U2's 50 Greatest Songs

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

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18. "Gloria"

The greatest rock anthem ever sung in Latin? Ecce Bono! In the early days of MTV, "Gloria" was the video hit that put U2 on the map for American kids; in this 1981 clip, the startlingly young lads jam on a barge in Dublin's Grand Canal for a crowd of scruffy locals. On "Gloria," Bono wails about teen religious fervor ("Gloria in te domine"), with a nod to Patti Smith's 1975 reinvention of Van Morrison's Sixties classic, while the Edge plays psychedelic slide. The idea to sing in Latin came after listening to an album of Gregorian chants owned by their manager Paul McGuinness. "It's so outrageous at the end, going to the full Latin whack," Bono said. "Wonderfully mad and epic and operatic."

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