Thanks to my U2 expert Tatiana I have my listening for today. Halloween marks the birthdays of our friend Chloe down the block, our friend Deb and Larry Mullen, Jr., the drum man for U2.
Nov. 19th will mark the 20th Anniversary of Achtung Baby… So as much as I wanted to scare you all today… you know, maybe pull out some Air Supply or Milli Vanilli, I am going with the real thing… Actually, this is better than the real thing!
U2 – Achtung Baby
This is the band’s seventh studio album and was produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno. It came out on Nov 19th, 1991… yet the remastered, super deluxe, many option multiple sets, spend more money editions come out tomorrow… 11/1/11.
This record marked yet another change of direction for a band who always strives to grow and experiment. There is always a core, but they are not afraid to try new things, new styles and move on new paths, which is what makes U2 so exciting and vital.
I saw them on the supporting Zoo TV tour and it was quite a production… nothing like the 360 tour which I missed… TWICE… but the show at Dodger Stadium was pretty wild.
While thy incorporate a lot of elements on this one… industrial and dance… I find myself most drawn to the more classic songs like “One”, “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses” and “She Moves in Mysterious Ways”. I appreciate the table saw sounding opening of “Zoo Station”and the singing in a bottle vocal effects… same with the electronic elements of “Even Better Than the Real Thing.”
I guess deep down I am a rock classicist…
For me U2 is another band who rarely misses… Each of their albums has something to offer… obviously some more than others… I am still digesting Zooropa and Pop and while these challenge me more and are not as immediately grasped, I appreciate that… I appreciate the effort to create music that makes you think… and makes you actually listen!
The origins of Achtung Baby came out of some pretty heavy tension within the group. They have often said they were not ready for the fame and there was a huge backlash against Rattle and Hum. Pretentious was a term bandied about… and at times it is hard to not think that of that, especially with Bono and his bigger than life persona. But the thing about this band is that it is always about the music… Yes, Bono is often on some kind of save the world mission, but the fact is this… the man has a huge megaphone and genuinely tries to use it for good. When you are on a stage that big the light will always be shining on you… but to shine it on others and illuminate the problems and crises of the world is a pretty worthy task. Who knows how any of us would handle such huge fame and fortune… This is what makes me respect Bruce even more… How the heck does he stay so down to earth and seemingly normal in the midst of utter insanity and craziness…
Regardless of all of that, this is a really good album, and while they would lose me a bit until 2000’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind, I do appreciate the musical yearnings and strivings, and desire to grow and create and discover all that is out in the world and all that is within your own world. That is the magic and complexity of U2.