The golden age of music videos appears to have long passed. I see that more and more when I look at releases. The 1980s may have had its fair share of videos that were just cliches and effects and cool shots for the sake of doing them rather than having something to do with the song, but those videos seem to have something more to them.
Nowhere do I see that more than in the DVD from U2 titled Love is Blindness. It combines old material from the band’s early success with videos from their Zooropa album. I like the early material much better.
Unfortunately, this disc misrepresents itself right off the bat. The promotional blurb states “This live concert performance…” which makes it sound like it’s taken from a concert. It isn’t. Instead it’s a collection of videos, many of which are live performances. It’s a shame because there is some quality material here, but starting off with expecting one thing and getting another means there’s a strike against it.
Some of the older material hasn’t been seen much since those early MTV days, which is a huge plus. The live performance on Love is Blindness of Bad isn’t seen too often and is an excellent performance video.
The video for Pride is not the live performance filmed in the castle, which was in heavy rotation on MTV back in the day, but the band performing in what looks like a school’s gymnasium. I can see the emotion in Bono’s face and eyes as he’s singing the words and it’s still as powerful now as it was back when it was first released.
Also included from the older material are videos for A Sort of Homecoming and The Unforgettable Fire. These two are similar in that they are intercut with footage of city scenes. The Unforgettable Fire uses a time-lapse effect with the city at night and it’s excellent and extremely memorable. When the same effect is used on the carnival, it’s very striking. There are some great effects in The Unforgettable Fire, especially considering the time when it was made.
The newer material centers around the videos for Numb, of which there are two versions. The first is the standard cut and the video itself seems to be a reflection of the band. It’s artsy and yet doesn’t seem to be taking itself too seriously. The Edge sits in front of the camera mouthing the lyrics while all sorts of things going on around him. The remixed version is next and is the one I was more familiar with. That is a series of clips intercut with The Edge singing the lyrics.
The title song is probably the most powerful and socially conscious video on the disc. Love is Blindness combines Bono’s soulful voice with images of the ravages of conflicts around the world, particularly in Africa.
This is not a huge collection, and the entire DVD comes in at just 40 minutes. It’s worth viewing if you can get your hands on it simply for some of the rarer pieces on it. I don’t know that I would feel I have to have it in my collection, even having been a fan of the band since the early 1980s.