U2's 50 Greatest Songs

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

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48. "Acrobat"

"It's an unusual time signature for us," said the Edge of Achtung Baby's penultimate track. "It's like a 6/8 almost, which is a very Irish time signature. It's used in a lot of traditional Irish music, but in rock & roll you don't really hear it that much." Though the Edge spent the run-up to the dance-centric Achtung Baby absorbing the industrial sounds of bands like KMFDM and Einstürzende Neubauten, this song's rhythm is actually driven by an atypically busy performance from Mullen, who'd been listening to the classic rock of Cream and Jimi Hendrix. The result is a quintessential U2 mix of tradition and innovation.

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