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Top 10 Greatest U2 Songs

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Formed in Dublin in 1976, U2 is a band whose music started off in post-punk and then branched off to explore alternative and rock styles. Today, they’re one of the most successful rock bands in the world and one of the best-selling musical artists ever. For this list, we’ve chosen our entries based on a combination of the artist’s fan favorites and their most commercially successful songs. Join, and today we’re counting down the top 10 U2 songs. Special thanks to our users Diogo Ferro and aldqbigsquare for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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They’re even better than the real thing. Welcome to, and today we are counting down the top 10 U2 songs.

For this list, we’ve chosen our entries based on a combination of the artist’s fan favorites and their most commercially successful songs.

#10: “Beautiful Day”
All That You Can’t Leave Behind (2000)

Considered a return to form following some experimentation on their previous record, the lead single from U2’s tenth album topped the UK charts and reached the Billboard Hot 100’s top thirty. With its uplifting message and upbeat sound, “Beautiful Day” helped All That You Can’t Leave Behind become a top ten album and sell over several million copies. The triple Grammy winner is also a major crowd pleaser during shows.

#9: “Even Better Than the Real Thing”
Achtung Baby (1991)

Crafted around a guitar riff conceived by The Edge, this Achtung Baby single makes our list for its fun alternative rock sound. But that’s not all; with its ironic, Bono-penned lyrics, “Even Better Than the Real Thing” had the band trying out special effects in their music. The 3-and-a-half minute cut charted within the UK top 20 and the U.S. top 40.

#8: “Mysterious Ways”
Achtung Baby (1991)

With its funky flavors and alternative rock and dance sounds, “Mysterious Ways” moved into our minds and onto the charts in the early 1990s. As Achtung Baby’s second single, it showed the band wasn’t afraid to change things up but also made us want to dance. Add Bono’s mesmerizing lyrics and you’ve got a U2 live staple.

#7: “New Year’s Day”
War (1983)

Though it can’t be denied that Bono’s insistent and plaintive vocals and The Edge’s guitar and piano work are extremely important to this song, it’s Adam Clayton’s bass playing we remember most. With lyrics inspired by Polish politics, “New Year’s Day” became U2’s first top ten UK smash and is rarely left off a setlist. Meanwhile, its music video found a cozy home overseas on MTV.

#6: “With or Without You”
The Joshua Tree (1987)

It was thanks to this slow-paced but romantic number from The Joshua Tree that U2 had their first North American number one. “With or Without You”’s poignant but relatable lyrics, combined with a delicate, almost otherworldly feel, was unlike anything else on the radio at the time. And yet it helped propel the band to mainstream success, thereby serving as an example of U2’s many musical talents.

#5: “Sunday Bloody Sunday”
War (1983)

With its clanging guitars and military-inspired beat, the opening track to U2’s third effort is hard to forget. But its “Sunday Bloody Sunday”’s antiwar message and anthemic nature that keeps the track ingrained in our musical consciousness. Though it initially caused some controversy for its political lyrics, the rock and post-punk number has since become one of the band’s most well known songs thanks to its power and accessibility.

#4: “One”
Achtung Baby (1991)

This rock ballad is famous for being the tune that helped bring the members back to making music together following turmoil within the band. Bono’s moving lyrics and The Edge’s distinctive chord progression so captivated fans that “One” was a top 10 hit in both the U.S. and the UK. The well-received track was also released as a charity single benefitting AIDS research and has since spawned multiple covers.

#3: “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”
The Joshua Tree (1987)

Though it’s essentially a rock song, The Joshua Tree’s second single keeps us hooked with its gospel-tinged sound and thought-provoking lyrics. U2’s exploration into their spiritual side was so successful it nabbed them their second American chart-topper and a top 10 single in the UK. Thanks to its soulful rhythm, the Grammy-nominated tune really comes to life in concert.

#2: “Where the Streets Have No Name”
The Joshua Tree (1987)

After the musical skills of The Edge, Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. are put on this display in this song’s lengthy instrumental intro, Bono comes in and grabs us with the versatility of his vocal prowess. The result is a strikingly beautiful track with lyrics inspired by issues in their Irish homeland that went on to become a top 20 single in the U.S. and the UK. “Where the Streets Have No Name” was also critically acclaimed and remains a fan favorite.

Honorable Mentions

“Bullet the Blue Sky,” The Joshua Tree (1987)
“Bad,” The Unforgettable Fire (1984)
“I Will Follow,” Boy (1980)
“Desire,” Rattle and Hum (1988)
“Walk On,” All That You Can’t Leave Behind

#1: “Pride (In the Name of Love)”
The Unforgettable Fire (1984)

This sonic tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. is a combination of rock and post-punk elements that’s bolstered by meaningful lyrics and a memorable melody. As the lead single from U2’s fourth effort, “Pride” also showcased Bono’s incredible vocal range as well as the rest of the band’s musical chemistry. Despite early mixed reviews, the powerful number became the band’s first American top forty track and is now considered one of their best.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite U2 song? With new top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to

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