In the early days of U2’s concerts, they used to play this song twice - once early in the show, and then again during the encore. Not because it was such a big hit, but because they just didn’t have that much material, yet.
People who pay attention to this kind of thing claim that, after their Unforgettable Fire tour in 1985, the song has only been performed live 12 times.
It wasn’t a hit. And not just in the U.S. “11 O’Clock Tick Tock” didn’t make the charts anywhere. In fact, it would be another six months before a U2 song showed up in the charts. That was their fourth single, “I Will Follow”, which made it to #34 in New Zealand and #71 in Australia.
So there’s a good reason that you might not know it.
My favorite line from the song is this:
“We thought that we have the answers, it was the questions we had wrong.”
I think it’s a great song, especially if you love rock, or at least, CLASSIC rock. And this is U2 before iTunes, before the activism, before the stadium tours. Just a four-piece rock band, putting their heart and soul into one of their first, original releases.
For those who know the song, it probably evokes memories of the early 1980’s, listening to your favorite station and eagerly devouring what you hoped would be the next big thing, before anyone else found out about it.
For others, it might be a memory of those big tours in the 1980’s, as U2 went back and forth across the globe alongside Michael Jackson and Bruce Springsteen.
It’s MTV and vinyl records. It’s the shift from punk to alternative. It’s only one brand of Coke.
It can also be a song about responsibility. 11 O’Clock and time to go home. And that “Tick Tock” might mean that it’s getting later, later than you think.
Or it could be about believing in yourself, and continuing to follow your dreams, even when they don’t seem to be panning out. Or hitting the charts.
And there’s that number “11”. In numerology, 11 carries a vibrational frequency of balance. In Angel Numbers, at least according to Doreen Virtue, 11 means to stay positive, focusing only on the good within yourself, others and the situation.
And it could be a million other things.
That’s the thing about music. It’s so subjective. This song could mean something to you that has nothing to do with the lyrics, the band or the 1980’s.
It could mean something completely unique to you and only you. Something only you would know. Something only you would understand. Something only you would care about.
And, personally, I find that pretty darn cool.
That’s one of the things I love about music. It can mean so many different things to each of us, even if we’re all listening to the very same song.
This song isn’t the inspiration for it, but it’s as good an example of any as to why I started posting the 11:11 Songs.
For those who don’t know, I’ve started posting on Facebook, at 11:11am and 11:11pm, a link back to this website, to a page that contains 11 YouTube videos of 11 different songs.
Since music can mean so many things to each of us, it’s my goal that this can become a daily source for all to find some hope and healing, advice and answers, motivation and inspiration, or just nostalgia and comfort.
You can find the most recent collection of 11:11 Songs if you just click up at the top right, where it says 11:11 Songs. You can also just click RIGHT HERE.
You may not know all these songs. But I’m pretty sure you will find something there every day that will resonate in some way.
In the meantime, here’s U2 from the 1983 concert film U2 Live At Red Rocks…
“Dream On” was the second single released by Aerosmith (“Mama Kin” was the first). Both came from their debut album, back in 1973. “Dream On” was the only one that hit the charts, and just barely at that. It did well locally, in their hometown of Boston, but wasn’t doing much on the national scene.
They kept at it. And two albums later, on the heels of their first top 40 hit (“Sweet Emotion”), their label re-released “Dream On”.
In 1976, it climbed all the way to #6!
The same thing happened about a year later, when they re-issued the single “Walk This Way”, which became their second top ten hit.
The re-release of “Walk This Way” was their 15th single.
So after fifteen tries, they had two giant hits. Smooth sailing from there on out, right?
It would take another ten years, along with personnel changes, battles with drugs and alcohol, and plenty of other problems, before they really launched into the stratosphere.
That next big hit was 1987’s “Dude (Looks Like A Lady)”. Their 29th.
This isn’t to say that the only measure of their success was commercial single sales. They did very well on rock radio, sold plenty of albums over the years. Their 1987 album, “Permanent Vacation”, was their 7th platinum LP. Platinum is a million copies sold, and six of those seven were multi-platinum (and that’s just in the U.S.).
The point isn’t that Aerosmith has done very well for themselves.
The point is about holding onto your dreams.
For some reason, some people seem to enjoy putting others down, mocking their dreams. They may tell you that you can’t do it, you aren’t good enough, or that your dream is just dumb.
Don’t fall for that.
You matter, and so do your dreams. Want to write? Want to paint? Want to be a rock star? Want to be President? Want to visit every Denny’s in America?
You may not be able to reach them today, or tomorrow. Or next week, next month or even next year.
But you should always hang onto them. Keep that hope alive. And never listen to anyone that tries to get you to give up on them.
Dream until your dreams come true.
Ken Kessler has always been interested in psychic phenomena, and like Mulder on the X-Files, wants to believe. But like most, he tends to look for, and accept, rational explanations. (More)