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Old 12-06-2004, 11:07 PM   #1
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Did U2 take it too far?

Before some of you jump all over me - let me say that I have been a HUGE fan for over 20 years. No questions asked, U2 has been 75% of what has been played on my various stereos since at least 1987, when JT came out and I really got hooked.

All that to say, I feared the day that U2 became caricatures of themselves and I'm afraid that it has happened (much like the Rolling Stones).

IMO, a finished/completed POP should have been their last. I went to the POPMart show in Seattle and they barely sold 40K seats in a 65K stadium. I knew right then they had already peaked.

ATYCLB and HTDAAB have been and will be commercial successes, but I think much of that has to do with people - like me - buying the albums and hoping for a return to the magic of AB or JT - and then realizing it's not there.

I don' t think Bono has done us any favors prior to album releases talking up the rock and roll/punk side of things either. The last 2 albums have been less than 20% rock.

My sister is a HS teacher and her kids have absolutely ZERO interest in U2 - ZERO - and yet U2 seems to group themselves in with Radiohead and others who are still relevant to that age group.

HTDAAB is really trying to regain the magic - but it's even sadder to me to hear it being attempted, and failing. "Mercy" comes close, but it didn't even make the cut. SYCMIOYO shows promise, but dissolves into chaos. LAPOE is imposing, until the fairies tinker in and dance around. Yaweh is probably the best song on the album - and even it tries to borrow some guitar energy from In God's Country.

Someone said this album was too "lush" and I think that sums it and ATYCLB up very well.

For those of you who disagree with me - ask yourself if there was this kind of disparity of opinion on JT or AB - and then realize that U2 is even beginning to lose it's long-time fan base.

Pull the plug guys. You were awesome and I'd rather remember you as such.
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Old 12-06-2004, 11:13 PM   #2
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You have the choice to pull the plug if you dont like the new material. Personally I think it is some of the best U2 have ever written and I will continue to tell people that. The band doesnt have anything to prove to anybody, but they still prove to me album after album that they are by far the best band on the planet and not only by a small margin by a large one. U2 should continue making music as long as they themselves feel they have something good and relivent to add to the music industry which by anybodys account is lacking due to sub standard artists these days.
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Old 12-06-2004, 11:13 PM   #3
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I respectfully disagree (with the original post).

To each his own, though.
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Old 12-06-2004, 11:17 PM   #4
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Re: Did U2 take it too far?

Quote:
Originally posted by One Tree Still
ATYCLB and HTDAAB have been and will be commercial successes, but I think much of that has to do with people - like me - buying the albums and hoping for a return to the magic of AB or JT - and then realizing it's not there.
The key word here is "I think." Obviously, your thoughts may have failed you.

If people buy an album with the hope of a return of a previous magic, then it will sell well in the first week and when they discover it doesn't have the magic then it will tank. This is precisely what happened to POP. Strong debut purely on anticipation but no staying power.

On the other hand, ATYCLB debuted similar to POP but it stayed on the charts for so long. It was due to a sustaining power and sustaining interest based on the actual content and quality of the album and not on unfulfilled hopes of returning to a previous sound.

So your premise on why ATYCLB sold well is clearly false. As for HTDAAB, it's too early to tell since it's barely a week. We'll have to see the sustaining sales. If it doesn't sustain then it could be another POP, but I doubt that.

Cheers,

J
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Old 12-06-2004, 11:23 PM   #5
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One Tree Still - with all due respect, are you stuck in a moment?

Either appreciate U2 where they are creatively right now or don't.

But just because they aren't living up to your ideas of what they should be is no reason for them not to exist!

U2 IS FINE JUST THE WAY THEY ARE - AND I ACCEPT THEM UNCONDITIONALLY.

Walk on, One Tree Still, to whatever music best suits you.

For me, it's still U2's music (and I have been following them for nearly 24 years).

YOU GIVE ME SOMETHING I CAN FEEL....
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Old 12-07-2004, 12:13 AM   #6
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The music's changed, so I get why some people don't like the new stuff.

I personally think that ATYCLB and HTDAAB have both been very interesting albums in terms of their subject matter. These two albums both seem honest and introspective, with the exception of a couple of singles...
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Old 12-07-2004, 12:25 AM   #7
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Re: Did U2 take it too far?

Quote:
Originally posted by One Tree Still


My sister is a HS teacher and her kids have absolutely ZERO interest in U2 - ZERO - and yet U2 seems to group themselves in with Radiohead and others who are still relevant to that age group.

When did say U2 they were grouping themsleves with Radiohead?
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Old 12-07-2004, 12:29 AM   #8
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Should have quit after Pop? Ha!

Ha!

I for one am incredibly happy that they brought songs like Beautiful Day, Stuck In A Moment, In A Little While, City Of Blinding Lights, SYCMIOYO, Crumbs, One Step Closer, Vertigo, etc. into our lives.

I'm sure glad they didn't take your advice.

They're happy making music, and millions are happy listening to it. Let them continue to write and perform as long as they are happy doing so -- they've CERTAINLY earned that right.

If you don't like it, don't listen to it.
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Old 12-07-2004, 12:31 AM   #9
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U2 will NEVER become like the Rolling Stones.
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Old 12-07-2004, 12:41 AM   #10
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One tree still.

I agree with some of your views.

Though i hope they never pull the plug. We still need U2, in a world full of stupid teen pop.


BTW,, Then Yahwah is the reason why i am thankful for this new album. This is the best i have heard U2 since pop..
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Old 12-07-2004, 01:29 AM   #11
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Actually, POP, as we know, was U2 coming close to an end.

Luckily they bounced back with ATYCLB, the Elevation tour and HTDAAB. Clearly, the quality has come back in their songs.

As for disparity of opinion, try POP. The fans outside of the internet forum, the ones that have been around from the 80's - if you included those, POP wouldn't be nowhere near the overratedness of the 90's worshippers that are so vocal here.

ATYCLB, and HTDAAB, have in the reviews and fan reactions, gained very positive impressions in a clear majority. Several people already are saying HTDAAB is the best since AB.
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Old 12-07-2004, 03:11 AM   #12
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Re: Re: Did U2 take it too far?

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Originally posted by Bunbury


When did say U2 they were grouping themsleves with Radiohead?
Its just anecdotal evidence anyway...
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Old 12-07-2004, 04:16 AM   #13
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What confuses me is that the Red Hot Chili Peppers have become incredibly popular and successful by toning down their excesses and producing more commercial albums, and I don't hear anyone telling them to stop...

All bands should finish the moment you think they have put out an album you don't really like. For that reason, I guess U2 should have finished with Rattle And Hum... I'm glad they didn't though!
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Old 12-07-2004, 04:55 AM   #14
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I love the way U2 changes, OK Achtung Baby was my favourite album, but I wouldnt want the following 5/6 following albums to be copies of the same formula.

you're right, some albums ARE weaker than others, but on every single one there's something I like.

I always kind of shudder when I hear a new U2 song for the first time, because it's hard to take in something you're not familiar with, but atomic bomb is growing on me fast!
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Old 12-07-2004, 04:59 AM   #15
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I disagree too!Some people don;t like the new material(and this happens every time there is a new u2 record)and want them to go back to a previous sound.U2 will never remake JT or AB so please get over it they are too GOOD for that!!!!!
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Old 12-07-2004, 06:03 AM   #16
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I would just like to toss in that you can make jokes about the Rolling Stones all you'd like, but they put on a fucking incredible show. They played for 2.5 hours both times I saw them on the Licks tour. If U2 want to be "caricatures" like the Rolling Stones in that respect, I say bring it.

oh and also, while I think "Stuck in a Moment" is one of the most atrocious songs they've ever written, I think their last 2 albums have had some fantastic material. this one should have been produced better....perhaps by me.

but of course....everyone is entitled to his own opinion. even if it's wrong!
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Old 12-07-2004, 06:12 AM   #17
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Re: Did U2 take it too far?

Quote:
Originally posted by One Tree Still


For those of you who disagree with me - ask yourself if there was this kind of disparity of opinion on JT or AB - and then realize that U2 is even beginning to lose it's long-time fan base.
Yee of short attention spans. When AB came out there were many who called for the end of U2. Terms like selling out, losing their minds, etc come to mind. That album probably had the largest disparity of opinion of any album when it came out. People to this day still claim U2 haven't made the same quality of music since the 80's.
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Old 12-07-2004, 06:38 AM   #18
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Re: Did U2 take it too far?

Quote:
Originally posted by One Tree Still


All that to say, I feared the day that U2 became caricatures of themselves and I'm afraid that it has happened (much like the Rolling Stones).
I don't feel they are caricatures of themselves at all. They have been too many things to ever become one thing in anyone's mind. David Lee Roth admitted years ago he had become a parody of himself, I think he even coined the term. But as long as it gets you money and chicks, who cares? It sure beats the hell out of working for a living, I'd say.

Quote:
IMO, a finished/completed POP should have been their last. I went to the POPMart show in Seattle and they barely sold 40K seats in a 65K stadium. I knew right then they had already peaked.
Like you, I am a long time huge fan, but I believe they peaked with JT and AB and have been a step down since then. That doesn't mean they can't still put out good stuff or that they should stop. They still have something to offer us.

Quote:
ATYCLB and HTDAAB have been and will be commercial successes, but I think much of that has to do with people - like me - buying the albums and hoping for a return to the magic of AB or JT - and then realizing it's not there.
As I've said before, this happens with ALL great artists! They get to a stage in life where they are older, settled, happy and secure, and they just lose the fire inside that the angry young man had to spark creativity. It's no offense to them, it's also happened to the Stones, McCartney, Page and Plant, Dylan and more. It's part of the life cycle.

Quote:
My sister is a HS teacher and her kids have absolutely ZERO interest in U2 - ZERO - and yet U2 seems to group themselves in with Radiohead and others who are still relevant to that age group.
I have several teenage nieces and nephews, and from what they're telling me HTDAAB IS big with some kids, especially Vertigo, its video, and the ipod commerical. They say it's much bigger than ATYCLB was. Of course, there will always be a faction of kids who won't listen to anyone 'old', you can't change them.
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Old 12-07-2004, 07:16 AM   #19
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Re: Re: Did U2 take it too far?

Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


Yee of short attention spans. When AB came out there were many who called for the end of U2. Terms like selling out, losing their minds, etc come to mind. That album probably had the largest disparity of opinion of any album when it came out. People to this day still claim U2 haven't made the same quality of music since the 80's.
This is true. I watched a friend of mine walk outside and throw his Achtung Baby CD in the trash bin. He didn't just hate it; it pissed him off. He wasn't alone. Most of my U2 fan friends at the time just DESPISED that album. Recording an album like Achtung was a HUGE risk. They alienated a lot of their fans with that one, but it drew in 3 times as many new fans.

Bomb won't do that quite in the same way, simply because U2 is doing nothing really new here, except for maybe Vertigo. But this album has four or five solid singles that will keep it on the charts throughout the tour. No, it's not time for U2 to quit. But I do agree that they should "dream it all up again" when they go into the studio again.

Oh, and remember, the internet is giving us insight into reviews and critics we would never have read in '91 or '87. I'm sure both of those albums had their fair share of people who didn't like them. Even Rolling Stone's review of Joshua Tree when it came out was fairly positive, but certainly not glowing.
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Old 12-07-2004, 07:17 AM   #20
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OMG, who would throw out Achtung Baby????!!!!!!!
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