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Flint’s Classic Rock – 103.9 The Fox

  • Writers: U2
  • Producers: Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois
  • Recorded: 1984 at Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin, Ireland
  • Released: September 1984
  • Players:
    Bono — vocals
    The Edge — guitar, keyboards, vocals
    Adam Clayton — bass
    Larry Mullen, Jr. — drums
    Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois — additional vocals, instruments and treatments
    Chrissie Hynde — backing vocals
  • Album: The Unforgettable Fire (Island, 1984)
  • Also On:
    Rattle And Hum (Island, 1988)
    The Best Of 1980-1990 (Island, 1998)
  • The music for “Pride (In The Name Of Love)” originated at a sound check before a November 1983 show in Hawaii. U2 guitarist the Edge was playing some chord changes, which the group began working with, and there was a rhythm mistake they all liked and repeated. The band’s concert engineer, Joe O’Herlihy, was taping the whole thing.
  • The song’s lyrics took a circuitous route before being finalized. Lead singer Bono was trying to write a song about President Ronald Reagan and had the title “Pride,” but it wasn’t working out. Then the band visited the Chicago Peace Museum and were impressed by an exhibit about the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and it all came together.
  • Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders sings backing vocals on the track, but she’s credited on the album as Mrs. Christine Kerr. At the time, she was married to Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr.
  • “Pride” was the first single from The Unforgettable Fire, in advance of the album’s release.
  • The original 45-rpm seven-inch single had a picture sleeve. On the back was a picture of Dr. King, with a quote from him: “Hatred and bitterness can never cure the disease of fear; only love can do that. Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illumines it.”
  • The flip side of the single was an instrumental track called “Boomerang II,” which wasn’t on the album.
  • The song was U2’s first charting hit in the U.S. It spent five weeks in the Billboard Top 40 beginning on December 1st, 1984, and it peaked at Number 33.
  • In the U.K., where the band was more established at the time, the song reached Number Three in spite of its American subject matter, and the album was the band’s second straight Number One.


  • U2 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Bruce Springsteen in March 2005. It was a returned favor, since Bono had done the honors for Springsteen’s induction a few years earlier.
  • U2 opened the Live 8 concert in Hyde Park in London in July 2005 by performing the Beatles song “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” with Paul McCartney, then doing their own set.
  • The Edge and producer Bob Ezrin are behind an initiative called Music Rising, which is aimed at providing instruments to musicians affected by the hurricanes on the Gulf Coast in 2005.
  • The members of U2 and their manager Paul McGuinness were given the Ambassador Of Conscience Award by Amnesty International in 2005.
  • U2’s story has been told in an authorized book called U2byU2.
  • Bono has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on behalf of Third World debt relief and AIDS awareness.
  • Forty years ago today (April 4th, 1968), Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. Bono took some liberty with the timeline for the lyrics to “Pride” — he wrote “Early morning, April 4,” but Dr. King was shot at 6:01 p.m.