Author Topic: POP 20 Rolling Stone  (Read 2334 times)

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Offline bass slap

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Re: POP 20 Rolling Stone
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2017, 02:18:53 PM »
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The Pop version of Discotheque is far better than the rather stripped back and uninteresting Best Of remix.

Yep. The Best Of mixes indicate what Pop would have sounded like had the band "finished" it (hint: it would have sounded like Atomic Bomb -- Bono screeching way too loud while all the interesting musical bits are removed in favor of rawk).
Yes, totally agree. I even prefer the album version of gone.

Offline MattD

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Re: POP 20 Rolling Stone
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2017, 02:32:39 PM »
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The Pop version of Discotheque is far better than the rather stripped back and uninteresting Best Of remix.

Yep. The Best Of mixes indicate what Pop would have sounded like had the band "finished" it (hint: it would have sounded like Atomic Bomb -- Bono screeching way too loud while all the interesting musical bits are removed in favor of rawk).

I absolutely agree - everything about it that made it interesting would have evaporated into thin air, in the place of dull 'stadium rawk' to please the masses. The subtle sonic layers and hypnotic loops and samples are not gratuitous and out of place attempts to incorporate electronic styles into alternative rock - no, the very songs and it's moody, somewhat sinister and cold sonic structures ably complement Bono's vocals and lyrics. Nowadays, it's merely conventionally formed pop song structures with far too much emphasis on a stadium melody with Bono's wails and 'woahs' (an absolutely irksome cheap trick amongst modern day acts to initiate stadium chants, all thanks to Coldplay).

A massive disappointment and I just cannot understand the band's reasonings for basically disowning it and wiping it from history. It is a fantastic album and one which is completely understandable if you listen to the genres that influenced it.

This article sums its brilliance up perfectly.

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Offline The Exile

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Re: POP 20 Rolling Stone
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2017, 02:50:22 PM »
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The Pop version of Discotheque is far better than the rather stripped back and uninteresting Best Of remix.

Yep. The Best Of mixes indicate what Pop would have sounded like had the band "finished" it (hint: it would have sounded like Atomic Bomb -- Bono screeching way too loud while all the interesting musical bits are removed in favor of rawk).
Yes, totally agree. I even prefer the album version of gone.

Oh it's no contest! The album version has so much going on sonically, whereas the new mix is just Atomic Bombed in my opinion. Plus, Bono's vocal on the crucial line ("No emotional goodnight") is just awful. How they chose that take is beyond me.

Here, I queued it up and everything:

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(Geez, listening to that again just makes me cringe.)
« Last Edit: March 14, 2017, 03:20:31 PM by The Exile »

Offline Saint1322

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Re: POP 20 Rolling Stone
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2017, 03:11:23 PM »
For you whippersnappers who weren't around in the days of Pop, the majority of reviews were initially very positive, but when the singles after Discotheque didn't catch on and the tour got off to a rough start, you have never seen such an abrupt change. It was galling to see publications that had praised Pop in March pan it on their end-of-the-year lists. Of course, this was back in the days when the Internet was young and still fairly crummy, so you could get away with revisionist history more than you can these days.

I remember USA Today in particular calling Pop 'the third piece of U2's holy trinity of masterpieces, along with TJT and Achtung Baby'.

Offline The Exile

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Re: POP 20 Rolling Stone
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2017, 03:33:47 PM »
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This article sums its brilliance up perfectly.

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This part was spot on:

This insecurity [after Pop] manifested itself as the end of U2’s unconventional phase. After spending much of the ’90s doing everything it could could to run away from the identity the group created in the ’80s, Pop kickstarted a career overcorrection back to the familiar world of anthemic guitar rock and universal platitudes. U2 has stayed in this zone for the last decade, with increasingly diminishing returns—the uplifting comfort food of All That You Can’t Leave Behind deteriorating a decade later into lyrics such as “force quit and move to trash” or “restart and reboot yourself.”

Offline Discothèque Slug 82

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Re: POP 20 Rolling Stone
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2017, 04:23:31 PM »
I'm an Atomic Bomb fan (ducks for cover) but I cannot defend the 'New Mix' butchering of both Discotheque and Gone- they aren't completely awful to my ears but they do leave me feeling numb (no pun intended). The original versions of both songs are sonically spectacular with passionately committed vocals from Bono, Edge's wild guitar screeches and fuzzbombs that give me goosebumps upon goosebumps...while the new mixes are just there, plodding along politely, holding back on the 'Boom-Cha's' and castrating Edge's 747 effects and hoping that no one gets hurt...

Aside from the single versions of 'LNOE' and 'Please', i don't think that they improved on the 'unfinished' Pop originals.

Offline MattD

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Re: POP 20 Rolling Stone
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2017, 05:02:55 PM »
The only way the Best Of mixes of those Pop songs can be summed up is that they are a pithy way of saying 'Sorry for misbehaving, it won't happen again, honest'.

And for sure, it very sadly never did happen again. The sheer nerve, the sense of provocation and adventure had gone forever, only to be replaced by a restrictive straitjacket that suffocated their free will, giving us songs that were overly-sanitised to the point of mind numbing boredom.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2017, 05:22:58 PM by MattD »

Offline Spacejunk69

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Re: POP 20 Rolling Stone
« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2017, 05:11:41 PM »
Im still so mad I don't want to comment. Although I agree with most of the comments here.

I hate Rolling Stone. The MTV of the rag world. Meaning its s***.

Offline robgalloway

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Re: POP 20 Rolling Stone
« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2017, 05:19:39 PM »
Has anyone else noticed that 'I'm not your Baby with Sinead O'Connor has been taken off YouTube in the last few days ... Or am I just hoping that there is still gonna be a boxset


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Offline mrsamrocks2

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Re: POP 20 Rolling Stone
« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2017, 06:03:41 PM »
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I'm an Atomic Bomb fan (ducks for cover) but I cannot defend the 'New Mix' butchering of both Discotheque and Gone- they aren't completely awful to my ears but they do leave me feeling numb (no pun intended). The original versions of both songs are sonically spectacular with passionately committed vocals from Bono, Edge's wild guitar screeches and fuzzbombs that give me goosebumps upon goosebumps...while the new mixes are just there, plodding along politely, holding back on the 'Boom-Cha's' and castrating Edge's 747 effects and hoping that no one gets hurt...

Aside from the single versions of 'LNOE' and 'Please', i don't think that they improved on the 'unfinished' Pop originals.
I would add If God Will Send His Angels to that list.

Offline andrewau2

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Re: POP 20 Rolling Stone
« Reply #25 on: March 14, 2017, 07:01:15 PM »
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The Pop version of Discotheque is far better than the rather stripped back and uninteresting Best Of remix.

Yep. The Best Of mixes indicate what Pop would have sounded like had the band "finished" it (hint: it would have sounded like Atomic Bomb -- Bono screeching way too loud while all the interesting musical bits are removed in favor of rawk).
Yes, totally agree. I even prefer the album version of gone.

Oh it's no contest! The album version has so much going on sonically, whereas the new mix is just Atomic Bombed in my opinion. Plus, Bono's vocal on the crucial line ("No emotional goodnight") is just awful. How they chose that take is beyond me.

Here, I queued it up and everything:

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(Geez, listening to that again just makes me cringe.)

How do you like that part in this version? (13 minutes in - I think it is all queued up):
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Offline bass slap

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Re: POP 20 Rolling Stone
« Reply #26 on: March 14, 2017, 07:04:45 PM »
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I'm an Atomic Bomb fan (ducks for cover) but I cannot defend the 'New Mix' butchering of both Discotheque and Gone- they aren't completely awful to my ears but they do leave me feeling numb (no pun intended). The original versions of both songs are sonically spectacular with passionately committed vocals from Bono, Edge's wild guitar screeches and fuzzbombs that give me goosebumps upon goosebumps...while the new mixes are just there, plodding along politely, holding back on the 'Boom-Cha's' and castrating Edge's 747 effects and hoping that no one gets hurt..


Presumably we have more of this approach to look forward to with the imminent release of RHMT. Appreciate I should probably reserve judgement until I've heard it but seriously, does anyone think he managed to improve on the original vocals?  ::)

Offline Discothèque Slug 82

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Re: POP 20 Rolling Stone
« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2017, 02:22:04 AM »
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I'm an Atomic Bomb fan (ducks for cover) but I cannot defend the 'New Mix' butchering of both Discotheque and Gone- they aren't completely awful to my ears but they do leave me feeling numb (no pun intended). The original versions of both songs are sonically spectacular with passionately committed vocals from Bono, Edge's wild guitar screeches and fuzzbombs that give me goosebumps upon goosebumps...while the new mixes are just there, plodding along politely, holding back on the 'Boom-Cha's' and castrating Edge's 747 effects and hoping that no one gets hurt...

Aside from the single versions of 'LNOE' and 'Please', i don't think that they improved on the 'unfinished' Pop originals.
I would add If God Will Send His Angels to that list.
I have mixed feelings on the single version- I like the additional lyrics ("And I don't have to know how...") but the editing is too painfully obvious and I much prefer the original outro which has an emphasis on Larry's brilliant hip-hop flavoured beat.

Offline Discothèque Slug 82

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Re: POP 20 Rolling Stone
« Reply #28 on: March 15, 2017, 02:27:48 AM »
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I'm an Atomic Bomb fan (ducks for cover) but I cannot defend the 'New Mix' butchering of both Discotheque and Gone- they aren't completely awful to my ears but they do leave me feeling numb (no pun intended). The original versions of both songs are sonically spectacular with passionately committed vocals from Bono, Edge's wild guitar screeches and fuzzbombs that give me goosebumps upon goosebumps...while the new mixes are just there, plodding along politely, holding back on the 'Boom-Cha's' and castrating Edge's 747 effects and hoping that no one gets hurt..


Presumably we have more of this approach to look forward to with the imminent release of RHMT. Appreciate I should probably reserve judgement until I've heard it but seriously, does anyone think he managed to improve on the original vocals?  ::)
He may have possibly improved on the spoken passage but aside from that, I doubt it.

Offline Blueyedboy

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Re: POP 20 Rolling Stone
« Reply #29 on: March 15, 2017, 03:44:26 AM »
The more I listen to Pop, the Hong Kong mixes and finally the best if versions, the more I'm convinced that the band were not involved at the early stages of these songs but instead were brought in to deconstructing the sounds in order to make more of a U2 album than the Howie B & Collaborators album it was at the embryonic stage.