Bad (5:49)

Cover of The Best of 1980-1990

From The Best of 1980-1990 and 283 other releases

“Bad”, like many of U2’s songs, was born of an improvised guitar riff during a loose jam session at Slane Castle, Ireland. A testament to the influence of producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, The Edge’s characteristic minimalist guitar sound is accompanied by atmospheric, ambient echo effects.

Bono’s vague lyrics have led to many fan interpretations of the song’s meaning, but Bono frequently told the story behind the song in concert: the song is about heroin—specifically, about a friend of Bono’s “who was given on his 21st birthday enough heroin into his bloodstream to kill him.


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If you twist and turn away
If you tear yourself in two again
If I could, yes I would
If I could, I would let it go, surrender, dislocate

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics


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  • Indierock93

    Bad ...dedicated to a friend of Bono who died of heroin. One of the most wonderful tunes ever. Loove Edge's guitar in this song!

    23 Mar 6:21am Reply
  • mprioste

    I'm wide awake, wide awake, i'm not sleeping, oh no

    23 Jan 4:00pm Reply
  • Gahbs_

    If i could, you know i would, if i could i would let it go :(

    15 Nov 2013 Reply
  • bohemian_chic

    ~ ♥ ♫ ♥ ~

    13 Jun 2013 Reply
  • Prognosis_X

    Stunning vocal performance by Bono on this one! One of my fav's for sure!

    8 Jun 2013 Reply
  • Tom_Pullings

    exceptional, but what else would one expect from U2

    6 Jun 2013 Reply
  • DavosRancheros

    One of my many favorites from the old stuff

    24 Apr 2013 Reply
  • rosmaritbrum

    YES !!!!!!!!! MY FAVORITE SONG.....

    19 Jan 2013 Reply
  • danzag

    probably the best song ever

    6 Jan 2013 Reply
  • heaventree22

    fucking beautiful guitar work

    3 Sep 2012 Reply
  • KConn3711

    My favorite U2 song. The live version from Wide Awake in America is AWESOME!!!

    15 Jul 2012 Reply
  • tiochaidhanla

    they played this at the R.D.S. showgrounds in Dublin for the very 1st time and i was very lucky to be there, will stay with me until my dying days, exceptional

    22 Apr 2012 Reply
  • xtwntraphq

    I just simply love this tune! Hit's home and will always stay with me.

    19 Jan 2012 Reply
  • ArcieG

    One of their best. Definitely in my U2 top ten

    10 Dec 2011 Reply
  • jammyofstafford

    The original version off The Unforgettable Fire and so different to the live version off Wide Awake In America,I love them both.

    3 Dec 2011 Reply
  • silvasonicsurfa

    ...short version, but great, great tune.......remember this as a highlight of many a concert, most notably Live Aid........

    17 Nov 2011 Reply
  • macychick

    I have no idea why this song is called "Bad." The word "bad" never appears in the song, and it's not bad at all- it's quite good! In fact, I'd go so far as to say it's awesome!

    3 Nov 2011 Reply
  • fenderfabulous

    Album version ends too soon, I like the live versions where they add parts from other songs.

    2 Nov 2011 Reply
  • DavosRancheros

    Memories from high school flooding this song.

    11 Oct 2011 Reply
  • okbeijos

    oh man, this one is really special

    24 Sep 2011 Reply
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