“When Love Comes to Town” (U2 & B.B. King Cover)

For U2 chords and lyrics, CLICK HERE!   /   For B.B. King chords and lyrics, CLICK HERE!

By Chris Moore:

Hello and welcome to a brand new week.  Thanks for spending a little bit of it here on the Laptop Sessions music video blog with the latest edition of “Chris Moore Monday.”  No one understands the pressure I’m under!  I mean, there’s a lot riding on this video — if I’m good, I’m helping your week get off on the right foot.  If I’m not so good, then…  Well, let’s not even consider that option.

For tonight’s selection, I’m doing something that I’ve only done once before…

…make an enjoyable recording!  No, I’m just kidding.  (Not about the “enjoyable” part, I hope…)

This is only the second time that I’ve recorded a song by not only one but two artists whose work I’ve never played before.  Tonight’s subjects?  U2 and B.B. King.  (Jeff has already recorded U2, but B.B. King is a new addition to the blog.)  Why, you may ask?  Well, the big “New Music Tuesday” release of tomorrow, March 3rd, is No Line on the Horizon, U2’s first new studio album in five years.  It’s already making waves, having received a five-star rating from Rolling Stone magazine.  Now, I’m not often one to agree with Rolling Stone, but I am very curious about this album.  After all, Rolling Stone has never given U2 the five star salute.  Bono and company have come close, earning 4.5 stars for 1991’s Achtung, Baby, but this is the first time they’ve received 5 stars for an original studio release.

To be fair, this isn’t their first 5 out of 5 star experience — the band’s re-release of The Joshua Tree was granted 5 stars.  I just listened to that album last night for the first time, and although I wouldn’t give it five stars, I very much enjoyed it.  The first three tracks are a veritable U2 greatest hits, and there are several deep cuts that are great songs.

So, tomorrow is a new music Tuesday to look forward to.  To hold you over, I’ve gone back into the U2 catalog and hauled out an oldie but goodie.  “When Love Comes to Town” was originally released in 1988 on Rattle and Hum (a title that is taken from lyrics in the song “Bullet the Blue Sky,” from The Joshua Tree).  This is a song I have always loved — there’s such an energy between Bono and King’s vocals and the addition of King’s guitar to the instrumental mix.  I have always felt that the song had a timeless feel, and I would have loved to hear someone like Johnny Cash record a version of it.  So, for my cover song music video version tonight, I’ve slowed it down a bit and taken it down an octave (which is convenient, since my vocal chords are no match for Bono’s typical soaring range!).

The result?

Just like I thought, this song has such a classic feel to it that it lends itself to a stripped-down acoustic arrangement.  Still, my version is no match for the energy, emotion, and rocking presence of the studio version!  (And I can’t quite figure out what “catch that flame” means…  I sing “catch that plane,” which is what I’ve always thought he said, but the official U2 lyrics page says “flame.”  Oh, well…)

I hope you enjoy this U2 cover, and I hope it tides you over until tomorrow’s release of No Line on the Horizon.  Until then and until an all-new Jim Fusco Tuesday…

See you next session!

This is one in a series of acoustic cover songs, original music, and free mp3 downloads here on the Laptop Sessions Music Video Blog.

2 thoughts on ““When Love Comes to Town” (U2 & B.B. King Cover)

  1. whoo hoo! chris did a u2 song! great job, i like the changes you made too!!

    I don’t know how I can call myself a fan, I didn’t run out to get the album today. I’m holding it over my head as incentive until I finish my comprehensive exam thursday. At least though given the song played last night on letterman, I have a glimmer of hope that I might like this album. I’m not a fan of the first single and it’ll probably take quite a few listens to get into it. Considering the awards and grammys of the past two albums though, having a third consecutive commerically successful album is a tall order.

    As far as the lyrics… anything, any word ever written in a song by bono has specific meaning and 99.9% of the time a biblical reference. My interpretation of the song is that its a sinner waiting for redemption. “When love comes to town”, meaning when he’s “saved”, when god comes to him (because certainly a man who wagers on the clothes from the crucifixion is not a man looking for salvation!), he’s going to hold onto it and leave his past behind/change his life (“jump that train”). But, my interpretation of the “catch that flame” is a more cynical line — reaching for the impossible, illusions of grandeur — because one can never catch a flame. Yeah the sinner might find some temporary redemption, but soon enough he’ll be back to his old ways.

    I’ve read other interpretations written that consider the “flame” to be a direct representation of the holy spirit. Which I guess does make sense given they wrote the song while down south and being influenced by a lot of the southern gospel – like churches, and how people catch the spirit while at church.

    So… now Jim has to do a u2 song, and then I can officially put in my request for a laptopsession trio (or quartet, drag mike in) performance of “desire” 🙂

  2. Thank you, Sarah! It was really fun and interesting to read through your interpretation of the song lyrics! And that’s a great idea about waiting to buy the album — it’s always good to have something to look forward to after doing a lot of work. I know I was excited all day about being able to go to the store and buy a new album. And you make a good point about the commercial success of their past two albums, but I haven’t really listened to anything outside of their “Best of 1980-1990” greatest hits CD, so this is new for me to hear an entire album.

    The first thing I did last night, even before listening to the entire album, was to look through the liner notes and read the lyrics. There’s more of the same you might expect on this album, as well as some references to modern day lingo, such as computer and cell phone terms. He works them in really well.

    Which brings me to the single.

    I’m determined to figure out the deeper meaning of this song, because if there is no deeper meaning than singing about some “sexy boots”, then I really don’t know how I’ll continue to listen to the album! lol I have some ideas, but I need some more time to sort them out. It IS a catchy song…

    Okay, so now we wait for Jim. I can see it now…

    Jim in Bono glasses,
    Me in a knit cap,
    Jeff on bass, and
    Mike (the youngest and coolest-looking among us) on drums a la Larry Mullen, Jr…

    That video would be a hit for sure!!! lol

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