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June 17, 2010


I'm a Streets guy myself. They played it as the background to introducing the VP at a a Gore rally in Madison Wi after we'd waited an hour or so past the announced time for him. (Secret service on the roofs - the whole bit). When the base dropped I got the goose flesh. I get it still when I think of where we went from there and where should have gone.

That's Where The Streets have No Name by U2, not the crap hip-hop act, just to be clear...

Even the hip hop band has their moments

They used to play Bad a decent amount, but Bono's voice is shot. This is one of the few that I haven't become jaded and cynical about. I've just all hope of not feeling blah about liking them.

Also I still like everything but the chorus on "Two Hearts", the original "Sweetest Thing" and "Spanish Eyes" plus a bunch of songs on Zooropa.

Am I objectively wrong to say Achtung Baby is their best album?

"Trip through Your Wires" is even better.

Also, publius asks: "Am I objectively wrong to say Achtung Baby is their best album?"

Yes Yes, you are.

At my brother's church a professor of music gave several lectures on U2. (I didn't attend, as I suspect my long-held atheism might cause me to burst into flame were I to walk onto sanctified ground.) From what I gather, his essential point is that their oeuvre can be seen to follow the same essential pattern as is seen in Psalms, with three major sections: praise, lost, and found again. I guess Joshua Tree is perhaps near the end of the first section, Achtung Baby and Zooropa the heart of the second, and All that You've Left Behind indicative of the third. I don't know Psalms (or the middle set of albums, for that matter) well enough to be able to judge this idea, but I find it intuitively appealing. I certainly recognize that All That You've Left Behind is a lovable album in the same way as Wide Awake in America, and as Achtung Baby is not, even while they all differ, and all have their own greatnesses.

That said, I go back to listening to my currently playing Dimmu Borgir album.

Yes pub.

The only two acceptable answers are Joshua or Unforgettable Fire.

Oh, and pp, the original Sweetest was a beautiful song.

we would also accept "War", and "Under A Blood Red Sky"

Also, publius asks: "Am I objectively wrong to say Achtung Baby is their best album?"

Yes Yes, you are.

From Top Gear last night, in response to someone who suggested the yellow Porsche was actually cool: "Remember when Neville Chamberlain got off that plane from Munich waving a piece of paper in the air? That's the last time anyone was as wrong as you are."

The world would be a better place if U2 and every song they ever wrote simply vanished.

Okay, "Stories for Boys" can stay. And "Rejoice," maybe.

In the squares of the city, in the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office, I see my people
And some are grumblin’ and some are wonderin’
If this land’s still made for you and me? - Woodie Guthrie

He he. I wrote base. I meant bass. That's pretty funny.

Publius wondered:
"Am I objectively wrong to say Achtung Baby is their best album?"

Absolutely not. The Joshua Tree gives it a run for its money, but Achtung Baby may just edge it at the wire. Certainly their top two.

Second try, my first post seems to have gone missing.

Joshua Tree or Achtung Baby, depending on how jaded I'm feeling.

My personal metric for a good song is whether anybody will still be singing it 20 or 50 or 100 years from now. By that measure, best U2 song, hands down and without question, is "One". It's just a great freaking song, and you could play it in any of about 1,000 styles and it would still work.

Sort of OT, by the same measure the best Wilco song is "Jesus etc". That song will be a standard someday.


Seconds on the Wilco jam.

I'm not big U2 fan, but I definitely favor their (really) old stuff - more minimal and edgy, at least to my less U2-exposed ears.

That said, I go back to listening to my currently playing Dimmu Borgir album.

I saw those guys at an Ozzfest that, by chance, ended up featuring Rob Halford performing with Black Sabbath because of Ozzy's coming down with bronchitis. Lots of people booed and left with their middle fingers in the air, missing a nice piece of metal history. The ones that stayed benefited from the additional elbow room and a band trying really hard to make amends. I tend to think the average IQ went up a bit, too, not that that's saying much at an Ozzfest.

(I know that's not really a Dimmu Borgir story, let alone anything to do with U2, but it's what immediately comes to mind when I hear Dimmu Borgir, only because my former college roommate found the name so amusing that day that he said it in a horror-movie voice a hundred or so times, always followed by his self-amused, idiotic and maniacal laughter. People like that make you remember things you would otherwise forget.)

Looks like the Achtung Baby crowd is growing.

I love Joshua Tree too, but I can't tell how much of it is woven together with youthful nostalgia, etc. Joshua Tree came out right about the time I first started watched MTV, which I did semi-religiously at the time

P-diddy, you are at least as wrong about U2 albums as you are about Pavement albums, which is saying a lot ;)

U2 is a band that I Just Don't Get. Never have, probably never will. Except for a brief period in high school where I dug "Gloria" and "New Year's Day," their popularity has just always escaped me.

And the best Wilco song is either "Kamera" or "Handshake Drugs," depending on the day.

"You Are My Face"

The Unforgettable Fire is tops for me. That first collaboration with Eno an Lanois was something special.

Mark me down as a metalhead as well, though my taste in metal runs towards the prog/psychedelic/postrock influenced side of metal. I think metal is probably the most diverse and vital scene at the moment with lots of pro and semi-pro bands able to record and tour without as much pressure for radio play.

U2's achilles' heel has always been a tendency to be bombastic, so for me their best album has always been "Boy." a clean, simple stripped-down sound (still a BIG, BIG sound thanks to producer steve lillywhite) that is pure rock 'n' roll, with an added bonus that you could dance to it (well, most of it anyway). the first side of "October" is also stellar for much the same reason.

I'd say Joshua is best, though I like the early live album: Under A Blood Red Sky. And it's cliche, but I really think With or Without You is my favorite track off Joshua.

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