Author Topic: OTR: U2 is a part-time band  (Read 5924 times)

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Offline m2

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OTR: U2 is a part-time band
« on: January 06, 2013, 10:04:55 PM »
I'm starting this thread in case anyone wants to respond (pro or con) to my OTR this weekend. If you want to read it, here's the link:

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My premise is essentially that is now a part-time band and we collectively need to adjust our expectations and get used to it.



Offline romi

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Re: OTR: U2 is a part-time band
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2013, 10:23:04 PM »
Them they're fightin' words. Kidding. I tend to agree with this. At the same time, there's no set "album cycle" that ALL bands follow. U2 used to do once every four years. I've been saying for a while they have lost quite a bit of creativity over the years. But for some bands, the entire cycle is only two years. It's up to them. Another example: The REM "retirement." This isn't sports, where a player won't play competitively for a year or two and then will have lost his step. Musicians can practice at home. REM will be back, and will sell many tickets because it will be a "reunion" tour. They are just in-between albums right now.

Offline silvrlvr

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Re: OTR: U2 is a part-time band
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2013, 10:32:42 PM »
I've always watched in awe at the way Bruce Springsteen operates. In the past decade, he's put out an album every two to three years. He's performing constantly. His gigs are events lasting up to four hours. He does Jimmy Fallon, and cooperates on big profiles. The man is in his mid-60s, doesn't need to work but does it because he loves it and is also an activist who wants to stay in the game.

He is the gold standard. U2 is no longer. I think the fire has just burned out. If you disagree, what do you hear most often from them on the radio and Muzak? Joshua Tree and possibly Beautiful Day or Vertigo. By the way, that song is now eight years old.


Offline imaginary friend

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Re: OTR: U2 is a part-time band
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2013, 10:37:16 PM »
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I've always watched in awe at the way Bruce Springsteen operates. In the past decade, he's put out an album every two to three years. He's performing constantly. His gigs are events lasting up to four hours. He does Jimmy Fallon, and cooperates on big profiles. The man is in his mid-60s, doesn't need to work but does it because he loves it and is also an activist who wants to stay in the game.

He is the gold standard. U2 is no longer. I think the fire has just burned out. If you disagree, what do you hear most often from them on the radio and Muzak? Joshua Tree and possibly Beautiful Day or Vertigo. By the way, that song is now eight years old.



so...U2's "fire" is measured by what the radio plays?

really?

Offline U2runnr

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Re: OTR: U2 is a part-time band
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2013, 11:27:01 PM »
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I've always watched in awe at the way Bruce Springsteen operates. In the past decade, he's put out an album every two to three years. He's performing constantly. His gigs are events lasting up to four hours. He does Jimmy Fallon, and cooperates on big profiles. The man is in his mid-60s, doesn't need to work but does it because he loves it and is also an activist who wants to stay in the game.

He is the gold standard. U2 is no longer. I think the fire has just burned out. If you disagree, what do you hear most often from them on the radio and Muzak? Joshua Tree and possibly Beautiful Day or Vertigo. By the way, that song is now eight years old.

I don't think we can measure the gold standard by album output rate either. I like Springsteen, but even with U2's "loss of creativity" their recent albums are far superior to anything Springsteen has done.

Offline imaginary friend

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Re: OTR: U2 is a part-time band
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2013, 11:39:38 PM »
U2 fans are such whiners, lol! :P

It's approaching 7 years since the last Tool album, and Rush has been on a once-every-five-years rate with new albums since 2002.

Offline bethere

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Re: OTR: U2 is a part-time band
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2013, 12:24:51 AM »
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I'm starting this thread in case anyone wants to respond (pro or con) to my OTR this weekend. If you want to read it, here's the link:

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

My premise is essentially that is now a part-time band and we collectively need to adjust our expectations and get used to it.

        I can see why you might call U2 that, but remember that their, writing, recording, album releases, and touring schedule has been for the most part consistently the same since the end of the ZOO TV Tour up to today. So this behavior has been going on for almost 20 years now. Even back in the 1980s when albums were released very quickly and they were much younger and without children except for the Edge, it took 2 years and 5 months to follow up the Unforgettable Fire with Joshua Tree. It looks like the time between NLOTH and the next album will be about double that length.

Offline Thunder Peel

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Re: OTR: U2 is a part-time band
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2013, 12:47:50 AM »
Great thoughts, Matt. I too am coming to grips with the fact that maybe the members just aren't as enthusiastic as they used to be and that waiting years in-between albums is the new standard. I still think they're the best band on the planet and I support their decision to branch out and try new things. However, I know I'm not the only fan who wishes we would get new material more often.

It's not a pleasant truth to wake up to but it's the reality of the situation. I love this band but I'm starting to worry that we won't be hearing much from them anymore.:(

Offline reventhon

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Re: OTR: U2 is a part-time band
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2013, 02:13:45 AM »
Matt, I think you're right.
And why shouldn't they be? As you get older you change. Your testosterone levels drop and the fire and rage that burns as a teenager is replaced with something calmer. I remember Sting saying in an interview with Jools Holland once that the point at which he had achieved everything with the Police and they were the biggest band in the world was when he was least happy. It is often the struggle to achieve that motivates a person. Once you have made it, you need new ambitions. U2 have done it all and I could quite easily see them calling it a day completely in the same way REM did, by just saying we've done what we wanted to do as a group. Whatever it is, it's not everyone's ideal to do the same thing for your whole life. The world is a big and exciting place and I would expect them all to be doing other things, as they are. The only real reason for them to exist is a selfish one ... their love of music and of what happens when they play together. When they yearn for that again, stuff will happen. They will be back but I just think they don't need it as much anymore and that's absolutely reasonable.

Offline Chip

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Re: OTR: U2 is a part-time band
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2013, 04:10:00 AM »
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I've always watched in awe at the way Bruce Springsteen operates. In the past decade, he's put out an album every two to three years. He's performing constantly. His gigs are events lasting up to four hours. He does Jimmy Fallon, and cooperates on big profiles. The man is in his mid-60s, doesn't need to work but does it because he loves it and is also an activist who wants to stay in the game.

He is the gold standard. U2 is no longer. I think the fire has just burned out. If you disagree, what do you hear most often from them on the radio and Muzak? Joshua Tree and possibly Beautiful Day or Vertigo. By the way, that song is now eight years old.



Agreed about the Boss, but even he went through a period (re: most of the '90s) where he produced very little new music, and where he second-guessed himself in terms of releasing albums (e.g., the 1994 album that he completed with some of his '93 "other" touring band members but backed away from releasing, supposedly due to the advice of Jon Landau). I see U2 as being currently in a similar-sort-of-place, where they're skittish about releasing anything that they think will not achieve mass popularity. I think it's sort of a midlife crisis period, with even Bono's activism derailed to a degree now. I'm not sure I'd call them a "part-time band" as Matt does (at least no more than they have been over the last decade or so), as they appear to be in the studio pretty regularly. But they are in a period where they're clearly not in a hurry to release albums.

Offline EnduringChill

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Re: OTR: U2 is a part-time band
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2013, 05:13:12 AM »
I guess as they've gotten older, the members of U2 have found other things that interest them/are just as important, if not more than music. Maybe they want to spend more time with their family or do other things that being on tour and recording an album can restrict. It's probably hard to juggle interests. I also agree that they're probably lacking in creativity right now. It makes sense to call them a "part-time" band (although I hope/wish it's not true).

Offline boom boom

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Re: OTR: U2 is a part-time band
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2013, 05:24:21 AM »
I would tend to agree.  It happens as a band gets older.  You have other interests, spend time with family, all which means less time together recording.

Offline Johnny Feathers

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Re: OTR: U2 is a part-time band
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2013, 08:08:38 AM »
I would almost say that "part-time" is being generous.  The difference between them and a truly defunct band is pretty slim at this point.  Even including their last album, the most notable and enjoyable stuff they've done recently are the remasters.  Which is the same thing I've enjoyed about Pink Floyd in the same time-frame, a band that no longer exists.

I know many fans will say that U2 have the right to find different interests as they get older, and that's very true.  Also true: fans can find newer bands to be excited about, and still love U2's older work.  I don't know how many "new" bands I've gotten excited about recently, but this is more the position I find myself in.

Offline Gerryster

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Re: OTR: U2 is a part-time band
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2013, 08:17:18 AM »
Hard to disagree with any of that Matt. The question is whether it means that the band is in decline? I know most U2 fans would say 'no', but for me the reason that interval between albums is increasing is because they desperately want to preserve quality rather than distraction from other extracurricular activities. My fear is that this not the case. Certainly NLOTH was not my favourite and if the band only have 6 album quality songs right now then there is an issue. What happened to songs of ascent, the danger mouse material, the Rick Rubin material? The inference being that it is not of sufficient quality for release and therefore that increase in time between albums does not correlate with an increase in quality, or relevance. Hopefully that's all a bit premature, but the next album is crucial. Hopefully we get to hear it this year.

Offline Tumbling Dice

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Re: OTR: U2 is a part-time band
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2013, 08:43:11 AM »
U2 have been a part-time band since the end of the ZOO TV tour.