Achtung Baby Released Nov 18/19, 1991 - U2 Feedback

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Old 11-20-2020, 12:34 AM   #1
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Achtung Baby Released Nov 18/19, 1991

So it will be 30 yrs next year.

I know some fans never totally got over their remake from JT.

I was actually off in a totally different fandom having a great time till the? '90 Recession
hit. So I couldn't afford the cassette till quite later, but I was totally blown away by it when it came out on the radio!
May still be my favorite (with 2 other close ties). Mysterious, dark, intense, powerful.

Only saw one show when friend got a tix, and let me pay her back over a long time. But I did make it to Giants Stadium w my gang. (And either 8 days before or after we saw Springsteen there as well)
We drove from NYC TO GS. It was Perfect Sumner weather - low 80's and dry! I could just feel my mind expanding with anticipation as we headed down the highway to get there...

Incredible show even if I was 3/4 of the way back, and 4/5 up to the top. Wow! The place up shaking!
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Old 11-20-2020, 04:11 AM   #2
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When this came out, I was 14 and my best friend 15 and we (esp. him, at the time a big U2-fan though he'd be embarrassed to admit it now) were waiting -- seemingly forever -- for the next U2 thing. For, like, a year and a half, there was literally no news. Of anything.

Then, "The Fly" was announced, and an album with an utterly bizarre title. (Surely, that was a joke? That can't actually be the name of the album.)

We sat down at the TV to watch the Canadian premiere of "The Fly". Four minutes later, we were both like, "What... was that?"

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On a musical level, this will always be U2's greatest achievement (and by far the most impressive outing by The Edge). That said, I find the '84 and '87 albums to have a "purer" U2 sound -- and a more organic, less 'studio-bound' sound -- and for that reason, those earlier ones will always be a tiny bit more special to me. But from a musical and compositional angle, Achtung is easily their greatest achievement.

It may be my favorite album issued by anyone in the nineties.
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Old 11-20-2020, 02:49 PM   #3
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They looked like total bad asses on the 1991 Rolling Stone cover that also had a great in depth article about the album. If all you knew before that issue was all those black and images of them standing in the desert not smiling you were in for a surprise.
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Old 11-21-2020, 02:04 AM   #4
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I recall hearing The Fly and then seeing the video. Mind was blown.
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Old 11-21-2020, 02:25 PM   #5
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Seeing them live on the indoor leg of Zoo TV remains my favourite gig to this day. I got tickets via Propaganda, in the very quaint way of having to tick a box saying which show I’d like to go to and posting it off to them with a cheque.

Simpler times.
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Old 11-21-2020, 06:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david View Post
They looked like total bad asses on the 1991 Rolling Stone cover that also had a great in depth article about the album. If all you knew before that issue was all those black and images of them standing in the desert not smiling you were in for a surprise.
Bwah!
Indeed!

Shocked fan: Who are you!!? And what have you done with my U2???!!!??

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Originally Posted by AndrewCowley View Post
I recall hearing The Fly and then seeing the video. Mind was blown.
I didn't have cable so I didn't the vids for a while. Such great stuff!

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Originally Posted by ascender_RS View Post
Seeing them live on the indoor leg of Zoo TV remains my favourite gig to this day. I got tickets via Propaganda, in the very quaint way of having to tick a box saying which show I’d like to go to and posting it off to them with a cheque.

Simpler times.
What was the indoor show like? Depending on the arena what was the difference in the video wall if you saw like the ZOO TV Vid etc?

One of my favorite things on the 360 tour was I had never seen them up close even if I'd seen them since '84. So I got to the outer rail between Bono and Edge.

When it came time for UTEOTW...Edge's bridge stopped right in front of me. I was frozen for a sec and then grabbed my digital camera and took pics of him playing as he walked over the bridge!
Absolutely Amazing!!!
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Old Yesterday, 11:29 AM   #7
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I won Achtung Baby from my local Rock Station, and it went on constant play on my CD player. I taped it on cassette so I could listen on my train ride into work. i didn't know what to think of it, so different, so radical. Lyrics so deeply personal and passion directed at the flesh instead of the world. It took me about 3 or 4 months to really understand and love this album. Now, it tops my Favorites List of albums...all time. U2 never sounded better, and I'm happy I was alive to witness and experience that time...Zoo TV was AMAZING...never a better time (musically) in my life...
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Old Yesterday, 07:04 PM   #8
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It was quite an achievement that this album was as successful as it was in the USA. We can't overstate how awful the mainstream pop-chart was Stateside in the very early-90s. Like, it made the mid-80s look amazingly great by comparison.

Before R.E.M.'s Out of Time hit #1 on Billboard in May 1991, the preceding #1 albums, for well over a year, had been by: MC Hammer, New Kids on the Block, Mariah Carey, and Vanilla Ice. (And R.E.M.'s brief run at the top was then usurped by Paula Abdul.)

U2 and Nirvana each got one week in at #1 on Billboard, but 1992 carried on with remarkably garbage music at the top of the charts, with Garth Brooks, the Wayne's World soundtrack, Def Leppard, Kris Kross, Billy Ray Cyrus, and The Bodyguard soundtrack dominating.
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Old Yesterday, 07:57 PM   #9
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Achtung Baby Released Nov 18/19, 1991

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Originally Posted by The Panther View Post
It was quite an achievement that this album was as successful as it was in the USA. We can't overstate how awful the mainstream pop-chart was Stateside in the very early-90s. Like, it made the mid-80s look amazingly great by comparison.

Before R.E.M.'s Out of Time hit #1 on Billboard in May 1991, the preceding #1 albums, for well over a year, had been by: MC Hammer, New Kids on the Block, Mariah Carey, and Vanilla Ice. (And R.E.M.'s brief run at the top was then usurped by Paula Abdul.)

U2 and Nirvana each got one week in at #1 on Billboard, but 1992 carried on with remarkably garbage music at the top of the charts, with Garth Brooks, the Wayne's World soundtrack, Def Leppard, Kris Kross, Billy Ray Cyrus, and The Bodyguard soundtrack dominating.




“Mysterious Ways” and “One” were enormously successful, on the radio all the time, and the reason I became the fan that I did. It was also exactly the same time that I discovered REM, and became the fan that I did.

I think the lesson is that disposable music for (some) teenagers has always been around and always will be, and it’s meant to be enjoyed — we shouldn’t be snobby about it, because most people listen to music for fun and pleasure. But there is some popular music built to last, which is what U2 and REM were up to at the time. And it certainly has.
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Old Yesterday, 08:17 PM   #10
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I think the lesson is that disposable music for (some) teenagers has always been around and always will be, and it’s meant to be enjoyed — we shouldn’t be snobby about it, because most people listen to music for fun and pleasure. But there is some popular music built to last, which is what U2 and REM were up to at the time. And it certainly has.
Oh, for sure.

But I was just thinking as I typed that post (above), of those 4 "artists" -- Hammer, Kids, Mariah, Ice -- is anybody listening to any of them now? Mariah Carey went on to have a long and super-successful career (er... she's still going now, right?), so I suppose some of her dedicated fans still listen to hits comps of her early stuff. But those other three? Paula Abdul's second album? Kris Kross?

The very early-90s was just horrid at the mainstream, top-40 level in the USA. Things did improve considerably towards late '92 and into 1993, as the mainstream (briefly) swung more towards more credible, artistically-valid musical acts.

So, it's remarkable that after three years away (a really long time, back then), and with -- by mainstream American standards -- a very left-of-center album with a single ('The Fly') guaranteed to turn off top-40 radio, U2 was able to do as well as they did.
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Old Yesterday, 10:24 PM   #11
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I suppose some of her dedicated fans still listen to hits comps of her early stuff.
for sure, nobody listens to mariah anymore except dedicated fans listening to compilations of her early stuff. that's why she only has 23 million monthly listeners on spotify.

surely a serious, great artist like U2 blows those numbers out of the water, with (checks notes)... 15.7 million monthly listeners.

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Old Yesterday, 11:03 PM   #12
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for sure, nobody listens to mariah anymore except dedicated fans listening to compilations of her early stuff. that's why she only has 23 million monthly listeners on spotify.

surely a serious, great artist like U2 blows those numbers out of the water, with (checks notes)... 15.7 million monthly listeners.

As I said, I wasn't even aware if Mariah Carey was still going nowadays (bit off my radar), but she certainly had a long and successful career. Anyway, how many of those 23 million spotify listeners are listening to her 1990-91 stuff, which is the relevant matter. Also, how are Ice, Hammer, and the New Kids doing?

My point was: very early-90s mainstream music was dire. A low-point in American popular culture.
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Old Today, 12:28 AM   #13
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Achtung Baby Released Nov 18/19, 1991

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for sure, nobody listens to mariah anymore except dedicated fans listening to compilations of her early stuff. that's why she only has 23 million monthly listeners on spotify.



surely a serious, great artist like U2 blows those numbers out of the water, with (checks notes)... 15.7 million monthly listeners.





Yes, but half those listeners are gay men singing along to “All I Want for Christmas is You.”





(Not that I’d do that if I had any singing ability whatsoever)
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