The tenth track off U2’s debut album, Boy. The title
is in reference to Electric Convulsion Therapy (ECT), which was a popular
treatment in Irish mental hospitals and was used to treat patients with
psychiatry problems. The band felt that this treatment was inhumane, and wrote
the song about a friend of the band who tried to kill himself and was taken to
a psychiatric hospital where ECT was practised.
The song is carried by a blistering guitar from The Edge that builds into Bono relaying what happens to you before, during and after you experience ECT treatment. Other than I Will Follow, The Electric Co. is the rockiest U2 get on their debut album as the band show off their skills as musicians for the first time.
A big live favourite in the early days of the band
due to Bono famously climbing and hanging off the various parts of the stage,
the song was played on nearly every show until 1987, where it underwent an 18
year hiatus and was not played again until 2005.