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Old 09-10-2003, 12:18 AM   #1
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Did ATYCLB "save" U2's legacy?

Recently I was listening to ATYCLB and thinking about everything it did for U2. Dare I go out on a limb and say that this album and accompanying tour solidified U2's legacy in the RnR hall of fame, and put them in a place with rock legends such as the Beatles, the Stones, etc.? It really seems to me that this album and tour moved U2 from being a great band into becoming legendary.

We all know that U2 worked miracles with the JT/Rattle & Hum era (biggest band in the world) and then coming back with the whole ZooTV era and basically reinventing themselves and remaining one of the biggest (if not still at that time THE biggest) bands in the world. It was a one-two punch that made quite a statement.

Pop didn't live up to the hype; we all know that. Regardless of your opinion of the album/tour/etc, it just didn't elevate U2 to that point that they had been at since 1987-ish. If you remember, Pop was very hyped up, made a huge bang at the beginning as Discotheque and the album did well on the charts, and then sank so quickly. I remember in particular thinking that it really was the "end" of U2 hogging all of the spotlight; I didn't expect them to call it quits anytime soon, but I didn't expect them to have a mega-popular album or song after that.

When ATYCLB was released, although I felt it a decent album, it seemed to not have a whole lot of momentum. I remember the band promoting themselves to death via so many different avenues (TRL, Farmclub, etc.). It wasn't until Beautiful Day won three Grammy's that the song and the album really took off, and then with 9-11 and the related "ties" to the album/tour, U2 found a new level of popularity. We all know the rest of the story (Time Magazine cover, Super Bowl, more Grammies, etc.). No, I don't feel they had reached that "peak" of 1987-88 and 1991-93 (and they probably never will again), but they had definately rebounded from the Pop days, and achieved a newfound level of respect among critics and peers. It seems to me that the band was looked at with a new level of respect both during and after the entire ATYCLB/Elevation Tour era.

For these reasons, I really think that U2 saved themselves with this album. Without it, I do believe they still would have been regarded as a very good band that had a great run, but I do not feel they would have achieved that "legendary" status they occupy now in the minds of so many.
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Old 09-10-2003, 01:43 AM   #2
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99.99% of U2 fans wont agree with me, but the answer is YES!

"The music that unites us, is the music that divides us"
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Old 09-10-2003, 01:51 AM   #3
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Although it certainly did add to their legacy, I don't think the ATYCLB success was needed for U2 to get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or cement their status as one of the greatest bands ever. VH1 featured U2 on its Legends series in 1998 or 1999 - after Pop but before ATYCLB came out (when the show was rerun after ATYCLB came out, it was updated). Very few artists got a Legends show rather than a standard Behind the Music done on them. The only other ones I can recall off the top of my head were Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen and The Doors. (I think David Bowie got one, but I'm not sure). Yeah, I know, VH1 sucks now and has no credibility, but a few years ago it was an excellent channel.
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Old 09-10-2003, 01:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by ishkash
99.99% of U2 fans wont agree with me, but the answer is YES!

"The music that unites us, is the music that divides us"
just lump me into the 0,01% categorie
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Old 09-10-2003, 03:29 AM   #5
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I think they'd still be considered legends even if ATYCLB/Elevation wasn't such a success.
However it did get them back on the spotlight and helped them to safely continue their career.
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Old 09-10-2003, 04:00 AM   #6
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I'm with the 99.99%.
I think the Elevation TOUR cemented their *status* more than the album did...
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Old 09-10-2003, 05:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2girl
I think they'd still be considered legends even if ATYCLB/Elevation wasn't such a success.
However it did get them back on the spotlight and helped them to safely continue their career.
I agree.
The album is ok, it's not great. The media praised this album for whatever reason, thus, propelled U2 in the mainstream spotlight once again.
I think the tr00 fans were always with U2 even after the Pop fiasco. So I don't think it saved the legacy, the legacy is and was already in place before ATCYLB. This album was just another notch.
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Old 09-10-2003, 06:56 AM   #8
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Well, they did have a very long and successful career before POP and ATYCLB so I don't think that it would be discounted, although of course there is some sort of perception amongst fans and critics alike that the band is only as good as its last album. But yes, I do think that Elevation era will be remembered as one of those rarest occasions when a long-established band had a huge success nearly twenty years into their career.
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Old 09-10-2003, 07:41 AM   #9
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I think ALTYCLB was a successful record because it was good!I don;t think it saved them per say but it is a well written and produced record and I think people responded to that!
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Old 09-10-2003, 07:41 AM   #10
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I think ALTYCLB was a successful record because it was good!I don;t think it saved them per say but it is a well written and produced record and I think people responded to that!
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Old 09-10-2003, 09:07 AM   #11
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Re: Did ATYCLB "save" U2's legacy?

Quote:
Originally posted by Zoocoustic
For these reasons, I really think that U2 saved themselves with this album. Without it, I do believe they still would have been regarded as a very good band that had a great run, but I do not feel they would have achieved that "legendary" status they occupy now in the minds of so many.
You are correct in saying that with ATYCLB U2 has achieved legendary status now for many people. After the light-selling Pop album (for U2 that is, since 6 million copies worldwide is still quite a lot) some perceived U2 as being over. ATYCLB dispelled those thoughts, sales-wise that is.
However, the point in your argument is the use of legendary status now. ATYCLB is U2's latest album. Should their next (2, 3, more?) albums also be light on sales (or quality), then U2's perceived status by the masses changes again. They will be again that band that had some great records and great success, but that has become just a band again.

Like Saracene said, nowadays an artist is often judged to be as good as its last album.

C ya!

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Old 09-10-2003, 09:23 AM   #12
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YES

The entire Elevation era did.
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Old 09-10-2003, 09:32 AM   #13
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First, I still don't think that Pop was a fiasco, certainly not in Europe.

Second, U2 already were legends before Pop and so I don't think ATYCLB saved U2's legacy. It added to the legacy, rather than save it.

Third, why wouldn't they reach the peak of 1987-89 and 1991-93 again? In my opinion they've already achieved that goal with ATYCLB and the Elevation Tour. During 2000-2001 all U2's records began to sell again, concerttickets were sold out in minutes. They even had their first nr. 1 hit here in Holland with Beautiful day, and later on their second with Elevation. And that's quite special, since u2 have always had big support in Holland, from the beginning of their career, like they always admit themselves. Yet they never had a nr. 1 hit until 2000.

Fourth, I think the next album will blow everyone away, and that means: AGAIN

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Old 09-10-2003, 11:23 AM   #14
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Word up Patrick!!

However ATYCLB did help to polish up U2's image..whether or not Pop was a hit in Europe it sure tanked in the good ol' US of A, so the success of ATYCLB was surely welcomed by U2 here in the States.

Like Patrick, I think the new album will cement, once and for all, the reputation of U2 as one of the all-time great rock bands.
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Old 09-10-2003, 12:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by patrickU217
First, I still don't think that Pop was a fiasco, certainly not in Europe.

Yea you're right from what I've heard Pop was the shiznit around the world except here in the US It got alot of crap here (most American are fickle about music)
Anyways, yea, I heard tremendous reviews about Popmart in Europe, also how great they were received in the Mexican Popmart, obvious from the video.
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Old 09-10-2003, 01:04 PM   #16
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Did ATYCLB "save" U2's legacy?

It's a stupid question really. It shouldn't have been asked. The answer is so obvious from the casual fan to the hardcore fan ....it is a resounding YES, ATYCLB saved U2's legacy.

I just hope U2 don't tarnish their legacy once again with their upcoming album. They better not give us an unfinished, substandard, wannabe-artsy, inacessible album anymore. U2 only have one lifeline to save themselves and they already used it up with the ATYCLB comeback from the POP debacle. Kinda like how Jesus Christ only comes back from the dead once, and ditto for Superman who died in issue #75 and came back from the dead (it can only happen once!). U2 are out of lifelines. I hope they wont tarnish the legacy ATYCLB has so greatly restored.

Cheers,

J
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Old 09-10-2003, 01:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by jick
Did ATYCLB "save" U2's legacy?

It's a stupid question really. It shouldn't have been asked. The answer is so obvious from the casual fan to the hardcore fan ....it is a resounding YES, ATYCLB saved U2's legacy.

I just hope U2 don't tarnish their legacy once again with their upcoming album. They better not give us an unfinished, substandard, wannabe-artsy, inacessible album anymore. U2 only have one lifeline to save themselves and they already used it up with the ATYCLB comeback from the POP debacle. Kinda like how Jesus Christ only comes back from the dead once, and ditto for Superman who died in issue #75 and came back from the dead (it can only happen once!). U2 are out of lifelines. I hope they wont tarnish the legacy ATYCLB has so greatly restored.

Cheers,

J
U2 never messed up IMO its just the people didn't get it, at least I did
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Old 09-10-2003, 03:46 PM   #18
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I don't think they messed up either people missed the irony that was not entirely their fault.Jick are you sure you are a u2 fan you are always finding ways to diss them!!!!!!!
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Old 09-10-2003, 03:53 PM   #19
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The Joshua Tree solidified U2's legacy in the history of rock and roll. It was a consensus masterpiece which is to this day considered one of the best albums of the last 20 years. Probably top 10.

What happened to them that really gave them legendary status was that while they were immensely popular, and had just made the biggest album of their careers, popularity wise and critically (JT) they completely reshaped their image and made another widely succesful and popular album Achtung, that was applauded critically.

Add to this a completely innovative and brilliant tour (ZooTV) and a subsequent stellar album (Zooropa) which was almost an afterthought in the making (supposed to just be an EP) and a continuation of the ZooTv tour and U2 could have called it a day in 1995 and #1-been for certain first ballot inductees into the RnR hall of Fame. #2-acheived legendary status for being one of the only widely respected by critics and vastly popular bands of the 80's

U2 surviving the 80's up until the point right before Pop (circa 1995) with most of their poularity intact and perhaps even more critical acclaim than ever before CEMENTED their legacy.

U2 was still lauded as legendary even in 1999 after the supposed Pop/Popmart fiasco. The only difference was they had lost some of their popularity in the mainstream.

An artist doesn't need vast popularity in the mainstream to maintain a legacy, they just need it to maintain popularity in the mainstream.

What ATYCLB did was put them back in that mainstream popularity.

If you gauge a bands popularity with their legacy, then the answer is YES.
If you gauge a bands legacy with their body of work and innovation and the mark they have left on popular music then that was established well before ATYCLB had came out.
So the answer would be NO.

I think the latter is correct. Ask yourself this: How critically acclaimed have the Rolling Stones been since 1985?
They've made 4 or 5 studio albums since then, I believe.
Their legacy never has changed regardless of their popularity which has maintained. Bruce Springsteen made one album between 1992 and 2002. It was a solo effort without the E Street band. Did his legacy change during that time? NO. His popularity did.

ATYCLB saved U2's legacy in terms of popularity within the mainstream. To me U2's legacy is within the work they already had created prior to it.

So my long winded answer to that is Achtung Baby/ZooTv solidified U2's legacy as one of the greats of all time.
ATYCLB returned that legacy back to the mainstream. Was it saved? I don't think so.

What did it need to be saved from? Getting played on MTV and top 40 radio? Does an album have to win grammy's to be revered in the eyes of the criticial public and musical establishment?

NO. It didn't save U2's legacy, because in order for U2's legacy to have NEEDED to be saved, it would have had to been in jeopardy. I don't think it ever was. Is their a dramatic difference between the U2 of Pop/Popmart and ATYCLB/Elevation? Only if you think U2's legacy is rooted in popularity and not the musical output of their previous NINE albums and subsequent tours.
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Old 09-10-2003, 03:56 PM   #20
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And regardless whether they make another great album or not, their legacy is intact.
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