U2's 50 Greatest Songs

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

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36. "Desire"

Drawing inspiration from the Stooges' raucous, proto-punk classic "1969" (hardly the stuff of hit singles in 1988), Bono and the Edge wrote a song that made the Billboard Top Five and earned U2 one of their first Grammys. Bono has said the tune displayed "the religiosity of rock & roll concerts" as well as his own "lust for success." Driven by a thunderous Bo Diddley rumble and capped off with Bono's searing harmonica solo, it provided a sharp contrast to the uplifting expansiveness of The Joshua Tree, let alone anything else on the radio. "I liked the fact that it was totally not what people were listening to," the Edge has said. "It was a rock & roll record – not a pop song."

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