Author Topic: Convince me your favorite U2 album is their best  (Read 2575 times)

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Offline ian ryan

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Convince me your favorite U2 album is their best
« on: February 28, 2017, 09:31:09 PM »
Me, my top tied two are Zooropa and How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. Tell me I'm wrong by telling me what's great about the U2 album you love. Tell me why the lyrics, music, and atmosphere of your favorite album are the best. Tell me why you love them. Don't s#!t on other albums, just tell me why you really, really love what you love.



Offline riffraff

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Re: Convince me your favorite U2 album is their best
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2017, 04:47:47 AM »
For exercising, Boy...the energy is fantastic...I never slow down.

BUT, overall, AB is their best album. Every song has such a wonderfully desperate feeling. Deep as the Pacific...great lyric...guitar work by both men is supreme. Bono's vocals are exceptional. And, of course, Larry kicks butt on every song. My favorite overall song is not on this album, but as a whole, AB is THE BEST.

Offline WookieeWarrior10

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Re: Convince me your favorite U2 album is their best
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2017, 10:12:51 AM »
Achtung Baby is their best. Lyrically, it explores darker and more sexual themes, which is totally different to U2's previous albums. Musically, it involves more complex riffs and the clever usage of effects bring a new dimension to U2's music. This album marks the start of Adam's trilogy of incredible album performances as well. The new direction of this album bring a new and sarcastically flamboyant attitude to the band...plus, all of this is accompanied by the greatest U2 tour of all-time.

Spacejunk69

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Re: Convince me your favorite U2 album is their best
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2017, 11:12:47 AM »
Pop, Achtung Baby or Boy

Listen to them and tell me they don't stir your soul.

Offline DisgruntledSherpa

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Re: Convince me your favorite U2 album is their best
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2017, 12:30:35 PM »
Achtung Baby. Not a bad track on there and some truly transcendent moments.

Offline tigerfan41

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Re: Convince me your favorite U2 album is their best
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2017, 12:51:58 PM »
Achtung Baby. I once wrote a persuasive essay for a college English class on why Achtung Baby is U2's best album.

Offline ZEROpartII

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Re: Convince me your favorite U2 album is their best
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2017, 02:42:08 PM »
Achtung Baby

One of the most successful reinventions of a Band's sound and imagery executed 10/10.  The timing couldn't be better as 1991 saw a sea change in rock music with the grunge/alternative revolution taking center stage.  Achtung Baby was a perfect complimentary sound to this F'ing up the mainstream.

Lyrically blurs the lines between powerful Christian parables and Sexual imagery/energy.  Unique musical riffs/tones that have never been duplicated.  Songs that transport you Middle Eastern Bazaars, Euro Dance clubs, Hell itself, and back to Heaven.

- Even Better Than the Real Thing is U2 at its coolest (My favorite track)
- One. The universal anthem of a generation.  The 90s version of 'Imagine'
- Until the End of the World. Pure Power live warhorse. Check out the youtube version set to clips from "Passion of the Christ"
- The Fly. Blasts out of the gate as the first single, signaling this isn't your older brother's U2.  Edge's best Guitar Solo.
- Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses.  The surprise stateside hit that kept momentum of the album going into following years.  Seemingly sloppy lyrics make it more mysterious and beautiful.
- Mysterious Ways. The time and place transport machine with U2's funkiest riffs and Bono's intertwining message about God/Lust is a Rock and Roll Miracle.
- The Power trio of Ultraviolet, Acrobat, Love is Blindness wrap up the album in glorious fashion.   

Spacejunk69

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Re: Convince me your favorite U2 album is their best
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2017, 05:03:58 PM »
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Achtung Baby

One of the most successful reinventions of a Band's sound and imagery executed 10/10.  The timing couldn't be better as 1991 saw a sea change in rock music with the grunge/alternative revolution taking center stage.  Achtung Baby was a perfect complimentary sound to this F'ing up the mainstream.

Lyrically blurs the lines between powerful Christian parables and Sexual imagery/energy.  Unique musical riffs/tones that have never been duplicated.  Songs that transport you Middle Eastern Bazaars, Euro Dance clubs, Hell itself, and back to Heaven.

- Even Better Than the Real Thing is U2 at its coolest (My favorite track)
- One. The universal anthem of a generation.  The 90s version of 'Imagine'
- Until the End of the World. Pure Power live warhorse. Check out the youtube version set to clips from "Passion of the Christ"
- The Fly. Blasts out of the gate as the first single, signaling this isn't your older brother's U2.  Edge's best Guitar Solo.
- Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses.  The surprise stateside hit that kept momentum of the album going into following years.  Seemingly sloppy lyrics make it more mysterious and beautiful.
- Mysterious Ways. The time and place transport machine with U2's funkiest riffs and Bono's intertwining message about God/Lust is a Rock and Roll Miracle.
- The Power trio of Ultraviolet, Acrobat, Love is Blindness wrap up the album in glorious fashion.

Good post. The other three tracks aint bad either.

Offline pdk

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Re: Convince me your favorite U2 album is their best
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2017, 04:29:25 AM »
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Achtung Baby. I once wrote a persuasive essay for a college English class on why Achtung Baby is U2's best album.

A citation based and APA formatted persuasive essay?

What was your grade?

Offline tigerfan41

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Re: Convince me your favorite U2 album is their best
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2017, 09:47:19 AM »
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Achtung Baby. I once wrote a persuasive essay for a college English class on why Achtung Baby is U2's best album.

A citation based and APA formatted persuasive essay?

What was your grade?

Indeed! Received an A--spent a lot of time gathering sources for that one. I also did a paper the semester before on extreme poverty which cited Bono (as well as a lot of other sources) and that earned an A. Professors told us to write about subjects that interested us, so many of my papers tied into music in some way (another was on the RIAA and why it needed to stop suing people to oblivion). Also took a class in college called "The History Of Rock & Roll" which went over the history between 1950-1970. Sometimes I miss college, haha.

Offline pdk

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Re: Convince me your favorite U2 album is their best
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2017, 10:36:46 AM »
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Achtung Baby. I once wrote a persuasive essay for a college English class on why Achtung Baby is U2's best album.

A citation based and APA formatted persuasive essay?

What was your grade?

Indeed! Received an A--spent a lot of time gathering sources for that one. I also did a paper the semester before on extreme poverty which cited Bono (as well as a lot of other sources) and that earned an A. Professors told us to write about subjects that interested us, so many of my papers tied into music in some way (another was on the RIAA and why it needed to stop suing people to oblivion). Also took a class in college called "The History Of Rock & Roll" which went over the history between 1950-1970. Sometimes I miss college, haha.

Wow.  I did my persuasive essay for COMP II.  Spent a whole semester researching/analyzing the data and building the final project.  I actually started based on a point of view and the essay became the opposite persuasive point of view based on research/evidence.

I can't imagine how you did it on that subject.  I mean something so taste related UNLESS you are a musician... in which case AB was technically the best album musically. 

Man I wish I had as much fun in college as you!

Thanks for replying.  Peace.

Offline tigerfan41

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Re: Convince me your favorite U2 album is their best
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2017, 01:09:15 PM »
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Achtung Baby. I once wrote a persuasive essay for a college English class on why Achtung Baby is U2's best album.

A citation based and APA formatted persuasive essay?

What was your grade?

Indeed! Received an A--spent a lot of time gathering sources for that one. I also did a paper the semester before on extreme poverty which cited Bono (as well as a lot of other sources) and that earned an A. Professors told us to write about subjects that interested us, so many of my papers tied into music in some way (another was on the RIAA and why it needed to stop suing people to oblivion). Also took a class in college called "The History Of Rock & Roll" which went over the history between 1950-1970. Sometimes I miss college, haha.

Wow.  I did my persuasive essay for COMP II.  Spent a whole semester researching/analyzing the data and building the final project.  I actually started based on a point of view and the essay became the opposite persuasive point of view based on research/evidence.

I can't imagine how you did it on that subject.  I mean something so taste related UNLESS you are a musician... in which case AB was technically the best album musically. 

Man I wish I had as much fun in college as you!

Thanks for replying.  Peace.

Yeah, if I remember correctly, I mostly cited reviews from respected publications. My Prof was very strict on what publications did and did not qualify. Basically you'd use those to back up whatever your points were. I can remember another assignment being about looking up the news the day I was born and I stumbled across a review of "Rattle and Hum" that was...well...not very positive.  ;D

Anyway, circling back to the topic here: I initially was 100% confident that TJT was their best album. At some point AB became my favorite and the one I viewed as the best. It's funny how things change over the years.

Offline aviastar

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Re: Convince me your favorite U2 album is their best
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2017, 02:59:41 PM »
Opening Argument: U2 is unlike nearly every other rock band in the world in that they have had more than one masterpiece album.  One could easily say that TJT, which launched them into stardom here in the States, would be the best...or the groundbreaking Achtung Baby is the point at which they really broke through with innovation and creativity.  But I put to you, ladies and gentlemen, that The Unforgettable Fire is actually U2's best album.

Evidence:

What was U2's output up through late 1983?  Three albums of raw, somewhat unrefined but kinetic rock & roll with some real religious imagery thrown in (Exhibit A: the entire October album).  They went into the recording studio in May 1984 with a completely new producer and with the intention to go in a completely different direction.  What emerged in September was a very mature sound with some real sonic experimentation and fantastic songwriting.

I present the songs as evidence and let them speak for the quality of the album:

Exhibit B - Quality Standout Tracks: A Sort of Homecoming, The Unforgettable Fire, Bad, Indian Summer Sky.  These songs set the foundation for the album.  Edge is doing some really amazing things with the guitar - stuff that he hadn't done on previous albums.  On A Sort of Homecoming, Larry has some really nice fills.  What really comes across on these songs is the backing instrumentation - it adds a lot of depth.  The result is that these songs are all very evocative of a - a haunting bleakness, if you will.  I think that the title track The Unforgettable Fire is some of the best lyrical work Bono has done.  The bleakness really comes through on the fan favorite Bad, which has become a U2 tour anthem.  Indian Summer Sky is the sister song to A Sort of Homecoming in that they both have a driving power and soaring vocals.

Exhibit C - The Radio Single: Pride is a really good tune...and not just because it got a lot of radio play. 

Exhibit D - Deep Cuts, Experimental Stuff and the Closer: Wire is a deep cut that I like...I think Edge's starting guitar riff and the way the song unfolds at the outset is really neat.  Does it sound a bit dated?  Perhaps.  But I can appreciate it for its time and place.  On vinyl, Promenade is another deep cut that closes out side A perfectly before the runout - Bono's lyrics are super easy for me to put in a visualization.  It's a nice break from the rest of Side A, which is a bit uptempo.  This song has long been a favorite of mine; I think the instrumentation around the crescendo (Oh...tell me...part) is really the best feature of this song.  I classify 4th of July and Elvis Presley in America as the  experiments of the album.  4th of July is a brief bass-driven interlude to open side B before the anthemic Bad; it's a rare moment when Adam gets to shine.  Elvis Presley is very Eno: he took A Sort of Homecoming, spun it backward, and had Bono do some free verse over it.  It is what it is (I like it, but I can understand why others might not).  I appreciate that it was created in the moment - it represents U2 taking chances - contrast this with the very corporate, nothing released without years of analysis, design, and anticipation by today's U2.  For an experimental, improvisational track it has a very nice structure to it - including a chorus, playful vocals, and great sounds.  MLK is a 130 second closer song with a really nice set of lyrics and a very reverb background.  It's a bit of a hymn, and it serves to end the album well.

Closing Argument: on The Unforgettable Fire, you have four anchor tracks with very expressive elements.  Those four tracks are spread well across the album - which results in a consistent feel across the album.  The second song of the album is the radio hit, designed to draw new U2 listeners in - I think we can agree at this point that Pride accomplished its mission.  Interspersed between these tracks are quality deep cuts and shorter experimental songs that serve as pallete cleansers from the mood of the rest of the album.  This is an album of introspection, of thought, but also of beautiful sonic textures and far reaching vocals.  I am confident that, based on the exhibits I have presented, you will have to agree that the album is U2's best work.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 03:03:46 PM by aviastar »

Offline Hawkmoon2e

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Re: Convince me your favorite U2 album is their best
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2017, 01:28:31 AM »
For me, itís Achtung Baby because the album actually builds momentum as it goes. U2 albums tend to peak at a certain point, but AB really has no peak. And just when you think itís safe to take your seatbelt off around Mysterious Ways/Tryiní to Throw Your ArmsÖ, you realize that you need to put it back on for the closing tracks. I wouldnít say that the last 3 songs are my favorite U2 songs of all time, but itís hard for me to think of 3 better tracks to close an album with. More specifically, the last 2 tracks.
All 4 members of the band really  get their say on this album, and I think that gives it a true balance throughout. Lyrics and vocals; check. Guitars, pedals and effects; check. But Larry man Ö Larry.
Throw some good quality headphones on and listen to Acrobat. (Personally, I use Audio-Technica ATH-M50s.) I know there is some kind of cult following to this song, and maybe itís because it hasnít been played live. But I canít think of another U2 song that Larry can truly claim ownership of. SBS might be his signature song, but his drumming in acrobat is really like no other. Even The Edge takes a back seat here, which is saying a lot, because heís off in some parallel universe crunching that 6 string throughout the song.

Then Love is Blindness hits you. Iíd say this is the point where youíd think you might gradually descend since itís the last song. But it doesnít allow you that. The song itself builds to a crescendo, then someone cuts your tether and you find yourself floating away.

Offline riffraff

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Re: Convince me your favorite U2 album is their best
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2017, 04:28:22 AM »
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For me, itís Achtung Baby because the album actually builds momentum as it goes. U2 albums tend to peak at a certain point, but AB really has no peak. And just when you think itís safe to take your seatbelt off around Mysterious Ways/Tryiní to Throw Your ArmsÖ, you realize that you need to put it back on for the closing tracks. I wouldnít say that the last 3 songs are my favorite U2 songs of all time, but itís hard for me to think of 3 better tracks to close an album with. More specifically, the last 2 tracks.
All 4 members of the band really  get their say on this album, and I think that gives it a true balance throughout. Lyrics and vocals; check. Guitars, pedals and effects; check. But Larry man Ö Larry.
Throw some good quality headphones on and listen to Acrobat. (Personally, I use Audio-Technica ATH-M50s.) I know there is some kind of cult following to this song, and maybe itís because it hasnít been played live. But I canít think of another U2 song that Larry can truly claim ownership of. SBS might be his signature song, but his drumming in acrobat is really like no other. Even The Edge takes a back seat here, which is saying a lot, because heís off in some parallel universe crunching that 6 string throughout the song.

Then Love is Blindness hits you. Iíd say this is the point where youíd think you might gradually descend since itís the last song. But it doesnít allow you that. The song itself builds to a crescendo, then someone cuts your tether and you find yourself floating away.
Very, very well said. Excellent.