Monday, November 14, 2011

Achtung Baby: Zoo Station

Celebrating AB´s 20th anniversary, here goes interpretation of the song (adapted from Niall Stokes´U2: The Stories Behind Every U2 Song')

Bono was interested in the zoo.He´d read a novel about setting free the animals, a kind of introduction to Dadaism...He was interested in the zoo as a metaphor. So there was a certain surge of recognition  when they landed in Berlin to record the album. This place was a f***ing zoo alright. Even the train station was called Zoo Bahnhof, Zoo Station. The point was that the song would open the album with a statement of intent.Forget the previous reference points. You are about to embark on a journey into the unknown...

The first verse reads as if it could have been written from the point of view of a child about to be born :"I´m ready to say I´m glad to be alive/I´m ready, ready for the push." And that suspicion lingers  throughtout, as if Bono is drawing inspiration from  having watched his own first child struggling to find her bearings in an unfamiliar and sometimes hostile world. "In the cool of the night/in the warmth of the breeze," he sings, "I´ll be crawling around/on my hands and knees."

...Bono had engineer Flood distorted his voice. It gave  Bono a different sound, and also a new persona to play with.
The band sounded different too.The drums were hard, insistent, industrial. There were moments of sunlight, as the train emerged from the underground, flashes of openness captured on The Edge´s guitar. But this was the beginning of a journey into the dark underbelly of human experience and the suggestion of a child´s eye-view only made it more poignant...

U2: The Stories Behind Every U2 Song (Stories Behind the Songs, Niall Stokes)

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