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I Still Havent Found What Im Looking For
Song

I Still Havent Found What Im Looking For

U2
Album:
The Joshua Tree

Song Meaning of I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For by U2, and what it is about


"I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" is a song by Irish rock band U2 from their 1987 album The Joshua Tree.


The song was the band's second consecutive number-one single on the US Billboard Hot 100 while reaching at number six on the UK Singles Chart.


The song originated from a demo the band recorded on which drummer Larry Mullen Jr.played a unique rhythm pattern.


Like much of The Joshua Tree, the song was inspired by the group's interest in American music.

"I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" exhibits influences from gospel music and its lyrics describe spiritual yearning.


Lead singer Bono's vocals are in high register and lead guitarist the Edge plays a chiming arpeggio.

Adding to the gospel qualities of the song are choir-like backing vocals provided by the Edge and producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois.


"I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" was critically acclaimed and received two nominations at the 30th Annual Grammy Awards in 1988, for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

 

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" originated from a demo variously titled "The Weather Girls" and "Under the Weather" that the band recorded during a jam session.


Bassist Adam Clayton called the demo's melody "a bit of a one-note groove", while an unconvinced The Edge, the band's guitarist, compared it to "'Eye of the Tiger' played by a reggae band".


However, the band liked the drum part played by drummer Larry Mullen Jr.


Co-producer Daniel Lanois said, "It was a very original beat from Larry. We always look for those beats that would qualify as a signature for the song. And that certainly was one of those. It had this tom-tom thing that he does and nobody ever understands. And we just didn't want to let go of that beat, it was so unique."


Lanois encouraged Mullen to continue developing the weird drum pattern beyond the demo.

Mullen said the beat became even more unusual, and although Lanois eventually mixed most of the pattern out to just keep the basics, the rhythm became the root of "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For".


"I've always liked gospel music and I encouraged Bono to take it to that place ... It was a very non-U2 thing to do at the time, to go up the street of gospel. I think it opened a door for them, to experiment with that territory ... [Bono]'s singing at the top of his range and there is something very compelling about somebody pushing themselves. It's like hearing Aretha Franklin almost. It jumps on you and you can't help but feel the feeling."


The group worked on the track at the studio they had set up at Danesmoate House in Dublin.

Lanois compared the creation of the song to constructing a building, first laying down the drums as the foundation, then adding additional layers piece by piece, before finally "putting in furniture".

Lead singer Bono was interested in the theme of spiritual doubt, which was fostered by Eno's love for gospel music, and by Bono's listening to songs by The Swan Silvertones, The Staple Singers, and Blind Willie Johnson.


After the Edge wrote a chord sequence and played it on acoustic guitar "with a lot of power in the strumming", the group attempted to compose a suitable vocal melody, trying out a variety of ideas.

During a jam session, Bono began singing a "classic soul" melody, and it was this addition that made the Edge hear the song's potential.


At that point, he remembered a phrase he had written in a notebook that morning as a possible song title, "I still haven't found what I'm looking for". He suggests it was influenced by a line from the Bob Dylan song "Idiot Wind": "You'll find out when you reach the top you're on the bottom".


He wrote the phrase on a piece of paper and handed it to Bono while he was singing. The Edge called the phrase's fit with the song "like hand in glove".

From that point on, the song was the first piece played to visitors during the recording sessions.


Lyrics of I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For by U2


I have climbed the highest mountains

I have run through the fields

Only to be with you

Only to be with you

 

I have run, I have crawled

I have scaled these city walls

These city walls

Only to be with you

 

But I still haven't found

What I'm looking for

But I still haven't found

What I'm looking for

 

I have kissed honey lips

Felt the healing in her fingertips

It burned like fire

This burning desire

 

I have spoke with the tongue of angels

I have held the hand of a devil

It was warm in the night

I was cold as a stone

 

But I still haven't found

What I'm looking for

But I still haven't found

What I'm looking for

 

I believe in the Kingdom Come

Then all the colours will bleed into one

Bleed into one

But yes, I'm still running

 

You broke the bonds and you loosed the chains

Carried the cross of my shame

Of my shame

You know I believe it

 

But I still haven't found

What I'm looking for

But I still haven't found

What I'm looking for

But I still haven't found

What I'm looking for

But I still haven't found

What I'm looking for

Release Date

1987

Songwriter/s

U2

Producer/s

Daniel Lanois, Brian Eno

Label/s

Island

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