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POP MUSIC

Bono Explains It All for You

March 02, 1997|Robert Hilburn

Bono understands the confusion that "Discotheque," the first single from U2's new "Pop" album, has created with its infusion of electronic dance-club elements into the rock band's sound. Speaking by phone from Dublin on the eve of the album's release Tuesday, he outlined the band's aims in "Pop," the dance-culture connection and the album's most striking song, "Wake Up Dead Man."

"We didn't set out to make a club culture record. We were just inspired by a lot of the music being made by hip-hop and dance artists and we wanted to explore some of those elements," Bono said. "But we still wanted to make a U2 record and I think people will recognize that as soon as they hear the rest of 'Pop.'

"Some people are going to hear the words 'dance' and 'club culture' used and put on our record and go, 'That's not a club culture record.' And they are right," he said. "Most of 'Pop' is not something that would sound right on the sound system of a big dance club, but it wasn't designed for that.

"The real club culture aspect of the music is still to come . . . in the remixes, which will be released as singles. The plan is to put out one CD single with a couple of B-sides the way we normally do and then put out a second CD single with remixes for the clubs. We already have an astonishing single remix of 'Staring at the Sun' done by Butch Vig and Danny Saber."

As for "Wake Up Dead Man," Bono said, "To me, the song goes back to the idea of David being the first blues singer, and the first man on record to shout at God in this angry fashion. There are a lot of people who feel that if there is a God, then roll him out because they've got some questions to ask. It's a very angry song."

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