U2's 50 Greatest Songs

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

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38. "The Electric Co."

"The Electric Co." raged about a friend who'd been tortured with electroshock therapy at a Dublin psychiatric hospital. It was a high point on U2's 1980 debut, Boy, with reverb-crazed guitar steeped in Public Image Ltd or Echo and the Bunnymen, as well as the "boy" refrain that gave the album its title. Onstage, Bono often threw in a snippet of Stephen Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns," which turned out to be an expensive habit when U2 released it on Under a Blood Red Sky before clearing the rights. (The snippet was cut from later editions.) Bono began replacing "Send in the Clowns" with "Amazing Grace" – a much cheaper option.

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