U2 – 4th of July (1984)

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The ambient instrumental “4th of July” came about almost entirely through a moment of inspiration from Eno. At the end of a studio session, Eno overheard Clayton improvising a simple bass figure and recorded it “ad hoc” as it was being played. The Edge happened to join in, improvising a few guitar ideas over the top of Clayton’s bass; neither knew they were being recorded. Eno added some treatments and then transferred the piece straight to two-track master tape — and that was the song finished, with no possibility of further overdubs.


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