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U2 Appreciation Thread
Last Post 25 Jun 2005 08:43 PM by Gar. 40 Replies.
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GarUser is Offline
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Gar

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25 Jun 2005 08:43 PM
    Just how good or over-rated are U2? With the Vertigo Tour in full swing now, alot of emphasis has been placed on how good the band actually are. Or how great they are. Could they simply be the best band in the world?
    UnicronUser is Offline
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    Ian Wright

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    26 Jun 2005 02:28 PM
    No, no they couldn't. They're a good stadium rock band that have written *some* super songs over the course of their loooonnnngggg career but best band in the world? No way. They weren't even the best band in the world back when they were "the best band in the world".
    BinokularUser is Offline
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    Binokular

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    26 Jun 2005 02:42 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by Unicron
    They weren't even the best band in the world back when they were "the best band in the world".
    *cough* Echo and the Bunnymen *cough*
    fiddlechickUser is Offline
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    fiddlechick

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    26 Jun 2005 07:10 PM
    As Bono told Croke Park last night - "we're the world's worst wedding band, but the best rock band" Self praise is no praise - but they've done fairly well for themselves and not due to "animal magnetism" or sex appeal (except for Edge who is as Bono called him last night "a thing of rare beauty"!) In my humble opinion, and rather limited experience, having not heard all the bands in the world yet, I'd say they're the best. That opinion will be revised when I hear someone better than them. And who can put on a better show.
    UnaUser is Offline
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    Una

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    26 Jun 2005 09:24 PM
    they are a local band gone on to dominate the world - great story they have never made a bad album (yes, even Pop) they have some of the biggest songs in rock they take up an incredible amount of time on the radio they have been going for nearly 30 years they posess a very good ability to reinvent themselves, and to draw from and create the zeitgeist of rock music they seem to appear to people of both sexes, of many ages, and many nationalities they are not afraid of bringing politics into the equation they have one of the most recognisable and charismatic front men as people (mainly Bono) , they have moved beyond the confines of a band to have vast influence on socio-political issues, and Bono is now recognised as legitimate a commentator as any on many global issues they have cris crossed the world countless times, always putting on formidable live shows their record sales are through the roof they create an almighty 'buzz' when they come to town - whatever town. In all of these senses, I would happily label U2 the "BIGGEST" band in the world. Regardless of personal taste, the quality of their music, the like-ability or lack thereof of band members, the probably are the "biggest" band in the world, if nothing else.
    GarUser is Offline
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    Gar

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    26 Jun 2005 11:40 PM
    Well said Una
    BinokularUser is Offline
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    Binokular

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    27 Jun 2005 12:15 AM
    quote:
    Originally posted by Una
    they have never made a bad album (yes, even Pop)
    ..but they have made a mediocre one, I warmed to "Pop" easily enough, I could even accept the sprawling unfocused mess that was "Rattle and Hum", but "Atomic Bomb" is the first U2 album that I really can't be bothered buying.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Una they are not afraid of bringing politics into the equation
    Not really a virtue at all in my personal opinion. Actung Baby which isn't overtly political, arguably had more impact on peoples lives and was more refelctive of its time than any other U2 record, being taken closely to heart by by the people of East Berlin, Eastern Europe and Russia during the collapse of Communism and also the people amidst the chaos of a wartorn former Yugoslavia. I don't think those people gave a damn about politics, it was the humanity of the record that mattered. Similarly, with regard to the video for Miss Sarajevo, Brian Eno said about it that it "suggests that surrealism and dadaism are the appropriate responses to fanaticism," I think too much importance is placed on politics in music these days, but thats another debate, which I don't plan to get any further into.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Una they have one of the most recognisable and charismatic front men
    So true, and the rest of the band have their own easily recogniseable public persona too. Its one of the only bands since The Beatles where most people could name all the members, you can't even say that about the Stones!
    quote:
    Originally posted by Una as people (mainly Bono) , they have moved beyond the confines of a band to have vast influence on socio-political issues, and Bono is now recognised as legitimate a commentator as any on many global issues
    See my previous comment on politics & music, not neccesarily a virtue. I'm sure his hearts in the right place, still doesn't neccesarily mean its the right thing to do. (Once again, not a debate I'm gonna get any further into, everyones entitled to their own opinion) Overall, though I'd agree, theres no denying the stuff about them being the biggest band in the world. They seem to have this crazy charisma that other bands don't possess, though I do find it slightly ironic that the seem to be at the height of the popularity at a time when their career is at a creative all time low. People seem to be incredibly uncritical of them at the moment. Not saying that we should all now go out and criticise them, just that they seemes they've taken a lot more flack over better albums in the past.
    UnaUser is Offline
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    Una

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    27 Jun 2005 08:51 AM
    I'm not taking these things as 'virtues' per se, but all of these factors kind of allow them to 'qualify' for the position that they are in. Regarding 'How To Dismantle...', apart from being the lamest title for an album, yes, it is a bit messy. That said, 'City Of Blinding Lights', 'All Because Of You' and 'Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own' are massive songs, and excellent rock songs. I don't think many bands could boast to have 3 or 4 brilliant songs like that on an album, and if they did, I don't think they would deserve to be criticised for just making an album that featured them. For the record, I like 'Pop' because Wake Up Dead Man is amazing.
    GarUser is Offline
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    Gar

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    27 Jun 2005 10:18 AM
    I actually like 'Rattle & Hum'. Their cover of 'Helter Skelter' isn't that bad, the duet with B.B. King on 'When Love Comes To Town' is pretty good, the version of 'Silver And Gold' is excellent and 'Angel Of Harlem' is decent too. Not the best live album (and if they released one on the Elevation tour it probably would've been better) but still an enjoyable listen. 'How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb' recieved so many mixed reviews. Personally, I think some of the songs are top notch on it. Ok the title is dreadful, the structure jumps about a bit but there are at least four or five songs on there that make it a really good album. Most people constantly refer back to 'Joshua Tree' as their best album but they are a different band now. I also think that 'All That You Can't Leave Behind' is one of their best albums. Most people assoicate it with 'Beautiful Day' or 'Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of' but there are numerous tunes packed in that are among the best the band have produced. It also has my personal favourite U2 song.
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    Punchbowl

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    27 Jun 2005 10:55 AM
    U2's last two albums have been disappointing. The band were obviously bruised by the backlash against 'Pop' and reacted with two very safe records. The sad thing here is that they realised that you cannot be the biggest band in the world ( self proclaimed or not ) and experiment as much as they did. The journey from Achtung Baby, through Zooropa ( Their best album ) to Pop ( Via Passengers ) is easily their most fruitful and certainly their most creative and mesmerizing. Even sections of ' All that you can't leave behind ( New York, Ground beneath her feet ) hark back to when they were unleashed and firing on all four creative cylinders, but the rest of it is just bland. Vertigo is a good single and it's a sure sign that they definitely still have it, and it buries the god-awful Elevation, but other than ' Original of the Species ' it's the albums standout track (by a mile) . Pop is an album well worth re-discovering. ' Mofo ' ' If God will send his Angels ' and ' Please ' are three of the bands best songs. And of course ' Gone ' is there too... Anyway, I'm off to the gig tonight and my chances of hearing any of the above are very slim, if last nights, safety first setlist is anything to go by!!.. Vertigo, Out Of Control, The Electric Co. / Bullet With Butterfly Wings (snippet) / Send In The Clowns (snippet) / I Can See For Miles (snippet), Elevation, New Year's Day, Beautiful Day / Blackbird (snippet), I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, All I Want Is You, City Of Blinding Lights, Miracle Drug, Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own, Love And Peace Or Else, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bullet The Blue Sky / The Hands That Built America (snippet) / When Johnny Comes Marching Home (snippet), Running To Stand Still / Happy Birthday (snippet) / Walk On (snippet), Pride (In The Name Of Love), Where The Streets Have No Name, One encores: Zoo Station, The Fly, Mysterious Ways, Party Girl, All Because Of You, Yahweh, Vertigo / The Boys Are Back In Town (snippet) / Jailbreak (snippet)
    GarUser is Offline
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    Gar

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    27 Jun 2005 11:06 AM
    I wouldn't call the last two albums safe. I think that the band just took a conscious decision that they went through their experimental phase and wanted to return to the type of songwriting that probably best suits them. The Beatles did the same, taking a sharp left down a weird avenue to produce their best work in 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' and the White Album but they soon returned to a more measured style of songwriting and musicianship with 'Let It Be' and 'Abbey Road'. What I'm saying is that U2 have not gotten worse with their last two albums just that they can't keep reeling albums like 'Pop' out. And I think they are more comfortable doing the soaring anthem or deeply rooted tune. What is true from this debate however is that we would not be discussing the good & bad albums of U2 if they had not released some cracking material through the years and played some of the most memorable shows. So does that strip away all the fat to reveal that they ARE the best band in the world?
    spurtacusUser is Offline
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    spurtacus

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    27 Jun 2005 11:19 AM
    Not mad about U2 at all but respect due for the absolute belter that is 'the lady with the spinnin head', f**kin class
    WhoMeUser is Offline
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    WhoMe

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    28 Jun 2005 09:36 AM
    When they were promoting Zooropa (f**king class album) they kept banging on about how they were pushing the boundaries of music and how they were leading the way and that there is no point in making music to formulas. They totaly contradicted themselves with their last two albums. SAFE AS f**k albums with no originality in them at all
    PilchardUser is Offline
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    Pilchard

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    28 Jun 2005 10:39 AM
    i went along last night as a curious onlooker (albeit curious onlooker with a friend who had a spare ticket). thought the gig was very ordinary. was a huge u2 fan when i was a kid but the last album was boring and the one before it lacked any sort of spark or spirit. the band looked like they were going thru the motions - i really didnt get any sense of excitement or buzz from what i heard. the new material was really weak as well - u can't fool 80,000 people and they were singing their hearts out for "bad" and "one" and the old stuff. i know the sales for the new album are big (10 million or so) but i think people havent invested as much time or effort in it as the old stuff thought the stageset was great but then, i didnt go to croker for that. i went for the music and what i heard was safe, unexciting, mundane stuff (through the worst PA i have ever heard at a big gig) as for the "best band in the world"....thats a real pub argument. i dont think they ever were the best band in the world - right now, there are a dozen bands who are streets ahead of u2 in terms of excitement and inventiveness but i dont think any of them will ever attain the longetivity or mainstream appeal of u2. that, however, doesnt make u2 the best - just the biggest. and as we all know, biggest aint necessarily best
    eoghanUser is Offline
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    eoghan

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    28 Jun 2005 10:43 AM
    The first two gigs in Croker the sets were pretty safe and the sets were not radically different between the two nights. However last night's 3rd and final Croker gig was another proposition. They took a few risks and, Christ, did it pay off. 'Gloria' got its first European airing on the tour as did 'Origin of the Species' (for which they sacrificed from the set list the ultra-safe crowd-pleaser 'New Years Day'). 'Bad' was also rolled out for the first time on the European leg and it was - quelle bleedin' surprise - as compelling as anything else in the set. The real treat however was to see them choose to play in front of 85,000 people 'An Cat Dubh' from Boy and, like on the album, to then seque it straight into 'Into the Heart'. Beautiful. And risky. Yeah, the crowd pleasers like ‘Pride’ and the (massively over-rated) 'Elevation' were all in there too but it was great to see them take risks with parts of the set list after the safer choices of the first 2 nights. And if that wasn't enough they wrapped it all up with '40'. Make no mistakes, this was vintage U2. One of the best performances I’d seen from them in a looooooooong time. eoghan
    GarUser is Offline
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    Gar

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    28 Jun 2005 04:05 PM
    I strongly disagree with Pilchard and strongly agree with Eoghan. Last night's gig was excellent stuff. I'm not a huge U2 fan (I started this thread to garner reaction of a now cliched statement) and wasn't prepared to pay over the odds for a ticket to any of the Croker shows, since I'd stayed out overnight to get a ticket to Slane for the Elevation tour. But I was given a free ticket and even though it was upper tier in the Hogan Stand, I was delighted to go. I think that enjoying a gig depends on alot of factors: - The mood you are in - The company you are with - The people who surround you - The quality of the sound - The performance of the band If one of those isn't right than you might just end up hating a gig that thousands of others enjoyed. Personally, I thought it was a superb performance by the band and the crowd reacted well to most songs. Even the new stuff went down good, well in my section they did anyway. As Eoghan mentioned above there were many surprises on the set but I liked 'Miracle Drug' for the touching interlude, 'One' for the crowd's interaction with the song and 'Elevation' because it came across as being really raw. After last night (and seeing them in 2001) I'm pretty convinced that they are the best and biggest band around. Of course there are others to mention but only U2 can cram in honest blurbs on Human Rights, Religious Unity and Third World Poverty between soaring anthems.
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    Daragh Murray

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    28 Jun 2005 04:17 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by Gar but only U2 can cram in honest blurbs on Human Rights, Religious Unity and Third World Poverty between soaring anthems.
    ... and fair play to them. i'm not a huge U2 fan myself, but they have put out some brilliant albums, and the only time i saw them live (pop in landesdowne) was a great show. I think a lot of people don't like U2 because of Bono and the politics etc but, in my opinion, that is just petty. I mean he is definitely raising awareness, improving the image, and even gaining new support for very worthy causes. He definitely isn't doing any harm, and lets face it, if the debt is dropped (in some form or another...) in Scotland, it will mainly be down to the huge publicity generated by the efforts of U2, Geldof etc and not really the hard core activists.
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    klootfan

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    28 Jun 2005 05:03 PM
    I agree that alot of people dislike bono because of his political dealings, and i must admit that i am one of those. I think that he is using simplistic views on poverty and world problems to appeal to the ordinary joe soap. World poverty is a complex problem and its too easy to say that just clearing the debts of these countries will solve their problems. As a result of geldof and bonos stance, there is a feeling amongst the general public that clearing debt is a good thing to do and will help these countries. This is not always the case. Because of corruption, and excessive spending on weapons, alot of these countries will squander any debt relief and the people wont benefit.
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    Binokular

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    28 Jun 2005 05:03 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by Daragh He definitely isn't doing any harm
    I wouldn't be so sure of that. He's an unelected individual arguably exerting large political influence (though the extent of his actual influence is open to debate). He has the ability to sway public opinion, I'm sure his intentions are noble but it doesn't neccesarily mean its the right thing. I don't know enough about the mechanics of world trade to understand if he's right or not. I was watching a BBC London interview with Sarah Cracknell (of Saint Etienne) on the internet the other day and she was asked about that due lack of any real political statements Saint Etiennes songs how she felt about politics in music and she was basically saying that while they weren't really into that whole area, any band that does do it needs to do it intelligently so that people actually understand the whole picture as opposed to sloganeering. Now Bono and als Bob Geldof especially are two very eloquent individuals but there is still the danger that some people will just go "look, its Bono, must be right!" which is kind of a scary thought. To repeat a famous quote "With great power comes great responsibility", now wheres that from? ah yes, Spiderman. Marvel Comics, source of all modern wisdom.
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    Una

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    28 Jun 2005 05:56 PM
    "I think a lot of people don't like U2 because of Bono and the politics etc but, in my opinion, that is just petty. I mean he is definitely raising awareness, improving the image, and even gaining new support for very worthy causes. He definitely isn't doing any harm" This is debateable. One school of thought is that Bob and Bono are sailing the global justice movement down the river completely. I have to say that I disagree with the fact that they can 'fix' things by working within existing political structures, when those structures themselves are the reason for so much inequality in the world. I think Bob Geldof portrays a really distorted euro-centric image of Africa. Poverty exists on that continent, as it does anywhere for hundreds of factors, not just once of debt. Bob and Bono's all encompassing "let's fix this s**t" is as general and unhelpful as the rhetoric of the politicians who claim to be on their side. Yes, it is admirable to not just be singing about asses and cocaine, but when they step into a role that I'm not sure either of the two self confessed ego maniacs are suited to, and exercising incredible influence regarding THE WORLD, I just wish, as rock stars, they could do it in a way that does not bend towards the establishment that creates the problems. But, I guess their actions inspire debate, which is something. and anyway, I aint no Bono.
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