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20th Apr 2018

A critical analysis of the worst music video ever made

'Numb' by U2 is a lot to take in

Ciara Knight

‘Numb’ by U2, congratulations on being garbage. 

There is a music video in existence that I am henceforth deeming to be The Worst Music Video Ever Made.

It’s chronic from start to finish and should not have made it past the narcotics-fuelled e-mail chain from where it originated.

Behold the music video for ‘Numb’ by U2.

Now let’s really hone in on why this is the biggest pile of garbage in existence.

Nobody ever needed to see what The Edge looked like in a tank top

It’s like calling over to your friend’s house on a particularly balmy afternoon only to see that their Dad, usually sporting athleisure wear, has used the good weather as an excuse to break out a tight Umbro tank top and some combat shorts. He’s got hair coming out of his shoulders and back as if it was a court-ordered task, meanwhile the sun is bouncing off his reflective and stocky little body. He’s resting a can of Stella on his belly and recalling the time he swindled 5 T-bone steaks for £8 down in Morrisons, as he contemplates cracking them out of the freezer for a barbecue.

Adam Clayton seductively blows smoke into The Edge’s ear because this is art now?

Like a scene straight out of some seedy 1970s porno, Adam comes into frame very slowly, then opens his mouth a mere fraction so that he can puff some smoke directly into The Edge’s ear canal. Forget about the smoking ban, this video came out in 1993. It was a different time then. Grown men were allowed to wear tank tops, beanie hats and beaded necklaces. They blew smoke into each others’ ears as a sign of affection, sometimes even slipping in a tongue for the briefest of moments.

The Edge maintains heavy eye contact as he receives a shoulder massage

Are… are we watching a man getting off? For precisely nine seconds, The Edge stares right down the camera lens without breaking for so much as a blink, meanwhile two nimble hands caress his tank-topped shoulders. Massages in general are quite a sexual thing. Someone is putting their hands all over your body, sometimes using oils as you lie naked as the day you were born. I bet a large sum of money on the likelihood that at least one of the 5.1 million people that have watched this music video was doing so with impure intentions.

The Edge gets ear fucked, still keeps eye contact

Easily the most chilling moment of the music video comes at about the same time that The Edge does. Two women appear and, with the greatest respect to the artistic vision intended in this video, they ear fuck the fuck out of him. They lick his entire face, ears included, as The Edge again maintains a heavier than is wholly comfortable level of eye contact. His previously straight face softens for a moment, presumably during climax, and then they’re gone, leaving the viewer with a multitude of questions such as, “What the fuck am I watching?” and “Where’s Bono?”.

The tank top gets cut off in another deeply unnecessary addition to this music video

Ragging on the tank top comes to a natural conclusion as the straps are cut off one by one, revealing an almost naked The Edge. Does The Edge wear his beanie hat in bed? At the beach? In the shower? At the barber’s? We, as a society, need to question the hat a bit more. We’ve all just accepted the fact that an international rockstar has been wearing a tiny little hat since birth, but we never stopped to ask why. The Edge, if you’re reading this, what’s up with the hat? Of all the things you could’ve cut off in this particular video, the tank top was the final choice? Dude.

Bono shows up, but just to quickly strangle his friend

All previous questions about Bono’s whereabouts are answered as he hustles his way into the limelight a respectful one minute and fifty-three seconds into The Edge’s first time getting a bit of solo time. As The Edge is being strangled in the face, Bono sings softly into his ear “Too much is not enough”, which is the dumbest statement ever uttered in all of eternity. Then Larry Mullen Jr. pushes The Edge to the floor for reasons unknown. Perhaps he is dead now.

Larry takes The Edge’s place to stare directly into your soul

After pushing his bandmate to his very likely death, Larry returns with a blatantly tinted bit of facial hair to give you a stern talking to using only his eyes. He’s used to sitting at the back behind a big beefy drum kit. He had to strangle his other bandmate to get centre stage and he won’t hesitate to do it again. Now, while he’s got you here, he’d like to take this opportunity to talk to you about the importance of recycling. Although we can’t reverse climate change, if everyone puts in a very solid effort, we can certainly do our best to slow the effects of it.

The Edge returns, he is alive and still making everyone uncomfortable

We’ve seen The Edge in a tank top, we’ve seen The Edge completely topless and now we get to see The Edge in a kimono, being caressed by two feet. This begs the question, precisely how high was the person that came up with the idea for this music video? When they reached the point on the vision board that said ‘Two feet maul The Edge’s face, inserting toes into his mouth if necessary’, that should’ve been the appropriate time to rethink things. This is the point of no return. This is past the brink of insanity.

Of course a lap dance is the next logical course of action

Technically it’s a bellydance, but it may as well be a lap dance from the angle we’re seeing it. The Edge is joined by Morleigh Steinberg, an American choreographer and dancer. She’s also The Edge’s bloody wife, isn’t she? They married nine years after this video came out, which proves that true love is always right around the corner, or jiggling its belly front of you while you maintain eye contact with a camera. Did any of us need to see The Edge getting a private bellydance from his future wife in this particular music video? No. But are we glad it happened? Again, no.

In a grim glimpse into the future, the worst music video of all time ends with some selfies

Selfies were invented in 1993 by U2 and that is now an ironclad indisputable fact. This thoroughly abysmal music video ends with some crazed fans crowding The Edge and taking selfies with their disposable cameras, as was the norm in ’93. The Edge doesn’t even look at the fans’ cameras, he stays fixated on us the entire time. As these buffoons fail to act like they’re legitimately taking photographs with their presumably favourite rockstar after Bono, everything all makes sense. This isn’t a music video at all. This is art. And as we know, art is always one letter away from being fart. Thank you for your time.

All images via YouTube


Music Video,U2