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Old 09-25-2017, 08:16 PM   #106
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I was just thinking about how lately I haven't had to buy many albums because it seems to be the thing these days to get a free copy when you buy a ticket to a band's tour. I have of late gotten the new albums of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, LCD Soundsystem, Arcade Fire and The Killers that way. Perhaps U2 held off on their own announcement of the album release because it will be combined with a tour announcement (with onsales happening sooner than the originally rumored December, right after the last JT2017 date) and that everyone who buys a ticket gets the CD? Just a thought...
I'm sure they'll have this offer. After all, the tour is the primary product these days. And it's not like they're hurting their own sales since streaming is where the growth is (and I'm pretty sure albums bundled with tour tickets count as sales, so it's actually a great way to "inflate" sales).
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Old 09-25-2017, 08:34 PM   #107
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Frankly they'd be silly not to do this. If they did 40 shows in the US, and conservatively estimate 15,000 per show , that's 600,000 copies they'd potentially sell that way. Most of the arenas they'll be playing hold more than 15,000, but that was just for the sake of easy math.

Now, I'm not sure that's entirely the way it works. For example, if I buy 4 tickets on my credit card, I'd probably get 1 copy of the album. Whereas, if I only buy 1 ticket, I'll also get 1 copy of the album. Still, that should really boost sales. U2 are guaranteed the #1 spot regardless. The Killers are going to have the #1 album this week, despite top end estimates being at 118,000 (for the US). U2's fan base will guarantee them a #1. The key is to not slip to #40 in week 2.
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:12 PM   #108
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Post 2000 record rankings:

1. Songs of Innocence
2. All that You Can't Leave Behind
3. How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (they say you can't....)
4. No Line on the Horizon

How to Dismantle is actually really good but marred by bad production. It's just sounds terribly compressed. I have the re-issue on vinyl, and, while it sounds better than the CD, it's still not dynamic enough. The mid-range seems too recessed. It sounds like all bass and treble at times.
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:42 PM   #109
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I can't believe we're at the point where ranking album is back, but I'll just say it's hard for me with these, as they're all problematic one way or another.

As I said earlier, the whole concept of ATYCLB bothers me, with the safe "back to basics"/return to a classic sound, and Eno's terrible idea to write more and record less. Yes, the songs are fairly well-crafted, but they're too inert on the album, with little of the interesting instrumentation and space that the band at their best are able to create. We can't judge the album on how the songs may have improved in the live format, but what's been captured for posterity on tape. Someone said earlier it's just not very interesting, and that goes for the lyrics (the beginning of an unfortunate trend for Bono with this "heal the world" Hallmark card drivel). as well as the music. Having said all that, none of the songs outright offend me.

The Bomb is probably the one I have the least complaints about, primarily because it has more energy than its predecessor, and none of the glaring offenses of the two albums that followed. It rocks hard in places, but also has a couple gear shifts into some interesting rhythmic territory on A Man And A Woman, harkens back to the TUF era with City Of Blinding Lights and the JT sound on Yahweh. But it's still a safe album that isn't very ambitious musically and suffers from producer second-guessing. Its two most adventurous tracks, Fast Cars and Mercy, were left off the album; substitute those for whatever your two least-favorite tracks are and it's vastly improved.

No Line is the one that could have been far and away the best of post-2000 U2, had they only followed through in the direction they were taking and not gone against Eno's advice, or brought Lillywhite in to make it more commercial and add a totally incongruous song like Crazy Tonight to the mix. I don't dislike Boots as much as some people here, but the middle three really is a fatal flaw that prevents me from calling it a great album. I don't know how people can complain about what surrounds them, though. To say this album is soulless makes no sense to me when you consider the powerful vocals on MOS, White As Snow, and even the title track. I really think writing with Lanois and Eno more closely gave this a spirit you don't have one most of the other albums. Fez is an atmospheric, abstract non-single (and another nod to TUF) that the band doesn't do enough of these days. Bono's writing in character is something he hadn't done in a while and comes off really refreshing after two albums of so much tripe.

SOI is another mixed bag, and once again the band abandons work with a brilliant producer to try and pursue something more commercial, this time stooping to the level of bringing in Tedder and Epworth. Unfortunately the album is frontloaded with this material, so you have a very overproduced "side one" with ersatz-sounding stuff like The Miracle, a souped-up version of EBW that neutered the electric guitar from the earlier take, the anemic Song For Someone (which is pretty enough but recycles the abysmal guitar solo from Crazy Tonight), the Coldplay-tainted Iris (which otherwise has some nice TUF-style instrumentation on the verses), and my personal guilty pleasure, California, which at least fits the pop window-dressing around it. I love everything from Volcano's retro vibe all the way to the end of The Troubles, but it's hard to say something is the best when it's clearly been so compromised and Frankensteined. Just as No Line would have been better with Eno and Lanois manning the ship to the finish line, this one would clearly have improved with Danger Mouse having more control over the whole album (and not leaving Invisible off the track list).

So I could sit here and say that I think The Bomb is the best because it's the one that pisses me off the least, but I don't know if that makes sense. Or that No Line is the best because it featured the all-star lineup doing what they do best and exploring. Or that SOI is the best because the second half has them sounding so vital, so autobiographical, with a lot of sonic variety. None of those sit right with me so ranking is futile.
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:52 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by The_acrobat View Post
Frankly they'd be silly not to do this. If they did 40 shows in the US, and conservatively estimate 15,000 per show , that's 600,000 copies they'd potentially sell that way. Most of the arenas they'll be playing hold more than 15,000, but that was just for the sake of easy math.

Now, I'm not sure that's entirely the way it works. For example, if I buy 4 tickets on my credit card, I'd probably get 1 copy of the album. Whereas, if I only buy 1 ticket, I'll also get 1 copy of the album. Still, that should really boost sales. U2 are guaranteed the #1 spot regardless. The Killers are going to have the #1 album this week, despite top end estimates being at 118,000 (for the US). U2's fan base will guarantee them a #1. The key is to not slip to #40 in week 2.
This. Look at Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem both went to Number 1 with 100k and 85k sales equivalents (with 6k and 4k added respectively from streaming calculations) . Arcade Fire has built a decade plus long following and critical acclaim and their lead single "Everything Now" went to #1 on AAA and #12 on Alternative radio with several million Youtube views and a couple million Spotify streams. Plus a huge amount of music media coverage LCD got limited airplay on Alternative stations (not enough to chart Top 30) with their lead single and under a million Youtube/Spotify streams. However they have a very strong cult following among 20 and 30-something tastemakers. Both of these bands used their tour tie-in deal to increase sales by a significant amount.

Now look at The War on Drugs. Their last album was hugely acclaimed and a sleeper smash hit. There weren't any huge hits at first from that album (Under the Pressure went #30 on AAA radio). The very catchy Red Eyes slowly became a sleeper hit despite stalling completely (it hit the Top 50 of the Alternative radio charts six separate times over the course of nine months, but never went any further). However, it amassed 20 million spotify streams and nearly 6 millions youtube views. The album has now sold upwards of 250k copies. The band then signed to a major label (Warner) who have helped their promotion and distribution immensely. "Holding On" went to #3 on AAA and #35 on Alternative. But there was no tour/album tie-in and their streaming presence seemed to be almost non-existant this time around. They ended up with a disappointing 26,000 sales equivalents the first week (3k from streaming) and barely went Top 10 on the Billboard 200.
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Old 09-25-2017, 10:06 PM   #111
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I feel like they'd be able to hit #1 either way without serious competition. You don't need to sell as many as you used to.

Would like to see it, just so it could be said they had a #1 album in four consecutive decades.
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Old 09-26-2017, 03:46 AM   #112
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sounds like a French lunch and dinner combined! bravo!

jeesus though - he did look pretty rough that time on French tv - that explains it
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Old 09-26-2017, 05:29 AM   #113
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Originally Posted by lazarus View Post
I can't believe we're at the point where ranking album is back, but I'll just say it's hard for me with these, as they're all problematic one way or another.

As I said earlier, the whole concept of ATYCLB bothers me, with the safe "back to basics"/return to a classic sound, and Eno's terrible idea to write more and record less. Yes, the songs are fairly well-crafted, but they're too inert on the album, with little of the interesting instrumentation and space that the band at their best are able to create. We can't judge the album on how the songs may have improved in the live format, but what's been captured for posterity on tape. Someone said earlier it's just not very interesting, and that goes for the lyrics (the beginning of an unfortunate trend for Bono with this "heal the world" Hallmark card drivel). as well as the music. Having said all that, none of the songs outright offend me.

The Bomb is probably the one I have the least complaints about, primarily because it has more energy than its predecessor, and none of the glaring offenses of the two albums that followed. It rocks hard in places, but also has a couple gear shifts into some interesting rhythmic territory on A Man And A Woman, harkens back to the TUF era with City Of Blinding Lights and the JT sound on Yahweh. But it's still a safe album that isn't very ambitious musically and suffers from producer second-guessing. Its two most adventurous tracks, Fast Cars and Mercy, were left off the album; substitute those for whatever your two least-favorite tracks are and it's vastly improved.

No Line is the one that could have been far and away the best of post-2000 U2, had they only followed through in the direction they were taking and not gone against Eno's advice, or brought Lillywhite in to make it more commercial and add a totally incongruous song like Crazy Tonight to the mix. I don't dislike Boots as much as some people here, but the middle three really is a fatal flaw that prevents me from calling it a great album. I don't know how people can complain about what surrounds them, though. To say this album is soulless makes no sense to me when you consider the powerful vocals on MOS, White As Snow, and even the title track. I really think writing with Lanois and Eno more closely gave this a spirit you don't have one most of the other albums. Fez is an atmospheric, abstract non-single (and another nod to TUF) that the band doesn't do enough of these days. Bono's writing in character is something he hadn't done in a while and comes off really refreshing after two albums of so much tripe.

SOI is another mixed bag, and once again the band abandons work with a brilliant producer to try and pursue something more commercial, this time stooping to the level of bringing in Tedder and Epworth. Unfortunately the album is frontloaded with this material, so you have a very overproduced "side one" with ersatz-sounding stuff like The Miracle, a souped-up version of EBW that neutered the electric guitar from the earlier take, the anemic Song For Someone (which is pretty enough but recycles the abysmal guitar solo from Crazy Tonight), the Coldplay-tainted Iris (which otherwise has some nice TUF-style instrumentation on the verses), and my personal guilty pleasure, California, which at least fits the pop window-dressing around it. I love everything from Volcano's retro vibe all the way to the end of The Troubles, but it's hard to say something is the best when it's clearly been so compromised and Frankensteined. Just as No Line would have been better with Eno and Lanois manning the ship to the finish line, this one would clearly have improved with Danger Mouse having more control over the whole album (and not leaving Invisible off the track list).

So I could sit here and say that I think The Bomb is the best because it's the one that pisses me off the least, but I don't know if that makes sense. Or that No Line is the best because it featured the all-star lineup doing what they do best and exploring. Or that SOI is the best because the second half has them sounding so vital, so autobiographical, with a lot of sonic variety. None of those sit right with me so ranking is futile.
That’s an excellent post and sums up my feelings too, although for all of the problems with it, I still think SOI is the “best” album they’ve done in the 2000s. Even with the multiple producers, it’s a cohesive collection of songs and it’s the one album from your list where I’m not tempted to skip a track.

As you’ve said, some of the decisions the band seems to make around song choices for an album, mixes, and the direction of a project seems utterly baffling looking in from the outside.
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Old 09-26-2017, 06:42 AM   #114
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SOI is another mixed bag, and once again the band abandons work with a brilliant producer to try and pursue something more commercial, this time stooping to the level of bringing in Tedder and Epworth.
Tedder has always been a lame little tit but Epworth before he started producing and writing syrup with a singer fond of calling her albums after her (then) age, was a great remixer under the moniker 'Phones', worked with Goldfrapp, New Order and Nine Inch Nails (as well as some dodgy Irish group in 2005), then.. hello...
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Old 09-26-2017, 09:19 AM   #115
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I feel like they'd be able to hit #1 either way without serious competition. You don't need to sell as many as you used to.

Would like to see it, just so it could be said they had a #1 album in four consecutive decades.
As of now it looks good. Swifts album comes out 3 weeks earlier and should have died down significantly by Dec. 1. For now there are no other big releases the week before U2 or on Dec. 1.

I think they should do the ticket for album tie in since it is pretty commonplace now. LCD, Arcade Fire, Metallica, Katy Perry, Chainsmokers, etc.. have all done this recently.
If the ticket process is staggered a bit over a few weeks, it could keep them in the top 5 for a bit.
They most likely will be knocked out of number 1 the next week by Fall Out Boy, But since there probably won't be any major releases after that, they could stay in the top 2 or 3 for a bit if they do the ticket thing. If not, I'm guessing they drop to about number 8 or 10 by week 2 and then slide from there.
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Old 09-26-2017, 10:20 AM   #116
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Would like to see it, just so it could be said they had a #1 album in four consecutive decades.
Does anyone know if any other band has done this? Talking about 4 newly released albums for 4 different decades hitting number 1? Not like a greatest hits album, or a re entry of an old album??

I am having a hard time thinking of a challenger. I checked Bon Jovi, Metallica, Michael Jackson, and Guns N Roses... But they don't make the cut.
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Old 09-26-2017, 10:34 AM   #117
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Does anyone know if any other band has done this? Talking about 4 newly released albums for 4 different decades hitting number 1? Not like a greatest hits album, or a re entry of an old album??

I am having a hard time thinking of a challenger. I checked Bon Jovi, Metallica, Michael Jackson, and Guns N Roses... But they don't make the cut.
Stones did it for UK album charts..

4 #1s in the 60s
3 in the 70s
1 in the 80s
1 in the 90s
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Old 09-26-2017, 10:55 AM   #118
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Stones did it for UK album charts..

4 #1s in the 60s
3 in the 70s
1 in the 80s
1 in the 90s
good find RD.

Sadly, if it weren't for the stupid Apple thing, the band could not only already have the distinction of having number 1 albums in 4 decades in both the UK and the US, but multiple number 1 albums in 4 decades if SOE hits number 1.

in the Uk they had:
4 in the 80's
2 in the 90's
3 in the 2000's

in the US
2 in the 80's
3 in the 90's
2 in the 2000's
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Old 09-26-2017, 11:14 AM   #119
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The irony of ATYCLB being the one that missed #1 always pleases me.
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Old 09-26-2017, 11:15 AM   #120
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good find RD.



Sadly, if it weren't for the stupid Apple thing, the band could not only already have the distinction of having number 1 albums in 4 decades in both the UK and the US, but multiple number 1 albums in 4 decades if SOE hits number 1.



in the Uk they had:

4 in the 80's

2 in the 90's

3 in the 2000's



in the US

2 in the 80's

3 in the 90's

2 in the 2000's


The crazy thing is that even with giving their album for free to every iTunes user and the album all over YouTube for 6 weeks with no one taking the clips down prior to the "official" release, they STILL sold 28k albums for a #9 debut in the US.

U2 has a very strong base in the US, even all these years later.
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