U2's 50 Greatest Songs

A definitive guide to 35 years of music that changed the world

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29. "11 O'clock Tick Tock"

U2's third single, made with legendary Joy Division producer Martin Hannett, came out in May 1980 – just weeks before the death of Ian Curtis. As longtime U2 comrade Gavin Friday recalled, "Martin Hannett was like a Womble from hell, smoking spliffs: his hair, the smoke and this extraordinary sound." Even a hardened pro like Hannett was taken aback by how raw U2 were. "He was scratching his head and complaining to Edge that the rhythm section couldn't play in time," Clayton said of Hannett. "And that's pretty much true." The definitive live version, recorded in Boston, came out in 1983 on Under a Blood Red Sky.

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