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Should U2 split up? (part II)
Last Post 06 Dec 2004 10:35 AM by admin. 25 Replies.
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06 Dec 2004 10:35 AM
    In the Guardian today John Waters has written a heavy enough piece (sure in it he even refers to the Chemist Alexander Mitscherlich...) on U2 and the question should they break-up. My own view (already floated in an earlier discussion) is that they should not cuz I believe their best album is still in them. But Waters - who has in his time actually written some magnificent, searching stuff when it comes to U2 - presents some intriguing arguments. Have a read: http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/features/story/0,11710,1367277,00.html eoghan
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    Ian Wright

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    06 Dec 2004 10:48 AM
    Personally I think that all he's saying that he doesn't like U2's new albums as much the ones that came out when he was YOUNG so they should split and then tried to come up with justification for it.
    quote:
    From the article
    Alexander Mitscherlich, dubbed the sibling society, where adults regress towards adolescence
    meaning: Waah, I remember when the Joshua Tree came out and I was young and cool, or at least I thought I was cool.
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    06 Dec 2004 10:54 AM
    I think there is an element of truth to the fact that Bongo's political posturing has stripped some of the emotion from their music but them again, I'm sure having a couple of gazillion in the bank would take some of the edge off any of us. I do feel that the last two U2 albums are those of a band on cruise control, breaking no new ground or even upping the ante in areas we never expected them to excel (Pop, for example). That said, it would be churlish to assume that they didn't have another great album in them but it is disappointing to see a band of their undoubted ability and with singular control over their output not really doing anything new or exciting. Perhaps they are playing together exclusively too long. Perhaps a hiatus where they go off and do some solo experimenting is in order
    WickerUser is Offline
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    Wicker

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    06 Dec 2004 11:05 AM
    personally, I think the songs I've heard on the Radio recently from HTDAAB are extremely poor...... as was their last album.... Of course Sales of their current record will be huge. ..But chart success does not a good album make.
    GarUser is Offline
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    Gar

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    06 Dec 2004 11:33 AM
    No way should U2 split up. I think the new album is brillant, grows on the listener. Ok it's not their best album but I certainly think that it is up there in the top five. Maybe people are looking for plotholes in this recording. I want to stay in Ireland in June just to catch them at Croker.
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    Optimus

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    06 Dec 2004 12:42 PM
    "Should U2 split up?" Yes. How many songs can the edge write using the same echo effect on his songs? And how many other versions are we going to get of that bloody tomb raider song they did?
    mutchUser is Offline
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    mutch

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    06 Dec 2004 12:50 PM
    Yes they should. Its been boring for a while now. Acthung baby was brilliant, but it was also a montage of "underground" sounds at the time, cherry picked and wedged in with the U2 hit machine. Fair play, nothing wrong with that. Its just music! Although I must say they brought alot of attention to Irish bands from the industry and the world. More interesting: what Irish band is poised to take the place of U2?
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    Gar

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    06 Dec 2004 12:54 PM
    No Irish band currently doing the rounds has the ability to equal or overtake U2s success. I still think that they are far from over.
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    Aidan Curran

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    06 Dec 2004 04:10 PM
    no need for them to break up - all they have to do is make a better record! the new songs are bloody catchy ('all because of you' was in my head all day after the first time I heard it) but it all sounds identical to the previous album. john waters makes some good points about bono's celebrity status being to the detriment of U2 as a creative force (the self-referential lyrics can be annoying). a bit late on my part, but deadly review of the album, eoghan. I don't agree with some of it - I think that, instead of each U2 album being radically different to its predecessor, they seem to come in pairs. 'rattle and hum' came out of the same americana as 'the joshua tree', 'zooropa' from the same euro-experimentation as 'achtung baby', and now the new album sounds identical to the last one in terms of consolidating their sound. maybe they could write a bare acoustic album, that might shake things up a bit instead of always relying on widescreen guitar blockbusters.... or what about a frank sinatra tribute album? everyone loves sinatra!!!! ;D
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    eoghan

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    06 Dec 2004 05:12 PM
    Aidan, You are right about consdering Rattle'n'Hum and De Joshua Tree as a pair. But I made sure to say in the review that no "...two consecutively released studio albums..." were built of the same ingredients. 'Rattle and Hum' for me is a peculiar hybrid between a live album and a studio album and I have always considered it seperately from their, let's call them, 'pure' studio outings, and hence it fell out of my analysis (as did 'Under a Blood Red sky' for obvious reasons). As for 'Zoorpopa' versus 'Achtung Baby' there is stuff on there that is indeed tuned in with with Achtung Baby in terms of the sonics, but there is also plenty of new stuff going on (e.g. Numb, The Wanderer, Stay (far Away so close) being a few examples). It was also an album that the Edge had a larger than normal contribution to - apprently the studio became a place for him to retreat to, often on his own and on all-nighters, as his marriage was on the rocks at the time. Or so yer man Bill O'Flanagan's fly-on-the-wall book led you to believe. I'm beginning to think the next U2 album will be one of two things - their greatest ever, or their last. And if it's both it will be one helluva of bookend. eoghan
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    06 Dec 2004 05:26 PM
    ive never understood how or why U2 are regarded as such as supergroup. personally, i'd put horslips or the undertones miles ahead of them. U2 should have packed up years ago.
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    Stephen McNulty

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    07 Dec 2004 06:41 AM
    Interesting thread. I saw that article too, Eoghan, and I thought it one of Water's less lucid pieces. I think we should compare U2's recent output to those bands usually lumped in the "greatest in the world" canon - I'd say R.E.M., Radiohead and that's about it? Radiohead have produced variations on the same theme for 5 or 6 years now. R.E.M. are now as anodyne as Girls Aloud. Both have seemingly rejected the idea of being the biggest - deliberately so. And U2? U2 embrace it. My opinion on the new record is that it is an improvement on ATYLB. It is chunkier, rockier, punchier and it does not sound like a band on cruise control (see R.E.M.'s latest for a pertinent example of a band strugging to carry the weight of what went before). This U2 album to my ears does not have a weak track and I think the Edge is having FUN! I have never heard him play so many solos in an album. And Bono's voice is still in fine nick. Is U2's greatest album still in them as our esteemed editor seems to think? I don't believe so... The best rock albums in history were all born out of emotional turmoil. Or drugs. And good on 'em but U2 seem like contented men who have lived their lives to the full. The ambition is still there, but unless there is some kind of personal tragedy in the band which results in an album like Big Star's Sister Lovers, U2 will not reach the heights of the late 90s. U2 will become this generation's Rolling Stones. A phemonemal live act with ever decreasing circles in the studio. Did anyone see them perform on the Jonathan Ross show on the BBC on Friday night? They played a fantastic I Will Follow - Bono tried to grab a girl out of the audience, she refused so he ripped his shirt open!! Encapsulated in this moment was the reason U2 are still great - the music was pulsating, Bono's posturing was almost embarrassing and were the hairs rising on the back of my neck? Godammit yes they were and this is why U2 should not quit.
    bonzoUser is Offline
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    bonzo

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    07 Dec 2004 07:45 AM
    Have we all lost the run of ourselves or what? In fairness, no one has the right to say that any group should split up especially not John Waters. U2 still remain a creative force. Regardless of that they still remain one of the biggest bands in the world and the album went to no.1 in 32 countries including the US and UK. I don't know, something tells me they might not split up in light of the above. Also, lets make it clear that, like the Thrills, seem to suffer a back lash on this message board. Maybe because they are not 'independent'.
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    Rev Jules

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    07 Dec 2004 09:26 AM
    quote:
    Originally posted by bonzo
    Also, lets make it clear that, like the Thrills, seem to suffer a back lash on this message board. Maybe because they are not 'independent'.
    By 'independent' do you mean that the content of this site is not dictated by record companies via their advertsing budgets hmm? U2 are not suffering a backlash on this message board. I would have thought quite the opposite.
    adminUser is Offline
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    07 Dec 2004 09:27 AM
    quote:
    Originally posted by bonzo
    Have we all lost the run of ourselves or what?
    Lost the run of ourselves? I really don't think so - only two people (mutch & Optimus) out of ten who have so far posted to this thread have explictly said they think U2 should split up.
    quote:
    In fairness, no one has the right to say that any group should split up especially not John Waters.
    And why not?
    quote:
    Something tells me they might not split up in light of the fact (that the album went to no.1 in 32 countries including the US and UK)
    Well if what motivates U2 to keep recording is just the numbers of units they shift then the game is deffo up. Call me a purist, but, hey...
    quote:
    Also, lets make it clear that, like the Thrills, seem to suffer a back lash on this message board. Maybe because they are not 'independent'.
    Backlash against U2? That'd be so, like, 1987. I think the comments above are - on the whole - balanced, reasonable and constructive. eoghan
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    kierry

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    07 Dec 2004 10:00 AM
    i don't like u2 for reasons: 1. they are the most shamelessly arrogant new money do-gooding people i've ever heard of. 2. they have so much opportunity to make so much interesting, experimental, crazy, groundbreaking musical projects. and they don't. they release s**tty bland commercial pop. 3. bono. what a pain in the ass. holy god that guy pushes my buttons. 4. personal reason this, but when i say i don't like U2 i get smart comments, like "oh, are they not indie enough for you?" and "but they're amazing!" and "ah you're just a begrudger!". Gah! its like the emporer's new clothes sometimes. so should they split up? no. because then we'd get the retrospectives. the tributes. the cover albums. the reformations, the reisssues, and finally, the Mojo Special edition. they should keep going until they wear away into sand.
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    mutch

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    07 Dec 2004 10:03 AM
    classy post Kierry! top marks.(...although i doubt you care!);)
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    eoghan

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    07 Dec 2004 10:09 AM
    Love it Kierry! Your post made me actually laugh. And for all the right reasons. "The Mojo Special edition"? I broke me s**te. eoghan
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    bonzo

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    07 Dec 2004 10:10 AM
    Will reply to other comments later but the reference to 'new money' was quite something. How far Ireland has come...
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    Rev Jules

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    07 Dec 2004 03:07 PM
    To get back to the main question of should U2 split or not. I don't actually think they will but I do think they are about to experience a hiatus similar to that undergone by the Rolling Stones during the 1980s. That doesn't mean that Adam is going to split and start writing books about U2 or that Larry will set up his own jazz combo side project or even that Edge will land a part in a HBO series based on the Mafia. Nope, I just think they will tread water for a while until they start to reach their sixties then its The Queens Honours List (don't even think that Bono would refuse it), then the 40 greatest hits cd/DVD and a really energetic multi venue tour (club/arena/stadium).
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