when U2 released POP they claimed going that direction was the PUNK thing to do.......... enough with chasing radio pop friendly tunes that don't connect with the majority of their audience, so let's see if they listen to their inner PUNK voice this time around
Yeah, but it was also later revealed that the ambition behind "Discotheque" was to achieve a "Sledgehammer" level hit song.
Peter Gabriel's "So" was quite innovative sonically but also (successfully) aspired to broader appeal than previous work. Replace "Peter Gabriel's "So"" with "U2's "Achtung Baby"" and I think the previous sentence still works.
If you look at the roots of punk song-wise it was quite influenced by 60's pop. I don't think punk intentionally eschewed appeal.
If anything initial punk removed the fluff and (at its best) revealed the simple core components that make great rock songs. Essentially making the creative form accessible to future aspiring musicians (or close facsimiles thereof).
I don't know of any band ever that did not want their music to be liked. That approach would truly be innovative.I would be curious to know from you and others: if U2 decide not to aspire to hits...then what should they use as their measuring stick for great or even finished work/songs?