:: Thursday, October 27, 2005 ::

Must underrated guitarist ever: number 2
Bono casts a long, long shadow. Not only is he the front man for the most popular and influential rock band of the past quarter century, but he's also a tireless do-gooder, rattling government leaders on a global scale to fight injustices, AIDS, etc.; co-organizer of the huge Live 8 event; and has the ear of President Bush and other world leaders. All of which makes Bono, the leader of U2, more than just your typical rock star. And all of which casts a very long shadow on the other three members of the band.

U2 guitarist The Edge (born Dave Evans) may not be the most talented of guitarists, but his unique, minimalist style is the perfect foil for Bono's vocals, and has been since they first got together in the late '70s. The Edge's guitar is as much a signature of the U2 sound as Bono's vox. (That's the Edge and Bono in their younger days, pictured at left.) When U2 released Boy, thier first album, in 1980, Bono's choppy, chime-like guitar was front and center on songs like "I Will Follow," "Out of Control" and "An Cat Dubh" (listen to audio samples from Boy). His style was straightforward, clean, and simplistic. But it worked. And throughout U2's many iterations -- from the post-punk, Christian-rock youthfulness of their early albums (Boy and October) to the harder edges and experimentalism of Achtung Baby to their latest works -- The Edge has remained a solid, stable force, pounding out steady chops.

It seems he doesn't mind being in Bono's shadow. Let Bono save the world, as long as The Edge will keep on playing that guitar.

U2 - New Year's Day (live)

U2 - One (live)

U2 - Bullet the Blue Sky (live)

, , , ,

:: Andrew 07:15 + ::

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