Poll

Achtung Baby always wins best of the 90s polls, so which do you like better Zooropa or Pop?

Zooropa
117 (50.9%)
Pop
113 (49.1%)

Total Members Voted: 221

Author Topic: Which do you like better: Zooropa or Pop?  (Read 11321 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Blueyedboy

  • Running to Stand Still
  • **
  • Posts: 1,049
  • Embrace the challenge
Re: Which do you like better: Zooropa or Pop?
« Reply #105 on: June 07, 2017, 10:31:20 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
I have to say I don't get why Zooropa is so fondly thought of. Pop is a masterpiece. If they had put Hold Me Thrill Me (I know they hadn't quite recorded it at that time) and Holy Joe on it instead of Miami and If God Will Send His Angels I would hold it in higher esteem than JT but not quite AB level. Zooropa definitely has some great moments but Babyface, Daddy's Gonna Pay and the Wanderer aren't for me. The best thing I can say for Zooropa is that I like to listen to it as it is such a different record from other U2 stuff and I do like most of it. I actually have an alternate track listing where I put Salome, Lady With the Spinning Head and Alex Descends on it as those songs fit much better on Zooropa to me than on AB (which they were B sides for) and take off the ones I mentioned above.

It saddens me a lot that U2 seem to cast aside Pop. Maybe that makes it more of an unheralded masterpiece to me as even the band don't realize what they created. 


Actually, you've got your timeline wrong on HMTMKMKM. That was a Zooropa-era track that was left off because it was too much of a rocker, and was reworked a little by Edge for the film Batman Forever, which was released in 1995, two years before Pop. In fact, Velvet Dress, If God Will Send His Angels and Wake Up Dead Man also were considered for Zooropa.

There are a lot of issues with Pop. First off, the fact that U2 went back to material from four years prior should tell you one thing. Secondly, the fact that the album was worked on for so long should tell you another. Lastly, the fact that Island had to pry it out of the bands' hands kicking and screaming should tell you even another. Singles were remixed and released rather than the album versions. All that work, and they still didn't like what they heard.

I think the summary of Pop is this: U2 wanted to stretch their sound and audience even further than they did on Achtung Baby and Zooropa, and at the last minute, they got cold feet. They watered down the hard techno dance sound of the album and came up with an overheated mess. Bono had writers' block. Yes, there are good songs there, but from top to bottom, the record is an overheated mess. It is the only album I can listen to and say 'What on EARTH is Bono talking about there?' He doesn't know what he's talking about.

Discotheque and MoFo, IMO, are examples of what they were going for. They stuck to their guns on those two. Please is a more traditional rock song, and a good one. So is Gone. They finally hit on good arrangement for Last Night On Earth while on tour, but again, it was a rock song that bore no resemblance to what the album was supposed to have been.

The rest? Filler. The worst songs they have put on an album, right up there with the two studio fillers on side 2 of UnFire.

Miami is a musically interesting song with sketchy lyrics that actually wasn't half bad live.
Playboy Mansion is a joke that was funny for 5 minutes.
Velvet Dress is supposed to be a sexy song that came out as sexy as granny's taupe pantyhose.
Wake Up Dead Man is a rambling screed of frustration over one riff
Do You Feel Love is a great bassline over nonsense
If God Will Send His Angels. If Hawkmoon 269 got its name from the number of mixes and takes they tried, then this one should be called If God Will Send His Angles 21,155. I think is an example of Bono having a chorus (again, goes back to Zooropa) and no idea how to deliver it melodically or what to say about it before or after. The cut and paste version that ended up as the single is way better.
Staring At The Sun is a boring attempt at psychedelia that again makes no sense and is perhaps the most boring U2 song to ever appear on an album.

So, as I have said probably too many times here, you are asking U2 why they don't celebrate their biggest commercial and critical failure to date. Do you like to go back and re-live your mistakes

Imagine Zooropa if you just added HMTMKMKM and Slow Dancing.

I think its more straight forward than that, The Prodigy released the Fat Of The Land and pretty much changed the dance/rock crossover genre overnight.  While U2 tapping into the genre, The Prodigy were redefining it. Everything else that came after it was always going to come up short.

Pop is in my top 3 U2 albums, but the more I listen to it the more I realise its a dance producers record that U2 added to, rather than a U2 record that the producers added to. The songs were great, the tour was breath-taking but the most positive result for me was that the band continued to evolve and not conform to a stereotype. How that would change.

Offline snailstampede

  • Wanderer
  • *
  • Posts: 90
Re: Which do you like better: Zooropa or Pop?
« Reply #106 on: June 08, 2017, 11:12:44 AM »
I'm glad my vote made it a 50/50 split. I find myself listening to Pop way more than Zooropa. I think I like some individual tracks more on Zooropa than I like any one Pop track (Stay, specifically), but I think as a whole I definitely prefer Pop no contest.

Offline THRILLHO

  • Holy Joe
  • ***
  • Posts: 17,361
  • The sun won't melt our wings tonight
Re: Which do you like better: Zooropa or Pop?
« Reply #107 on: June 08, 2017, 12:33:13 PM »
see i listened to FOTL last week, twice in fact, and i see the comparisons but it's very vague. i find it has more in common with Bowie's Earthling. I mean Earthling was Feb 3 and Pop was March 3 but you know what i mean.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2017, 12:35:24 PM by THRILLHO »

Offline Saint1322

  • Staring at the Sun
  • **
  • Posts: 1,375
Re: Which do you like better: Zooropa or Pop?
« Reply #108 on: June 08, 2017, 01:30:43 PM »
In the year 2093, Zooropa is still going to be 100 years ahead of its time.

Offline Johnny Feathers

  • Elevated
  • ***
  • Posts: 3,915
Re: Which do you like better: Zooropa or Pop?
« Reply #109 on: June 08, 2017, 02:52:45 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
see i listened to FOTL last week, twice in fact, and i see the comparisons but it's very vague. i find it has more in common with Bowie's Earthling. I mean Earthling was Feb 3 and Pop was March 3 but you know what i mean.

I bought both albums the day they were released.  They're inextricably linked, for me.

Offline Saint1322

  • Staring at the Sun
  • **
  • Posts: 1,375
Re: Which do you like better: Zooropa or Pop?
« Reply #110 on: June 08, 2017, 03:05:18 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
I have to say I don't get why Zooropa is so fondly thought of. Pop is a masterpiece. If they had put Hold Me Thrill Me (I know they hadn't quite recorded it at that time) and Holy Joe on it instead of Miami and If God Will Send His Angels I would hold it in higher esteem than JT but not quite AB level. Zooropa definitely has some great moments but Babyface, Daddy's Gonna Pay and the Wanderer aren't for me. The best thing I can say for Zooropa is that I like to listen to it as it is such a different record from other U2 stuff and I do like most of it. I actually have an alternate track listing where I put Salome, Lady With the Spinning Head and Alex Descends on it as those songs fit much better on Zooropa to me than on AB (which they were B sides for) and take off the ones I mentioned above.

It saddens me a lot that U2 seem to cast aside Pop. Maybe that makes it more of an unheralded masterpiece to me as even the band don't realize what they created. 


Actually, you've got your timeline wrong on HMTMKMKM. That was a Zooropa-era track that was left off because it was too much of a rocker, and was reworked a little by Edge for the film Batman Forever, which was released in 1995, two years before Pop. In fact, Velvet Dress, If God Will Send His Angels and Wake Up Dead Man also were considered for Zooropa.

There are a lot of issues with Pop. First off, the fact that U2 went back to material from four years prior should tell you one thing. Secondly, the fact that the album was worked on for so long should tell you another. Lastly, the fact that Island had to pry it out of the bands' hands kicking and screaming should tell you even another. Singles were remixed and released rather than the album versions. All that work, and they still didn't like what they heard.

I think the summary of Pop is this: U2 wanted to stretch their sound and audience even further than they did on Achtung Baby and Zooropa, and at the last minute, they got cold feet. They watered down the hard techno dance sound of the album and came up with an overheated mess. Bono had writers' block. Yes, there are good songs there, but from top to bottom, the record is an overheated mess. It is the only album I can listen to and say 'What on EARTH is Bono talking about there?' He doesn't know what he's talking about.

Discotheque and MoFo, IMO, are examples of what they were going for. They stuck to their guns on those two. Please is a more traditional rock song, and a good one. So is Gone. They finally hit on good arrangement for Last Night On Earth while on tour, but again, it was a rock song that bore no resemblance to what the album was supposed to have been.

The rest? Filler. The worst songs they have put on an album, right up there with the two studio fillers on side 2 of UnFire.

Miami is a musically interesting song with sketchy lyrics that actually wasn't half bad live.
Playboy Mansion is a joke that was funny for 5 minutes.
Velvet Dress is supposed to be a sexy song that came out as sexy as granny's taupe pantyhose.
Wake Up Dead Man is a rambling screed of frustration over one riff
Do You Feel Love is a great bassline over nonsense
If God Will Send His Angels. If Hawkmoon 269 got its name from the number of mixes and takes they tried, then this one should be called If God Will Send His Angles 21,155. I think is an example of Bono having a chorus (again, goes back to Zooropa) and no idea how to deliver it melodically or what to say about it before or after. The cut and paste version that ended up as the single is way better.
Staring At The Sun is a boring attempt at psychedelia that again makes no sense and is perhaps the most boring U2 song to ever appear on an album.

So, as I have said probably too many times here, you are asking U2 why they don't celebrate their biggest commercial and critical failure to date. Do you like to go back and re-live your mistakes

Imagine Zooropa if you just added HMTMKMKM and Slow Dancing.

I think its more straight forward than that, The Prodigy released the Fat Of The Land and pretty much changed the dance/rock crossover genre overnight.  While U2 tapping into the genre, The Prodigy were redefining it. Everything else that came after it was always going to come up short.

Pop is in my top 3 U2 albums, but the more I listen to it the more I realise its a dance producers record that U2 added to, rather than a U2 record that the producers added to. The songs were great, the tour was breath-taking but the most positive result for me was that the band continued to evolve and not conform to a stereotype. How that would change.

That's an interesting way to put it. I think it was intended to be a dance producers album with U2 supplying the ideas, but U2 ended up chickening out, pulling it back from the producers and making a mess of it, a few tracks excepted. I think if you had asked U2 six months before Pop was released what it was going to sound like, and then played what actually was released six month later on that day, they would have been horrified. I mean, not to belabor this point, but every time they have released a song from that album -- after the first two singles -- the songs have been tweaked from their album incarnations, and those two singles have themselves been re-worked later.

Please excuse the pun, but they either never found what they were looking for, or else they didn't have the courage to follow through with their vision and backed off.

Offline Blueyedboy

  • Running to Stand Still
  • **
  • Posts: 1,049
  • Embrace the challenge
Re: Which do you like better: Zooropa or Pop?
« Reply #111 on: June 08, 2017, 06:36:08 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
see i listened to FOTL last week, twice in fact, and i see the comparisons but it's very vague. i find it has more in common with Bowie's Earthling. I mean Earthling was Feb 3 and Pop was March 3 but you know what i mean.

I guess my point was not to compare them but to give contrast to where the album landed compared to where The Prodigy had set the bar following FOTL. U2 gave it a good go, as did Massive Attack with Mezzanine a year later, but FOTL is still seen as the benchmark for that time (please allow for a huge dose of subjectivity into that statement).

Offline THRILLHO

  • Holy Joe
  • ***
  • Posts: 17,361
  • The sun won't melt our wings tonight
Re: Which do you like better: Zooropa or Pop?
« Reply #112 on: June 08, 2017, 06:37:42 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
see i listened to FOTL last week, twice in fact, and i see the comparisons but it's very vague. i find it has more in common with Bowie's Earthling. I mean Earthling was Feb 3 and Pop was March 3 but you know what i mean.

I guess my point was not to compare them but to give contrast to where the album landed compared to where The Prodigy had set the bar following FOTL. U2 gave it a good go, as did Massive Attack with Mezzanine a year later, but FOTL is still seen as the benchmark for that time (please allow for a huge dose of subjectivity into that statement).

yea Mezz is a great one.

FOTL was the beginning and end of the rock/dance genre really.

Offline Blueyedboy

  • Running to Stand Still
  • **
  • Posts: 1,049
  • Embrace the challenge
Re: Which do you like better: Zooropa or Pop?
« Reply #113 on: June 08, 2017, 08:48:58 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
see i listened to FOTL last week, twice in fact, and i see the comparisons but it's very vague. i find it has more in common with Bowie's Earthling. I mean Earthling was Feb 3 and Pop was March 3 but you know what i mean.

I guess my point was not to compare them but to give contrast to where the album landed compared to where The Prodigy had set the bar following FOTL. U2 gave it a good go, as did Massive Attack with Mezzanine a year later, but FOTL is still seen as the benchmark for that time (please allow for a huge dose of subjectivity into that statement).

yea Mezz is a great one.

FOTL was the beginning and end of the rock/dance genre really.

Yeah a top album, Inertia Creeps alone is worth buying Mezzanine for.

As for the Rock/Dance genre being dead, I'm not sure it ever had its last rites but the Nu Metal scene certainly strangled all life out of it in the early 00's! The names Linkin Park, Slipknot, and Limp Bizkit still make me shudder!!

There's some decent dance/indy band crossover going on, certainly in the UK. If your interested in that type of thing then you can do worse than checking out bands like Formation, Lea Porcelain and Keroscene to name a few that spring to mind.

Offline THRILLHO

  • Holy Joe
  • ***
  • Posts: 17,361
  • The sun won't melt our wings tonight
Re: Which do you like better: Zooropa or Pop?
« Reply #114 on: June 08, 2017, 09:18:31 PM »
ok fair enough. i just meant Prodigy was hyped as the Nirvana of the late 90s, big singles off an album that more of less declared a new genre of music that would take over.

then nothing. at least not in Texas. lol.

Offline Blueyedboy

  • Running to Stand Still
  • **
  • Posts: 1,049
  • Embrace the challenge
Re: Which do you like better: Zooropa or Pop?
« Reply #115 on: June 08, 2017, 09:33:45 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
ok fair enough. i just meant Prodigy was hyped as the Nirvana of the late 90s, big singles off an album that more of less declared a new genre of music that would take over.

then nothing. at least not in Texas. lol.

I think your doing a massive disservice to Moby  ;D

Offline THRILLHO

  • Holy Joe
  • ***
  • Posts: 17,361
  • The sun won't melt our wings tonight
Re: Which do you like better: Zooropa or Pop?
« Reply #116 on: June 08, 2017, 09:36:59 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
ok fair enough. i just meant Prodigy was hyped as the Nirvana of the late 90s, big singles off an album that more of less declared a new genre of music that would take over.

then nothing. at least not in Texas. lol.

I think your doing a massive disservice to Moby  ;D

oh. i was BIG.TIME. obsessed with Moby in the late 90s. Prodigy meant nothing to me but Play? I Like To Score? Everything Is Wrong? o.m.g...............

Offline cjscarboro1999

  • Stranger in a Strange Land
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: Which do you like better: Zooropa or Pop?
« Reply #117 on: June 10, 2017, 05:09:13 AM »
Zooropa for me and it isn't close. Pop is probably my least favorite  effort from U2. Zooropa is Achtung Baby's younger, sexier sister. A true high point for the band.

Offline redrunningred

  • Party Girl/Boy
  • **
  • Posts: 594
  • Planet Earth Is Blue
Re: Which do you like better: Zooropa or Pop?
« Reply #118 on: June 10, 2017, 02:48:33 PM »
For me their 2 lowest points. Still like individual songs on the albums, about a third of the album's each are truly stunning and i combine them together to make a much better album, combined with a few B sides I think are better. Gun to my head, I choose Pop.

Offline The Exile

  • Up With the Sun
  • ***
  • Posts: 5,245
  • It's all ball bearings nowadays.
Re: Which do you like better: Zooropa or Pop?
« Reply #119 on: June 10, 2017, 03:49:36 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
If your interested in that type of thing then you can do worse than checking out bands like Formation, Lea Porcelain and Keroscene to name a few that spring to mind.

Dude, Keroscene is legit!