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Old 07-05-2004, 02:47 AM   #1
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U2 and America

It's no secret that U2 has a certain love affaire with America. They've dove into American influences, politics, and so many other things. But it just hit me today(maybe I'm slow or maybe I just never thought about it this way) that the Unforgettable Fire is their American album. Not sound wise, for the sound is very non American, but lyrically and the feel is very American. Of course Rattle and Hum is when they really dove into the American scene as far as sound but this album is so American.

Two songs about MLK, 4th of July, Elvis Presley and America, a bit of Promenade(the whole Coka-cola thing), well of course the whole "Unforgetable Fire" reference so some is good and some bad.

Anyways just an observation. So many say that R&H was the American album, but I think UF was so much more the American album.
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Old 07-05-2004, 05:00 AM   #2
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Well, it's more a case of saying that TUF was the first album in their 'American Trilogy'. In a way, you cannot say that one of those albums (TUF, TJT, R&H) is more American than the others, they are all three heavily influenced by America. You mention the songs on TUF, but what about R&H? Desire, All Along The Watchtower, ISHFWILF, Pride (again), Heartland, Angel Of Harlem, WLCTT, Bullet The Blue Sky. Those are all songs with obvious American influences. And then we haven't discussed the music yet!
Based on song titles/lyrics TJT is maybe a bit less American, but its music still sounds like it.

As I said, you cannot say that one of those U2 albums is their American album and the others aren't, they all three belong to their American Trilogy.

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Old 07-05-2004, 06:18 PM   #3
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Hm, really? I was discussing this with my friend lately, and we reasoned that The Unforgettable Fire is their most Irish album. ASOH has Ireland plastered all over it, Wire and Bad are about the heroin crisis in Dublin, UF is such a musical landscape and to us simply felt of Ireland, and Promenade has a lot of personal stuff for Bono in there. We had more reasons than that ... but I can't remember them now, heh.
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Old 07-05-2004, 06:57 PM   #4
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In my opinion UF is the most 'placeless' (if that makes sense) of all their albums, with so many songs having an ethereal, floating atmosphere all their own that sepearates them from any place in the world.
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Old 07-12-2004, 04:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by The Sage
In my opinion UF is the most 'placeless' (if that makes sense) of all their albums, with so many songs having an ethereal, floating atmosphere all their own that sepearates them from any place in the world.

Oh wow I couldn't agree with you more. I was first going to say the album still had that European feel to it despite the American influenced song titles but that had more to do with the videos from that album than anything else. Good call Sage

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Old 07-12-2004, 11:19 AM   #6
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U2 really hate America, they only want our money
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Old 07-12-2004, 11:55 AM   #7
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lol at u2kitten.

I agree that U2 have some sort of love affair with america and not only is it present in some of the recordings but also touring wise they love to do first, second, multiple shows in the same city in America compared to other countries.
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Old 07-12-2004, 12:02 PM   #8
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U2 loving America? Far from the truth! If anything, all U2 does is a backhanded compliment to America. U2 have no love affair with America to speak of.

The Unforgettable Fire was a critique of the Americans dropping the A-bomb to Japan.

The Joshua Tree through Bullet The Blue Sky was a critique of Reagan foreign policy. Even In God's Country wasn't too appealing - calling for the need of new dreams and rivers running dry.

Rattle and Hum was U2 trying to show America all they have neglected - how they neglected the minorities in the steets of Harlem (Freedom For My People, I Still Haven't Found), how they neglected their cultural icons like Billie Holiday (Angel Of Harlem) or Sun Studios Memphis.

Achtung had little American influence, and neither did Zooropa. Then comes POP. U2 intentionally wrote that album to be contrary to American tastes. This album only sold 1.3 million in America yet it had 6 million worldwide sales. U2 slapped the face of the Americans with the song "Miami" - the most odd, eccentric, and fragmentized song off POP --- in short the worst song off the album was named after a place in America.

U2 have been doing nothing but criticizing America, whether directly or indirectly. Bono's drop the debt campaign is a thinly veiled attempt to criticize American foregn policy. The Hands That Built America is hardly a song that screams "I love America". Even when Bono performed it live, he changed the lyrics to put down Dubya.

From the Zoo TV era when they picked on George Bush to this era of Dubya, Bono has been finding things to nitpick America about. If anything, U2 don't have a love affair with America but have a love affair with Democrats. Seems like Bono is schilling blatantly for the adulterous Clinton while having nothing good to say about Dubya. U2 seem to be the official bootlickers of the Democratic party. That probably the only American element they have a love affair with.

Don't any of you always wonder why U2 always open tours in America? Well, its because they are underprepared and they treat America like a rehearsal ground. They only reach full stride by the time their tours get to Europa. Even wonder why the Europe cities always get better setlists than America? Well, it's because U2 don't really care much about Americans, except for the Democrats.

Republicans? American Foreign Policy? American History? American Culture? U2 don't have as much a love affair with them as it seems - whether it is in albums, songs, actions, words, or what-have-you.

Cheers,

J
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Old 07-12-2004, 12:07 PM   #9
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I forgot to add Bono's triumphant quote in the Slane Caste Elevation DVD about not giving in and moving to New York but basing their crew in Dublin - kinda like telling the Irish "to those who haven't been to America, trust me it's not that good because even we (U2) didn't decide to relocate there."

Well, U2's love affair with America is like the Lochness monster -- everyone's heard of it but no real hard proof to show it exists.

Cheers,

J
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Old 07-12-2004, 12:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by jick
U2 loving America? Far from the truth! If anything, all U2 does is a backhanded compliment to America. U2 have no love affair with America to speak of.

The Unforgettable Fire was a critique of the Americans dropping the A-bomb to Japan.

The Joshua Tree through Bullet The Blue Sky was a critique of Reagan foreign policy. Even In God's Country wasn't too appealing - calling for the need of new dreams and rivers running dry.

Rattle and Hum was U2 trying to show America all they have neglected - how they neglected the minorities in the steets of Harlem (Freedom For My People, I Still Haven't Found), how they neglected their cultural icons like Billie Holiday (Angel Of Harlem) or Sun Studios Memphis.

Achtung had little American influence, and neither did Zooropa. Then comes POP. U2 intentionally wrote that album to be contrary to American tastes. This album only sold 1.3 million in America yet it had 6 million worldwide sales. U2 slapped the face of the Americans with the song "Miami" - the most odd, eccentric, and fragmentized song off POP --- in short the worst song off the album was named after a place in America.

U2 have been doing nothing but criticizing America, whether directly or indirectly. Bono's drop the debt campaign is a thinly veiled attempt to criticize American foregn policy. The Hands That Built America is hardly a song that screams "I love America". Even when Bono performed it live, he changed the lyrics to put down Dubya.

From the Zoo TV era when they picked on George Bush to this era of Dubya, Bono has been finding things to nitpick America about. If anything, U2 don't have a love affair with America but have a love affair with Democrats. Seems like Bono is schilling blatantly for the adulterous Clinton while having nothing good to say about Dubya. U2 seem to be the official bootlickers of the Democratic party. That probably the only American element they have a love affair with.

Don't any of you always wonder why U2 always open tours in America? Well, its because they are underprepared and they treat America like a rehearsal ground. They only reach full stride by the time their tours get to Europa. Even wonder why the Europe cities always get better setlists than America? Well, it's because U2 don't really care much about Americans, except for the Democrats.

Republicans? American Foreign Policy? American History? American Culture? U2 don't have as much a love affair with them as it seems - whether it is in albums, songs, actions, words, or what-have-you.

Cheers,

J
Are you for real? I'm serious, do you really mean what you just said? I find it...interesting that one can draw such conclussions from rather vague lyrics.
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Old 07-12-2004, 12:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by jick
I forgot to add Bono's triumphant quote in the Slane Caste Elevation DVD about not giving in and moving to New York but basing their crew in Dublin - kinda like telling the Irish "to those who haven't been to America, trust me it's not that good because even we (U2) didn't decide to relocate there."

Well, U2's love affair with America is like the Lochness monster -- everyone's heard of it but no real hard proof to show it exists.

Cheers,

J

And you conveniently leave out the fact that he said New York AND London in that quote.

That quote had nothing to do with America not being good enough...how can you take a statement about wanting to stay where your roots are as a slap against America?
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Old 07-12-2004, 12:32 PM   #12
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isnt in Gods country about the 3 kings and not about america?
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Old 07-12-2004, 02:00 PM   #13
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Jick, your examples are about U2 commenting on American government policies, not US as a country. (UF, JT, ZOO tv phone calls, Hands that built America) There is a difference even if currently some people don't think that way - it is possible to like a country and have a problem with its policies.

(but enough about that, we're getting to close to FYM teritorry. Bush is possibly the most controversial president US had since...Nixon, and if I remember right, a certain JFK was far more adoulterus than Clinton and he is one of US best loved presidents)

I still...is not about that IMO. R/H is an obvious tribute to US music - not just musically and lyrically, but also with collaborations with US musicians.

POP was deliberately done against US taste? It'd be pretty dumb to write an album that would do bad in your biggest market - I remember a quote from Edge saying they thought POP would be huge in America. So you are not correct in that matter either.

They open tours in US - and come back again - because it is their most important market and is special to them. I don't think the setlists in Europe are better.
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Old 07-12-2004, 06:33 PM   #14
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I'm curious about how Canadians feel about this so called obsession or love affair with America. Me personally I'm kind of tired of Bono going on and on about the States. And before anyone calls me anti-american, I am not. But I remember an interview with Larry going on about their fascination with America and he starts listing off all the things he loves about it and then realizes he's in Toronto and says but this isn't America is it it's Canada. Not a big deal but honestly as a proud Canadian it did sting just a bit. Ok that's my one and only political rant for awhile.

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