U2's 50 Greatest Songs

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

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19. "Running to Stand Still"

In an essay Bono wrote for Rolling Stone to honor the late Lou Reed in 2013, he cited "Running to Stand Still" as "redhanded proof" of U2's debt to the hugely influential musician. Lyrically, it's one of several U2 songs that take on the subject of addiction. Opening with a Delta-steeped slide guitar, the song turns into a fragile benediction with a melody similar to Reed's Velvet Underground classic "Heroin." "Running to Stand Still" was improvised almost whole-cloth live in the studio; producer Daniel Lanois later recalled "a really wonderful communication happening in the room at that time." Said the Edge, it's "amazing in one go to get that much of a song."

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