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'If you twist and turn away...'

We asked you to tell us your stories about an unforgettable U2 song - the one that matters most to you and why.

You wrote about scores of different tracks from the U2 canon but certain songs just kept coming up - again and again.

This is what you told us about 'Moment of Surrender'.

Here we've pulled more of your stories together to answer the question, 'What is it about... Bad?' And, from the archives, we've dug out the Barry Devlin directed video from The Unforgettable Fire tour back in 1984.

Not yet told us a story about your own unforgettable song ? You still can. Does '40' lift you up out of the miry clay? Does 'Please' get you up off your knees? Are you walking on because of Walk On? (You get the idea...) Tell us about that song here.



SO.... WHAT IS IT ABOUT 'BAD'?

1. It prompts a visceral reaction. 'Colours crash, collide...
'
From what many of you have said, Bad seems to reach deep. “My reaction to Bad was visceral,” writes Hilda Canes Garduno. “Goose bumps. I wanted – no, needed – to know who this band was. The lyrics, the melody, that guitar… So began my journey as a U2 fan. I was 13 at the time; I’m now 35.”

Wideawakeinamerica’s avatar betrays their allegiance: “To this day, every time I hear Bad play, it gives me chills and reminds me of a time when I had to fight harder than I ever have before. And when I see what my life is like today, I am extremely grateful that I did.”

“I've never had a song touch me so deep, stir my soul, and make me lose myself completely,” reports Barbrocks. “There's something so hauntingly beautiful about it that makes me ache for more.” Barbrocks’ only complaint is that “in all the U2 concerts I've been to, which is around 10, I've only seen Bad performed twice. I wish they would play it more often.”

2. It was a defining moment for the band at Live Aid...
The Live Aid performance in 1985 - coming at the end of the Unforgettable Fire tour - became a defining moment in the rise and rise of U2. The band, however, felt very differently at the time.
 “We were supposed to play three songs, ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’, ‘Bad’ and ‘Pride’, which was our hit. But then Bono went missing,” recalls Adam, in U2 by U2.  “In the middle of Bad,” remembers Larry, “he want on a wander trying to pick out some girls to dance with. It felt like he was gone forever. We were quite jittery as it was, and when Bono went missing, a certain panic ensued.”
 “I was totally thrown,” remembers Edge. “And I’m looking at Adam and Larry to see if they know what’s going on and they’re looking back at me with panic on their faces. Next thing I spot him way down below clambering over the last of the barriers to get to the people..."

The song lasted fully 12 minutes, and Paul McGuinness was watching from the wings of the stage, as the rest of the world watched on TV. “We all thought he had completely blown it,” he said.
“The band were very, very upset,” recalls Bono. “They nearly fired me.”

As it was, the world saw it differently. Bad turned out to be very, very good for U2. “It really took us by surprise when people started talking about U2 as one of the noteworthy performances of the day,” says Edge. “I thought they were joking. But... I started seeing it for what it was. It was the real sense of jeopardy, which is always very exciting for a live event, and Bono’s complete determination to make physical contact with the crowd...”
“Bono’s journey really meant something, it carried the emotion of the day to people. So his performers’s instinct was right,” concluded Adam. “Again.”

3. It aids physical recovery.
Chrisvertigo is one of those who fell in love with Bad after hearing it live at Live Aid, but “it has become extra special for me since then,” he adds. “In 1998, I had a rock-climbing fall (three days after my honeymoon) which left me in a coma for four weeks, and Bad became the song that I clung to during the next few years of recovery...”
To this day, he reports, as soon as it starts playing, “tears come to my eyes and I remember the whole journey, recovery, my wife's pain/hope/love throughout, the subsequent trials and tribulations... “I'm wide awake,” he concludes, happily enough. “I’m not sleeping...” Oh no, no, no.

4. It's a song which welcomes other lyrics and melodies.
Bad is one of those moment in the live set when Bono loves to introduce fragments (or more) of other songs. We’ve heard everything from the now-familiar lines of  staples like Walk on the Wild Side, Ruby Tuesday and Sympathy For the Devil, to shards of U2 (Elvis Presley and America, When I Look at the World, Sweetest Thing, Walk to the Water, Yahweh...) - and the unexpected: You’ve Got to Fight for Your Right (To Party), Need You Tonight, Champagne Supernova, Waltzing Matilda and - ahem - The Lion Sleeps Tonight. (A-wimoweh a-wimoweh.)
Bono usually sings these after the line “I’m not sleeping”, of course. Any ideas, however, as to where Bad itself has featured as a fragment of its own within another U2 song? The answer ? ‘All I Want is You’, a handful of times, on the POPMART tour in 1997.

5. It has great “Oooh woohs”.
So, this might seem trivial, but Conakry makes an important point. “The way Bono sings the ‘Oooh wooh part’ with so much feeling... Bad to me is their best song.”
It’s true. A band can have amazing lyrics, incredible effects, dazzling stage shows, but is it any substitute for great Oooh woohs? Think about it: Sympathy for the Devil by the Stones. Buddy Holly by Weezer. Song 2 by Blur. Bad is in good company, for sure.

In the comments below, tell us what Bad means to you.

COMMENTS

64
Yogic
03 November, 2012
360 Shine On
Withdrawing the Mind happens.... but the Heart keeps finding ways to Shine On..... 360 Yourself : ). from Bad....
bragi
03 November, 2012
What is it about.. Bad
For me it was a validation back in the 80's the movement was really going to happen in the future. I thought the live aid performance was divine. When Bono held that girl I think we all could feel it!
skywarn
02 November, 2012
First Experience
"Bad" was the first "non-mainstream" U2 song I heard and truly felt after becoming a fan in 1992. I had no idea what the song meant, but it awakened something in me. My friend left the CD in my car by mistake, and listening to "Bad" was heavenly. The entire "Unforgettable Fire" album affects me that way to some degree (and to this day it's still my favorite album), but "Bad" is most powerful. I nearly collapsed when they ended the show in Pittsburgh last year, because I wasn't expecting to hear that song. I could not tell my concerned friends what was wrong, and I cried until the next day. The first notes of the song are like a hit of some amazing drug, instantly sending me into euphoria no matter what is going on.
sH22
02 November, 2012
dream
I've grown as an individual, as a human being in this world in which I live. I have recognized that I can actually have an impact in this world I live.. For me, BAD is a song about that, that continuing battle, the battle against standing where I am in life and where I want to go, from a humanity perspective. BAD is an incredible masterpiece of art, it is simple, carries meaning and allows individuals to dream....
bobcaygeonmary
02 November, 2012
Bad is so good
The most unique song ever. For 30 years the lyrics have continued to cover all the ups & downs. There is no lack of emotion in any of the few versions I have heard, and it would be very interesting to know the story behind the song & I hope someday to hear it live - Happy Birthday Larry !
Neal
02 November, 2012
Touch the Flame
"Where the Streets Have No Name" is the song that completely changed my conception of what music could - and should - be. The song was built for the live setting: at every U2 show I've been to, "Streets" has been the uttermost climax, the moment everything comes together, the moment the band, and the audience, simply explodes. To witness it live is truly a religious experience. U2 has some incredible songs: "Bad", "Even Better Than the Real Thing", "Electric Co.", "Zoo Station".... But "Streets" stands out through all this greatness. Simply amazing.
jmcca93
02 November, 2012
One of the Greatest U2 songs
Bono; I know you think that the lyrics to this song are incomplete or bad for lack of a better word. But they are some of the greatest lyrics I have ever heard, Bloody fantastic mate, and Edge; genius guitar riff, simple and incredible. I use a TC G System for my guitar effects and I am most proud of my Bad and Zooropa presets. It will always be a great song, loved it on U22. Any U2 fan should know this song.
kimtow
01 November, 2012
A unforgetable song.
At thirteen my grandmother died and went to the funeral.For some reason i could not cry at the funeral. When i finally got home and went to my bedroom i heard this song. I have one of those UGLY cries where you nose is running, your chest feels like a truck is on top of you. When Bono said so let it go and fade way. At that time i did not know the name of the song.But that song was like heaven sent.
desert jon
01 November, 2012
To let it go.
Even when my son was little and I tried to be the good dad, listening in the car, when Bad climbed to the "desperation, separation..." I always turned it up really loud and sang it in my off-key voice, as loud as I could. I still do and the family endures it, no matter where or when. It's a song that lives in my blood, my bones, my heart. Having seen U2 the first time in 1985 in Philadelphia, I remember Bad being the highlight of that show, so full of power, ache and anger, striving for some kind of redemption at the end. The build of the song is incredible, like a rocket preparing for takeoff, not knowing where it will take you. The shows I have seen where they play Bad have been those that I thought the band were ready, emotionally, to play it. I truly wish they played it every show and knew how much it meant to fans. When they played it at Live Aid, it's all I talked about with people for weeks, "Did you see Bono in the crowd? Can you imagine being that girl?" Bono seemed otherworldly, I mean who does that? Who thinks to make that connection for everyone there and everyone watching? Amazing. I love the moment in the video when Bono beats the drum while Larry keeps right in time, urging him to take it higher, keep it pushing along to build that bridge. While A Sort of Homecoming is the song to be played at my funeral first, Bad will be the next in line. I think they will know to play that one loud.
daltonsisters
01 November, 2012
Greatness!!
There are very few songs in the canon of contemporary rock music (or any genre) that stir the soul as Bad does. It is such a mesmerizing, building piece and Bono leaves absolutely nothing behind in his emotional, incredibly powerful vocal delivery. It is U2 at their finest. I always long to hear Bad played live, but it also seems fitting that they reserve it for rare occasions. I think fans have great reverence for this song which is fitting. In my view, Bad is one of the greatest by any band ever! So very appreciative for U2 and the gifts they have given the world. The feelings evoked can't really be expressed in words (though we try). :-)
zimmjeff
01 November, 2012
Moving
I am now 50 and have listened to U2 since the later 70's. Still have the Unforgettable Fire album in LP form. Played it over and over again. " If you tear yourself in two again" "If I could I would let it go". This song has touched my life and continues to touch my life. What a journey life is, I am glad the music of U2 is here.
Cam U2
01 November, 2012
I heard 'Bad' everywhere until I knew wh
The first time I remember hearing Bad was in the opening of the movie "Taking Lives" starring Angelina Jolie and Ethan Hawke. I then heard it on Without a Trace which was one of my favourite TV shows. Then when I got into U2 I bought the Live Aid DVD and I was blown away (not just by Bono's hair from that day in 1985, lol). I always think the song is about someone being at a crossroads in life or in a hard spot where no right choices exist. I believe that is one of the most important songs U2 ever wrote. Every live performance I have seen has been memorable, although I have only seen videos. Make sure when you are in Vancouver next boys that 'Bad' is on the setlist. I have seen you six times and I am still waiting to hear the bells.
viu2
01 November, 2012
Isolation, desolation, let it go...
... and so fade away! In that moments when everything is broken and falling apart I listen to Bad and it helps me to stay strong and keep going. It's a magical song that matters too much to me and means a lot for those who needs encouragement.
jorgefilipe
01 November, 2012
Best U2 song
It's my favorite song ever, but I've never listened to it live, after attending 3 concerts. But I still hope...
LJStephens1980
01 November, 2012
Bad combines great music(sound-wise) and
Bad for me, is a journey, yes it is unpleasent, but it has redeeming qualities. When it was preformed in Sydney, on the 360 tour, I was speechless! Brilliant, song! it engulfs the soul, giving hope!!!!!
hapy
31 October, 2012
U2-signature song
The song reminds me always on the july13 @Live8;5; a good day or a bad day for U2 ?
TorreyV
31 October, 2012
Bad, A Tambourine Trip
I purchased The Unforgettable Fire on cassette tape on the day of US release. I had a Walkman and I remember listening to Bad for the first time, and the first thing that stood out to me was Larry's tambourine on the 3rd beat of the second bar and continuing for much of the song. I noticed how the tambourine sound would jump from my right to left ear, as if it was running right through my skull. How cool is that! Ok, so that is just a simple audio trick, but it works. The song is great, I have not heard a Bad version I didn't like. It's my most played song on iTunes. A combination of melody, the tribal beats, and off-beats, Bono's primal vocals, a very cool bass line from Adam, and the Edge hitting the notes in perfect time as they climb up and down a sensitive spine that makes the hair on your neck stand. The meaning and passion in the song brings it to life and delivers energy to listeners. I saw Live Aid live on television and I was blown away with Bono's performance. I got it right away and I wanted to experience it live one day. Well, I did. Of the 14 shows I have seen, Bad was performed 7 times...not a Bad average, but I agree with hamps. Play it every time, please?
ElizabethDabney
31 October, 2012
so good...its so good
ill never forget hearing that live aid performance.....i would just hear snippets of it at various places....i didnt know what the song was called...then i was renting a video at a record store and i heard it...and asked the record clerk...what is this song...this amazing sound i keep hearing...i told him I know its U2 and im a huge fan already but didnt know this song yet...and he said that it was called bad and if i was a fan i should definatly buy the wide awake in america album and i bought it on the spot...this song is so good...that even john mayer created his own version of this....my favorite bad moment is after listening to it for many years....then hearing it live at the elevation tour and how good it was to usher in streets have no name...the crowd was so loud i coudnt hear how good the two meshed together...until i bought the boston dvd and everytime i listen to bad it takes me to that place adam clayton says very few songs take you too...i spend hours praying and fasting and the build up of this song is so powerful...singing the eightfold alleluia to bad...singing songs of surrender...they lyrics of this song were so good....hearing it in chicago and pittsburgh on the last tour were great suprises...especially in chicago....i think i was singing wide awake so loud...i listen to bad everyday of my life...especially live in dc during the zoo tv tour...i love that at live aid bad was 12 minutes...i would love to hear a bad 22minute version...i wanted to give a homage to this song on this epic day...happy birthday to larry mullen jr...thank you for putting up that post ad to start a band...look what it has done for the world...and your heartbeat of a drumbeat with adams pulse makes bad a perfect mold..otherwise the song collapses into a black hole chaos...this song is a universal song of longing...im sure everytime its played...it echoes into the universe bouncing of planets and igniting stars....pure space music
jpplante
31 October, 2012
Bad
I have also been a fan since 1983,when asked Bad is still may favorite song. The Rattle and Hum version on the excerpts CD is still my av. The words and emotion behind the lyrics, the guitar delay, it has it all. Streets is a close second.
labetha
31 October, 2012
Happy Birthday, Larry!
Best wishes to you! I have a Hollowen birthday as well, but am usually taking the kids trick or treating. Hope you had a great day!
labetha
31 October, 2012
Happy Birthday Larry!
Best wishes to a fellow Halloween Baby! Of course now my nirthday is spent taking the young one trick or treating. Blessings to you!
KittyCatClaudine
31 October, 2012
A Poetic Oxymoron
To let it go and so to find a way, I'm not sleeping? It beautifully snaps you out of the despair your stuck in and wakes you up to send you on a hopeful way. So Lovely. It worked for me :)
gpresa
31 October, 2012
Happy Birthday Larry
HI FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS FROM MEXICO WE LOVE YOU
NotFadeAway
31 October, 2012
Bad is the reason I'm hopelessly in love
I listened to Bad for the first time, when my best friend came up with it and told me to listen to it. I remember she sang it all the day, asking me the meaning of some words and describing the "wide awake part" as the moment when Bono stabs his chest and opens his lungs. I immediately found that the song was stunning and the lyrics were just perfect. It became my favourite song, and it still holds that title. Bad is the reason I love U2 now, because it made me look for some other songs, I was just so curious about the group that had written the greatest song I had ever heard! Now I am forbidden to listen to it, because it means so much to me, I do get really emotional when I hear it, so it's better for me if I keep it in my heart, away from my ears. So, what more can I say, THANK YOU FOR GIVING US BAD!
PauloSilva
31 October, 2012
i love u2 because that music
for me this u2 song its my life..u2 bad..im so young in this u2 times live aid 1985 and unforgattablle fire 1984 but in live aid u2 change the world of music..best performace ever..in ratlle and hum for me is magnificent the best...i love this boys ever u22,,thanks larry to give life for this band..bono,adam,lary and edge u2 its my life..from portugal
karl20
31 October, 2012
karl 20
glastonbury version was amazin saw u2 perform bad twice on 360 tour 2nd night at wembley and cardiff
lefpiresbb
31 October, 2012
bad lives in me
Pretty simple, Bad is the music of my life. It lives in my blood. I´ll never forget the Rome show, simply because the played Bad.
achtungbaby-online
31 October, 2012
The best U2 song ever !
It's always one of the best live moments. With a quit begin 5 minutes later it's "colours crash, collide" in a big bang and later slows down in great snippets like Ruby Tuesday, Sympathy For the Devil, Satellite Of Love, Walk On The Wild Side, Norwegian Wood, etc... Please U2: play this song as often as possible !!!
lin
31 October, 2012
Bad
This is the song I will have played at my furneral that how much this song means to me
NanyandGonzo
31 October, 2012
How Bad can it be?
Having become a fan of U2 in the 2000, it was an awesome experience to first listen to Bad somewhere there in 2006. It's really great to have discovered the band "backwards" and it gives you such a different perspective. Anyway, the other day while my husband and I were driving our car and bad popped up from our Mp3 player, well, I simply told him, "You know, I do love this song although it's quite different from what U2 is" Big question mark, what U2 is? I simply realized in that moment that U2 is that, U2 singing pop, rock, alternative, even instrumental like in some B-sides. Bad, is just Bad, it's a great tune from Edge's guitar, an awesome accompaniment from Larry and Adam, and well, the lyrics are just great. I voted for it for the 360 soundtrack and luckily we got it. Bad, simply is part of U2, a song that with only some new arrangements, like in 360, really touches fibres. Bad is there because there are Beautiful Days...
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