U2 Go For The Grand Unveiling

May 6th, 2009 // 2 Comments

U2′s video for the radio edit of their epic second single “Magnificent” has been released; like the clip for “Mysterious Ways,” this was shot in Morocco, although the new clip is much more straightforward. More compelling than the clip, to be honest, is the list of categories that the video’s presenter Yahoo! Music has added to it, which seems to be following the “throw lots of spaghetti at the wall in hopes that this record will take off again” strategy:

Adult Alternative, Alternative Rock, 1980s Alternative, Beatles Legacy, 1980s Pop, Big Hits Of The ’80s, Big Hits Of The ’90s, 1990s Rock, 1990s Alternative, 1980s Soft Pop, 1990s Soft Pop, Love Songs, Kidz Rock, 1980s Rock, 1990s Soft Rock, 1980s Soft Rock, Lite Office Music, The Coffeehouse, Cover Art, Rock, Mainstream Rock

I guess I get the “Lite Office Music” thing, but “Kidz Rock”? Really? Also, is it wrong that I sort of prefer the visuals on the Anton Corbjin version of the clip, although I like the radio-ready cut of the track better?

U2 – Magnificent [Yahoo!]
U2 – Magnificent (Anton Corbijn Version) – [imeem]

  1. Also, is it wrong that I sort of prefer the visuals on the Anton Corbjin version of the clip

    I dunno about wrong, but it’s something of a litmus test of your take on U2. Basically, you clearly prefer the look-and-feel of ’90s U2. The Corbijn version is basically a cross between the lighting and starkness of “One,” the deadpan-humor vibe of the Zooropa era, and a bit of the kitsch of “Discotheque.” For me, it’s Corbijn repeating old tropes — and I’m normally a fan.

    I much prefer the new clip, glossy as it is. Frankly, what I like best about it is its shameless ’80s-ness — it looks like a peak Simple Minds clip, or even one of those second-rate 1985ish bands like King, Cock Robin or Icehouse. Which makes it work perfectly for the song! What I like about “Magnificent” is the way it effortlessly evokes ’80s U2, which is not even my favorite era of theirs (I actually prefer their ’90s albums) but is at this point a more interesting vein for them to mine.

    Honestly, I’m kind of “meh” on No Line on the Horizon in general, but this song and maybe the title track come closest to what I think they were trying to achieve on that record — bringing back some of that Unforgettable Fire mystery.

  2. @Chris Molanphy: big ups for an Icehouse reference.

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