"With or Without You
" is a song by Irish rock
. It is the third track from their 1987 album, The Joshua Tree
, and was released as the album's first single
on 21 March 1987. The song was the group's most successful single at the time, becoming their first number-one hit in the both the United States and Canada by topping the Billboard Hot 100
for three weeks and the RPM
national singles chart for one week.
"With or Without You" features sustained
guitar parts played by guitarist The Edge
with a prototype of the Infinite Guitar
, along with vocals by lead singer Bono
and a bassline
by bassist Adam Clayton
. The song originated from a demo
recorded in late 1985 that the group continued to work on throughout The Joshua Tree
sessions. Ostensibly a troubled love song, the track's lyrics were inspired by Bono's conflicting feelings about the lives he led as a musician and domestic man.
Critics praised the song upon its release. It is frequently performed on the band's tours, and it has appeared on a number of their compilation albums
and concert films
. "With or Without You" is U2's second most frequently cover
song. In 2010, Rolling Stone
magazine placed the song at number 132 on their list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
Writing and recording
In late 1985, U2 convened at a house that drummer Larry Mullen, Jr.
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