some thoughts on recording and//or touring - U2 Feedback

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Old 09-08-2007, 01:05 PM   #1
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recording vs touring (U2 vs the Beatles) ??

The longer U2 are around, as "biggest band in the world" the more they're compared to the Beatles as "biggest band of all time"

the Beatles put out an average of two albums a year for most of their career...

How were they able to put out so much material??

In comparing them to U2, I'm guessing they didn't tour nearly as much as U2...
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Old 09-08-2007, 02:11 PM   #2
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looking up the Beatles tour dates now... something I've always wondered about...
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Old 09-08-2007, 02:27 PM   #3
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The Beatles stopped touring outright in (I believe) 1967.
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Old 09-08-2007, 03:53 PM   #4
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interesting... completely different, in a completely different time... maybe the Stones are the better band to compare U2 to...
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Old 09-08-2007, 07:06 PM   #5
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1966 was their last concert, in San Francisco (Candlestick Park).

Didn't they give up touring because they were fed up with the ridiculousness of playing a concert where you couldn't hear anything but the high-pitched screaming of fanatical young girls?
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Old 09-08-2007, 08:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by corianderstem
1966 was their last concert, in San Francisco (Candlestick Park).

Didn't they give up touring because they were fed up with the ridiculousness of playing a concert where you couldn't hear anything but the high-pitched screaming of fanatical young girls?
haha, WOW, now that changes how i see the Beatles.. i guess if you're going to stop playing live, that's as good a reason as any, but no wonder they could write and record so much if they weren't touring...
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Old 09-08-2007, 11:14 PM   #7
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lol U2 deals with that too...well to a degree
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Old 09-09-2007, 02:26 AM   #8
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In the "Being Mick" documentary there's a scene where Bono asks Jagger the exact question. I forget the answer he gave.
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Old 09-09-2007, 02:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2FanPeter
In the "Being Mick" documentary there's a scene where Bono asks Jagger the exact question. I forget the answer he gave.
thanks... you mean he asked Mick how the Stones wrote so much material?

I think I've seen that... he said it just sort of poured out of them.

I get the feeling that music just pours out of U2 as well when they're together with the time to flesh it out... which is why i think they could release more material with a slight shifting of their focus. They've usually been more of a touring band than a recording band, but if they found a more even balance, I think they'd hit on something even bigger than what we've seen from them before...
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Old 09-09-2007, 03:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by corianderstem
1966 was their last concert, in San Francisco (Candlestick Park).

Didn't they give up touring because they were fed up with the ridiculousness of playing a concert where you couldn't hear anything but the high-pitched screaming of fanatical young girls?
that was part of it... they were tired of the whole beatlemania thing... the screaming girls, the controversy over lennon's "we're bigger than jesus" comment, etc. etc.
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Old 09-09-2007, 04:42 PM   #11
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I would just like to add that I just found out that Help! is finally coming out on DVD at the end of October.

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Old 09-09-2007, 05:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase


that was part of it... they were tired of the whole beatlemania thing... the screaming girls, the controversy over lennon's "we're bigger than jesus" comment, etc. etc.
They stopped caring about the live show in 1966 since no one was really listening. Watch the Japan 1966 performances to see how sloppy they got!!!!
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Old 09-13-2007, 03:57 AM   #13
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Re: recording vs touring (U2 vs the Beatles) ??

Quote:
Originally posted by dr. zooeuss
The longer U2 are around, as "biggest band in the world" the more they're compared to the Beatles as "biggest band of all time"

the Beatles put out an average of two albums a year for most of their career...

How were they able to put out so much material??

In comparing them to U2, I'm guessing they didn't tour nearly as much as U2...
It was just The Beatles --- all artists on major labels (who scored hit singles) normally put out three singles and two albums a year, from about 1963 to 1967 or 1968. As I'm sure you know, bands in those days recorded in more simple, direct (actually primitive) ways than bands do today, so the recording process itself was much faster (The Beatles first album, for example, was recorded in one day and was #1 on the UK chart for about 6 months!). Before The Beatles did Sgt. Pepper (from late 1966 to spring 1967 -- over a period of 9 months), the longest anybody had spent on an album was about 3 weeks, and that was considered excessive! (There were perhaps rare exceptions, such as Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys spending time and a fortune to complete the 'Good Vibrations' single.)

And there's more to it than just this. In the mid-60s, few bands wrote all of their own material, if any of them did -- even The Beatles 1st, 2nd, and 4th albums had about 40% cover material. The Stones didn't even try writing songs until about their 4th or 5th album. So there was comparatively little, if any, time needed to compose. And when you did compose, there was an 8 to 10 year, fairly undeveloped, legacy to contend with, as opposed to today where it's a multi-billion dollar industry with lawyers at every label ready to sue your ass off if your new song vaguely resembles three seconds of any record in the past 50 years.

There's more: In the mid-60s, the idea of developing your music didn't exist. Bands were expected to crank out the same shit for a couple of years, or however long their stay in the pop charts lasted (usually not long). Concerts were cheap, easy affairs at the pro level, too. The Beatles played 25-minute sets from 1963 to 1966, usually the same songs for the entire tour with no thought of changing anything.

And there's more: Bands in the mid-60s mainly made money from concerts (at theaters) and singles, NOT from albums. Albums were an afterthought for popular-music labels until the late-60s; I think 1969 was the first year that albums outsold singles in the USA (and I believe it was even later in the UK). So most pop albums (the Beatles and Dylan as exceptions, if you want to call Dylan "pop") were rag-bag affairs assembled by the record label as much as by the artist, usually consisting of one hit single (if in the US) and a bunch of boring filler.


The Beatles' entire career can be summed up in three phases, if you like:
1) Club-band in Liverpool and Hamburg (1960 to the end of 1962)
2) Beatlemania (1963 and esp. 1964 to 1966)
3) Studio-only band (1967 to 1969)

In stage one, they weren't making records, so they gigged to make money. In Germany, they played gruelling sets that went on for 7 or 8 hours (albeit with breaks). If you hear the rough recordings of them from 1962 (esp. after Ringo joins) they ROCKED and were an amazingly great live band, totally focused on their performance art.

In stage two, they were freak-show attractions for an international audience. People went to see them not to hear music, but to scream at idols. Hence...

In stage three, they developed their craft -- intellectually, artistically -- in the studio, producing the most essential four albums successively in rock history.

No sense comparing U2 to this era.
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Old 09-13-2007, 11:21 PM   #14
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Re: Re: recording vs touring (U2 vs the Beatles) ??

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Originally posted by 65980


In stage one, they weren't making records, so they gigged to make money. In Germany, they played gruelling sets that went on for 7 or 8 hours (albeit with breaks). If you hear the rough recordings of them from 1962 (esp. after Ringo joins) they ROCKED and were an amazingly great live band, totally focused on their performance art.

In stage two, they were freak-show attractions for an international audience. People went to see them not to hear music, but to scream at idols. Hence...

In stage three, they developed their craft -- intellectually, artistically -- in the studio, producing the most essential four albums successively in rock history.

No sense comparing U2 to this era.
Wow that's awesome- a good chunk of that I did not know, so thanks.

I guess my question then is what was the key to their brilliance in the third stage? Four brilliant albums in three years? That still blows any 3 U2 years out of the water... what if U2 decided to just record for three years?

(I'm half-joking, but it's interesting to consider...)
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Old 09-14-2007, 12:00 AM   #15
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Also remember that the Beatles 64/65/66 tours were only about 3 months long when added together.

That's one tour leg in U2's world.
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