With or Without You is a U2 classic, being the second most frequently covered song. It was released in 1987, as the third track on the landmark Joshua Tree album. It became the band’s most successful single at that time, becoming the first U2 song to reach Number One on both the Billboard 100 and the Canadian RPM. The song was written by Bono. The lyrics are objectively about a troubled relationship, but Bono has been quoted as saying the song is about the conflict he faces, to tour or to stay with his family. There have been some religious interpretations, not surprisingly as U2 has always been a spiritual band. The song could be about a conflict of faith, or spiritual need. Bono’s response is, “There’s nothing more revolutionary than two people loving each other. One, ’cause it’s so uncommon these days, and two, ’cause it’s so difficult to do.”
In 2010, Rolling Stone magazine placed the song at number 132 on their list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”. It’s in my personal U2 Top Five. It was very exciting to search YouTube and the web for covers, which are as diverse as the artists covering them. Vote for your favorite below.
Darío Fuentes and Julia Westlin:
We Are The Fallen:
Voting ends Friday, May 13 at 11/10pm CST.