(03-05-2004) New Review of Propaganda Book - Buffalo News, NY* - U2 Feedback

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Old 03-05-2004, 10:14 AM   #1
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(03-05-2004) New Review of Propaganda Book - Buffalo News, NY*

HAVE YOU SEEN? A second look at what everyone's talking about

U2, 25 years on, is still a band with a close connection to its fans' hearts, even as it performs in massive stadiums rather than the humble pubs where Bono, Edge, Larry and Adam cut their teeth.
For 20 of those years, Propaganda has been the U2 lover's bible. Published biannually and composed of the contributions of passionate fans and seasoned journalists alike, the fan club-only journal has been overseen and put together by the band members themselves.

It's been a labor of love, a forum for discourse between the band and its fan base. It's been a must-have for the U2 fetishist all along, from its first hand-bound appearances to its current glossy, hipster-designed garb.

"Propaganda: 20 Years of the Official U2 Magazine" (Thunder's Mouth Press, $27.50) compiles the juiciest bits from every phase of the band's ever-evolving career and reproduces them as they appeared in their original broadsheet spreads, warts and all.

What emerges is twofold: The fanzine is clearly revealed as the best of its kind, a dizzying jaunt through the idealistic world of U2 fandom; and its subject matter, mega-success notwithstanding, is rightly portrayed as a vehicle for the resurgence of rock's core - some might say child-like - tenets at a time when they had all but vanished.

Beginning at the beginning, with U2's first American write-up - inked by James Henke, who is now curator at the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, where a few years back he oversaw the installation of an outstanding U2 exhibit - the book follows the Dublin bards through to their triumphant 2001 homecoming gig on the grounds of the fabled Slane Castle, where the peerless "Unforgetable Fire" album was laid to tape.

Along the way, there's the beautiful - the apotheosis that was the career-defining "Joshua Tree" album and its attendant tour - and the bizarre - Bono donning devil horns and a Vegas-like gold lame leisure suit for his turn as Macphisto during the band's much-maligned "Zoo TV" tours.

One watches U2 evolve from its reassuringly naive beginnings to an idealism that is hard-won and world-weary and perhaps all the more profound for it. It's a fan's-eye view you're treated to, and thus, the book is for true zealots only: the minutiae of Bono's developing metaphysics, the tracing of the heart-on-sleeve bluster that is the band's stock in trade, the profile of longstanding U2 photographer Anton Corbijn - these would perhaps be a tad wearying for any but the devout.

But for those of us who can trace major developments in our own lives to specific U2 album releases and concert tours, this book lands with a resounding thud on our coffee tables, like so many stone tablets for a wearied Moses.

- Jeff Miers


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Old 03-05-2004, 04:28 PM   #2
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It's a GREAT chronicle of U2's history!

Make sure you have it.

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Old 03-05-2004, 10:46 PM   #3
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"much-maligned 'Zoo TV' tours"??? Stupid hometown paper.
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Old 03-06-2004, 11:43 AM   #4
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Old 03-06-2004, 01:03 PM   #5
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LOL it's true, the Buffalo News is so stupid and backwards. Remember how color pictures in newspapers used to look back in the early to mid '90s...they were very grainy but presses hadn't been improved yet. Well, now it's 2004 and we are just about the only paper in the country still with those awful presses! They say they are rolling in the new presses in May. My college newspaper has a better press than this one.
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Old 03-08-2004, 03:25 AM   #6
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I got this book for Christmas and I love it

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