U2's 50 Greatest Songs

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

Load Previous

8. "Moment of Surrender"

The standout track from U2's 2009 album, No Line on the Horizon, and the song that ended nearly every show of their two-year U2 360 ̊ stadium odyssey, is a seven-and-a-half-minute meditation on addiction. (The term "moment of surrender" is Alcoholics Anonymous lingo for the instant in which an addict admits helplessness.) "The character in the song is a junkie, so that's where I got it," Bono told Rolling Stone in 2009. "I know a lot of people who have had to deal with demons in courageous ways. Maybe there's a part of me that thinks, 'Wow, I'm just an inch away.'" Producer Daniel Lanois, who has struggled with his own addiction issues in the past, came up with the chorus melody. The rest of the song was written during an impromptu jam, with the band improvising the version that ended up on the album out of thin air in one take. "That spirit blows through every now and then," Bono told Rolling Stone as U2 were preparing to release No Line on the Horizon. "It's a very strange feeling. We're waiting for God to walk into the room – and God, it turns out, is very unreliable."

Back to Top