and I cant find out the name of that song…
    Thanks a lot

  16. richard orocio |

    the band has been one of the best even as the time pas by ,it look like they had faith in God and the songs are deep in touch the hearts of most people i count my self .some times God open every one path to reach the gold on life , I guess faith and love can move the word

  17. Rob |

    Is this list in order of preference?

    It’s hard to rank 100 of anything in order of preference, and it’s all a matter of opinion and taste, but 11 O’Clock Tic Toc at #4? Sure it’s a great song, but there’s gotta be 40 other better songs on this list.

    If you’re putting it in any order other than release date, I suggest a combined chart list between the U.S., UK and Australian charts. Multiply the number of weeks a particular song spent in a particular chart spot (101-the spot number) and then add the three results from the three countries. Therefore, the song that hit #1 for the longest time in all three places combined should be #1 on the list.

    Otherwise, just do it in order of release date.

  18. jacob george |

    I still havent found what I’m looking for.

  19. Sylvester Mhlanga |

    ‘I still haven’t found what i’m looking for’ is my personal favourite. it is one of the songs that can get me emotional. U2 is the best rock band i have ever listned to, no doubt.

  20. Jared |

    Electrical Storm deserves to be in the list. This was a single release and didn’t get much attention – maybe it was in the shadow of Beautiful Day – but it is great song.

  21. Sam |

    Electrical Storm! man its been from 2002 that i first heard that song and just can’t pass a single day without listening to it.
    its the only audio cassette i still have, be it my mp3 player or ipod its the only song I just can’t do without.
    its the only ringtone I have from the day i got a multimedia cell phone and its still. don’t think any other song could replace it.

  22. Mien |

    U2 The best newave musik

  23. Sally Adsms |

    Very well done! I am looking for the song Forever young sung by them. can’t find it anywhere!

  24. Drew |

    Funny reading that post about electrical storm, there is just no accounting for taste. But this list….There are 8 or nine songs listed before one song from the j tree comes in…that just isn’t right,. I will follow and Sunday bloody sunday, 11 o’clock tick tock…? Solid rockers but not their most interesting. Look at what they play live most often. That makes a song like until the the world much higher, though they probably needed to play it live a lot before they knew what it was. Also with or without you – rocks in the ears to say that 40 is better than that, though 40 is awesome. Arguably they have played those early songs live a hell of a lot too, they are just dated right? Argument doesn’t hold – Joshua tree and achtung have been their best albums commercially and critically, but from this list you wouldn’t know it. Bubowww! (with a chimney echo on the bowww)

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