Been listening to this song today in celebration of the 20th anniversary edition of U2’s epic Achtung Baby!, one of three masterpiece albums by the band (Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby!, All The You Can’t Leave Behind).
Hearing this album again fills the mind with fuzzy memories.
At the time, my musical taste was influenced by a close childhood friend, Steve Moody. He got me hooked into U2 and, though he lived in Durham at the time, drove down and we all went to see the band on March 3, 1992, in Charlotte. This was during the indoor leg of the tour. It was an overload to the senses and completely wonderful; and though I have great memories of the show, I do feel a tinge of sadness.
As I remember, Steve bought me my ticket to the show. I also ended up with a t-shirt (which I still have) and a hat (that has been lost to time) and I can’t remember if I paid for those, or if he bought them for me.
Thinking back, I don’t know if I’ve ever thanked him. Even beyond that incidence, I have general feeling that I committed a multitude of friendship sins. He was always a faithful, loyal friend. I’m not sure the same could be said about me. Even though it’s been 20 years and we rarely speak, I feel the guilt of a ruined friendship.
I remember where I was when I bought the album. When I went to the concert, I didn’t own the recording. However, at a K-mart in Albemarle, N.C., of all places, I saw it and bought it. It was $15.99, and though it was too much to pay for a CD (then and now), I just wanted to spend money and that was what I picked up.
The first concert VHS I bought was the one connected to this tour.
The CD became a staple and I remember playing it in my 1990 red Honda CRX, using an adapter to run from my Sony Discman to the car cassette player.
I used to keep the Discman on my thigh as I drove to cut down the number of skips. I was pretty adept at driving with that thing sitting on my leg. Even now, I can steer with one leg while holding something with the other.
Through it all, I remember this song — the bass, the guitar, the falsetto backing vocal. It was a hidden gem that could’ve been overshadowed on this album of bright, shiny objects. It’s one of those songs you keep hidden, close and wonder if anyone else ever felt this way for a song.
And, it turns out, 20 years later, they do: On U2’s last tour, “Ultraviolet” made its way back into the encore. Right where it belongs.
What music brings back memories for you?