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View Poll Results: Which Era is U2's Best?
Boy - War 2 2.20%
Unforgettable Fire - Rattle And Hum 20 21.98%
Achtung, Baby! - Pop 57 62.64%
All That You Can't Leave Behind - How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb 12 13.19%
Voters: 91. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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Old 12-09-2004, 05:29 AM   #1
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Which Era is U2's Best?

U2 is a band of many faces, both musically and physically.

They started off wide-eyed and badly dressed, as they recorded the albums Boy through War. Edge still had hair, Larry's was oftentimes shaggy, and Adam's was a fro. Bono's...well Bono is Bono, and he went from shag to mullet, back and forth at will. At times, his hair even had blonde highlights. The band members took to wearing black jeans and t-shirts.

Their sense of style improved only slightly during the Unforgettable Fire - Rattle and Hum era, their sometimes awkward hair styles and clothing only being surpassed by the passion of their maturing music and vocals. Bono's hair was long, and extremely so during his Rattle and Hum days. Edge sported the 'homeless man' look for much of this era, with extremely long hair at points, and an 8 o'clock shadow throughout the day. Adam's hairstyle was conservative, as was Larry's, and their fashions matched their hair in sensibility. In fact, the rhythm section's fashion matched their playing style - conservative, but solid, while Bono and Edge's matched theirs - showy, but signature.

Achtung Baby - Pop brought about a big change for the band - Edge started off wearing bandanas, and eventually switched to his now-standard skull cap. He later wore a cowbow hat and at times, took off his hat altogether. Bono cut his hair, although at times it was still mullet-like, and dressed in leather from head to toe. Later, he wore a lot of form-fitting spandex-like muscle shirts and shaved his head crew cut, and at times, completely bald. Larry's style was probably the most conservative of the group, as it always is, but he spotted a goatee for some time, and grew his hair about a tad. Adam was the Posh Spice of the group, stylish and debonnaire, and bleached blonde. Their music was techno, industrial, and experimental.

The year 2000 ushered in the current era of U2 music and fashion. Not only did U2 'return to basics' musically, but also physically as well. Bono grew his hair out to a reasonable length, and re-dyed it black, until about 2003, when he went to a more Irish-red. He also took to wearing oversize coats and jackets. Edge moved away from the mustachio and back to the Van Dyke which he had sported during his Zoo TV days, donned his now infamous skull cap, and started wearing flared jeans and colorful t-shirts. Adam took about a more conservative, though still very posh and fashionable, style, and Larry wore unbuttoned, tightly fitting t-shirts and jeans.

So which 'era' is U2's best? When voting, please take into account not only the music, but also the appearance. Think of each era as a complete package. Perhaps you like one era because both the fashion and music were 'perfect.' Or perhaps one era shines more than others because, although the fashion is lacking somewhat, the music more than compensates, or vice versa.

My vote: U2 was at their peak creatively and stylistically during the Achtung, Baby! - Pop era. Though I do not care for their Pop style or music that much, 1991-1994 saw U2 at their very best, both in appearance and in the studio. I mean how cool was Bono? How incredibly cool was he back then? Uber cool. All one needs to do is watch the Zoo TV concert to see what I mean. The Zoo Station intro? The Mysterious Ways performance? Musically awesome and iconically cool at the exact same time. Brilliance.


My opinion is far from definitive, so which is YOUR favorite U2 era? Please share - I am eager to hear your opinions, and the reasoning behind them.


-Miggy D
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Old 12-09-2004, 06:03 AM   #2
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Achtung Baby, just Achtung baby, not including POP. I voted before I realized it also included POP. POP and Zootv were very very different eras and should not be bunched together as one.
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Old 12-09-2004, 06:08 AM   #3
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Hey do I need to answer this one......oh well go on then
THE 90's!!!!!!!!!
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Old 12-09-2004, 06:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wild Angel
POP and Zootv were very very different eras and should not be bunched together as one.
I have to agree with this. Great idea for a post though.
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Old 12-09-2004, 06:17 AM   #5
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Pop and Zoo TV were different, there is no doubt about that, but 'Boy' and 'War' were made at different times too. But both Boy and War and Achtung Baby and Pop can be put into the same era because their overall themes are the same.

Pop is the natural extension of Achtung Baby and Zooropa. Stylistically and musically, it is laden with irony, just like Zoo TV was. Songs like Discoteque and Mofo natural progressions from songs like Zooropa and Even Better Than The Real Thing, among others.

Pop can't be lumped in with ATYCLB and HTDAAB, and it doesn't make sense to lump it in with something from the 80s - the Pop album and style might be different than AB and Zooropa, but the themes and 'ideas' share common threads.

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Old 12-09-2004, 06:25 AM   #6
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Originally posted by Miggy D


Pop can't be lumped in with ATYCLB and HTDAAB, and it doesn't make sense to lump it in with something from the 80s - the Pop album and style might be different than AB and Zooropa, but the themes and 'ideas' share common threads.

-Miggy D
This kinda explains everything about their most exciting era. The albums were different, fresh. You can't even decide which era Pop belongs in cos its totally different. Where as you can easily lump together ATYCLB & HTDAAB cos they are very similar.
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Old 12-09-2004, 06:30 AM   #7
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Originally posted by rjhbonovox


This kinda explains everything about their most exciting era. The albums were different, fresh. You can't even decide which era Pop belongs in cos its totally different. Where as you can easily lump together ATYCLB & HTDAAB cos they are very similar.
Actually, I can decide which era Pop belongs in - that quote of mine was actually me defending the decision to put it in with AB and Zooropa - I was saying that you 'can't really put Pop anywhere else,' so to speak. It is most comfortable, and belongs in, the AB, Zooropa, Pop era.

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Old 12-09-2004, 06:45 AM   #8
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well, that´s a hard question

But if I had a choice, I´d go with the avant-garde U2 era. In terms of music composition, concepts, shows, images, art, creativity, ideas, rediscovering, experiments, etc is the best one for me !!!!

Achtung Baby - Pop
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Old 12-09-2004, 06:56 AM   #9
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I'd say Unforgettable Fire - Rattle and Hum.

There is plenty of experimental stuff on R&H, just not techno-experimental.

This era also comprises the classic vintage, mint U2 sound. Although I think AB is the best overall album, the songs that will echo down through time as "U2 at their best" are in this era:

Bad
Pride
Streets
ISHFWILF
With or Without you
In God's Country
All I Want is You
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Old 12-09-2004, 07:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Miggy D
Pop and Zoo TV were different, there is no doubt about that, but 'Boy' and 'War' were made at different times too. But both Boy and War and Achtung Baby and Pop can be put into the same era because their overall themes are the same.


-Miggy D
No, they're not. Just take a look at the band. You have Bono with luscious black hair, black shades and a leather suit, then you have him bald, with big orange glasses, and the muscle shirt. Look at the stage sets. You have the coolness of the TV's vs. the garishness of the gaudy arches and flashy muliticolor screens. ZOO was cool at its finest, Pop was over the top. There is no way you can compare these 2 eras. Even their quotes and interviews reflect they were at a very different place during Pop than during AB.

Pop should be a category all its own, because it is like nothing else. I agree with your other groupings. I also know that whatever category contains AB is going to win by a landslide, but I gurantee you if you split them up AB would wipe out Pop by a landslide too. That having been said, I voted UF-R&H. These were good years for the band, my high school years, wonderful music, hot looks, great memories, and the height of their MTV greatness back when it meant something because MTV was good!
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Old 12-09-2004, 07:21 AM   #11
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I know Achtung Baby and Pop are 100 % differents, but what Miggy D tried to do was to put some clearly different U2 eras, and then to put albums that are inside that era.

I mean, the first era may be called the "White Flag era", with all those raw and extraordinary albums. Three chords and the truth.

the second one may be called the "anthemic era", in which the band started to write extraordinary epic classics like Bad, WTSHNN, With Or Without You, All I Want Is You, etc.

the third one may be called the "avant-garde era", with experimental and awesome albums like Acthung Baby, Zooropa or Pop.

the last one may be called ... ( well I won´t say it because some fans will kick me )
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Old 12-09-2004, 07:30 AM   #12
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Pop was its own unique era, different from anything else, and should be voted on as such.
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Old 12-09-2004, 07:35 AM   #13
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AB to Pop
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Old 12-09-2004, 07:46 AM   #14
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Despite my user name, my fave era is the most recent. I love this stuff. My leats fave is Achtung Baby - Pop. Never got into Pop.
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Old 12-09-2004, 08:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Kitten


No, they're not. Just take a look at the band. You have Bono with luscious black hair, black shades and a leather suit, then you have him bald, with big orange glasses, and the muscle shirt. Look at the stage sets. You have the coolness of the TV's vs. the garishness of the gaudy arches and flashy muliticolor screens. ZOO was cool at its finest, Pop was over the top. There is no way you can compare these 2 eras. Even their quotes and interviews reflect they were at a very different place during Pop than during AB.

Pop should be a category all its own, because it is like nothing else. I agree with your other groupings. I also know that whatever category contains AB is going to win by a landslide, but I gurantee you if you split them up AB would wipe out Pop by a landslide too. That having been said, I voted UF-R&H. These were good years for the band, my high school years, wonderful music, hot looks, great memories, and the height of their MTV greatness back when it meant something because MTV was good!
Well, you make good points, but I disagree with you, simply because one could make the same argument about any 'grouping' I've done. Why is it a stretch to group Pop with AB, but not UF with R&H? UF and R&H are two very different albums, seperated by 4 years of time and a LOT of growth by the band. They're two entirely different albums, and fashion/style-wise, two very different things. But yet they are similar, and I think comparisons can be drawn between the two. They are both very earnest, yearning, and anthemic, and though they are different sounding, they share a common 'soundscape', if that makes sense. Yes, AB was 'cool' and Pop 'garrish' but they were both drenched in irony - both were statements on what it meant to be a rock star and how immersed our culture had become in media. I think comparing AB to Pop is actually easier than comparing UF to R&H, or even Boy to War. But I respect your opinion and it's a valid one.

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Old 12-09-2004, 09:01 AM   #16
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I picked the current era, but really I love all their eras.

I picked the current era is because they continue to be masters of their craft. They've written some amazing tunes during this stretch. Beautiful Day, In A Little While, Vertigo, City Of Blinding Lights, Original, Crumbs, etc.

Plus, the Elevation tour was their best, I think -- I don't know how they can improve on it this time around.

And there's no better time than the present. The current era is full of possibilities, while the history of the other eras is already being written.
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Old 12-09-2004, 10:28 AM   #17
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Oh wowo look at the 90's streaking away!!!!!
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Old 12-09-2004, 11:31 AM   #18
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My vote for AB-Pop comes with a disclaimer as well: I'm voting for the Achtung Baby portion NOT the Pop portion!

I love all their eras, including the current one, but in all honesty these guys were at the absolute tip-top of their game w/AB.
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Old 12-09-2004, 11:36 AM   #19
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Oh wowo look at the 90's streaking away!!!!!
And I have just added to that streak!
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Old 12-09-2004, 11:38 AM   #20
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My vote for AB-Pop comes with a disclaimer as well: I'm voting for the Achtung Baby portion NOT the Pop portion!

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