In 2004, U2 released one of their most successful albums in their later years. How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb fit into the mainstream scene at the time with the single “Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own” being alongside the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Green Day, Simple Plan, Avril Lavigne, Nickelback and so many others rotating through Adult Top 40. “Vertigo” kicked off the era that would see the album itself take home nine Grammy Awards in 2005 and 2006 including Album of the Year and Best Rock Album. Here are the top 5 best U2 songs from How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.
"Vertigo" kicked off the album's era and became an international hit with extensive airplay. The track took home the Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, Best Rock Song and Best Short Form Music Video at the 2005 ceremony. The song went through several changes including originally being titled "Full Metal Jacket." It then was retitled and reworked to become "Native Son," a song about a man against his country for his lack of freedoms. It made Bono feel uncomfortable in the end so it was rewritten once more to become what we know as "Vertigo." "Native Son" however is found on Unreleased and Rare which was only available through purchasing the digital box set The Complete U2. (Listen to "Native Son" here)
"Love and Peace" began being born during the All That I Can't Leave Behind sessions. It's grungy guitars make the plea for peace much like older hits such as "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "Miss Sarajevo." During the Vertigo Tour, "Sunday Bloody Sunday" followed "Love and Peace" strategically placed.
3. “Fast Cars”
Placed as bonus track on a special edition of How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, "Fast Cars" was another track that went through transformation. The rarity was released as a rarity under the title "Xanax and Wine" and features the title of the album in the song. Both versions have a certain swag that make them each catchy tunes. (Listen to "Xanax and Wine" here)
The song released as the second single. "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own" was written as a tribute to Bono's father Bob Hewson who passed in 2011 from cancer. The track reached No. 15 on the Adult Top 40 and became a No. 1 hit in the UK. "Sometimes" took home the Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and Song of the Year at the 2006 ceremony. Additionally, a mix of "Fast Cars" can be found on several CD singles.
One of the highlights of How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb comes when "City of Blinding Lights" appears. Its roots go back to 1997 during the Pop era and has a theme of lost innocence. President Barack Obama used the song during campaign events during both of his elections and when he gave his final speech as President, the song reappeared as it is one of Mr. Obama's favorite songs which was also performed at his inauguration. It was released a single and became a top 10 hit over in the UK, Ireland and other countries.