Author Topic: 20 years of Discothèque  (Read 1779 times)

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Offline Vox

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Re: 20 years of Discothèque
« Reply #30 on: February 17, 2017, 08:59:11 AM »
Here’s my “Discotheque” recollection from the time.

At the end of 1996, “in the olden days” where your computer would go “beep-beep-buzz” when logging onto the internet, U2 had a special camera set up in the studio where you could look in at the recording process.  They had a 10-15 second clip of Discotheque way before the song was released.   I’d have to wait 10-15 minutes for my computer to warm up, just to get that 10-15 second clip of the Edge’s guitar riff.  But it was sooo worth it. 

From my recollection back then when the song came out, MTV ran all of U2’s videos from A to Z for an entire day or so, and then they debuted the “Discotheque” video.  I “taped it” on my “VHS” player.  Such a great time.  I went out to a lot of bars back then, and “Discotheque” was played all the time when I was out. 

Looking back at the song now 20 years later, it seems very underrated.   A few months ago on You Tube, I was listening to a song by the band The Cult (I believe it was “Rain”).  In the comment section, someone said it sounded a bit like U2 and they were ridiculed.  Someone else wrote:  "U2 are so universally hated right now that they're practically underrated."  There’s so much hard truth in that statement.

LightMyWay92

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Re: 20 years of Discothèque
« Reply #31 on: February 17, 2017, 11:16:51 AM »
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I was thinking about this.  Really, I think the band over-estimated how popular they still were.  Zoo TV was an amazing success, but that was also almost 5 years ago at this point.  Zooropa wasn't a major album, and Passengers dodged the whole issue.  They were older, and the music scene had changed substantially.  So I feel like all of the Village People stuff, the disco stuff, the mocking their own success stuff, was them almost assuming that the audience would just "get it" because of how popular they thought they still were.  When, actually, they really kind of weren't, and their strategy kind of backfired.

I still think either Mofo or Gone as a lead single might have been more successful.  Treat it seriously, don't dress up like the Village People, don't ASSUME you're already the biggest band out there, and can get away with taking the p*** out of yourselves with your first single/video.  Look like you mean it.  I think the "irony" angle was more damning at this point than their music, which was still very strong over all.
Excellent post, with some good points made. Is still find it very difficult, even to this day, to separate the music from that period from the ironic packaging.

Offline THRILLHO

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Re: 20 years of Discothèque
« Reply #32 on: February 17, 2017, 11:19:41 AM »
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I was thinking about this.  Really, I think the band over-estimated how popular they still were.  Zoo TV was an amazing success, but that was also almost 5 years ago at this point.  Zooropa wasn't a major album, and Passengers dodged the whole issue.  They were older, and the music scene had changed substantially.  So I feel like all of the Village People stuff, the disco stuff, the mocking their own success stuff, was them almost assuming that the audience would just "get it" because of how popular they thought they still were.  When, actually, they really kind of weren't, and their strategy kind of backfired.

I still think either Mofo or Gone as a lead single might have been more successful.  Treat it seriously, don't dress up like the Village People, don't ASSUME you're already the biggest band out there, and can get away with taking the p*** out of yourselves with your first single/video.  Look like you mean it.  I think the "irony" angle was more damning at this point than their music, which was still very strong over all.
Excellent post, with some good points made. Is still find it very difficult, even to this day, to separate the music from that period from the ironic packaging.

I kinda agree, but you have to remember, HMTM was a HUGE single for them, and that was only 95, 2 years prior. In the 90's that wasn't the huge gap it is now, it was still something "recent" you could point at. But yes Gone as lead single and a "serious" attitude, i.e. no K-Mart show and no Village People stuff, they'd have done a lot better.

LightMyWay92

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Re: 20 years of Discothèque
« Reply #33 on: February 17, 2017, 11:23:22 AM »
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I was thinking about this.  Really, I think the band over-estimated how popular they still were.  Zoo TV was an amazing success, but that was also almost 5 years ago at this point.  Zooropa wasn't a major album, and Passengers dodged the whole issue.  They were older, and the music scene had changed substantially.  So I feel like all of the Village People stuff, the disco stuff, the mocking their own success stuff, was them almost assuming that the audience would just "get it" because of how popular they thought they still were.  When, actually, they really kind of weren't, and their strategy kind of backfired.

I still think either Mofo or Gone as a lead single might have been more successful.  Treat it seriously, don't dress up like the Village People, don't ASSUME you're already the biggest band out there, and can get away with taking the p*** out of yourselves with your first single/video.  Look like you mean it.  I think the "irony" angle was more damning at this point than their music, which was still very strong over all.
Excellent post, with some good points made. Is still find it very difficult, even to this day, to separate the music from that period from the ironic packaging.

I kinda agree, but you have to remember, HMTM was a HUGE single for them, and that was only 95, 2 years prior. In the 90's that wasn't the huge gap it is now, it was still something "recent" you could point at. But yes Gone as lead single and a "serious" attitude, i.e. no K-Mart show and no Village People stuff, they'd have done a lot better.
"Staring at the Sun" as the first proper single could also have been more successful if it wasn't preceded by the Kmart event and the "Discotheque" video.  A more compelling video (they still mattered in '97) for SATS would have helped as well.

Offline an tha

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Re: 20 years of Discothèque
« Reply #34 on: February 17, 2017, 11:48:18 AM »
I'd suggest people 'not getting it' etc. was/should have been more their problem than it was u2's problem...

Sadly u2 didn't/don't think like that which then led to the squeaky clean, ultra fresh, deodorised and sanitised version of u2 that came after Pop.


Offline THRILLHO

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Re: 20 years of Discothèque
« Reply #35 on: February 17, 2017, 11:56:11 AM »
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I was thinking about this.  Really, I think the band over-estimated how popular they still were.  Zoo TV was an amazing success, but that was also almost 5 years ago at this point.  Zooropa wasn't a major album, and Passengers dodged the whole issue.  They were older, and the music scene had changed substantially.  So I feel like all of the Village People stuff, the disco stuff, the mocking their own success stuff, was them almost assuming that the audience would just "get it" because of how popular they thought they still were.  When, actually, they really kind of weren't, and their strategy kind of backfired.

I still think either Mofo or Gone as a lead single might have been more successful.  Treat it seriously, don't dress up like the Village People, don't ASSUME you're already the biggest band out there, and can get away with taking the p*** out of yourselves with your first single/video.  Look like you mean it.  I think the "irony" angle was more damning at this point than their music, which was still very strong over all.
Excellent post, with some good points made. Is still find it very difficult, even to this day, to separate the music from that period from the ironic packaging.

I kinda agree, but you have to remember, HMTM was a HUGE single for them, and that was only 95, 2 years prior. In the 90's that wasn't the huge gap it is now, it was still something "recent" you could point at. But yes Gone as lead single and a "serious" attitude, i.e. no K-Mart show and no Village People stuff, they'd have done a lot better.
"Staring at the Sun" as the first proper single could also have been more successful if it wasn't preceded by the Kmart event and the "Discotheque" video.  A more compelling video (they still mattered in '97) for SATS would have helped as well.

its funny the Pop single with the most longevity was SATS. i heard it all the time on the radio in the late 90s. it may have been a bigger single than Disco. was in terms of radio play in the southern US

LightMyWay92

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Re: 20 years of Discothèque
« Reply #36 on: February 17, 2017, 12:00:00 PM »
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I was thinking about this.  Really, I think the band over-estimated how popular they still were.  Zoo TV was an amazing success, but that was also almost 5 years ago at this point.  Zooropa wasn't a major album, and Passengers dodged the whole issue.  They were older, and the music scene had changed substantially.  So I feel like all of the Village People stuff, the disco stuff, the mocking their own success stuff, was them almost assuming that the audience would just "get it" because of how popular they thought they still were.  When, actually, they really kind of weren't, and their strategy kind of backfired.

I still think either Mofo or Gone as a lead single might have been more successful.  Treat it seriously, don't dress up like the Village People, don't ASSUME you're already the biggest band out there, and can get away with taking the p*** out of yourselves with your first single/video.  Look like you mean it.  I think the "irony" angle was more damning at this point than their music, which was still very strong over all.
Excellent post, with some good points made. Is still find it very difficult, even to this day, to separate the music from that period from the ironic packaging.

I kinda agree, but you have to remember, HMTM was a HUGE single for them, and that was only 95, 2 years prior. In the 90's that wasn't the huge gap it is now, it was still something "recent" you could point at. But yes Gone as lead single and a "serious" attitude, i.e. no K-Mart show and no Village People stuff, they'd have done a lot better.
"Staring at the Sun" as the first proper single could also have been more successful if it wasn't preceded by the Kmart event and the "Discotheque" video.  A more compelling video (they still mattered in '97) for SATS would have helped as well.

its funny the Pop single with the most longevity was SATS. i heard it all the time on the radio in the late 90s. it may have been a bigger single than Disco. was in terms of radio play in the southern US
It's a good song, albeit rather moody, but that's typical of a lot of songs on "Pop."  The chorus to SATS is especially strong.

Offline Johnny Feathers

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Re: 20 years of Discothèque
« Reply #37 on: February 17, 2017, 12:58:18 PM »
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I'd suggest people 'not getting it' etc. was/should have been more their problem than it was u2's problem...

Sadly u2 didn't/don't think like that which then led to the squeaky clean, ultra fresh, deodorised and sanitised version of u2 that came after Pop.



To add to that: I'd say them "not getting it" has proven to be OUR problem in the end.  U2 barely touches Pop stuff based on the fact that they didn't get it back in 1997.  Any of us who'd like for them to acknowledge that period these days, or want them to find some of that spirit in their music since then, are the ones who end up "suffering".  (To whatever extremely minor degree that may be.)

All in all, it seems silly that so much of their subsequent output was influenced by a handful of bad decisions back then.

Offline Johnny Feathers

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Re: 20 years of Discothèque
« Reply #38 on: February 17, 2017, 01:13:29 PM »
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I was thinking about this.  Really, I think the band over-estimated how popular they still were.  Zoo TV was an amazing success, but that was also almost 5 years ago at this point.  Zooropa wasn't a major album, and Passengers dodged the whole issue.  They were older, and the music scene had changed substantially.  So I feel like all of the Village People stuff, the disco stuff, the mocking their own success stuff, was them almost assuming that the audience would just "get it" because of how popular they thought they still were.  When, actually, they really kind of weren't, and their strategy kind of backfired.

I still think either Mofo or Gone as a lead single might have been more successful.  Treat it seriously, don't dress up like the Village People, don't ASSUME you're already the biggest band out there, and can get away with taking the p*** out of yourselves with your first single/video.  Look like you mean it.  I think the "irony" angle was more damning at this point than their music, which was still very strong over all.
Excellent post, with some good points made. Is still find it very difficult, even to this day, to separate the music from that period from the ironic packaging.

I kinda agree, but you have to remember, HMTM was a HUGE single for them, and that was only 95, 2 years prior. In the 90's that wasn't the huge gap it is now, it was still something "recent" you could point at. But yes Gone as lead single and a "serious" attitude, i.e. no K-Mart show and no Village People stuff, they'd have done a lot better.
"Staring at the Sun" as the first proper single could also have been more successful if it wasn't preceded by the Kmart event and the "Discotheque" video.  A more compelling video (they still mattered in '97) for SATS would have helped as well.

its funny the Pop single with the most longevity was SATS. i heard it all the time on the radio in the late 90s. it may have been a bigger single than Disco. was in terms of radio play in the southern US

I remember at the time, thinking SATS was practically a song for TJT.  Granted, that may be a bit of a stretch, but it did kind of serve as the antithesis to everything they were doing in that era.  Similarly, I remember thinking by the 3rd leg of PopMart, it had become almost as earnest as R&H.  Edge doing SBS, the acoustic B-stage stuff, bringing in NYD, etc.  It almost seemed to work better when they stopped trying to be "ironic" the whole time.

Offline WookieeWarrior10

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Re: 20 years of Discothèque
« Reply #39 on: February 17, 2017, 03:14:28 PM »
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A terrific tune with a great riff by the Edge, one of their catchiest perhaps.  Cool video too.  I'm a big Pop fan, so this is no surprise.  I wish I had been a fan during this era as it must've been a pretty exciting time.  The PopMart tour looked like something to behold, even Bono considers it their finest hour.  Overall, a great era for this band and maybe their creative peak.
But doesn't Bono (well, pretty much all of U2) disown Popmart for it being a "failure" in the States?

Offline THRILLHO

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Re: 20 years of Discothèque
« Reply #40 on: February 17, 2017, 03:23:13 PM »
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I was thinking about this.  Really, I think the band over-estimated how popular they still were.  Zoo TV was an amazing success, but that was also almost 5 years ago at this point.  Zooropa wasn't a major album, and Passengers dodged the whole issue.  They were older, and the music scene had changed substantially.  So I feel like all of the Village People stuff, the disco stuff, the mocking their own success stuff, was them almost assuming that the audience would just "get it" because of how popular they thought they still were.  When, actually, they really kind of weren't, and their strategy kind of backfired.

I still think either Mofo or Gone as a lead single might have been more successful.  Treat it seriously, don't dress up like the Village People, don't ASSUME you're already the biggest band out there, and can get away with taking the p*** out of yourselves with your first single/video.  Look like you mean it.  I think the "irony" angle was more damning at this point than their music, which was still very strong over all.
Excellent post, with some good points made. Is still find it very difficult, even to this day, to separate the music from that period from the ironic packaging.

I kinda agree, but you have to remember, HMTM was a HUGE single for them, and that was only 95, 2 years prior. In the 90's that wasn't the huge gap it is now, it was still something "recent" you could point at. But yes Gone as lead single and a "serious" attitude, i.e. no K-Mart show and no Village People stuff, they'd have done a lot better.
"Staring at the Sun" as the first proper single could also have been more successful if it wasn't preceded by the Kmart event and the "Discotheque" video.  A more compelling video (they still mattered in '97) for SATS would have helped as well.

its funny the Pop single with the most longevity was SATS. i heard it all the time on the radio in the late 90s. it may have been a bigger single than Disco. was in terms of radio play in the southern US
It's a good song, albeit rather moody, but that's typical of a lot of songs on "Pop."  The chorus to SATS is especially strong.
o it's always been one of my favs off Pop. not the acoustic, but the real version ;)

Offline Nico

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Re: 20 years of Discothèque
« Reply #41 on: February 17, 2017, 03:38:28 PM »
Ha ha ha discotekka


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Offline Nico

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Re: 20 years of Discothèque
« Reply #42 on: February 17, 2017, 03:40:08 PM »
Hated it at the time. Now I think it rocks. It's like a zepplin heavy tune


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Online DoYouFeelLoved

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Re: 20 years of Discothèque
« Reply #43 on: February 17, 2017, 03:50:15 PM »
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I still think either Mofo or Gone as a lead single might have been more successful.  Treat it seriously, don't dress up like the Village People, don't ASSUME you're already the biggest band out there, and can get away with taking the p*** out of yourselves with your first single/video.  Look like you mean it.  I think the "irony" angle was more damning at this point than their music, which was still very strong over all.
I think that DYFL or Gone would had been the best choices for the lead single, perhaps much easier to "digest" than Discothéque, although the issue was the video and the K-mart launch more than the song itself.


Offline riffraff

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Re: 20 years of Discothèque
« Reply #44 on: February 17, 2017, 04:32:38 PM »
Where's the love for BOOM CHA ???