With or Without You (4:55)

Cover of The Best of 1980-1990

From The Best of 1980-1990 and 371 other releases

“With or Without You” is the lead single from U2’s 1987 album, The Joshua Tree. It has since become highly-acclaimed as one of the band’s most popular songs. Released as a single in March 1987, it became the group’s first American #1 hit, spending three weeks at the top. It also reached #4 in the UK and #2 on the Dutch Top 40.

According to Bono, the song was heavily influenced by Scott Walker’s album Climate of Hunter. It was U2’s first single to be widely issued on CD. The song is U2’s second most frequently covered song.

In addition to topping the Billboard Hot 100, the song reached #1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and was the second U2 song to enter any other Billboard chart (specifically, the Adult Contemporary chart) after “Pride (In the Name of Love)”. In addition, the song spent eleven weeks in the top 75 of the UK Singles Chart. The song also re-entered the UK Singles Chart at number 43 based on download sales alone on the week ending May 31, 2009.

In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine placed the single at number 131 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

“With or Without You” is written in the key of D major. There are large sections of the song where the harmony rests on the D chord; in the sections it does not, the band implies a D - A/C# - Bm7 - Gsus2 chord progression. This chord progression is implied by the roots notes played by bassist Adam Clayton and the guitar parts of The Edge.


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