🎵 How Good Are They Really 🎵 U2

Just been on a bit of a video binge, I like the Lemon one, really shows where they were at then, “cutting edge” uber 90’s aesthetic, Bono is in his Macphisto getup (and I think pretty compelling to watch) then there’s references to things like Muybridge’s photography experiments and no doubt other things I’ve missed. It’s pretty striking just how everyman they went around ATYCLB, The Beautiful day video is some regular band guys hanging around an airport, Walk On some regular band guys kicking a ball about on the beach, Elevation some regular band guys… facing off with their shadow selves, meanwhile The Edge is inserted into footage from Tomb Raider. Reminds me of those Man Utd films where Wayne Rooney joins the X Men. Quite funny though, a real mess.

Larry sounds like the Mike Love of U2, these are his comments on Passengers, there’s a thin line between interesting music and self-indulgence. We crossed it on the Passengers record. I’m listening to it now for the first time and enjoying it, if you listen really closely through headphones you can hear him grinding his teeth and huffing.

Back to Lemon though, I’m sure I’m telling people what they know but forgive me, Bono’s mother died when he was 14, she was 48, and the lyrics were inspired by Bono being sent footage of his mother when she was aged 24 as the maid of honour wearing a lemon yellow dress. The song is obviously about something broader and a mix of different ideas but knowing that was the specific spur deepens it for me. The deadpan Edge sung sections, man makes a picture, a moving picture and those Midnight is where the day begins sections are so wonderful, toward the end there’s this sound like a creaking cello too that I think is lovely, it’s such a good odd pop song.


Hot take: Beautiful Day is very good


Can’t remember where, but I once read an article that said there was a mini-trend of established acts going to a fairly standard modern rock sound in the early 00s (U2, REM, Bowie) with varying degrees of success. Each of them were widely described as if they were somehow going back to their classic sound at the time, despite the fact that none of them had ever really been that type of act.

Lemon is amazing.

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Dont really know any U2 bar the singles but been enjoying delving into the 90s album trilogy. Lemon is indeed excellent. Surprised at how lowkey Pop is, assumed it was a big messy paul oakenfold/william orbit style 90s experiment. Pop is definitely the end of the band as a relevant act though, tried the 00s albums and couldn’t make it through a single song. Absolute shite

  1. The Fly
  2. Mysterious Ways
  3. Staring At The Sun
  4. Even Better Than The Real Thing
  5. Beautiful Day
  6. One
  7. Hold Me, Thrill Me…
  8. Daddy’s Gonna Pay For Your Crashed Car
  9. Lemon
  10. Elevation
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I think I’d only listened to (and loved) Miss Sarajevo before, but Passengers is far more interesting than i thought it would be.

If you like Miss Sarajevo’s operatic slant, this is a similar vibe

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Haha…I agree with everyone saying they made a conscious decision to be a streamlined stadium band on the latter albums, but I don’t dislike All That You Can’t…‘Kite’ is a great song. Ditto ‘In A Little While’. ‘Beautiful Day’ was fine but got overplayed in football montages.

Another decent one that I’d all but forgotten about:

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  1. Lemon
  2. Ultraviolet
  3. Acrobat
  4. The Wanderer
  5. Exit
  6. One
  7. Where the Streets Have No Name
  8. One Tree Hill
  9. New Years Day
  10. The Unforgettable Fire

Could easily be in any order. Ten perfect songs, with many other perfect songs arbitrarily not making it.

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Had never watched this before, it’s so good.

How do I always forget about that Dirty Day bridge with the synth, it’s comes in so unexpectedly but it’s perfect.

Guess these things are the ebb and flow of being a big successful act, I don’t think it’s a bad thing if you get a bit lost to revisit what you know but it’s death if you choose to just stay there.

Couple of listens to Passengers today, I think it should have something to offer anyone that likes Zooropa. Can see the record company’s pov regarding the artist credit, it’s not made for the weight of expectation a U2 album would have had then. Interesting reading it was originally intended to score The Pillow Book, I like lots of Greenaway films but not that, can’t imagine it working at all. I like it best where it most evokes some of the things I’d read around it, “night music” “sounds like a city with the lights coming on” “made to be listened to on a bullet train”. There’s some jarring, unexpected things on there, I thought The Wanderer was the strangest U2 song, I was not ready for Elvis Ate America.

Miss Sarajevo is beautiful, I had forgotten it when i made my list, should have made my top ten

I thought this was lovely, thank you

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This was one I thought might end up being a 0-pointer despite being a really fantastic song. Glad to see it finally pick up some points

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  1. Exit/Mothers of the Disappeared
  2. Whose Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
  3. Seconds
  4. Numb
  5. Bad
  6. Gloria
  7. A Sort of Homecoming
  8. Ultraviolet
  9. Like A Song
  10. Wake Up Dead Man

War, Unforgettable Fire, Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby. Four albums where the closest they get to a bad song is Redhill Mining Town. They might not have done anything good for a long time but not many bands have got that hit rate.


Which one of these are you wanting to give first place? And do you want to shunt the other down to second place (and every track following down one place too) or just cast it into the abyss?

edit: for the time being I have given the five points to Exit and given Mothers of the Disappeared zero points

Was this an RSD release or something? I’ve always liked it, i think it was used as a walk on tune on one of the tours

It gets worse….