Would it be so bad if U2 became "irrelevant"? - U2 Feedback

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Old 01-24-2009, 06:50 AM   #1
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Would it be so bad if U2 became "irrelevant"?

As I am sure it has occurred to many other people here, the new single isn't getting a ton of radio play, and one could argue that the band's direction has taken it closer to mainstream irrelevance. My question is this: is that a bad thing? I think that a less popular U2 may be a good thing if it makes the band more accessible, especially in regards to smaller concert venues, cheaper concert tickets, and more available concert tickets. Less demand for U2 is a welcome thing, as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 01-24-2009, 07:01 AM   #2
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If you mean U2 becoming like R.E.M, Depeche Mode, Pearl Jam, Radiohead...etc, I don't think it would be a bad thing.
The question is would U2 be happy selling ~3mln copies of each future album? and becoming more of a "cult" band...
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Old 01-24-2009, 07:07 AM   #3
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And would they think it's then time to call it quits? I don't want them to do that yet!
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Old 01-24-2009, 07:12 AM   #4
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I think they are already less relevant then before. In the eighties and the first half of the nineties they were major. Respected in the obscure music circles (although it wasn't said out loud and massive on radio and mainstream). After Pop their popularity has steadily declined. They still have sold very large number of records but they are nowhere near seen as relevant as in the eighties and with Achtung Baby. A bit their own fault. You have to chose. Do you want to be played on the radio or are you going for the more obscure album which has maybe on single and needs a lot of listening to make sense. I hope NLOTH is the later. Who cares about radio and singles. U2 live is unbeatable. A shitload of People will go the concerts even if there is not on radio friendly song on the record. Don't get me wrong. Boots is a great song but doesn't seem to be able to chose between Queens of the Stone Age or a watered down version of HiperdeHipHop.
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Old 01-24-2009, 07:17 AM   #5
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Modern rock radio has become irrelevant. So I wouldn't pay too much attention to whether or not U2 get played on the radio.

And demand for U2 tickets will always be high. Even if they release a crap album people will still want to see them live. Look at The Rolling Stones. They don't seem to have any trouble filling seats. And what was the last "relevant" single or album they had?
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Old 01-24-2009, 07:18 AM   #6
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Although I also wouldn't mind cheaper tickets, better access etc, I don't think this will happen. If U2 see a decline in sales / popularity as an indication that they've lost their ability to make great music, then they will probably call it a day.

As for GOYB and the amount of radio play it's getting, I think we'll hear it much more in the next 2-3 weeks, building up to the album release and all the likely radio promo stuff.
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Old 01-24-2009, 07:18 AM   #7
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Personally, I think it would be fantastic. Smaller, cheaper concerts are always preferable in my view. U2 themselves may not be so happy about it, though ...
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Old 01-24-2009, 08:05 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by bathiu View Post
If you mean U2 becoming like R.E.M, Depeche Mode, Pearl Jam, Radiohead...etc, I don't think it would be a bad thing.
The question is would U2 be happy selling ~3mln copies of each future album? and becoming more of a "cult" band...
I think relevant is a complicated definition these days. REM is always brillant, DM in the nineties chose to be a cult band, Radiohead is still big. But the kind of relevance these bands used to have was another kind. Remember when Pearl Jam shared all the news with Nirvana as hot epic grunge band?

But now what you can call relevance is an act that is in the news. Britney Spears sold more than a million coppies with that ultra crap music she does. I'm saying that real music is non important in pop scene. And i'm talking about "pop scene" not rock...

Even pop acts had to deliver pop gems over the years. Madonna, George Micheal, Spice Girls, Phill Collins, Alanis, Billy Idol and all others acts were top class pop acts. Their music had to contain that plus that make pop music listenable at least.
But after the Backstreet Boys/N'sync Britney and Chritina revolution pop music descend to their all time low levels of quality. I can't remember any good pop gem from any of those acts, nothing close to Like a Virgin or Dancing with my self...
You don't have to have a good song(for pop standarts) to be a big act.
Britney Spears is argueably the biggest artist in the world without having any good pop song in her catalogue. We are living in dark days for music.

We have some nice rock bands in the scene, as Coldplay being the biggest of them and the biggest selling artist of last year, even with the super boring, U2-pale carbon copy abum Viva la Vida. You see a pattern here...

So if in this pop scene music matters the least is natural that rock will not be relevant for at least a couple of years, because music itself lost its relevance.
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Old 01-24-2009, 08:11 AM   #9
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It depends on how you define 'relevance.' U2 are still a heavy influence on other bands (Coldplay, Snow Patrol, etc.), albeit it's their earlier work that may be influencing them. Their live performances, from style to technology, continue to influence the live shows of other performers. The new album may or may not have an impact on others in the music industry. We won't be able to tell for some time, as a lot of U2's material never 100% fits in with the mainstream at the time (though Bomb was certainly closer than most) and tends to influence other bands later on. Boots doesn't really fit with all that much on the radio now....there are definitely some "mainstream" parts, but there are various aspects of it that make it hard for me to imagine it playing in between songs that are currently getting airplay.

As for cultural relevance.... U2 had a big boost in the US post-9/11, as many people found some connection and comfort in ATYCLB. However, I don't think they'll ever have the cultural relevance that they enjoyed during the Achtung Baby period. They've never had it at that level since, despite having a lot of 'relevance' as the guys who have the reputation of having had such an important impact already.

If it's airplay relevance & the love of new 13-year-old listeners.....well, to each his own, but I don't really care about that.
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Old 01-24-2009, 08:38 AM   #10
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i find it amazing in todays information age if something is not immediately accepted people start to write you off. Their single has been out for a week or so and we already have people talking about the irrelevancy of u2. I for one truly believe the band wants this record to be a slow burner. I enjoy the fact we have not seen a ton of promotion with this album.
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Old 01-24-2009, 08:45 AM   #11
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Irrelevance shouldn't be a bad thing. Maybe people think very boooooring Coldplay rellevant or Radiohead which after Ok Computer thought they could release a couple of turts in audioform an everybody would go crazy. No, U2 should stay out of the limelight and just release a classic obscure cracker of an album and don't worry about being played on college radio any more. Radio these days sucks. Kelly Clarkson, god almighty!!
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Old 01-24-2009, 08:50 AM   #12
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Well its been played a lot on the radio here,so to me this is a daft question. Especialy when the album isnt even out yet!
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Old 01-24-2009, 08:50 AM   #13
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everyone needs to calm down , I wonder if this reaction echoes those that were around when the fly was released?
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Old 01-24-2009, 08:58 AM   #14
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B_digg, nice avatar. The Edge with his classic shoe punch. Cool stuff.
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Old 01-24-2009, 08:58 AM   #15
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Get On Your Boots is going to debut in the top 10 on US Modern Rock Radio (probably around 8 or so) and debut at 1 or 2 on Triple A radio.

So why is everyone saying lack of radio play? That said, it is not going to even approach the level of play Vertigo received.
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Old 01-24-2009, 09:08 AM   #16
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People seem to love bashing U2 on this forum,its like some people WANT the album to be crap so thay can moan. Thats why i stopped listening to the @U2 podcast,some smug guy stated as fact that the last two albums were rubbish and that was it. No argument the other way,his opinion was fact!
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Old 01-24-2009, 09:16 AM   #17
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People seem to love bashing U2 on this forum,its like some people WANT the album to be crap so thay can moan.
Relax. Take a deep breath and all the bad vibes will go away like snow under a rising sun.
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Old 01-24-2009, 09:20 AM   #18
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Relax. Take a deep breath and all the bad vibes will go away like snow under a rising sun.
Think i will go listen to Boots,that allways cheers me up!
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Old 01-24-2009, 09:20 AM   #19
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Good lord. Yes, it would be bad if U2 became irrelevant. But only because Bono, Edge, Adam and Larry so desperately need to remain relevant to continue on. They aren't the kind of band who would continue to record and tour into their 50s without relevant material and an opportunity to grow their audience. They aren't Aerosmith.

That said, aren't you being a little premature? Get on Your Boots was released less than a week ago! It hasn't even debuted on most charts yet! *L*

And I think a year from now we'll laugh at posts like this. The album they've always wanted to make, a massive, state of the art tour, Spiderman the musical...2009 is going to be a huge year for U2.
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Old 01-24-2009, 09:23 AM   #20
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Get On Your Boots is going to debut in the top 10 on US Modern Rock Radio (probably around 8 or so) and debut at 1 or 2 on Triple A radio.

So why is everyone saying lack of radio play? That said, it is not going to even approach the level of play Vertigo received.
Yeah, I'm really starting to think that U2 isn't aiming for anything close to Beautiful Day and Vertigo as far as promotion though. I think they released Boots as something they can point to as "see, we released this weirder/faster one also!" when they debut Magnificent as the 2nd single and the most U2ish song of all time. That will be their chance to blow up the charts I think.
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