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Old 03-23-2011, 08:51 AM   #31
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I agree, three fast releases. It would force them to think quickly, not overcook, and have room for less traditional stuff.

I will always have confidence in U2. I think when they finally give up the idea of trying to make "hits," they are going to hit a late peak like no other band...
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Old 03-23-2011, 10:09 AM   #32
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That would be nice, but I can't see U2 making albums beyond the mega tours. The second they're done with that, they're done.
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:49 PM   #33
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I agree, three fast releases. It would force them to think quickly, not overcook, and have room for less traditional stuff.

I will always have confidence in U2. I think when they finally give up the idea of trying to make "hits," they are going to hit a late peak like no other band...
Exactly...I hope that they'll begin making earthier music soon...something with some rootedness. The less time they spend on it, the better it'll turn out.

They've always said "Two crap albums and we're done." I think they'll find it to be "two crap albums and we're LIBERATED." Not that they've ever made a crap album, but if they're judging by sales...
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Old 03-24-2011, 03:12 AM   #34
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Most of the time, I rank the "weaker albums" higher than the other albums.

So if I had four new albums, on par with Zooropa (my favorite U2 album), then that would be just fine.
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Old 03-24-2011, 03:36 AM   #35
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Would rather have three "lesser" releases for sure.
The excitement of counting down to a new U2 album is something that should be experienced more often than once every 4 years.
As far as I'm concerned EVERY U2 album has great songs on it and I want to be blasting the next U2 disc on my sound system BEFORE CD's turn extinct.
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:23 AM   #36
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Most of the time, I rank the "weaker albums" higher than the other albums.

So if I had four new albums, on par with Zooropa (my favorite U2 album), then that would be just fine.
For one thing, Zooropa is very well-liked around these parts, finishing 6th in my current album polling in this forum.

But to clarify, I'm saying U2 delivering three new albums on par with the albums that YOU personally think are the worst. For me, that would mean three new albums on par with, say, Rattle & Hum or Pop.
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:51 AM   #37
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I still think a 4 year wait would lead to a lesser album while three quick releases would lead back to GREATNESS. The first one might be mediocre...but once they find their rhythm...
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Old 03-24-2011, 04:47 PM   #38
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The idea that they actually have three albums in the works is slightly less believable than the idea that could make anything that could stack up to their previous greatness...as long as they are uncomfortably chasing the tail of popularity.

Both of which aren't plausible at all, IMO.

But to answer the question - I'd rather have a single album of demos/sketches than a full blown, ultra-studio-polished attempt at appealing to the idiotic masses - much less three of those. Because that's where U2's greatness will always shine...right before they decide they have to dumb it down for 15 year olds.
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Old 03-24-2011, 04:56 PM   #39
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That would be nice, but I can't see U2 making albums beyond the mega tours. The second they're done with that, they're done.
I disagree. I think once they stop mega touring, they'll have less pressure to make hits and more freedom to explore.

If they stop making music when they're done touring, that would be a tragedy. We would never know what they would have been capable of sans the pressure of gargantuan tours.
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:05 AM   #40
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I totally agree that without the pressures of mega-commercial success and hit singles and mega-tours, they would have complete creative freedom, and that would be unbelievably exciting, as a U2 fan. I would go so far as to say, bring it. Fuck all of this. Totally happy with 360 being the end of all that.

But I don’t think it would happen. I think that all signs at the moment point to a suggestion that once U2 aren’t what U2 are now, U2 will cease to exist.

What is their inspiration or motivation these days?

Bono often says that he or they often consider something along the lines of “Does the world need another U2 album?” I would think that question means “Do U2 still have something to add to the ebb and flow of the musical conversation?” Do they still have something new and challenging in them creatively or artistically. Do they still have something new or worthwhile to say. If you’re being totally honest, you’d have to say that they haven’t really been a part of that conversation for a long time. U2 albums make only commercial waves, not creative waves. You may have an opinion on whether that is fair or not, but it is what it is, and it is not an assessment of creative quality to say that U2 are not a creative force, and haven’t been for some time.

But if U2 themselves are aware of this (surely), I don’t know to what degree they really care. The “Does the world need another U2 album?” seems to them to not be a question they ask themselves, but a challenge from ‘the world’. The world thinks they don’t need another U2 album. We’ll show them! We’ll make the BIGGEST U2 album, and we’ll go on the BIGGEST ever tour! It all seems to be very competitive for them. What they want to prove seems to be all related to their age, and their ability to still be a huge commercial/cultural force. Commercial and cultural relevancy, but not creative relevancy. In promoting their last couple of albums, someone would ask them a question about inspiration, and the answer would more often than not involve a name-checking of half a dozen very successful bands half their age and an attitude of We want to show these kids who’s boss.

In terms of answering that question - that seems to be about it. Obviously when it comes to individual tracks, creative themes etc, there’s still a lot going on there, but when it comes to the larger question of U2’s ongoing existence, their inspiration and relevancy, it’s not a creative adventure, it’s a competitive sport.

So I just think that while there might be a small chance that a sudden loss of mega-commercial-mega-tour-mega-U2 for whatever reason, might re-awaken something, that the discovery of freedom might be truly inspirational, but I just think at the moment, it seems that they only equate their relevancy with their size. So if they’re not BIG, they’re irrelevant. And if they consider themselves to be irrelevant, then the answer to “Does the world need another U2 album?” will almost certainly, unfortunately, be: NO.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:06 PM   #41
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I would think that question means “Do U2 still have something to add to the ebb and flow of the musical conversation?” Do they still have something new and challenging in them creatively or artistically. Do they still have something new or worthwhile to say. If you’re being totally honest, you’d have to say that they haven’t really been a part of that conversation for a long time. U2 albums make only commercial waves, not creative waves. You may have an opinion on whether that is fair or not, but it is what it is, and it is not an assessment of creative quality to say that U2 are not a creative force, and haven’t been for some time.
Moment of Surrender.


There were hints that they still have something to add on No Line, but then they throw songs like Crazy and SUC on there and it deludes what could have been. They should stop trying to compete with the younger bands and prove that they're the biggest out there. They should stop chasing hits and become elder statesmen and put out great music--hits be damned.
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Old 03-25-2011, 03:11 PM   #42
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Honestly, I would rather that they simply didn't tour anymore. U2 is a great live band, but they are getting older. 360 is quite a spectacle, but most of the performances of songs (the music, rather than the look) are noticeably much worse than the way they were performed on Vertigo or Elevation, etc. The Rose Bowl DVD bored the hell out of me while I was riveted by all of the previous videos. The tours basically take two years away that could have been spent recording a new album, and at the end of the day, the music is the reason we love U2. Would you rather get to see this band play a live show once or twice every five years or would you rather not see them and have an extra album forever?
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Old 03-25-2011, 06:49 PM   #43
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They should name the new album "Punch and Pie"
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Old 03-26-2011, 12:07 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Earnie Shavers View Post
I totally agree that without the pressures of mega-commercial success and hit singles and mega-tours, they would have complete creative freedom, and that would be unbelievably exciting, as a U2 fan. I would go so far as to say, bring it. Fuck all of this. Totally happy with 360 being the end of all that.

But I don’t think it would happen. I think that all signs at the moment point to a suggestion that once U2 aren’t what U2 are now, U2 will cease to exist.

What is their inspiration or motivation these days?

Bono often says that he or they often consider something along the lines of “Does the world need another U2 album?” I would think that question means “Do U2 still have something to add to the ebb and flow of the musical conversation?” Do they still have something new and challenging in them creatively or artistically. Do they still have something new or worthwhile to say. If you’re being totally honest, you’d have to say that they haven’t really been a part of that conversation for a long time. U2 albums make only commercial waves, not creative waves. You may have an opinion on whether that is fair or not, but it is what it is, and it is not an assessment of creative quality to say that U2 are not a creative force, and haven’t been for some time.

But if U2 themselves are aware of this (surely), I don’t know to what degree they really care. The “Does the world need another U2 album?” seems to them to not be a question they ask themselves, but a challenge from ‘the world’. The world thinks they don’t need another U2 album. We’ll show them! We’ll make the BIGGEST U2 album, and we’ll go on the BIGGEST ever tour! It all seems to be very competitive for them. What they want to prove seems to be all related to their age, and their ability to still be a huge commercial/cultural force. Commercial and cultural relevancy, but not creative relevancy. In promoting their last couple of albums, someone would ask them a question about inspiration, and the answer would more often than not involve a name-checking of half a dozen very successful bands half their age and an attitude of We want to show these kids who’s boss.

In terms of answering that question - that seems to be about it. Obviously when it comes to individual tracks, creative themes etc, there’s still a lot going on there, but when it comes to the larger question of U2’s ongoing existence, their inspiration and relevancy, it’s not a creative adventure, it’s a competitive sport.

So I just think that while there might be a small chance that a sudden loss of mega-commercial-mega-tour-mega-U2 for whatever reason, might re-awaken something, that the discovery of freedom might be truly inspirational, but I just think at the moment, it seems that they only equate their relevancy with their size. So if they’re not BIG, they’re irrelevant. And if they consider themselves to be irrelevant, then the answer to “Does the world need another U2 album?” will almost certainly, unfortunately, be: NO.
I am hoping they go through at least one more phase - scaling it down...rediscovering their irish roots and making some music incorporating traditional irish instruments. It would be earthy, acoustic and intimate.

I agree, the music of the last decade exists in an echo chamber. There's no rootedness to the music, every album is "11 more songs written specifically for a large tour!" The music has little to say in itself.

I hold out hope that they will reassess what they're doing; I can't think of anything more pathetic that trying to make a "club album." They need to spend the next decade growing as musicians. If they keep releasing the trite music of the last decade, I can't see them lasting much longer.
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:40 AM   #45
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Age, for them if it is preying on their minds, shouldn't be an issue given historical precedence within music and within their peers and influences... it's not always a young man's game...

Infact age means nothing, Lou Reed made New York when he was 48 he then jumped right into a record with John Cale, Songs For Drella and a third about the death of two of his friends = a rich three year period. Bowie's Heathen/Reality phase, he was around 55 at the time.. both of these periods for the artists in question featured sparse touring and albums that followed each other within 14months.. NIN between 07-08; Year Zero, Ghosts and The Slip, three projects one of which was niche the other a standard album/tour and the third a free music project with a burst of live work after the fact...

As for the no tour option; the best example is still R.E.M with Out Of Time and 12 months later Automatic For The People, huge, huge sellers with zero mega tour.. it can be done.. the music is why the audience are there and what they crave and remember...
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