U2's 'Pop': A Reimagining of the Album 20 Years Later

U2 kept fiddling with their ninth LP long after it hit shelves in early 1997, so here's a new take from live recordings, remixes and re-recordings

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"Please" (Live at the MTV VMAs)

With a little more time "Please" could have been the best song on Pop. The anthemic tune was written after Bono got into a conversation with someone that sympathized with the IRA's bombing campaign in Ireland. It's a plea for sanity in the middle of war. "It is a great song," said Larry Mullen Jr. "I don't feel like it was finished." Knowing they'd botched something special, U2 remixed it for the single release, but it wasn't enough to get any radio play or MTV love. The song got a new life on the Elevation Tour after 9/11. We'd include a version from that tour here had the band not played "Please" on the 1997 VMAs. U2 were deep in the PopMart shit by this point and Bono buried himself in a hoodie, but he'd never sung the song better. He simply couldn't compete with Puff Daddy bringing out Sting, the Wallflowers duetting with Bruce Springsteen on "One Headlight" or Marilyn Manson ending the night with "The Beautiful People," though. This wasn't the band's moment in the pop-cultural sun.

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