Author Topic: Clayton RS interview  (Read 5548 times)

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Offline garyu2

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Re: Clayton RS interview
« Reply #45 on: January 25, 2017, 05:12:22 PM »
Judging by Adam & Edges separate interviews with RS, it's fair to say that they have barely even spoken about (let alone rehearsed) the Joshua Tree show internally.

Makes it feel quite far away.

Offline bass slap

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Re: Clayton RS interview
« Reply #46 on: January 25, 2017, 05:16:56 PM »
They have always tried to be radio friendly. I recall reading about Joshua tree fans giving up on them after the release of AB for similar reasons.. They appeared to abandon their true sound whilst aiming blatantly for popular hits in a more contemporary baggy style.

They are great at emulating current cultures putting their own twist on it and making it sound better. just not as good or adventurous as it once was, and the current pop culture happens to be dire.

I'm not so sure they're desperate for hits, I just think when they do bother to release something they want it to be a successful business venture..

SOE will be the sound of four content men, who see releasing a new album as a fun challenge to be relevant again.

If it doesn't set the world on fire I'm sure the AB 30th anniversary tour will.


Offline MattD

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Re: Clayton RS interview
« Reply #47 on: January 25, 2017, 05:31:46 PM »
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Pretty sad to see Clayton's thoughts on what would happen to With or Without You today. The funny thing is, is that even when it was released in 1987 it sounded nothing like anything else that was out at the time. It's always been an unconventional song, and that is part of its beauty. If they wrote it today unfortunately a producer like Ryan Tedder would neuter it to sound like a current pop song and it would lose it's soul, all in the name of relevance.

Yes, that part about what they could do to WOWY in order to make it a hit almost shocked me. I sort of hope, that Adam wasn't serious about it. It is such a beautiful and perfect song just the way it is.

I think this has been taken a little too literally, when it seemed a hypothetical question.

The response Clayton gave in any case was reasonable. The song did sound a little different to everything else at the time, but it does inevitably sound dated 30 years on when comparing to modern day production sounds...

To have a hit you you're not trying to connect with middle aged men jaded by today's youth and main stream pop music... although u2 do try and have their cake and eat it by appealing to existing fans and winning new, and obviously failing on both fronts on the most part.

If they want to throw their hat into the ring and compete for chart places and mainstream recognition they need to move with the times, so in that respect promising to hear clayton talk about modern techniques and show some awareness. They are merely competing in the same arena they always have and when they finally do release something it will sound current, and it will sound like u2.

Obviously if they decide to bastardise wowy, they can suck my balls. But then again,I don't think I have another u2 cringe moment left in me... what was once close to a perfect legacy has slowly been watered down for the last couple of decades, so whatever.. I hope they do release something just out of curiosity to see if they can connect with today's pop culture.

Really? You think With Or Without You sounds 'dated'? Bizarre - I consider myself of the generation that listens to chart music, yet when I first heard With Or Without You, it was unlike anything I'd ever heard.

It had beauty, poise and mystical qualities to its sound, the kind that only ethereal soundscape extraordinaires like The Edge and Eno/Lanois could come up with. It's timeless qualities are seen in the ways that the X Factor karaoke fodder you see every Saturday night try to cover it, or derivative bands of the modern age like Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, Kings of Leon try to recreate on their own records, only to fall massively short.

It's a timeless piece of work, it doesn't sound like an 1980s song and you can't pinpoint the exact era of it. Like much of U2's great albums and songs, it transcends time. I can quite positively say that the likes of cheap pop fodder like Ryan Tedder and the crap that Guy Oseary presides over in his other management roles will not be granted timeless status.

And on to your second underlined point, it is not about making music 'for middle aged men'. Folk of my age (mid 20s) listen to many great bands at the minute who make beautiful music without sounding crusty and middle aged - take Radiohead's new album. War On Drugs, Arcade Fire, Beach House, etc while rejecting bubblegum pop.

This is not about being popular, it is about being good. It is about being artistically mature and grown up, as opposed to U2's current approach, which is the equivalent of the creepy middle aged men who hang outside nightclubs with their jeans pulled half way down their ar**s, 'having epic banter' with younger folk 'trying to get down wiv da kids'. Believe me, I've seen those fuds all over Glasgow's Buchanan Street!

Now that really is embarrassing, and that is the approach U2 are seemingly taking. I want mature, creatively expansive music for the introspective listener. Not Bono and co's embarrassing 'cool dad' schtick.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2017, 05:40:06 PM by MattD »

Offline fishcci

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Re: Clayton RS interview
« Reply #48 on: January 25, 2017, 05:35:37 PM »
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These guys lost the plot. Hopefully they can get it back.

Ding ding ding.

It's so ironic for Adam to say that if WOWY were released today it would need to be altered to conform to contemporary trends when WOWY's original success was largely due to its NOT having done that.

To quote Bono, it "whispered its way into the world." I wish U2 had the confidence these days to whisper rather than jumping up and down, shouting at us.

Who really knows why WOWY was successful? Do you really know that's why it was successful? Who really knows why anything is successful? There's no way to predict what people will gravitate to.
Who would've predicted Santana having the biggest album of his career at the turn of the century?
If WOWY had bombed, people would've given the same reason you gave for it's success...

Offline MattD

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Re: Clayton RS interview
« Reply #49 on: January 25, 2017, 05:45:57 PM »
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WOWY's deviance from typical radio songs at the time is the reason for it's success. Really sad that even Adam thinks this way, typically being the most sensible of the group when it comes to this sort of thing.

The entire band most probably think like this.

Clayton's quote is ample evidence they've all completely lost the plot. They probably sit around the darkened studio listening to David Guetta, Katy Perry and the queen of wallpaper music Adele these days.

It is also sad that they seem rather inhibited by their 'rock n roll stadium status' these days - when asked about the high level of unused material from Songs of Ascent onwards, Clayton seemed rather dismissive of their ability to be eclectic and incorporate interesting genres of music.

Anything that goes outside of their present narrow and creatively insipid boundaries of stadium anthems is seemingly a no-go area now. They've lost their ballsiness. They are terrified to experiment and I think it is now time to judge U2 on their immense catalogue prior to the 21st century. Ryan Tedder and Guy Oseary were the final nails in the coffin.

The U2 we loved is now dead in the water.
You're exactly right. Here they are, sitting around in a conference hall with people like Guy Oseary desperately trying to "write" a hit song. U2 are analyzing every aspect of pop songs and striving for that exact sound. They may go into the studio and throw in some "U2-isms" just to appease older fans... but we all realize that the music isn't genuine anymore.

Songs like RBW, The Troubles, and Sleep Like A Baby Tonight seem like actual attempts at creating art.

On the other hand, you have crap like California (U2-ism: the atmospheric and sonically interesting intro), EBW (U2-ism: Chimey guitar)... you get the idea.

We can see-through their phony attempts at crafting (more so than creating) radio-friendly pop songs. We realize that U2 are desperately trying to mix these unfitting singles with interesting tracks like Sleep Like A Baby Tonight. To balance things out, all they do is simply give a nice, thick wax job to all of the good songs in the studio to make them seem more fitting with the rest.

I don't mean to be speaking for everyone. This is just what I think is the majority's opinion on the forum.

Another thing about California, I cannot bear to listen to it with those horrible synths running through it. It is unbelievably crass and cack handed for a band as sophisticated as they are supposed to be. Even back during the days of Beautiful Day, they could embellish songs using neat sonic tricks - the pulsing beat box and shimmering keyboards at the start really do synchronise perfectly.

So it was hard to listen to California (which is yet another desperate attempt to recreate Beautiful Day) and it's poor, brain addled, plonked on sonic insipidness - it was utterly galling on first listen. A desperate desperate track which sums up the pi*s poor production techniques. By time I've heard the interesting tracks from the latter half, the damage has already been done.

Offline bass slap

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Re: Clayton RS interview
« Reply #50 on: January 25, 2017, 06:27:31 PM »
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Pretty sad to see Clayton's thoughts on what would happen to With or Without You today. The funny thing is, is that even when it was released in 1987 it sounded nothing like anything else that was out at the time. It's always been an unconventional song, and that is part of its beauty. If they wrote it today unfortunately a producer like Ryan Tedder would neuter it to sound like a current pop song and it would lose it's soul, all in the name of relevance.

Yes, that part about what they could do to WOWY in order to make it a hit almost shocked me. I sort of hope, that Adam wasn't serious about it. It is such a beautiful and perfect song just the way it is.

I think this has been taken a little too literally, when it seemed a hypothetical question.

The response Clayton gave in any case was reasonable. The song did sound a little different to everything else at the time, but it does inevitably sound dated 30 years on when comparing to modern day production sounds...

To have a hit you you're not trying to connect with middle aged men jaded by today's youth and main stream pop music... although u2 do try and have their cake and eat it by appealing to existing fans and winning new, and obviously failing on both fronts on the most part.

If they want to throw their hat into the ring and compete for chart places and mainstream recognition they need to move with the times, so in that respect promising to hear clayton talk about modern techniques and show some awareness. They are merely competing in the same arena they always have and when they finally do release something it will sound current, and it will sound like u2.

Obviously if they decide to bastardise wowy, they can suck my balls. But then again,I don't think I have another u2 cringe moment left in me... what was once close to a perfect legacy has slowly been watered down for the last couple of decades, so whatever.. I hope they do release something just out of curiosity to see if they can connect with today's pop culture.

Really? You think With Or Without You sounds 'dated'? Bizarre - I consider myself of the generation that listens to chart music, yet when I first heard With Or Without You, it was unlike anything I'd ever heard.

It had beauty, poise and mystical qualities to its sound, the kind that only ethereal soundscape extraordinaires like The Edge and Eno/Lanois could come up with. It's timeless qualities are seen in the ways that the X Factor karaoke fodder you see every Saturday night try to cover it, or derivative bands of the modern age like Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, Kings of Leon try to recreate on their own records, only to fall massively short.

It's a timeless piece of work, it doesn't sound like an 1980s song and you can't pinpoint the exact era of it. Like much of U2's great albums and songs, it transcends time. I can quite positively say that the likes of cheap pop fodder like Ryan Tedder and the crap that Guy Oseary presides over in his other management roles will not be granted timeless status.

And on to your second underlined point, it is not about making music 'for middle aged men'. Folk of my age (mid 20s) listen to many great bands at the minute who make beautiful music without sounding crusty and middle aged - take Radiohead's new album. War On Drugs, Arcade Fire, Beach House, etc while rejecting bubblegum pop.

This is not about being popular, it is about being good. It is about being artistically mature and grown up, as opposed to U2's current approach, which is the equivalent of the creepy middle aged men who hang outside nightclubs with their jeans pulled half way down their ar**s, 'having epic banter' with younger folk 'trying to get down wiv da kids'. Oh I've seen those fuds alright all over Glasgow!

Now that really is embarrassing, and that is the approach U2 are seemingly taking. I want mature, creatively expansive music for the introspective listener. Not Bono and co's embarrassing 'cool dad' schtick.
Bizarre that you consider wowy to not have dated at all. Relatively speaking, it has aged very well indeed and agree about the mystical qualities. As class as it is the vocal with the big stadium woahs and drum sound and in some ways the structure with the big outro and lack of upward compression reveal it to be from another time and not one in the future like you're suggesting.. Basically I would be more inclined to agree with Clayton.

Bands you list are not expecting or trying to compete with likes of Adele, one republic, Bruno mars etc. They are clearly alternative mainstream, or just alternative. They are also very much in member berry territory... on that note don't be so defensive about sharing the same music tastes as people old enough to be your dad. My point was that if they didn't change their style to suit the modern mainstream, they would by default churn out the same old style of song that would only appeal to original fans and end up sounding dated..

U2 have always had their sights on number one spots in the mainstream and the strategy hasn't changed that much, was my point. Their strategy for AB and Pop were no different as I see it. They were just emulating popular culture that happened to be more artistically credible and aimed to make it very accessible. They succeeded.


Offline MattD

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Re: Clayton RS interview
« Reply #51 on: January 25, 2017, 07:01:13 PM »
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Pretty sad to see Clayton's thoughts on what would happen to With or Without You today. The funny thing is, is that even when it was released in 1987 it sounded nothing like anything else that was out at the time. It's always been an unconventional song, and that is part of its beauty. If they wrote it today unfortunately a producer like Ryan Tedder would neuter it to sound like a current pop song and it would lose it's soul, all in the name of relevance.

Yes, that part about what they could do to WOWY in order to make it a hit almost shocked me. I sort of hope, that Adam wasn't serious about it. It is such a beautiful and perfect song just the way it is.

I think this has been taken a little too literally, when it seemed a hypothetical question.

The response Clayton gave in any case was reasonable. The song did sound a little different to everything else at the time, but it does inevitably sound dated 30 years on when comparing to modern day production sounds...

To have a hit you you're not trying to connect with middle aged men jaded by today's youth and main stream pop music... although u2 do try and have their cake and eat it by appealing to existing fans and winning new, and obviously failing on both fronts on the most part.

If they want to throw their hat into the ring and compete for chart places and mainstream recognition they need to move with the times, so in that respect promising to hear clayton talk about modern techniques and show some awareness. They are merely competing in the same arena they always have and when they finally do release something it will sound current, and it will sound like u2.

Obviously if they decide to bastardise wowy, they can suck my balls. But then again,I don't think I have another u2 cringe moment left in me... what was once close to a perfect legacy has slowly been watered down for the last couple of decades, so whatever.. I hope they do release something just out of curiosity to see if they can connect with today's pop culture.

Really? You think With Or Without You sounds 'dated'? Bizarre - I consider myself of the generation that listens to chart music, yet when I first heard With Or Without You, it was unlike anything I'd ever heard.

It had beauty, poise and mystical qualities to its sound, the kind that only ethereal soundscape extraordinaires like The Edge and Eno/Lanois could come up with. It's timeless qualities are seen in the ways that the X Factor karaoke fodder you see every Saturday night try to cover it, or derivative bands of the modern age like Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, Kings of Leon try to recreate on their own records, only to fall massively short.

It's a timeless piece of work, it doesn't sound like an 1980s song and you can't pinpoint the exact era of it. Like much of U2's great albums and songs, it transcends time. I can quite positively say that the likes of cheap pop fodder like Ryan Tedder and the crap that Guy Oseary presides over in his other management roles will not be granted timeless status.

And on to your second underlined point, it is not about making music 'for middle aged men'. Folk of my age (mid 20s) listen to many great bands at the minute who make beautiful music without sounding crusty and middle aged - take Radiohead's new album. War On Drugs, Arcade Fire, Beach House, etc while rejecting bubblegum pop.

This is not about being popular, it is about being good. It is about being artistically mature and grown up, as opposed to U2's current approach, which is the equivalent of the creepy middle aged men who hang outside nightclubs with their jeans pulled half way down their ar**s, 'having epic banter' with younger folk 'trying to get down wiv da kids'. Oh I've seen those fuds alright all over Glasgow!

Now that really is embarrassing, and that is the approach U2 are seemingly taking. I want mature, creatively expansive music for the introspective listener. Not Bono and co's embarrassing 'cool dad' schtick.
Bizarre that you consider wowy to not have dated at all. Relatively speaking, it has aged very well indeed and agree about the mystical qualities. As class as it is the vocal with the big stadium woahs and drum sound and in some ways the structure with the big outro and lack of upward compression reveal it to be from another time and not one in the future like you're suggesting.. Basically I would be more inclined to agree with Clayton.

Bands you list are not expecting or trying to compete with likes of Adele, one republic, Bruno mars etc. They are clearly alternative mainstream, or just alternative. They are also very much in member berry territory... on that note don't be so defensive about sharing the same music tastes as people old enough to be your dad. My point was that if they didn't change their style to suit the modern mainstream, they would by default churn out the same old style of song that would only appeal to original fans and end up sounding dated..

U2 have always had their sights on number one spots in the mainstream and the strategy hasn't changed that much, was my point. Their strategy for AB and Pop were no different as I see it. They were just emulating popular culture that happened to be more artistically credible and aimed to make it very accessible. They succeeded.

Yeah, well that's the crux of the problem.

The influences of Adele, Bruno Mars, One Republic are sh**. Plain and simple.

Fast food music for people with limited palettes.

Offline WookieeWarrior10

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Re: Clayton RS interview
« Reply #52 on: January 25, 2017, 07:07:30 PM »
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WOWY's deviance from typical radio songs at the time is the reason for it's success. Really sad that even Adam thinks this way, typically being the most sensible of the group when it comes to this sort of thing.

The entire band most probably think like this.

Clayton's quote is ample evidence they've all completely lost the plot. They probably sit around the darkened studio listening to David Guetta, Katy Perry and the queen of wallpaper music Adele these days.

It is also sad that they seem rather inhibited by their 'rock n roll stadium status' these days - when asked about the high level of unused material from Songs of Ascent onwards, Clayton seemed rather dismissive of their ability to be eclectic and incorporate interesting genres of music.

Anything that goes outside of their present narrow and creatively insipid boundaries of stadium anthems is seemingly a no-go area now. They've lost their ballsiness. They are terrified to experiment and I think it is now time to judge U2 on their immense catalogue prior to the 21st century. Ryan Tedder and Guy Oseary were the final nails in the coffin.

The U2 we loved is now dead in the water.
You're exactly right. Here they are, sitting around in a conference hall with people like Guy Oseary desperately trying to "write" a hit song. U2 are analyzing every aspect of pop songs and striving for that exact sound. They may go into the studio and throw in some "U2-isms" just to appease older fans... but we all realize that the music isn't genuine anymore.

Songs like RBW, The Troubles, and Sleep Like A Baby Tonight seem like actual attempts at creating art.

On the other hand, you have crap like California (U2-ism: the atmospheric and sonically interesting intro), EBW (U2-ism: Chimey guitar)... you get the idea.

We can see-through their phony attempts at crafting (more so than creating) radio-friendly pop songs. We realize that U2 are desperately trying to mix these unfitting singles with interesting tracks like Sleep Like A Baby Tonight. To balance things out, all they do is simply give a nice, thick wax job to all of the good songs in the studio to make them seem more fitting with the rest.

I don't mean to be speaking for everyone. This is just what I think is the majority's opinion on the forum.

Another thing about California, I cannot bear to listen to it with those horrible synths running through it. It is unbelievably crass and cack handed for a band as sophisticated as they are supposed to be. Even back during the days of Beautiful Day, they could embellish songs using neat sonic tricks - the pulsing beat box and shimmering keyboards at the start really do synchronise perfectly.

So it was hard to listen to California (which is yet another desperate attempt to recreate Beautiful Day) and it's poor, brain addled, plonked on sonic insipidness - it was utterly galling on first listen. A desperate desperate track which sums up the pi*s poor production techniques. By time I've heard the interesting tracks from the latter half, the damage has already been done.
While I do dislike Beautiful Day, I can agree that it is at least a respectable pop song. However, every attempted pop song on SOI is forced and cringe-worthy. The Miracle probably did start off as a good back-to-basics rock song, but was flooded with unnecessary production to go for a softer pop-rock sound. EBW could have used a chilled-out and atmospheric setting to compliment a soft-spoken vocal, but U2 instead desperately tried to make the next big U2 ballad ( la Pride). California was a forced pop song from the beginning, designed around a conference hall to go number one. Song For Someone is an attempted recreation of WOWY. You get the idea.

Rather than make the singles fit the rest of the album, they made the rest of the album fit the singles.

Offline The Edges Cat

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Re: Clayton RS interview
« Reply #53 on: January 26, 2017, 12:02:23 AM »
California's a great song. It would be an all-time great U2 song with more of Edge's early-80's guitar sound, but I still love its energy, Adam's bass, Bono's singing.

Offline sulphur76

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Re: Clayton RS interview
« Reply #54 on: January 26, 2017, 07:36:02 AM »
I don't mind California overall, but that beginning "Bah-bah-Barbara. Santa Barbara" is one of the worst things they have ever done. Unbelievably bad and cheesy, and I'm amazed it got out of the early stages of the song without being laughed at by someone in the recording room.

Offline Saint1322

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Re: Clayton RS interview
« Reply #55 on: January 26, 2017, 07:51:15 AM »
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These guys lost the plot. Hopefully they can get it back.

Ding ding ding.

It's so ironic for Adam to say that if WOWY were released today it would need to be altered to conform to contemporary trends when WOWY's original success was largely due to its NOT having done that.

To quote Bono, it "whispered its way into the world." I wish U2 had the confidence these days to whisper rather than jumping up and down, shouting at us.

Who really knows why WOWY was successful? Do you really know that's why it was successful? Who really knows why anything is successful? There's no way to predict what people will gravitate to.
Who would've predicted Santana having the biggest album of his career at the turn of the century?
If WOWY had bombed, people would've given the same reason you gave for it's success...

I do know, actually. Several reasons:

1. It was a great song
2. It was the closest thing to a power ballad U2 have ever done at a time when power ballads were intensely popular
3. Bono was 27 years old and in his prime, and the video (and song) were the 'sexiest' thing U2 had done to that point, and MTV showed it every 5 minutes

And while the production may sound dated by today's radio standards, it was right on point for 1987. If a young band in a similar position wrote the same song with updated production in 2017, it too would be a hit, even without the help of MTV. I am surprised that there's any controversy about this.

Offline Saint1322

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Re: Clayton RS interview
« Reply #56 on: January 26, 2017, 07:52:40 AM »
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I don't mind California overall, but that beginning "Bah-bah-Barbara. Santa Barbara" is one of the worst things they have ever done. Unbelievably bad and cheesy, and I'm amazed it got out of the early stages of the song without being laughed at by someone in the recording room.

BOOM CHA
BOOM CHA
DISCOTHEQUE
BOOM CHA
BOOM CHA
DISCOTHEQUE

'There's a fine line between clever and stupid' -Spinal Tap

California's opening was a over-the-top homage to the Beach Boys, and nothing more.

LightMyWay92

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Re: Clayton RS interview
« Reply #57 on: January 26, 2017, 08:09:04 AM »
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I don't mind California overall, but that beginning "Bah-bah-Barbara. Santa Barbara" is one of the worst things they have ever done. Unbelievably bad and cheesy, and I'm amazed it got out of the early stages of the song without being laughed at by someone in the recording room.

BOOM CHA
BOOM CHA
DISCOTHEQUE
BOOM CHA
BOOM CHA
DISCOTHEQUE

'There's a fine line between clever and stupid' -Spinal Tap

California's opening was a over-the-top homage to the Beach Boys, and nothing more.
Worse than going out on stage (in a stadium no less) dressed in costumes?  Costumes for the love of God!  U2, the same band that played Red Rocks in '83 and recorded the Joshua Tree, dressed up in costumes on stage!
« Last Edit: January 26, 2017, 10:58:45 AM by LightMyWay92 »

Offline WookieeWarrior10

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Re: Clayton RS interview
« Reply #58 on: January 26, 2017, 08:21:09 AM »
I really love the intro to California, but I have to agree on the dumb Santa Barbara line.
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I don't mind California overall, but that beginning "Bah-bah-Barbara. Santa Barbara" is one of the worst things they have ever done. Unbelievably bad and cheesy, and I'm amazed it got out of the early stages of the song without being laughed at by someone in the recording room.

BOOM CHA
BOOM CHA
DISCOTHEQUE
BOOM CHA
BOOM CHA
DISCOTHEQUE

'There's a fine line between clever and stupid' -Spinal Tap

California's opening was a over-the-top homage to the Beach Boys, and nothing more.
Worse than going out on stage (in a stadium no less) dressed in costumes?  Costumes for the love of God!  U2, the same band that played Red Rocks in '83 and recorded the Joshua Tree, dressed up in costumes on stage!  I
Popmart was a social commentary on commercialism and consumerism, the costumes were meant to be over-the-top and ridiculous. The wntire tour was meant to be taken that way. It really was an ingenious tour.

Offline trevgreg

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Re: Clayton RS interview
« Reply #59 on: January 26, 2017, 08:25:26 AM »
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I think this has been taken a little too literally, when it seemed a hypothetical question.

The response Clayton gave in any case was reasonable. The song did sound a little different to everything else at the time, but it does inevitably sound dated 30 years on when comparing to modern day production sounds...

Yep.

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On the other hand, you have crap like California (U2-ism: the atmospheric and sonically interesting intro), EBW (U2-ism: Chimey guitar)... you get the idea.

For the criticism that 'chimey' guitar riffs gets in these parts, a lot of people sure liked Iris off the last album.