U2′s 2000 record “All that you can’t leave behind” was heralded as a return to form for the band having seemingly abandoned the experimentation on the previous record PoP in favor of some of the more classic U2 textures.
The album saw the return of The Edge’s classic delay driven chiming sound – audible on many of the tracks including their opening single the grammy award winning “Beautiful Day”.
However the record was not without new sounds and the third track “Elevation” features an iconic intro that sounds equally at home live or on the radio. Since it’s release it’s become a crowd favorite on the road.
For the track Edge uses a cherry Gibson SG. Whilst this isn’t a guitar that features that much with U2 – on “Elevation” Edge is able to get some classic overdriven tones from the humbucker pickups and the guitar provides the hard edge that the track requires. The track featrues prominent use of distortion and features some classic tones and chopping rhythm.
The actual construction of the song isn’t overtly complicated but a clever mix of guitar effects and structure adds the subtle nuances that The Edge is renowned for – there are notably four distinct sections of the track – the intro – verse/chorus, middle eight and solo.
In an interview in Guitar Player magazine Edge said of the distortion “it was a Gibson SG through an old Fuzz pedal of Daniel’s (Daniel Lanois u2 producer) into the Bassman”
The intro is created using a Kay Fuzztone pedal which acts a little like a distorted wah wah pedal by rocking on the pedal Edge generates the pulsing driven sound. The Kay Fuzztones are not manufactured anymore but old models can be picked up via Ebay or the sound can be approximated by using a multi effects unit with an expression pedal (link the distortion to the expression pedal).
The main rhythm is colored by a Line 6 DM4 Distortion Modeler (http://line6.com/news/general/122) or similar. The middle eight features a cleanish tone but with tremelo adding that pulse to the arpeggio. This adds a nice contrast to the harshness of the verse. The solo features a heavily strummed rhythm on the low E and A strings – not really a solo as such rather more of an extension to the verse/chorus structure.
The Edge’s isn’t always known for his heavy sounds but as Elevation shows there is more to Edge than just delay, Elevation features a range of sounds a great intro all wrapped up into a modern pop song.