U2's 50 Greatest Songs

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

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30. "Breathe"

This searing, cathartic song from No Line on the Horizon originally had two competing sets of lyrics: one about Nelson Mandela and the other a more personal tale of redemption inspired by James Joyce's Ulysses. The second version ultimately won out. Co-producer Brian Eno estimated the song went through 80 incarnations in the studio. Live, it was a nightly highlight of the 360 ̊ Tour, even as many other songs from No Line fell by the wayside. "There's this theme running through the album of surrender and devotion and all the things I find really difficult," Bono said. "All music for me is worship of one kind or another."

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