U2's 50 Greatest Songs

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

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21. "Bullet the Blue Sky"

In 1986, Bono and his wife, Ali, traveled to El Salvador, which was then in the midst of a horrific civil war. There, they witnessed firsthand the brutality of the U.S.-backed military dictatorship, including the sight of F-16 fighters attacking civilian villages. When Bono returned to Ireland and the Joshua Tree sessions, he instructed the Edge to "put El Salvador through your amplifier." The result was incisive and explosive, with a heavy, tumultuous sound that recalled Led Zeppelin and lyrics that dug into the darkest aspects of American imperialism and racism. "I love America and I hate it," Bono said. "I'm torn between the two."

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