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Old 03-09-2009, 12:48 AM   #1
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Personal Connections with Albums

So I figure all of our opinions of U2's albums are biased to some extent because of personal interpretations or events. We all know music is a personal thing, or at least it should be. So how about we talk about ourselves for a bit, talk about the stuff no one else really cares about, and throw the objectiveness out the window, eh?

October: I remember listening to this album as I walked home from school in the fall. I was relatively new to music back then, so I thought the piano intro to "I Fall Down" was the most beautiful thing I'd ever heard. Speaking of beauty, this is when I started noticing how beautiful nature was and I'd stare at trees and stuff as I walked. I was generally also a very, uh, "lost soul" back then and the longing, searching theme of the album was perfect. I noticed I tend to regard October very highly on these forums, and I've never missed an opportunity to defend "I Fall Down." I guess if we thought objectively... that song isn't that great, but screw that!

The Joshua Tree: This is probably the only album I own that I've never gotten sick of. I don't really have any story behind this one... I just know this is where I started singing in the shower I guess the theme is a little important to me... I live in southern California and its kinda cool knowing that U2 is singing about the area I live around.

Zooropa: I always rank this album among my top 3 U2 albums. I remember I was in a relationship with this girl... taking the words from Bono, "for the first time, I feel love." Except around the time I started listening to this, things started getting bad and we "broke up" (wasn't really a relationship anyway...) and it was the biggest deal to me. I became depressed and lonely for a while. The whole album seemed to fit my situation...Babyface, Stay, SDABTO, Dirty Day, The First Time, the Wanderer. I especially fell in love with Lemon - the girl wearing yellow, the man chasing her, building cars, roads, cathedrals etc. to get to her, using his money as a light to find her, "midnight is where the day begins", - it was all brilliant to me. I still consider this song to be a masterpierce. The album was brilliant, and I still associate it with, not just rough times, but reflecting on them and the recovery after.

All That You Can't Leave Behind: This was the first U2 album I fell in love with. I remember as a kid hearing Beautiful Day on the radio and loving it. That was saying a lot, since I didn't listen to music at all. But I didn't know who the band was, so I didn't rediscover this song until years later. I consider Beautiful Day to be a brilliant song as well, and I always say its their best song; perhaps I only do it just because of its role in my life. Walk On was the first song that ever made me cry. Many people on this forum don't like this album because of the second half, but this half I especially loved. I remember having Wild Honey on repeat really early in the morning as I was still in bed and waking up. When I Look at the World was beautiful, hard to explain why. It was the music and the sounds, I guess. I would relax for hours everyday listening to songs on this album on shuffle - those were the good ol' days for me. Therefore, I always associate this album with peace and joy. It was also the album that officially hooked me on U2. I'm going to have to admit, I bet much of why I like this album nowadays is purely for nostalgic reasons.

How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb: This was the very first CD I had ever bought (yeah. I'm young and kinda late :P). I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Not really much else to say though; not very many of the songs connected with me that well anymore. Vertigo and OOTS had their run. All Because of You was the very first U2 song I heard (while being aware it was U2). Most importantly, City of Blinding Lights was the first time I ever felt awed and atonished by music - before I admittedly couldn't care less about it. I was completely blown away, thinking it was the most brilliant piece of music ever created and that everyone should listen to this.

No Line on the Horizon: Ok, so I guess its still a little too early for this one. But it seems as if NLOTH is becoming a Zooropa Part II for me. Things haven't been going very well for me lately (more girl issues, haha). NLOTH, Moment of Surrender, and Crazy are all connecting very well because of this. This is a reflection and recovery album. I really do like GOYB too - I started this "sexy boots" inside joke around school when a bunch of people thought I was hitting on girls with that line, haha. I think of GOYB as "Vertigo done right." In the future, I might also associate this album more with Interference and hype than anything else. Seriously, I was checking this forum all the time and, like everyone else, got the leak weeks early. Never been such a fanboy over an album before! It seems like the hype for the music is going to overshadow the actual music.

So there's my wall of text. I noticed that this personal stuff really influences the way I think about and rank these albums. These things always make albums look better in our eyes. I'm always out defending Zooropa, October, and All That You Can't Leave Behind against the menaces of Achtung Baby. Speaking of Achtung Baby, none of that album connected with me. I don't have any significant memories associated with it really, and its likely that I don't think very highly of this album because of this. Not dissing it, it's still a good album. But I got no favorable bias towards it! Same with Boy, War, TUF, Pop, and R&H. I guess nothing significant enough was happening as I was listening to those!
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:32 AM   #2
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The Joshua Tree is special to me and I feel I have a personal connection with it because its the album that made me a fan at just 14 years old. I had it on cassette tape. I was a giddy fangirl and I remember getting so excited that my parents actually were going to let me go to the concert. I cried and screamed the whole time. I will never forget it. I dont think I could get sick of that album either.

ATYCLB also is special to me, even though I know not many like the album. It's the album that made me fall in love with U2 all over again after 7 or 8 year hiatus. For me, after Rattle and Hum my music tastes changed (being a teenager and all) so I kind of stopped listening to them and then they got weird (so I thought.. as a teen early 20s.. POP and Zooropa etc..) but when I saw Beautiful Day on MTV one day I got chills and goosebumps all over again.

I love all the albums now, but those two stand out for me. Even though I really really love NLOTH. It's way up there as one of my favorite albums.
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Old 03-09-2009, 02:32 AM   #3
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War is a sentimental favorite for me, because that was the first time I thought of myself as a U2 'fan'; my oldest brother had all three of U2's albums, but for whatever reason, that was the one that really caught my attention and I was always pestering him wanting to borrow it. It's rough and uneven and evinces less-than-'accomplished' musicianship, but I still hear it as the album where their potential to become something really special was first clearly evident. I continued to be a big fan through UF and JT, but kinda lost track of them for several years after that; I'm honestly not sure I was even aware of R&H's existence at the time.

Achtung Baby was what got me interested again. I'd just returned from a year abroad in college, and it was already a big hit when I got back. I could hardly believe this was the same bunch of activist rockers I'd loved back in high school. The split personality of that album--deeply introspective and world-weary one moment and frenetic, even hedonistic, the next--happened to suit my personal circumstances at the time perfectly and I was once again a big fan through Zooropa and the ZOOTV period.

I never fully lost track of U2 again after that like I had after JT, but for me personally, everything after Zooropa--until now--felt dissatisfactory to varying degrees; I liked Pop and ATYCLB just fine, but they aren't really special for me, and I'm one of those who didn't care for HTDAAB at all. I am really loving NLOTH though; for me it's a lovely, complicated beast of an album that has that monumental presence I've always loved about U2 in spades.
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Old 03-09-2009, 02:39 AM   #4
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I'm surprised that you would lose track of U2 around Joshua Tree! Was it because the album itself was disappointing or did you just have other stuff going on?
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Old 03-09-2009, 02:39 AM   #5
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Great thread.
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Old 03-09-2009, 03:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
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I'm surprised that you would lose track of U2 around Joshua Tree! Was it because the album itself was disappointing or did you just have other stuff going on?
Well, it was after Joshua Tree--I definitely did buy that one and loved it. But yeah, 'other stuff' basically; my father died suddenly which radically changed our family's situation in various ways, so accumulating exciting new listening material was not a personal priority for several years.
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Old 03-09-2009, 04:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sicy View Post
The Joshua Tree is special to me and I feel I have a personal connection with it because its the album that made me a fan at just 14 years old. I had it on cassette tape. I was a giddy fangirl and I remember getting so excited that my parents actually were going to let me go to the concert. I cried and screamed the whole time. I will never forget it. I dont think I could get sick of that album either.

ATYCLB also is special to me, even though I know not many like the album. It's the album that made me fall in love with U2 all over again after 7 or 8 year hiatus. For me, after Rattle and Hum my music tastes changed (being a teenager and all) so I kind of stopped listening to them and then they got weird (so I thought.. as a teen early 20s.. POP and Zooropa etc..) but when I saw Beautiful Day on MTV one day I got chills and goosebumps all over again.

I love all the albums now, but those two stand out for me. Even though I really really love NLOTH. It's way up there as one of my favorite albums.
Hey, my big brother got into U2 the same time and age you did. He also got to see U2 in Montreal; he remembered that Bono's arm was in a cast. He hated Rattle and Hum, though and wasn't as into Achtung Baby as our middle brother. That's when I got into it.

So, both JT and AB are close to my heart because my older brothers listened to them a lot. My mother got so excited to see me so into music when I got into AB, but she lost hope when she realized it didn't translate into love for classical music.

I started going through my oldest brother's stuff. He still has the Rattle and Hum vinyl partly sealed (having never listened to it) because a friend had already made him a tape of it before our middle brother bought it for his birthday. I also listened lots to his official (i.e. legal) cassettes of October, Joshua Tree, and Live: Under a Blood Red Sky. I then got my mother to buy me the Boy cassette; our middle brother bought me my first CD, the single of "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses", and my oldest brother bought me Unforgettable Fire and War for my 13th birthday. Too bad they totally turned against U2 and lost all interest after I became a fanatic and played their stuff incessantly. At one point, my oldest brother heard my watching the "With Or Without You" video for the 30th time (although I'd listened to the song far more) and shouted at me, "You're sick, you know that, kid. You're sick!"

Zooropa was my first purchase in the first week it came out. I got my brother to take me to HMV and it cost me $13.99. It took me the whole summer to finally admit it wasn't as good as Achtung Baby...

Then the long wait until Pop, which also took me ages to admit it wasn't that great. Same with ATYCLB, although I was immediately disappointed upon hearing "Beautiful Day" for the first time and it's simple approach, but I had already started to worry about the band since "Hold Me, Thrill Me, etc". Those first years when you get into a band are the most fun because the wait between albums is painful without new music.
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Old 03-09-2009, 04:54 PM   #8
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this is so hard. bascally you can say i heard WOWY in 1987 when i was young and it stuck with me ever since in the most spiritual way u can imagine. didn't rediscover them untill 1995/1996. i knew very little about the band outside of the hits off of joshua. i mean really like that was the only u2 i knew. and thats really insane considering all the other stuff. people lent me zooropa and rattle and hum. it built up from thier. to say the least. it was a intresting expierence rediscovering the band. in fact you could even say i realy discovering them for first time excluding joshua. watching those 1987 videos on mtv and not even knowing about pre joshua tree. like joshua was thier first album as far as i was knew. i mean i could post a entire thread on what u2 means to me. random moments. hearing ground benieth your feet for the first time. when i relized what AB was and the tour behind it. And for me, its all about the circumstances behind whats going on when i hear a song/album. ATYCLB for me was a band about facing middle age and where the band has been/where thier going. and its also about what i was in 2000 and what i was doing. etc. and then after 9/11 that album was about finding hope and salvation. in a way like never before. and sometimes it felt like all these things at once. how i felt about pop when it came out. how i feel about it now. how it compares to what thier doing now. how it dosn;t compare etc. and that goes for any album. proly be better if i respond to other peoples ideas. see if thiers things i can relate too. mabey someone can relate to me. But i can say this... once in a while, i can hear ISHFWILF and WOWY, and if i concertrate , i can get back to that time when i was young and those were the only two u2 songs in the world.
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Old 03-09-2009, 05:16 PM   #9
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ATYCLB - I was depressed after having my son, I was just having a hard time then 9/11 happened. This album made me feel like I wasn't alone.
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Old 03-09-2009, 05:19 PM   #10
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oh i love them all, i especially love putting the albums on and just crying the entire time, holy whackjob
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Old 03-09-2009, 06:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sicy View Post
The Joshua Tree is special to me and I feel I have a personal connection with it because its the album that made me a fan at just 14 years old. I had it on cassette tape. I was a giddy fangirl and I remember getting so excited that my parents actually were going to let me go to the concert. I cried and screamed the whole time. I will never forget it. I dont think I could get sick of that album either.

ATYCLB also is special to me, even though I know not many like the album. It's the album that made me fall in love with U2 all over again after 7 or 8 year hiatus. For me, after Rattle and Hum my music tastes changed (being a teenager and all) so I kind of stopped listening to them and then they got weird (so I thought.. as a teen early 20s.. POP and Zooropa etc..) but when I saw Beautiful Day on MTV one day I got chills and goosebumps all over again.

I love all the albums now, but those two stand out for me. Even though I really really love NLOTH. It's way up there as one of my favorite albums.
Wait, you STOPPED liking them at one point?

For shame Sicy.




But yeah.
All That You Cant Leave Behind: My first non-compilation album, and the album that threw me into the world of not only U2, but music in general. I owe a lot to that 1 album.
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Old 03-09-2009, 06:12 PM   #12
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Achtung Baby and NLOTH... both for boring enough reasons. They also happen to be my two favorite U2 albums at the moment.
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Old 03-09-2009, 06:53 PM   #13
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War - First album I ever bought. I heard that U2 was pretty good, so I just checked them out. I was like 12, and it was mind-blowing hearing music with political lyrics. I love that album.

October - I downloaded a version of All I Want at You that had October as a hidden track, and I didn't know what song it was, but I remember that it was really sad and beautiful, and I liked it more than All I Want is You! Haha. I had every album except this one, and my brother got it for me for my 15th birthday. After the party, it was like 1 am, but I still listened to it all the way through in the dark. I remember really feeling the emotion in Tomorrow.

Boy - I just remember feeling good and playing videogames in the springtime listening to this album.

Pop - Was, and still is, my favorite album. I got it right before a band trip my freshman year, and it was the first time I'd been away from home. It was accidentally the only Cd I brought, and I ended up listening the hell out of it. It really reflected all the new cool stuff that was happening to me, and also the first taste of dark stuff and sadness. (Typical teen drama, now I look back and it's stupid, but back then it meant alot haha) I love all the different colors on this album, and the quiet loneliness in the songs.
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Old 03-09-2009, 07:10 PM   #14
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Rattle & Hum and Under a Blood Red Sky
I was but a slip of a girl at 12 and totally into pop. First year of high school and a new friend made me two mixed tapes with most of those two albums on them. Bono's voice woke me up and lifted me out of my world of Barbies and cartoons. We used to travel for hours to the country and I'd have my sony walkman attached to my head like glue. Even now when I hear those songs it takes me back.

U2 were my first love and I'm still as giddy now as I was back then .
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Old 03-09-2009, 09:21 PM   #15
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Well actually at first I never liked U2 at all in the 80's.I was probably too young around The Joshua Tree(ten at the time) and Rattle and Hum.I remember I had a couple of Uncle's who liked them.But then:

Achtung Baby-My friend brought over a little CD one Saturday afternoon when he came to visit called Achtung Baby.Needless to say this was and still is my favorite album.Fall and Winter of 1992 memories which was a great time in my life.I actually didnt hear this album until a year after it was out.
Zooropa-Didnt like this much on first listen but about a week later I fell in love with this album.A very European sounding album.Definitely in my top 3 also.
Passengers-Didnt know about this but stumbled upon this in a record store one day and saw the band members name on it.Bought it and thought it is the weirdest album they ever recorded.
POP-I have never anticipated a U2 album has much has this one.I think it is U2's most underrated album.I do wish it had a few more electronic dance songs on it though.
ATYCLB-I bought this during work and played it all day long in my delivery truck.Fantastic Comeback.I remember hearing Stuck and Elevation for the first time.
HTDAAB-Sometimes and OOTS as well as COBL and Miracle Drug are the real standouts for me on this record.
NLOTH-Some sort of spiritual connection on this now.Something I havent felt on previous two records.
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Old 03-09-2009, 09:30 PM   #16
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atyclb because i visited ireland with my family in 2003 and the sky in dublin was so bright and blue and perfect as we went past hanover quay and it reminded me of "beautiful day", so i think of dublin every time i hear that song
i was listening to "grace" for the first time when i was in the car with my grandfather, and then i didn't hear the song again until after he died, and hearing the song hit me so viscerally, i just sat there, mouth open, remembering that car ride

so atyclb is bookended by two great memories, therefore i have a connection to it



bomb also reminds me of my first boyfriend who got me the album the day it came out, before we were even dating
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:29 AM   #17
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i may have heard new years day in the 80's. but didn;t know it was u2. even when i knew still havn't and with or without you, i didn't make the connection.
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Old 03-10-2009, 07:06 AM   #18
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Hutdab - my first U2 record.
Attyclub - incredibly cathartic.
AB - spent two weeks listening to nothing but this.
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