Can U2 Find A Creative Struggle Within Themselves? - U2 Feedback

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Old 11-01-2002, 07:18 PM   #1
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Can U2 Find A Creative Struggle Within Themselves?

In a recent review of U2's Best of...1990-2000, the reviewer talked about this certain period of this decade in these terms...

"The second installment of U2's greatest hits covers the period when they, of all the lumbering, armour-plated rock dinosaurs, chose the narrow way and actually challenged themselves creatively. The result was the epochal Achtung Baby, an album that so successfully altered their musical course that the band have struggled to release anything as audacious since."

I pull out for discussion, these words of the review, "The result was the epochal Achtung Baby, an album that so successfully altered their musical course that the band have struggled to release anything as audacious since."

Now, I'm going to say this up front, at the very beginning, and very clearly so as everyone will understand my point. I'm in no way stating this for a knock on other U2 releases since Achtung Baby, or to argue one album in comparison to another album.

I am intrigued my this line I pulled out from the article, and especially the word "struggled" fascinates me. Have U2 really struggled since the release of Achtung Baby? Was not Achtung Baby birthed out of struggle itself? One can even go back as far as The Joshua Tree, and say that it was birthed out of struggle from not seeing the release of The Unforgettable Fire become the success that they had hoped for in America.

Do U2 find their best works when their creative backs seem to be against the wall? I don't see U2 there in their current situation as the greatest rock band in the world. Other bands have been where U2 are, and have not fared well in their opportunity to continue to find creative success within themselves and their fans.

As a new album is in the works, I wonder where U2 will find the motivation that will bring out the very best in the very worst of conditions like occured on Achtung Baby, as well as other releases. I have the utmost faith in this band, and I'm in no way disappointed by what they have released since Achtung Baby, or have looked for an Achtung Baby II. I guess I'm just holding my collective breath that a creativity will peak once again for our band in the midst of struggle, despite the creative success they are currently experiencing.

Chris
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Old 11-01-2002, 11:09 PM   #2
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"The second installment of U2's greatest hits covers the period when they, of all the lumbering, armour-plated rock dinosaurs, chose the narrow way and actually challenged themselves creatively. The result was the epochal Achtung Baby, an album that so successfully altered their musical course that the band have struggled to release anything as audacious since."

Er, haven't U2 challenged themselves creatively from the very start of their career? I seriously do not get this underlying notion that U2 only ever started to "challenge themselves" with Achtung Baby.

As for creative struggle... well, they're always talking about how they want to make a "perfect album" and that they feel they didn't get there yet.
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Old 11-01-2002, 11:26 PM   #3
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I tend to agree with Saracene a bit. I think they have always challenged themselves...maybe the biggest challenge being the decision to go ahead, after the turmoil and struggle within themselves that they lived around October era.
I might have got it wrong though...

Anyways, talking about the future, there is this article from UPI posted at U2News forum...here:

http://forum2.interference.com/showt...threadid=67295

Bono ends the interview talking about the upcoming album...interesting stuff.

"We'll regroup probably at the end of the year and start trying some things out," he says. "Right now my instinct is to make a very raw kind of guitar-bass-drums, an album with a lot of attitude and a lot of that kind of life force, the vitality I association with guitar bands in full flight.

"That's the way I'm approaching the music initially. But as often happens with U2 albums, you start out with one intention and at a certain point you start to get carried by the music itself, and it can take you somewhere completely different."
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Old 11-02-2002, 04:24 PM   #4
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I think creatively U2 might have struggled after Achtung Baby and ZOOROPA. The band nearly broke up making Achtung Baby, that is very well documented, and we know the story surrounding the making of it. When they finally finished it and went on tour they actually knocked out ZOOROPA, another masterpiece in it's own right, quite easily. From there they seemed to struggle.
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Old 11-02-2002, 11:26 PM   #5
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The Mirror
2nd November, 2002

Slick Changes

Another great decade, another great collection from U2. But where
does one of the world's greatest bands go next?

By Gavin Martin


Reinvention is a goal that many rock bands strive for, but few
achieve. In the '80s U2 had conquered the world with a passionate
belief in the power of music to liberate.

In Bono they had one of the most charismatic frontmen in rock
history, audiences from Dublin to Delaware ate out of their hands and
even veterans like Keith Richards and Bob Dylan fell for the band's
brand of rock 'n' roll revivalism. But perhaps U2's biggest success
was to foresee the backlash that inevitably comes to any band which
rests on its laurels.

At the end of a decade they had made their own they looked at their
most expensive and ambitious project and reckoned that a shake-up was
in order. Rattle And Hum -- the movie and the album -- have been
unfairly rubbished, sometimes by U2 themselves. It was an essential
part of U2's growth -- but they realised that its sombre, perhaps
pretentious tone, risked alienating the very people they were trying
to reach. In Bono's words the band had to "go away and dream it all
up again."

So their attention switched to Europe and the newly united Berlin.
Awash with capitalist tack, communist debris and a notorious night
life it stimulated U2 to produce Achtung Baby, a brilliant merging of
their deeply felt spiritual yearning, found sounds and dance
innovation. With the beautiful AIDS-influenced "One" and the dread and
devilment of "Until the End of the World," Bono was at his most
exalted, lyrically and vocally.

But like Bruce Springsteen, no matter how great U2's records were,
the songs always grow and reveal new meanings when they are played
live. Achtung and the album that followed -- Zooropa -- allowed them to
reinvent their live performance as Bono unveiled a succession of
alter egos such as the leather-clad hustler the Fly, and the fallen
angel Macphisto.

But the determination to make themselves new and interesting has
sometimes cost them dearly. The electronica-influenced album, Pop,
lost them followers, but on All That You Can't Leave Behind, a return
to their core strengths and trademark sound, they reconnected with
the masses.

Like any world-beating rockers U2's success is down to the unique
chemistry between four guys who have weathered all the storms fame
throws at them. It is truly astonishing that they have not only
stayed together but are still at the peak of their abilities.

This second Greatest Hits collection is an impressive combination of
sonic invention, spiritual searching and rocking euphoria. Where do
they go from here? In 10 years time Bono will be into his 50s, but
far from being over the hill he's promised that's when he'll start to
kick into gear as a writer and performer. And Bono's track record
suggests it's a promise to take seriously. Roll on the next decade of
U2.


2002, MGN Ltd.
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