MLK day video: U2, “Pride”

Pretty much every U2 fan knows that one of their signature songs, “Pride (in the name of love)” is a tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. (Make sure not to miss Power Line’s homage to the man today.) Musicians and music geeks might like to press “read more”.

Martin Luther King’s dream, that one day people would be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character, is very much my dream, and should be the dream of every rational conservative. As another great man wrote in another context: if thou wilst, it is not a legend (אם תרצו אין זו אגדה).

Footnote for musicians and music geeks:

This song is probably the first time many people heard the “wall of guitars” that is so much a part of the U2 sound. It is actually achieved by running the guitar through a digital delay timed to the beat of the music (specifically to a dotted eighth note) and with the echo amplitude/feedback gain adjusted such that you can hear every note about 3 times.

In this way, shimmering, mesmerizing walls of notes can be built from relatively simple guitar patterns (preferably played with a bright but clean timbre), as long as one’s playing is rhythmically precise.

The use of rhythm-adjusted echo in conjunction with guitars was probably pioneered by King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp — technically several leagues above The Edge. While the former’s appeal was limited to aficionados of progressive rock and art rock, however, the latter turned this sound into a staple of rock and pop music.

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