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Old 10-15-2001, 07:55 AM   #1
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Is there nothing left in U2 anymore?

Check out this article. I don't agree with all of it (especially with the author's take on the first four tracks on JT), but I think it's still interesting:
http://www.popmatters.com/music/features/011011-u2.html


My thoughts:

Ok, while I agree that it's a terribly good idea to exit while still at the top, I don't agree with his take on U2's situation right now, namely, that there's no good place for them to go anymore. Somehow I don't think that the entire spectre of sounds and musical styles out there can be reduced to "U2's 80s magic", "disco-rock grooves of the 90s" or the combination of the two.

And while I agree that in some way, ATYCLB is a "retrospection", I think that by reducing it to this simple label, he misses out on many things that make this album so much more than just a fusion of U2's two very different decades: it's themes of death and mortality, Bono's rich, aged textured voice, the overall feeling of maturity that comes from having lived and felt a lot. It is very much a work of 40-year-old men who are not the same bunch of people that made JT and AB years ago, and I don't see why they have to look back and try to replicate the feelings and moods of those 20-somethings, 30-somethings they once were in order to continue to make great music. I don't think he listened to ATYCLB very hard anyway, otherwise he probably wouldn't describe "Stuck in a Moment" as "carefree".
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Old 10-15-2001, 08:06 AM   #2
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the only part of "80's reference" i see on ATYCLB is perhaps Kite and possibly Walk on chorus. nothing else.
and 90's reference with Elevation (which is hardly the best song on the album IMO).

i agree more with what you are saying, Saracene.

though it's true it will be hard to come up with something good and new after the success of both the album and the tour. but you never know...




[This message has been edited by U2girl (edited 10-15-2001).]
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Old 10-15-2001, 08:17 AM   #3
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that article was terrible and so inaccurate. what is this about how bad the joshua tree tour was?? very wierd stuff....

i emailed the writer to tell him so

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Old 10-15-2001, 08:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2girl:
the only part of "80's reference" i see on ATYCLB is perhaps Kite and possibly Walk on chorus. nothing else.
and 90's reference with Elevation (which is hardly the best song on the album IMO).

i agree more with what you are saying, Saracene.

though it's true it will be hard to come up with something good and new after the success of both the album and the tour. but you never know...
I agree

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Old 10-15-2001, 08:29 AM   #5
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i also don't know why the ATYCLB songs are supposed to "remind" people of 80's songs.
and i don't know why Joshua tree should be so glorified as the "ultimate U2 album".
what is up with all that 80's period glorification?

how the author found the connection between In a little while and Achtung Baby is beyond me...no connection at all IMO. not in the music, not in the lyrics and certainly not in the spirit of the song.

ps: 90's reference, perhaps also the effects on BD and the guitar in WILATW.



[This message has been edited by U2girl (edited 10-15-2001).]
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Old 10-15-2001, 08:46 AM   #6
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U2 is gonna have a tough time following up on ATYCLB?
wow, i wonder how they'll handle that because Boy was so hard to follow up on as such a young band, they probably had trouble with War and UF as well, JT was definetely difficult as was AB, Zooropa and Pop were, i can only imagine, damn hard as well.
wow i wonder if U2 know what they've gotten themselves into?

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Old 10-15-2001, 11:17 AM   #7
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Ummm... Weren't the first 3 songs on Joshua Tree the ones that helped it sell 12 millions copies in the first summer of its release?

I don't really remember, but I'm sure it wasn't the latter 7 songs that caught people's attention - since it was the first 3 that got all the radio play.

The way I figure is; The single gets played on the radio... Person hears it... Person likes it... Person buys album to get non single tracks...

That guy made it sound like it worked the other way round.

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Old 10-15-2001, 11:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
All of that charge, however, fizzled with the release of The Joshua Tree in 1987. Ostensibly wanting to conquer commercial, as opposed to college, radio, U2 opened the album with four songs that were shallow approximations of the band's previous work -- a mindless anthem ("Where the Streets Have No Name") an uninspiring faux-gospel number ("I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"), a pouty ballad ("With or Without You"), and a political harangue that wore thin after a couple of listens ("Bullet the Blue Sky"). The rest of the album, interestingly, was near-perfect, and contains what are still some of the band's best songs to date ("In God's Country", "One Tree Hill"). But the heavy-handedness of the first four tracks so dumbed down the record as to ruin it.
I was willing to actually take what this guy said seriously until he said this. Streets a mindless anthem? ISHFWILF uninspiring? WOWY merely pouty? And Bullet wearing thin after a couple listens? Give me a fecking break . Without those songs, JT wouldn't be anywhere near the masterpiece it is. That guy lost A LOT of credibility with that statement.
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Old 10-15-2001, 11:37 AM   #9
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I know what you mean Saracene. I feel the same way.

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Old 10-15-2001, 01:37 PM   #10
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Bullet wears thin? (Oh, is THAT why Bullet was the most poignant song played in Hamilton?) WOWY wears thin? (IS that why it's the most played U2 song of all time....?) Etc, etc..

Seriously, I do think this guy needs a reality check. Tracks like ISHFWILF, WOWY, BTBS, WTSHNN helped to introduce U2 to a new generation of fans...they helped to make U2 more mainstream. And while this, in some opinions, isn't necessarily good, it IS what sells albums. And from a rock group's perpective, that's what counts. The Joshua Tree, specifically those first four songs, brought about a new legion of fans...and probably gave U2 the popularity and staying power that they needed. If it weren't for ISHFWILF, I myself most likely wouldn't have known about the band.

At times, I'll admit, I did like it when U2 was in relative obsurity. I mean, shorter ticket lines, etc. I love seeing them popular and all, but it pisses me off to know that some people got into the heart just because they liked "Elevation"...they know nothing about Zooropa, Pop, AB, War, UF...for purely selfish reasons I'd love to see U2 continue to make music until the day they expire, as long as it continues to mean something to all of us...as long as the message stays the same. The Beatles disbanded at the height of their popularity, but the fact that U2 has been together for so long only adds to their appeal.
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Old 10-15-2001, 01:47 PM   #11
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I only skimmed through this article. Of course U2 isn't over. There is one thing I wanted to say, though. In some respects, if I could go back in time and see a show on an old U2 tour, I would pick the Unforgettable Fire tour over the JT tour. Honestly, if it came down to it, I'm not sure I actually would make that choice. It would be one or the other. The reason is simply that before JT, U2 was coming from some otherworldly place that appeals to me very strongly. I remember reading somewhere that before JT they had "no influences," which is probably an exaggeration, but I know what that person meant. They were just themselves. Especially on UF. It's a quality that makes that album very mystical to me. And I think it's something that in some measure they lost on JT and never quite got back. I think that it was compensated for in other ways. JT is probably still their best album ever, to me. And the mystical quality is still there. It's one of the reasons I love New York. But that feeling of complete otherness makes me love those first four albums in a special way. Of course it's stupid to say that JT is a "weak approximation" of what came before or that Streets is a "mindless anthem." That writer needs a reality check.

I'm not sure how relevant that was, it was just something I wanted to ramble about

This is my 1000th post!!!



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Old 10-15-2001, 06:43 PM   #12
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I stopped caring about what that guy wrote after he dismissed the first four songs off of Joshua Tree (calling WTSHNN a "mindless anthem"?). I don't see U2 stopping anytime soon.
As long as their imagination still flows, they will produce high-quality, amazing albums and tours, hopefully for at least 20 more years.


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Old 10-15-2001, 07:22 PM   #13
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I stopped reading the article before I even started it, based on the comments here.

loser.
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Old 10-15-2001, 07:47 PM   #14
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Interesting. I was just thinking about something along these lines a few moments ago... where do U2 go from here?

With sweeping generalisation, we could categorise the albums as thus:

Boy - Debut
October - Difficult
War - Earnest/Rock
Unforgettable Fire - Irish/Ambient
Joshua Tree - Epic
Rattle and Hum - American/Roots
Achtung Baby - Industrial
Zooropa - European
Passengers - Experimention
Pop - Nineties/Hip Hop
ATCYLB - "Pop" album (as in the true meaning of popular music, not Britney et al)

They won't retread old ground, so we're left with a few alternatives. They could go for the all-out rock experience (unlikely), tap into the heavier side again (more likely) or maybe even produce the literal/songwriting album that has been sounded out in the past (possible).

It depends which song they use as a template, and who they get in as producers. Personally, I think it will be a combination of HMTMKMKM and TGBHF songs... that's the way they will be thinking.

[This message has been edited by bullet the blue sky (edited 10-15-2001).]
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Old 10-15-2001, 08:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by bullet the blue sky:
Interesting. I was just thinking about something along these lines a few moments ago... where do U2 go from here?

With sweeping generalisation, we could categorise the albums as thus:

Boy - Debut
October - Difficult
War - Earnest/Rock
Unforgettable Fire - Irish/Ambient
Joshua Tree - Epic
Rattle and Hum - American/Roots
Achtung Baby - Industrial
Zooropa - European
Passengers - Experimention
Pop - Nineties/Hip Hop
ATCYLB - "Pop" album (as in the true meaning of popular music, not Britney et al)

They won't retread old ground, so we're left with a few alternatives. They could go for the all-out rock experience (unlikely), tap into the heavier side again (more likely) or maybe even produce the literal/songwriting album that has been sounded out in the past (possible).

It depends which song they use as a template, and who they get in as producers. Personally, I think it will be a combination of HMTMKMKM and TGBHF songs... that's the way they will be thinking.

[This message has been edited by bullet the blue sky (edited 10-15-2001).]
Cool... what is this about a literal/songwritng album? what have they said?

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Old 10-15-2001, 09:19 PM   #16
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How about a folk/rock album? That's something they haven't really experimented with too much, and I think U2 could do wonderful things in that style.

Something along the lines of Dylan, but without something crawling down the back of Bono's throat

[This message has been edited by mug222 (edited 10-15-2001).]
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Old 10-15-2001, 09:22 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by mug222:
How about a folk/rock album? That's something they haven't really experimented with too much, and I think U2 could do wonderful things in that style.

Something along the lines of Dylan, but without something crawling down the back of Bono's throat

[This message has been edited by mug222 (edited 10-15-2001).]
Kinda like 'Shes Gonna Blow Your House Down' I suppose...



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Old 10-15-2001, 09:41 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dorian Gray:
Kinda like 'Shes Gonna Blow Your House Down' I suppose...
Would you believe I'd never even heard of that until you mentioned it just now? Well I did a quick search of this and found the R&H demo version, and I think it is FANTASTIC. I would LOVE a whole album of this. Oh man...



[This message has been edited by mug222 (edited 10-15-2001).]
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Old 10-16-2001, 01:58 AM   #19
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It's cool eh?? One of the best non-released tracks... they reworked it during the Achtung sessions into She's Gonna Turn Your Head Round, that one's good too, but I prefer the JT version still.

Awesome tune!


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Old 10-16-2001, 02:02 AM   #20
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'My Time Hasn't Come' came from the same era and is also a ittle folky. It's another really cool tune of this folky genre.

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