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Old 11-02-2017, 05:11 PM   #221
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Originally Posted by Nick66 View Post
Sorry mate, but if you're talking about personal anecdotes, and that is by definition subjective, since other people's experiences may have been different from your own.
Quoting music critics/newspapers/DJs etc isn't my subjective opinion.

There does seem to be a misunderstanding of U2's early nineties appeal in this forum. With the benefit of hindsight we look back on Achtung, call it a classic (it is) and assume it was always seen that way. It wasn't.

U2 were huge in the 80s. Rattle and Hum got some stick but some of the new songs on it were even bigger than some of the Joshua Tree hits.
Achtung was a departure a huge amount of casual fans didn't like. Achtung Baby didn't make U2 cool with the kids. Mysterious Ways was about as uncool as it got in 1992. One was considered dad-rock by my teenage friends.

Zooropa, for many people, doubled down on the disappointment of Achtung. Now yes, history shows Achtung is incredible and people came around. But Zooropa, in terms of popularity, was a complete disaster.

The rest of your post I agree with.
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Old 11-02-2017, 05:19 PM   #222
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why do we care so much how u2 go about writing new music, seriously?

i know the simple answer: because there's a general belief that if they said "fuck the hits," we'd get joshua tree part 2 or achtung baby part 2, or the next masterpiece in the vein of Stateless and Ground Beneath Her Feet.

i get that. i really do. but... who cares?

u2 are well past their expiration date. they've been living on borrowed time for awhile. if they want to chase relevance and make pure pop songs, whatever. so be it. if they want to be the Biggest First Bestest Ever Yet 50+ Year Old Rockers to have a hit on the top 100, sure. let them try. they probably won't, but if that's the route they want to go, who am i to say don't do that? they've earned the right to do whatever the hell they want.

i think headache said it in another thread: if you generally dislike post 2000s U2, you're probably not going to like these songs. which makes... perfect sense. there's probably going to be a couple of songs on the album that even the most ardent 2000+ haters like, which will just increase the frustration level i'm sure.

but as many have said: take what you can get out of the band at this point. if you love the music, great. I tend to fall on that side of things. (much like with star wars, if it's even a decent star wars movie, i'll probably like it more than others; same with new u2).

if you don't like the music, that's unfortunate, but i do understand why you'd be frustrated. hopefully you'll find something to really love on the album to make this whole 3-year cycle worth it.
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Old 11-02-2017, 05:25 PM   #223
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Originally Posted by popacrobat View Post
why do we care so much how u2 go about writing new music, seriously?

i know the simple answer: because there's a general belief that if they said "fuck the hits," we'd get joshua tree part 2 or achtung baby part 2, or the next masterpiece in the vein of Stateless and Ground Beneath Her Feet.

i get that. i really do. but... who cares?

u2 are well past their expiration date. they've been living on borrowed time for awhile. if they want to chase relevance and make pure pop songs, whatever. so be it. if they want to be the Biggest First Bestest Ever Yet 50+ Year Old Rockers to have a hit on the top 100, sure. let them try. they probably won't, but if that's the route they want to go, who am i to say don't do that? they've earned the right to do whatever the hell they want.

i think headache said it in another thread: if you generally dislike post 2000s U2, you're probably not going to like these songs. which makes... perfect sense. there's probably going to be a couple of songs on the album that even the most ardent 2000+ haters like, which will just increase the frustration level i'm sure.

but as many have said: take what you can get out of the band at this point. if you love the music, great. I tend to fall on that side of things. (much like with star wars, if it's even a decent star wars movie, i'll probably like it more than others; same with new u2).

if you don't like the music, that's unfortunate, but i do understand why you'd be frustrated. hopefully you'll find something to really love on the album to make this whole 3-year cycle worth it.
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Old 11-02-2017, 05:28 PM   #224
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Originally Posted by popacrobat View Post
why do we care so much how u2 go about writing new music, seriously?

i know the simple answer: because there's a general belief that if they said "fuck the hits," we'd get joshua tree part 2 or achtung baby part 2, or the next masterpiece in the vein of Stateless and Ground Beneath Her Feet.

i get that. i really do. but... who cares?

u2 are well past their expiration date. they've been living on borrowed time for awhile. if they want to chase relevance and make pure pop songs, whatever. so be it. if they want to be the Biggest First Bestest Ever Yet 50+ Year Old Rockers to have a hit on the top 100, sure. let them try. they probably won't, but if that's the route they want to go, who am i to say don't do that? they've earned the right to do whatever the hell they want.

i think headache said it in another thread: if you generally dislike post 2000s U2, you're probably not going to like these songs. which makes... perfect sense. there's probably going to be a couple of songs on the album that even the most ardent 2000+ haters like, which will just increase the frustration level i'm sure.

but as many have said: take what you can get out of the band at this point. if you love the music, great. I tend to fall on that side of things. (much like with star wars, if it's even a decent star wars movie, i'll probably like it more than others; same with new u2).

if you don't like the music, that's unfortunate, but i do understand why you'd be frustrated. hopefully you'll find something to really love on the album to make this whole 3-year cycle worth it.
Another fantastic post, well said.
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Old 11-02-2017, 05:28 PM   #225
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Originally Posted by kiwilad View Post
There does seem to be a misunderstanding of U2's early nineties appeal in this forum. With the benefit of hindsight we look back on Achtung, call it a classic (it is) and assume it was always seen that way. It wasn't.

Rattle and Hum got some stick but some of the new songs on it were even bigger than some of the Joshua Tree hits.
Achtung was a departure a huge amount of casual fans didn't like. Achtung Baby didn't make U2 cool with the kids. Mysterious Ways was about as uncool as it got in 1992. One was considered dad-rock by my teenage friends.
Mate, this just isn't true. U2 lost a few disgruntled fans (the 'pop kids') and gained a lot of new fans. And a lot of the old ones came back.

Achtung Baby enjoyed near universal praise from the critics at the time, sold 18 million copies (four million more than R&H), and had an incredibly successful, sold out world tour. The record was huge and wildly successful by any measure. Yes, it sold less than JT (any record was going to sell less than that one), but was there a more successful rock record, or tour, that year?

The misunderstanding is among people who think that U2 lost any significant amount of fans during this period. What you experienced with your teenage friends is purely anecdotal and subjective. I know, because some of my friends abandoned U2 at the time as well. There weren't enough of those fans to matter, and most of them came back anyway.

I'm not saying there weren't a lot of disgruntled fans that couldn't adapt to change...like you I remember quite a bit of whinging about it at the time. I just think that whole thing has been overblown to more of a thing than it actually was. It's like the myth of the "failure" and rejection of Rattle & Hum...a few anecdotes, and maybe some stories in the media that turned into conventional wisdom that happens to be wrong.
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Old 11-02-2017, 05:31 PM   #226
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Just throwing it out there, and it might mean bugger all, but here in the UK, the singles from AB didn't chart very high (except The Fly)
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Old 11-02-2017, 05:33 PM   #227
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Just throwing it out there, and it might mean bugger all, but here in the UK, the singles from AB didn't chart very high (except The Fly)
Probably means feck all,as all they care about is America,refu-jesus Zach and the lads.
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Old 11-02-2017, 05:35 PM   #228
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At this current point in time, the narrative of "U2 stopped trying after Pop (or ATYCLB, or HTDAAB)" is much stronger and more prevalent than "the band got weird in the 90s but I like them again now," which was common from 2000-2005. Critical revaluation has been kinder to Pop (and especially Zooropa) than the initial wave of listeners were to NLOTH and SOI.

In that sense, I agree with Hollow Island that 90s U2 has earned a degree of respect that 21st century U2 largely has not. This is something only properly judged over the course of time, however, so we'll see how the new stuff holds up.
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Old 11-02-2017, 05:51 PM   #229
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Mate, this just isn't true. U2 lost a few disgruntled fans (the 'pop kids') and gained a lot of new fans. And a lot of the old ones came back.

Achtung Baby enjoyed near universal praise from the critics at the time, sold 18 million copies (four million more than R&H), and had an incredibly successful, sold out world tour. The record was huge and wildly successful by any measure. Yes, it sold less than JT (any record was going to sell less than that one), but was there a more successful rock record, or tour, that year?

The misunderstanding is among people who think that U2 lost any significant amount of fans during this period. What you experienced with your teenage friends is purely anecdotal and subjective. I know, because some of my friends abandoned U2 at the time as well. There weren't enough of those fans to matter, and most of them came back anyway.

I'm not saying there weren't a lot of disgruntled fans that couldn't adapt to change...like you I remember quite a bit of whinging about it at the time. I just think that whole thing has been overblown to more of a thing than it actually was. It's like the myth of the "failure" and rejection of Rattle & Hum...a few anecdotes, and maybe some stories in the media that turned into conventional wisdom that happens to be wrong.


It wasn’t just the “pop kids”, I can’t believe people still fall for that narrative. They lost a lot of the rock “purists” too.

I don’t know the exact numbers, but my guess is if there was one it would be Nevermind.

But really this has fuck none to do with Hollow’s original argument that started this all.
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Old 11-02-2017, 05:51 PM   #230
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At this current point in time, the narrative of "U2 stopped trying after Pop (or ATYCLB, or HTDAAB)" is much stronger and more prevalent than "the band got weird in the 90s but I like them again now," which was common from 2000-2005. Critical revaluation has been kinder to Pop (and especially Zooropa) than the initial wave of listeners were to NLOTH and SOI.

In that sense, I agree with Hollow Island that 90s U2 has earned a degree of respect that 21st century U2 largely has not. This is something only properly judged over the course of time, however, so we'll see how the new stuff holds up.
See... I get people unhappy with the direction, but I take issue with the idea of them "not trying" or "mailing it in."

I mean... If they didn't care they wouldn't take so fucking long to put the albums out. They'd just toss it out, say fuck it, and do nothing but JT40 style tours.

That they don't shows that they still care. Whether anyone agrees with their direction or not is a different story.
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Old 11-02-2017, 05:52 PM   #231
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Just throwing it out there, and it might mean bugger all, but here in the UK, the singles from AB didn't chart very high (except The Fly)
According to Wiki, in the UK...

WOWY...4
ISHFWILF...7
Streets....4
In God's Country....48

The Fly.....1
Mysterious Ways...13
One....7
EBTTRT....8
WGRYWH....14

I'd say they're more or less comparable in terms of charting, especially given that The Fly went to #1.

I didn't realise (or had forgotten) looking at this chart that they never released Zoo Station as a single. I think that's their best song of the 90's.
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Old 11-02-2017, 05:55 PM   #232
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It wasn’t just the “pop kids”, I can’t believe people still fall for that narrative. They lost a lot of the rock “purists” too.

I don’t know the exact numbers, but my guess is if there was one it would be Nevermind.
I'm somewhat sardonically quoting Bono with the "pop kids" thing. Don't take it so seriously BVS.

Though you're probably right about Nevermind.
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Old 11-02-2017, 05:56 PM   #233
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Yeah, time plays a role. I think Pop and Zooropa will continue to rise, ATYCLB & HTDAAB fall. NLOTH will be acknowledged as have some brave and excellent late career moments of adventure, and SOI a solid, unadventurous album that was unfairly maligned. All of which is coincidentally my opinion
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Old 11-02-2017, 05:59 PM   #234
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I'm glad we're all starting to appreciate NLOTH more.
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Old 11-02-2017, 06:01 PM   #235
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Yeah, time plays a role. I think Pop and Zooropa will continue to rise, ATYCLB & HTDAAB fall. NLOTH will be acknowledged as have some brave and excellent late career moments of adventure, and SOI a solid, unadventurous album that was unfairly maligned. All of which is coincidentally my opinion
I agree with all of that, except ATYCLB. It's by far one of U2's most important albums, and Axver made the point the other day how resilient many of those songs have been in staying in the setlist. I think that record's legacy is pretty safe.

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I'm glad we're all starting to appreciate NLOTH more.
There are a few of us who always defend it...I love that record, flaws and all. I think MOS is U2's best song since streets.

I do wish they'd stuck to their guns and showed a little more courage in seeing the original vision through. But it was at least an attempt by U2 to do the kind of adventurous record everyone here says they want U2 to do (but really don't).
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Old 11-02-2017, 06:08 PM   #236
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According to Wiki, in the UK...

WOWY...4
ISHFWILF...7
Streets....4
In God's Country....48

The Fly.....1
Mysterious Ways...13
One....7
EBTTRT....8
WGRYWH....14

I'd say they're more or less comparable in terms of charting, especially given that The Fly went to #1.

I didn't realise (or had forgotten) looking at this chart that they never released Zoo Station as a single. I think that's their best song of the 90's.
That In God's Country position is an import, so can't compare that one. ISHFWILF is 6, not 7. And EBTTRT is actually 12. That #8 position was for its Perfecto Remix.

From looking at all their UK singles positions, it was very rare for U2 to miss the top 10 from TUF to HTDAAB. So I'd say the AB ones are slightly worse than usual during that run. Not terribly worse or anything, but definitely slightly lower.

But obviously, NLOTH was the start of their real decline in UK single chart positions, with the three singles getting to 12, 42, and 32 respectively.

Either way though, probably doesn't mean much seeing as the AB singles did really well in the US.
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Old 11-02-2017, 06:09 PM   #237
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I'd love to see what they would come up with if they sat down and decided "Fuck hits and relevance, let's just go with our instinct and stop second guessing everything" ... but then of course held to that.

I think then we'd know if they have anything great left in them, or if they no longer "have it."

Part of me really wants them to do that, and if it fails, then go "Welp, okay. Time to call it a day." And I'd be okay with that, because they gave the "fuck it" route an honest try.
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Old 11-02-2017, 06:12 PM   #238
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There are a few of us who always defend it...I love that record, flaws and all. I think MOS is U2's best song since streets.

I do wish they'd stuck to their guns and showed a little more courage in seeing the original vision through. But it was at least an attempt by U2 to do the kind of adventurous record everyone here says they want U2 to do (but really don't).
It showed they still have the ability but not the stomachs* for it. And yes, that's really the kind of record I want from U2.

*Insert fat Bono joke of your choice
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Old 11-02-2017, 06:14 PM   #239
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I'm glad we're all starting to appreciate NLOTH more.
Compared to the songs we have so far from SOE, it's like the Joshua Tree!
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Old 11-02-2017, 06:27 PM   #240
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See... I get people unhappy with the direction, but I take issue with the idea of them "not trying" or "mailing it in."

I mean... If they didn't care they wouldn't take so fucking long to put the albums out. They'd just toss it out, say fuck it, and do nothing but JT40 style tours.

That they don't shows that they still care. Whether anyone agrees with their direction or not is a different story.
U2 tries way too hard, if anything, I agree. But most people don't have the same insight into their creative process that we have, so this is what I read. Albums like SOI are seen as easy, which I agree they probably should be, but it feels like every album cycle drains the life out of them until they can go back out on tour.
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