Babyface (song)

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Song by U2 from the album Zooropa
Released 5 July 1993
Recorded Dublin, March–May 1993
Genre Alternative rock
Label Island
Writer U2 (music), Bono (lyrics)
Producer Flood
Zooropa track listing

"Babyface" is a song by U2 and the second track from their 1993 album Zooropa.


"It's about how people play with images, believing you know somebody through an image and think that by manipulating a machine that, in fact, controls you, you can have some kind of power."


"Babyface" was written by Bono during the Zooropa recording sessions in late 1992/early 1993. The song contains themes of desire, voyeurism, image, celebrity and technology. It involves a man having an obsession with a famous woman, whose image he keeps on a televised recording.[1] During the production, U2 and producer Brian Eno incorporated a toy piano into the melody of the song.


"Babyface" received mixed reviews from critics. The New York Times critic Jon Pareles described the song as U2 combining "'With or Without You' and Bowie's 'Ashes to Ashes'" while praising the "tinkling countermelody" of the song.[2] The Boston Globe‍ '​s Jim Sullivan called it "the most conventional song" on the album and "a smooth-glider where the subversiveness is half-buried in the rolling rhythms and the soft, seductive melody."[3] In contrast, Parry Gettelman of Orlando Sentinel felt the song was "tediously repetitive" and caused the album to falter.[4]

Live performances[edit]

After the release of Zooropa, several of the album's songs were incorporated into the Zoo TV Tour setlist. Babyface was only played five times on the European Zooropa leg of the tour. It made its debut at London's Wembley Stadium on August 11, 1993. However, as with other Zooropa songs, U2 found it difficult to perform it live onstage.[5] After its first performance, Bono joked the band had the "nice idea" of putting such songs on the record and having to play them as a result. The song was dropped from the setlist after the 20 August concert and has never been played since.


  1. ^ a b Jackson, Joe (1993-05-19). "The Magical Mystery Tour". Hot Press. Retrieved 2011-05-06. 
  2. ^ Pareles, Jon (1993-07-04). "RECORDINGS VIEW; A Raucous U2 Moves Farther Out on a Limb". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-12-03. 
  3. ^ Jim Sullivan (4 July 1993). "U2 again braves new worlds". Boston Globe. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  4. ^ Parry Gettelman (23 July 1993). "U2, Zooropa (Island)". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "U2 Babyface". Retrieved 2010-08-03. 

External links[edit]