Beautiful Day (4:06)

Cover of All That You Can't Leave Behind

From All That You Can't Leave Behind and 175 other releases

“Beautiful Day” was the first single from U2’s 2000 album, All That You Can’t Leave Behind. It was a commercial success, helping launch the album to multi-platinum status, and is one of U2’s biggest hits to date. It was their fourth #1 single in the UK and was #1 for a week in Australia. The song peaked at #21 in the US, the band’s highest position since “Discotheque” in 1997. The song won three Grammy Awards in 2001.

According to Bono, “Beautiful Day” is about “a man who has lost everything, but finds joy in what he still has.”

The song is an optimistic anthem that opens with a drum machine and a rhythm sequencer. The verses are relatively quiet before The Edge’s guitar and the song’s signature riff join in for the choruses. The Edge recorded this song on his Gibson Les Paul Standard and plays the song live with his Gibson Explorer, which helps add the distinctive shimmering, chiming sound that made the band unique when they first debuted in the early 1980s.

In an episode of the Sundance Channel’s Iconoclast, R.E.M. vocalist Michael Stipe said “I love that song. I wish I’d written it, and they know I wish I’d written it. It makes me dance, It makes me angry that I didn’t write it.” Beautiful Day also opens ITV’s football show “The Championship”, and previously ITV’s “Premiership” referring to soccer making a beautiful day.

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