When exactly did U2 start going downhill for you? - U2 Feedback

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Old 12-21-2004, 06:33 AM   #1
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When exactly did U2 start going downhill for you?

Some say U2's last earnest album was War and then they sold out starting the Joshua Tree. U2 went downhill 1987.

Others contend that U2's last great album was The Joshua Tree and they sold out beginning Rattle and Hum and all the way towards the 90's where they go ironic. U2 went downhill 1988.

There are those who say U2 reached their creative and artistic peak with Achtung Baby when they literally chopped of the Joshua Tree and reinvented themselves. But their subsequent albums were self-absorbed experimental forays with U2 overestimating their talent (or lack thereof). U2 went downhill starting 1993.

Still there are some pundits who contend that U2 went too far with POP and that the album was a massive artistic failure. Zooropa was already U2's creative peak and they should have stopped there. Ever since the POP fiasco, every U2 release has been compromised and merely "POP-damage-control" that U2 forgot the real goal which is to make great music and not spend the rest of their careers trying to erase POP instead. U2 went downhill starting 1997.

A pocket minority of POP-lovers claim that POP was U2's most bold and ambitious album - full of dark beauty and layers of depth that may have been too much for the regular music fan to digest. POP was the peak. However, due to POP's commercial failure in America, U2 have overreacted by making scripted packaged calculated risk-free drivel starting with ATYCLB which is the real time when U2 started going downhill and HTDAAB is just an extension of this compromised artistic integrity. So U2 only really went downhill starting 2000.

So there are many arguments and many points of U2's history where fans would argue when U2 exactly started going downhill. That's why I am starting this poll/thread - I want to know your honest opinion on when you think U2 started going downhill.

My own opinion? Well, since the Joshua Tree it's been downhill since but a very very unsteep downhill curve at that.

So what do you guys think? When exactly did U2 start going downhill for you?

Cheers,

J
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Old 12-21-2004, 06:43 AM   #2
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Re: When exactly did U2 start going downhill for you?

Quote:
Originally posted by jick

There are those who say U2 reached their creative and artistic peak with Achtung Baby when they literally chopped of the Joshua Tree and reinvented themselves.
Sorry, but this is a pet peeve of mine. They did not "literally" chop down the Joshua Tree, at least to the best of my knowledge.

I guess this comes from the Bono quote re: "The Fly", which he said was the sound of four men cutting down the Joshua Tree. But of course he meant that figuratively - it wasn't actually the sound of them cutting down a tree.
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Old 12-21-2004, 06:45 AM   #3
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And a pet peeve of mine is saying that U2 are going "downhill". There are certain albums I like a lot less than others - but only when compared to the entire U2 catalog. Compared to other artists, those albums are brilliant. U2 have never gone "downhill" for me.
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Old 12-21-2004, 06:45 AM   #4
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I would like to think they still have one more great album left in them. I like Atomic Bomb with it's not up there with AB/JT. People who say that War was their last great album usually don't actually know that much about the band and are just saying it to be controversial.

I think they hit a creative peak around AB / Zooropa but that doesn't mean they won't surpass it.
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Old 12-21-2004, 06:47 AM   #5
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IMO, they haven't gone down hill. Each album has been so drasitcally different sonically & thematically that each album is exciting in it's own way and stand on their own - as solid, soul searching, jubliant and yet very dark masterpieces.

The only album where I said "WTF?" was Passengers, although I still do listen/love Miss Sarevjo (sp?) and Your Blue Room.
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Old 12-21-2004, 06:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Numb1075

The only album where I said "WTF?" was Passengers, although I still do listen/love Miss Sarevjo (sp?) and Your Blue Room.
But in fairness can Passengers be called a U2 album, as it was not released under the U2 name as such?
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Old 12-21-2004, 06:50 AM   #7
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never went downhill but Achtung was the peak.
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Old 12-21-2004, 06:53 AM   #8
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A Classic Jick thread


Cheers,

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Old 12-21-2004, 07:14 AM   #9
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U2 have never been downhill but Passengers and Pop was the low point IMO. It's not that it was bad music, just not the kind of thing that appeals to me personally. They really haven't put out a 'great' album since AB, but they are still good, still have something to say, and still better than anyone else out there. Go U2!
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Old 12-21-2004, 07:17 AM   #10
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Financeguy, IMO, Passengers is considered U2 for me because they play lots of the music on it and we know where the source of the ideas are coming from - Bono and company
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Old 12-21-2004, 07:21 AM   #11
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The started going downhill with Boy.
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Old 12-21-2004, 07:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Kitten
U2 have never been downhill but Passengers and Pop was the low point IMO. It's not that it was bad music, just not the kind of thing that appeals to me personally. They really haven't put out a 'great' album since AB, but they are still good, still have something to say, and still better than anyone else out there. Go U2!
I couldn't agree more. I could try, but I would not be successful.
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Old 12-21-2004, 07:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2@NYC
The started going downhill with Boy.
lol! Love it!

Great thread Jick!

(seriously tho, for me at least - U2 have never gone downhill. Im one of those that seems to love everything they do. If that's just me being a 'blind fan' then so be it. But I DO love everything. From October to Passengers, from 'Another Day' to 'Wild Honey')
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Old 12-21-2004, 07:58 AM   #14
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I don't think they ever recovered from Dik's departure. But that's just me reliving the glory days ... most people don't know this, but I was often referred to as "The Sixth Member of Feedback" in my Dublin youth.
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Old 12-21-2004, 08:11 AM   #15
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lol!
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Old 12-21-2004, 08:26 AM   #16
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they went downhill making pop and zooropa. Sure there are songs I like, but it's not what I have come / had come to expect from u2.

Since then, they've steadily been peaking
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Old 12-21-2004, 08:31 AM   #17
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good to see you still have plenty of negative ideas left

Jeers,

H
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Old 12-21-2004, 08:38 AM   #18
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For me personally I would have to say that after Joshua Tree things went downhill. I know it's hard for fans that got into U2 during AB and after to understand this but it's true. Don't get me wrong though after getting used to the whole AB thing it turned out to be their second best record for me. But they really haven't done anything special since then (although HTDAAB has some promise to it). But no matter what they do I will always love U2 and always will.
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Old 12-21-2004, 08:40 AM   #19
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I think they've had three different peeks in their career: The Joshue tree, Zootv era, and the Elevation Tour (not necesarily ATYCLB). I think they've gone downhill a couple of times too, so it's more of a cycle. And that's, in part, what's kept them relevant for so long, because they've been in and out of the limelight a couple of times. Creatively I think Zooropa and the unforgettable fire are their best albums.

cheers
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Old 12-21-2004, 08:41 AM   #20
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In some ways, every album has been better than the previous. Rattle more eclectic than Joshua, Achtung more adventurous than Rattle, Zooropa more challenging than Achtung, Pop tighter than Zooropa, All That warmer than Pop, Bomb more consistent than All That. Everyone has favorites depending upon tours and/or what's going on in their lives. There's going to be 18 year olds who find the new album irresistable and not understand what the big hype is with JT or AB.

What's remarkable is that a band who's been around for 25 years is still writing very good, relevant music. Think about that. What did Elvis sound like in 1980? What did the Beatles sound like in 1988? What did Elton John sound like in 1995? What did the Rolling Stones sound like in 1988? The Who in 1990?
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